How to become a successful freelance graphic designer in 2020

freelance graphic designer make a good personal and professional brand with few tips on how to become a successful designer.

How to become a successful freelance graphic designer in 2020

What to include in a good design portfolio with doographics

We would all like to abandon our employers and set out on our own. But without discipline and graphic design diligent project management, you might end up being overworked, underpaid and worse off than before.

So, here's one of those things you weren't taught at the design school; there are a dozen stages to every freelance job you do — and the fun part, producing things, is just one of them.

If you want to get a regular job, if you want to deliver on time and, most importantly, get paid, stick to this step-by-step workflow. It will eliminate confusion and help you concentrate on creating a creative graphic designer with designs that give you enough money to become self-employed and boss-free.

So, here are few tips on how to become a successful freelance graphic designer

How to become a successful freelance graphic designer in 2020

Build a portfolio

A solid portfolio is a must if you're looking to bring your own clients. Although it may be tempting to throw everything you've recently done into a portfolio, be careful. Only provide ventures and examples that are excellent examples of the kind of self-employed job you want to do. (If you're planning to concentrate on print, don't fill your portfolio with digital projects.) Using your portfolio as a platform to market your work to prospective clients.

You will soon find that the style of research you display also results in similar investigations for future projects. Include passion projects in your portfolio. Even unfinished ventures that you have a personal link to may be part of your portfolio. Often these pieces will show your depth of work and your love of design rather than just commercial work. (They can also contribute to more of the kind of work you want to do).

build a portfolio for freelancer with doographics

Establish a Personal Brand

You're going to need a good personal and professional brand to make it a freelance graphic designer. They might be the same (if you're going to work under your name) or they might have a company name that you represent. Buy a domain, create an email address, and set up an online presence as a graphic designer. When you're doing this brand research, consider whether you're going to work independently under your name or establish a company name. (You might want to do the footwork for both of them if you're on the fence.)

There are benefits and drawbacks in all choices – using your name or having another company name – making it a personal preference of whether you want to do business as a freelance graphic designer.

freelance graphic designer with doographics

Get Online

Part of creating your brand is to develop yourself as an expert in the design of all things, with a particular emphasis on the type of self-employed work you want to do. This presumably begins with a website, social media and portfolio pages.

Think about how new clients are going to look for you. It's likely to start with a Google search – also for clients coming from referrals.  A strong online presence gives you credibility as a graphic designer and makes you "unique" to potential customers. It could also include a point of touch. But don't forget to make a note that you're available for hire and how to get in touch.

graphic designer get online with doographics

Create a Business Plan and Goals

Too much about becoming a freelance graphic designer is not at all artistic. It provides a strong market base to encourage potential success. Unless you're planning to use freelance work as a side event, a complete business plan might not be required. But you also need to think about money, taxation, and the balance of revenue and expenditure. (The goal is to make money, isn't it?) If you're looking to enter freelancing as a full-time career, you need a business plan and goals. How much money do you need to make it work? How are health care expenses, software and device taxes and marketing costs? What facilities and contractors do you need (legal, CPA, licensing and insurance)? Build tangible goals to help you find out if your strategy is successful. So have a fallback option if you don't end up with a freelance lifestyle.

create a business plan and goals for freelance

Connect with your clients

Although you're probably ready to jump in, it's a good idea to start a bit. The first few clients and projects can take more time or effort than you expect. Through meetings to changes to figuring out what exactly a client wants, you want to allow yourself plenty of time to be productive (and not to flame out immediately).

Over time, you'll have an idea of what client time looks like, how long certain tasks take, and where you can concentrate on making the most of your money and having creative fulfillment.

freelancer connect with client for business

Build a relation

How does the perfect client look like? Where are you going to find them? Spend some time putting yourself out with deliberate networking. If most of your business is local, attend meetings and networking events in your area. If the client's work comes from other outlets, build such networks. Many networks may include connections with agencies if you do a lot of sub work, design conferences if you have a large network or individual clients that send a lot of business your way. Clear relationships should allow you to create the right form of company and not lead to issues with clients or ventures that are not suited. Note that networking takes place in person, online, and through other means, such as guest blogging, referral companies, and attending industry-specific events or conferences.

build relation for freelancing

Find a Niche Market

While it's nice to have a variety of clients and ventures, some freelancers will benefit from specialization. Can you do something that has a high demand for it, and not a lot of people to satisfy it? Specialization may be the secret to this. Once you run to a niche market, do your research. Is there enough research in place to sustain your business? Are you able to function efficiently in this area? Are you going to be happy with one line of design work? Is there a market for the product, service or design technique that you specialize in?

Only because you want to specialize in something, that doesn't mean you can't work on any other tasks. The biggest benefit of operating in a niche market is that you will be able to set up a structure and work easily – you're not reinventing the wheel every time – because you're familiar with the job.

Specialization doesn't mean you can't adjust over time. The business and the customer need to change. Live at the top of the company and the industry. Review your ventures and clients on a regular basis and make sure you're doing what's best for your career.

You may be a freelance graphic designer. It's more than a dream, and you will find your own place in the creative industry in a rising gig economy worldwide. You're going to have to focus on it. So, if you're involved in freelance graphic design, you can use this plan to get started.