How to Get Started as a Freelance Graphic Designer Right Now!!
You got Skills and want to become a Freelance Graphic Designer? You are super interested because you have heard Advantages of Freelancing and how quickly it is replacing the full time office jobs, than you have to make a few arrangements to get started as a freelance graphic designer. Freelancing is trendy now a days and getting more and more exposure mainly due to the huge list of benefits freelancing offers , You are your OWN Boss , Work whenever you want , Where ever you want , Earn Online while working from your home office or workplace , flexible schedules and list goes on and on ..
Getting started as a freelancer is not an easy thing at all. You need to have good skills in this area , of course your skills will be enhanced and get mature with time and experience but Apart from these essential personal skills you have to prepare a few more things , like your portfolio , Workplace , Your Tools etc. aside from these things following are the things you need to Start a carrier as a Freelance Graphic designer .
1. Select Your Workplace or Home Office:
Freelance Advantage is you can work from your Home and no one will ask you where you are sitting, But it is always recommended that you have a peaceful distraction free place where there is no distraction, have good internet connectivity and you can arrange your Tools easily, Also you should have a Relaxing Sitting chair as it is very important. You can set it as a Home office too here are few fantastic Workplace examples for your inspiration.
2. Prepare your Computer
That’s Right, You are going to do your all of the work on a Computer or Laptop so you should make sure that it is ready to take the load you are going to put on it, there is enough free memory to save all of the files for your projects, good Specifications to support the heavy software’s, Place your computer in your workplace in a way that you can access it easily.
3. Prepare your Working Tools
As a Graphics Designer your Tools are the Designing Programs you are going to use , while setting up your computer you should make sure that you have latest programs installed like Adobe Photoshop , Adobe illustrator , Microsoft Office , Emailing Software’s like Mozilla Firebird or Outlook , Communication Programs Like Skype or any Messenger you would like to use. A online security software to keep your important data safe from malicious spywares and viruses, as this is really important if sue to some malicious spyware your Hard drive fails or OS got corrupted you can lose all of your Important stuff and that would be Devastating for you and your projects , so better to be take measures in advance.
4. Know your Costs
Working as a Freelancer From Home does not involve usual costs as you are being employed but it may have some costs which you need to look after such as Buying a software you need, Domain name and hosting for your own website, Upgrading of your Computer and expenses relating to setting up your work place etc. . So you should consider these things beforehand too before starting as a freelance Graphic Designer.
5. Prepare a Workflow Pattern:
Once you are all Set with your Workplace and Tools you need to figure out the Services you are going to offer and the workflow for each of those services, This will help you to estimate the amount of time you need for a project to complete and Price you should charge depending of the time you spent. It Will also makes your life and your Client’s life much easier if you have a preset workflow pattern, With a Workflow Preset you will be in a great position to inquire exact information from the client as right time and no wastage of time. For example if you are going to design a logo for a client your work flow will be like this:
-Getting a logo Brief from Client.
-Agree on timeline and Cost of the project, along with mode of the payment and mode of communication.
-Preparing Initial drafts in 24-48 hours.
-Get Feedback from the client and more information based on feedback.
-Present more drafts or refine the selected design if any.
-Finish the selected design and Prepare Finalized Master files as Promised.
-Send an invoice to the client and get paid.
This was to give you an idea , you can set your own workflow as you seem fit and best.
6. Prepare Contract Documents
Being a Freelance Graphic Designer it is your responsibility that you have a contract with the client so everything is in black and white instead of just a verbal agreement so you should prepare some documents for contracts, Invoices etc. You also can use some great online payment services like FreshBooks Freelancers can easily manage their payments and invoices online in one place.
7. Prepare a Price Structure
When you Prepare a Work flow schedule for your Freelance Services, as explained in point 5 above, you are going to offer you must know what are the prices you are going to charge for each of them and based on that you should develop a price structure . it can consist on dividing each project in milestones , if you want to get a down payment or want to get paid in advance etc. you should think about it in advance.
8. Know Where your Clients Are.
After making all the Preparations above it is time for Go Hunting , Being a Freelance Graphic Designer you must know where you should look for the clients , There are Some Great Job Board Like , oDesk , Elance and Freelancer . I Already have written about 12 Tips to Get First JOB on a Freelance Network like oDESK ,Elance and Freelancer You should take a look at this post , Also there is another Post on How to successfully complete a Project on oDESK, Freelancer , Elance.
Apart from that you can find some great clients on Social media platforms like Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups etc. You can Approach People directly too, that’s the beauty of Freelance Work.
9. Keep an Eye on your Work Stats
Once you get started and start getting some work you should keep an eye on your Work Stats, Keep tracking the time you spent on each project and milestone so you can improve your time management and also the price structure as well.
10. Establish your Brand
For getting full benefits of working as a Freelance Graphic Designer you should establish yourself as a distinguish Brand , Make a recognizable name for yourself . You can do this via making your own online portfolio and a cool online Showcase of your services.
With the time you will get better and get more and more clients.
After Reading these Tips about How to Get Started as a Freelance Graphic Designer it’s your turn to start making the effort, if you have skills in Graphics Design and you are a creative person start At once!! It will be Difficult in the start but once you get started in a professional and a Right way you will make your way up for sure. If you got any question regarding any point feel free to comment below. If you got any word of wisdom from your own experience, you are encouraged to share it with us in comments section below.
Also If you are a well established Freelance Graphic designer Tell Us how you get started? and what were the things you did for starting a freelance carrier?