Whether you’re self-taught, in high school, Tafe or university, you never actually get taught the steps on how to become a freelance designer in the creative world. You never get taught how to run a successful business or how to individually market yourself in a world where everybody with a computer and a copy of Photoshop claims to be a designer.
So today I have compiled a few steps that you can take to help you on your way to becoming a successful designer.
1. Develop a Brand. No company or organization on the face of this earth has existed without an established style. Without a personalized logo you will simply be another face in the already overpopulated sea of generic designers. So be bold and be creative.
Becoming a successful freelance designer means becoming a successful, original, quality brand.
2. Construct a kick ass online portfolio. In this day and age it is nearly impossible to become a successful freelance designer without having the ability to view your work online. All potential clients and employers will want to be able to view your work when it is convenient to them, so having an online portfolio is a perfect way to achieve that!
To do this you can create your own website through sites like squarespace or wix. Or you can use a site such as Behance to host your work!
3. Create a print portfolio too. I guarantee there will come a day when you meet someone, whether it is a potential employer or possible client who will want to see your work “in person”. So creating a creative and original print portfolio is always a good idea.
Also utilising marketing material such as business cards or flyers never goes astray; it’s always helpful to have something with your branding on it which a potential client can keep.
4. Take on smaller jobs to begin with. Doing well on a small job for somebody can end up opening doors for your client to do bigger, better things.
It gets you experience and helps build your knowledge as a designer.
5. Go the extra mile for your clients. As a freelance designer word of mouth is one of the most important factors. Nothing can help you or hurt you and your business more than rumors or compliments spread by those for whom you have done work before.
You will find that most of the work you get will come from word-of-mouth advertising. Over time, with lots of word-of-mouth referrals, you’ll find yourself becoming a successful freelance designer.
6. Don’t underestimate your ability. Be sure to believe in yourself. You can become a successful designer. Reflect this ideal in your work and mannerisms, communicate professionally but also as a friend.
Also be sure to reflect this in your pricing, if you’re doing good work, charge fairly for it.