It is quite possible for you to survive and earn enough income as a freelance designer even when you do not have a formal education. If you have a skill or talent in drawing then you might be the right person for graphic designing but there is a lot more to consider than drawing with pen and paper when you are a freelance designer.
Generally there is no official standard for steps or procedures to follow in graphic designing. People with more connections or references can land a good job in the first few tries whereas other freelancers might have to work harder.
How To Make Money Online As Freelance Designer
- Get educated.
It might sound a bit hypocritical to you but it is always better if you have a good certificate to flaunt while proving your eligibility. A course also teaches you a number of new things about designing and hence it would be better for you to take a course in a related field. You can choose to go for a short term course or a long term program depending on what you are available.
- Learn the software.
Whether you are working on Photoshop, Audition, Illustrator or any other software, you should have the full knowledge of it. Study the software clearly before you tell anyone that you are well versed with it.
- Know your targeted clients.
Search for keywords or clients relating to your genre of design. You can design for anything in the beginning but it is better to pin down your focus to a few best categories in the starting.
If your resume offers different statistics then it looks more appealing and sincere towards clients. If you mention everything or use phrases like “anything goes” then your resume might look bad in front of clients you are targeting.
- Learn the flow of market.
Sometimes one particular type of design is more in demand due to trends, learn how to master these trends in your favour.
You can constantly update your portfolio or start with a portfolio so that you represent the latest trends as your services.
- Save funds.
If you have enough money saved to take care of your needs for the next few months then you will certainly have more peace of mind and confidence while working online. A safe deposit to take care of your needs for the next 6 months is a good idea and the most recommendable one.
- Market yourself.
Once you have gone through the above steps, the next step is to present yourself to customers. You have to market yourself efficiently by a number of methods. These methods can be through developing your own business brochures and cards along with a few templates which you have created yourself. Another good idea to market yourself is to join communities online and offline. You can also attend various conferences and meetings to grow your reach of clients.
- Build a network.
Instead of working alone you can have a group or team with other freelancers. This will help you to toss work around to whoever is available on the network and you can also go up for grabs in low times. Building a network with high ranked freelancers will get you the best gigs and jobs while having a network with beginners or low charging freelancers will get your projects done at a lower price.
- Try to Specialize.
Think about getting deeper into a certain category by either choosing a certain industry to work for or to offer a certain service which any business might need.
You might be good at developing websites for music or fitness or a certain industry. If you have designed something good for a website then you can try to get similar jobs in the same industry. You might be good at outlining or other details and you can offer to design graphics for that part. Such as brochures and banners, or logo etc.
You can charge your clients depending on the budget and a number of things. While looking for a job, try to search for a job which at least pays your wages. If you get something better then it’s your luck.
- Initial Work.
For the beginning phases you might have to work hard. Many clients will not pay you for reworks and you might have to do a lot of work to meet the quality requirements of your clients initially. Be prepared for this and work hard.
With time not only will you get better and efficient as a freelance designer but you will also receive better clients based on your previous history.