I bet if you have the passion to start over as a graphics designer, you have ever wondered what it takes to start out. If you are thinking of venturing in this field, then this article is for you. I have investigated and come up with a comprehensive and a highly informative guide on how to become a freelance graphic designer.
In this brief, I will share some of the methods that one of my best friends who is now a much renowned graphics designer used to kick start and advance in this venture. However, before we start on this, we have to understand what graphic designing is and what a graphics designer does for a living.
What is graphic designing?
The main role of a graphics designer is to communicate the intended message in a visual manner. A good designer will arrange symbols, colors and imagery to make the intended message visible to the target audience. They are given the mandate of creating a symbolic representation of the company or business they are working with for the project at hand.
A typical job that you are likely to handle as a graphics designer is to deal with visual brand identity including Logo designs, brochures, folders, postcards, business cards, print advertisements and many more. They are also given the mandate to set company visual representation on social media, envelopes, catalogs and packaging designs.
If you get a job with the best companies in town, you are likely to get a mandate to create simple and beautiful websites in Adobe Muse. You can as well design a WordPress website template for clients.
Skills required to become a graphics designer
So you may ask yourself; what skills do I need to start on this? For many people, starting on graphic designing you need to get at least a diploma in graphic designing. However, for others, they choose to go for a graphic designing certificate and they are still doing well. If you cannot afford the above studies, you can go for another alternative. I have a friend who started on his own self studies and he is now a pro graphics designer.
Although you can just learn the skills from online courses, I recommend going for formal education to get all the required perspectives of graphics designing. This doesn’t mean that it is mandatory to go for the formal education especially if you are a fast learner and if you are a go getter. If you can be able to spot the most experienced Freelance graphic designers and if you can be able to go through their books and learn all the basics, then you are better off.
The channel of getting theoretical basis of graphics design really depends on personal preference, how much time you want to dedicate on it and monetary allocation for the course. Choosing a college route is a good starting point. But the main point here is if you have the time and if you are willing and able to invest a lot of money for the whole process. You can work towards a certificate or an associate degree. There are very many colleges out there that you can choose and get the relevant skills. Choosing a college has several benefits and one of them is a fact that you will be provided with an all-rounded education base that will support the rest of your career. The education provided in the college will cover all the perspectives of graphic designing to your advantage.
You will as well come up with great grasp on all the foundational base and fundamentals that you need to start as a confident graphic designer. You will be confident that you are going to provide nothing but the best services.
On the other hand, a graphic designer should be a great communicator. He is mandated to communicate the intentions of the company visually. If you want to venture in this area you also need to be creative. Graphic designers need to be great creative thinkers. You have the responsibility of conveying the company’s ideas in a creative way. As a graphic designer, you need to generate ideas and invest in technical skills to make those ideas visible to the target audience.
The other personal skill that you need in this case is time management. Graphic designers are constantly juggling multiple projects. If you are not a great time manager, you are likely to disappoint your clients. You should as well be able to multitask, meet all the established deadlines and at the same time be able to satisfy all the needs of the client.
Step by step guide to become a freelance graphic designer
It has never been easier to become a freelance graphics designer as it is nowadays with the advent of open source software and low cost hardware. At this point, I am going to provide all what you need and the steps you need to start up.
- Get a computer and the necessary software
You will certainly not get far if you don’t have a computer and any graphics designing tools and software in your computer. Don’t put in your mind that you need brand-new Mac book or an apple laptop or a computer to start. You can get a computer that suits your pocket and start over from there. Use what is available to make the whole process a success.
- Get a place to work from
As a freelance graphics designer, you will work mostly from home. What this means is that you need a quiet place to serve as your office. Most people start as freelancers in their local libraries. Others just set aside a room in their house to start over.
- Know how to price your services
You don’t have to price too high to make money. As a matter of fact, the higher your prices the less number of clients you will get to start over. However, this doesn’t mean that you should price your services too low. What it means is that you need to determine an equilibrium price that will be satisfactory to both the client and you.
- Target a certain niche
The next thing is to know who your target audience are and invest on ways of getting close to them. Learn what your customers need and work towards making them satisfactory. Do not market yourself as someone who can do everything at once. Even though this is a market reality, just slow down first and show your clients what areas you have expertise and experience on.
- Find a good third party partner
In this era, it is not advisable to work on your own. To be a freelance graphics designer, you need to get clients. However, to get clients, you need a very reliable freelance sites and other third party partners to work with. There are several freelance sites including Upwork, Fiverr, Edusson and several other sites offering the right opportunities.
- Create an account with freelance sites
Creating an account with some of the best freelance sites out there is simple. Just go to the company’s site and follow the steps. If you have the right skills show case them here. Create highly informative and attractive gigs to market yourself. From this, you will get a vast number of clients’
- Know how to keep your customers
Repeat clients are the best channels of mobilizing more money. Do a great job to your client and be nice to them. Have good communication skills and eventually make them love your work. After this, they will come now and then. If you are able to keep them, then you are already a successful freelance graphic designer.
- Make your own platform
At some point, you may think about having your own website, in which you can showcase your skills and previous work to more customers, and offer your services to them. This will help you to grow your customer database greatly and will also help you to have a well established business. There is an extensive learning program called Wealthy Affiliate which teaches how to build a website and drive traffic to it. After achieving good traffic on your site, you can monetize it through many ways. One of them is to offer your own services. Check out a thorough review of Wealthy Affiliate from here.
How to beat the competition
There’s no better way of beating the competition than knowing how to market yourself and how to keep the clients. First thing first, to keep a client, you need to work on a quality profile. If you delivered quality work, then you are plenty assured that the client will come back sometime later.
Take the note of your client’s requirements carefully and follow them to the latter. Tailor your proposal to those requirements and ensure your clients never complain. Most clients what a freelancer who pays a lot of attention to details. Just be insightful, and witty in your proposal and through this, you will be sure to cut through the clutter of other bids.
Place a fair and a competitive price. If you are a beginner, just put in mind that it is difficult to compete with experienced graphic designers and stay on your lane. The other thing is to respond promptly to private messages from clients.
How to advance in this career and become a renowned freelance graphic designer?
The best way to advance in this career is to be dedicated, passionate and hardworking. You need to meet all the requirements and have some impactful marketing skills. Just get a thriving graphic design inspiration from some of the most popular graphic designers in the market. Stay dedicated and never lose hope.
The other thing is to set aside a business band account. If you mix your freelancing income with personal income and use it in whatever you need, you will never see your success. However, if you set aside a business bank account, you will be able to see the amount of money that you make from the whole process.
If you are given a project that is a bit confusing, then be ready to ask for clarification. This will ensure that you have never delivered a project which is not in line with what your client expected.