In recent times, graphic designing has become one of the most creative industries that has been growing fast and is in high demand. The need for promotional and marketing collateral has made this industry popular. Whether small, or big, every company needs a graphic designer, but 2020 is an unexpected chapter in our lives that has rendered us entirely in chaos, unable to take control. Now that we're approaching the end of the year, one of the most significant effects that were noticed was unemployment. Many who lost their jobs turned to online and remote work as a means of survival. Corporate houses were forced to let go of their employees, which caused these companies to shift towards unconventional work methods. One such way was to hire freelancers to cut costs and excel in their businesses.
A freelance graphic designer is a creative professional who produces designs using visuals. Their job is to assemble images and graphics creatively using tools and technology. Starting as a freelance graphic designer can unleash many emotions, from empowering to a terrifying experience. As a community, we want to support each other in these times of need, and the least we can do is share tips with budding graphic designers.
Here we have five ways which can help you to be a successful freelance graphic designer in 2021
1. Work on your Portfolio
When starting to spread out the word about your services, the first and foremost question you will face will be related to your portfolio. Typically, it is the only thing a client would need to see when choosing a designer. Moreover, as a freelance graphic designer, you will not be backed up by a firm, and an impressive portfolio is an essential factor that a client will consider before hiring.
a. Showcase your best work and skills
Select your best designs and make them a primary focus on your portfolio. Out of the fifteen-twenty projects, the first two or three designs are all it takes for the client to make up their mind. Versatility is appreciated. If you have some magazine covers, logos, or even video animation, include them in your portfolio.
b. Client recommendation will provide the required boost
As a freelance graphic designer, the only thing that will give you recognition before you create a name for yourself is the clientele you have worked with. Recommendations will help you establish yourself as a dependable and talented designer, helping you create a positive image for yourself. Many companies give preference to the designers with recommendations, so do not forget to get one.
c. Choose the right platform to showcase your work
Various websites can help you showcase your portfolio, but it is recommended to invest your money in a custom website name. It might appear as a sudden expense but will provide you better results in the longer run. You can customize it to match your work's aesthetic or vibe and design it to showcase your style. With your domain name, you will end up coming across as more professional to your client.
2. To Be a Freelance Graphic Designer You Should Build a Clientele
a. Customers to target
If you start as a freelance graphic designer, it would be recommended to begin by approaching local businesses or start-ups. They are more willing to hire a newcomer than big, established firms. Convincing them will become more comfortable if you have added a few projects that are similar to what they are looking for.
b. Sign up on design or freelancing platforms
c. Do a lot of research
Try to understand the customer and the job before meeting them, along with the upheavals or trends the industry is predicted to undergo and customize your pitch accordingly.
d. Leave a positive impression
Explain to the other party your creative designing process, which will provide them an insight into your work and an understanding of the work product they should expect. A good personality can leave a deep impression so remember to be polite and patient, irrespective of whether you get selected or not.
e. Build connections
As a freelance graphic designer, building good relationships is of utmost importance. It is the key to landing clients, building your reputation, sharing your work with people, and even getting a better understanding of various other projects.
3. Be Patient and Prevent Miscommunication
It is extremely important to prevent miscommunication of any form. Have a clear idea of what the client expects from you. You will come across various types of clients; some will be too vocal about what they expect or envision, and then there will be some who are new to this. If you come across such a client, make sure to ask a plethora of questions. You might come across as a bit excessive, but it will help you in the long run.
In the end, there is a chance you will have to make changes every time you present till the client is happy. Remember to be patient. Even the well-established freelance graphic designers are very respectful and understand their clients, no matter what. Remind yourself repeatedly that your services exist to assist them in their work, not the other way around. Satisfying their needs as per their instructions might provide you a chance to turn them into loyal customers. Talking back and forth about the work will give you a better insight into the company and provide the client with a deep understanding of the business.
4. Create a Contract Template
Create a contract template that will protect the interest of the client and the freelance graphic designer equally. What will you do if a client turns out to be not so dependable and refuses to pay for your work? A freelancer does not have much support from a human resources team or lawyers who would safeguard his or her interests. Therefore, it is important to create a contract that will also make sure that your service appears more professional and disciplined. Your contract should include a detailed description of the work you would be doing, delivery time and deliverables, payment details, confidentiality, copyright ownership, client approval, termination clause, and lastly, signature and date. There are freelancing websites that offer standard contracts to Freelancers and also provide affordable insurance benefits as a safety net. For instance, SkillSoniq offers affordable accidental and other forms of insurance through its partner, Trupo. To learn more about the process and about other questions, click here.
5. Do Not Take All the Pressure Upon Yourself
There will be times when a specific project will require you to be more skillful than you have been used to earlier. Even though it is appreciated to have the basic knowledge of a variety of graphic design tools, it is not recommended to do all the work by yourself. Find someone to partner up with, someone who shares a good relation with you making your job more comfortable. With two professionals, the quality of the project ends up better. You may also end up with someone who brings in more projects!
Graphic Designing is an extensive field with various specializations. A freelance graphic designer must train themselves on essential skills and tools, and master the tools and software that will help deliver the needs of potential clients. Learn under a mentor, look for opportunities, and get started!