For most graphic designers, the day will come when you've had enough work for other people. When that time comes, you want to be ready to make a smooth transition from an employee to a freelance entrepreneur.
Deciding to take the leap and branch out at last on your own can be exciting! Being a freelancer means taking control of your career by becoming a boss of your own. But in a highly competitive environment like graphic design, how do you make sure your leap doesn't turn into a nosedive?
Key Sections to Note
Cold Reality, Plain Evidence
More than ever, fresh graduates and salaried professional designers are turning to the freelance world. While making this change can be exciting, the fact of the matter is that many first-time freelancers have failed. This failure can be the result of many different areas. You may find that motivation is a challenge when you can set your working hours. It also takes a heavy dose of perseverance to build your client list and get your name out of the design world. You may also find that dealing with actual customers is much less glamorous than you thought it would be.
The Secret to Success
We've already talked about potential problems that graphic designers face when building their businesses, but you can do much more than just avoid your peers' common pitfalls. Below, we're going to explore 5 steps to create a thriving freelance graphic design career.
Step 1: Review Your Tools
The very first thing any aspiring graphic designer should do is ensure that they use the right programs. Outdated software will only make the process more complicated and set you miles behind the competition. You need to know how to use it in addition to having the newest and greatest design software. So really plunge into those forums and learn all the fancy keyboard shortcuts that will streamline your whole process.
Take some time to figure out exactly what your particular niche needs. Going for high-profile customers and offering a wide range of services? Then you'll probably want more robust design programs. If you want to deliver high-quality image content on a slightly smaller scale, using online tools like DesignBold can get you exactly what you need–but at a fraction of the cost. Also, don't forget the basic things like computer capable and a sketchpad!
Step 2: Joining to The Freelance Community
Freelancing has never really been as easy as it is now, thanks to the worldwide web of trust! You can choose which freelancing platforms you would like to join, many of which are completely free to sign up to. And don't feel like just one freelancing site needs to remain loyal. You want to be able to reach as many potential customers as possible to be successful!
Make sure you put some effort into each profile, as they really will be your selling feature for any services you wish to provide. To show off your style and capabilities, it's always a good idea to include lots of items in your portfolio.
Step 3: Build An Awesome Portfolio
As we just mentioned, coming to the table with a vast portfolio showcasing their work is key for new freelancers. So what are you going to do if your completed projects are just not so abundant?
If there's a little lack of your previous work, work on a selection of mock-ups to show how good your design eye is. And it doesn't have to be a daunting task. By using a simpler outlet such as Canva, in a matter of moments, you can create a whole slew of images for all kinds of different needs. There's no need to have a skimpy portfolio with tools like this available.
Start a Virtual
Step 4: Create A Website For Yourself
You'll want a page of your own to direct customers on and off the freelancing sites. The best thing to build your site is that it allows you to demonstrate your ability to create a unified aesthetic. Focus on whom you appeal in terms of style when developing your website.
Resisting the urge to go overboard when it comes to the graphics on your page is also very important. A simple scheme will emphasize your portfolio better than an excessively busy palette. Leave space to shine on your actual website for your work.
Step 5: Create Your Virtual Company with Rimuut
When your website is finished and you upload all your portfolio on it, you'll start to get clients or at least business inquiries in no time. But, some clients may look for freelancers who can issue VAT invoices. This is where most freelancers fall short, as you normally need to be a registered company to issue those.
Luckily, you have Rimuut: A virtual company service provider for just the thing: Issuing freelance invoices that can be deducted from tax and getting paid lightning fast. What is a virtual company, you ask?
"A Virtual Company is a borderless, micro-company that you can use to conduct business all around the world as a legitimate entity without actually starting a business. Rimuut helps freelancers, digital nomads and people who do not want to undergo the burden and cost of starting a company locally."
Complete the five steps to be on your merry way to becoming a freelance graphic designer, and don't forget to write to us when you get to the top!