Freelance Graphic Designer
Today in freelancer news, we are going to talk about how to become a freelance graphic designer.
There are many perks of working as a freelance graphic artist. First, you can work from anywhere and at any time. While many freelancers envision blissfully completing projects while hanging out on a pristine beach, the reality is that you will probably sit at your crumb-covered kitchen table wearing a pair of sweats, a baggy t-shirt, and no bra.
Most graphic artists envision being able to expand their creativity and work on projects close to their hearts. The reality is that you will probably be forced to do a lot of less-than-desirable projects to pay the bills until you become known in your niche.
Many graphic artists love the idea of designing all day and not wasting time at staff meetings or commuting. The reality is that your 9-5 job may have had an intermediary between the creative department and the clients. As a freelancer, you will have to work with clients directly, and some of those relationships may be difficult.
Finally, graphic artists may envision the life of a freelancer as being easier. The reality is that you will probably work harder than you ever have before. You will learn that any break you take — even if it’s to go to the bathroom, means that you aren’t making money. You aren’t earning if you aren’t doing. This may not be very easy for someone, especially if they don’t have the greatest of work ethics.
While we don’t want to do is be too discouraging, we feel that as a freelancer teacher, we must give you the realities of freelancing. Of course, we haven’t even broken the surface of other freelancing difficulties, which also include having to take care of your own taxes, obtaining your own health insurance, and saving enough for retirement.
Before you go back to your boss, begging for your old job back, let’s discuss the perks.
First, it is extremely satisfying to be able to make money using nothing but your talents and a laptop.
Second, maybe you were underutilized at your last job, and you weren’t given a chance to show your creativity. Being a freelancer will allow you to push the limits, as long as you have clients who agree with your design philosophies.
Finally, because there is no one else to turn to for help, you quickly learn to fine-tune your artistry. You learn to create faster and learn to problem solve through issues since you don’t have any coworkers to turn to for help.
But we may be preaching to the choir. Maybe you already know why you want to become a freelance graphic designer, but you want to know how to get started.
How to Become a Freelance Graphic Designer
As a freelancer teacher, we know that there is not one specific way to begin working on your own. It depends upon your vision. Do you want to work quietly at your kitchen table, producing designs that amaze your clients? Or do you have dreams of turning your freelancing business into your own design firm?
Here are some pieces of advice to consider.
1. Find a mentor.
Talk with someone who has left the corporate world to branch out on his or her own. Buy them coffee while you pick their brain about obtaining clients, purchasing equipment, setting prices, and putting aside enough money for taxes.
Most freelancers would be happy to help you get started, but they may not be super pumped about sharing too much about their clients.
2. Obtain clients.
If you don’t have a non-compete or freelance clause in your contract at work, you may begin your life as a freelancer by working evenings and weekends. This will enable you to collect your salary and retain your benefits while you are sorting through how to be a freelancer.
How do you obtain clients? First, you can join a freelancing website. The most common one in the industry is Upwork, but there are many others out there — some that focus just on design projects.
There are many benefits to working through one of these companies. It makes it easier to find clients. Upwork will work as an intermediary if you have a problem collecting payment from the work you completed. Also, you can apply for jobs that interest you.
The disadvantages of working through one of these companies are that you may have to take low-paying jobs for a while to build up your reviews. Also, there are a lot of graphic designers working through Upwork, and some may be willing to do the work for a lot cheaper than you are willing to do it. Finally, at first, Upwork will take 20% of your earnings. The percentage decreases if you do a lot of work for one client.
3. Develop relationships.
Just like any other career, relationships are essential in the freelancing industry. It may take a while, but eventually, your goal is to find a few great clients who provide you with good pay and consistent work. Work hard for these clients — they are your bread and butter.
Good luck with a career as a freelance graphic designer. Although there are many things to consider before taking that first step, it is incredibly satisfying to work on your own.