How I Decided To Become A Freelance Designer

A few years ago, I decided to start my own freelance design business. While the decision wasn’t an easy one I had to leave behind a steady paycheck and a lot of job security it was worth it. As it turned out, being my boss was incredibly freeing: I was able to set my hours and work with clients who were right for me. 

Best of all, I made more money than I ever did at any other job. Still, there were challenges along the way…and plenty of mistakes made. If you’re thinking about striking out on your own as a freelancer, here are tips that will help you decide if it’s right for you.

How To Start Your Freelance Graphic Design Career – YouTube
Key Takeaways
Exploring the journey of transitioning to freelancing.
Understanding the factors that led to the decision.
Gaining insights into the challenges and rewards.
Learning from personal experiences of a freelance designer.
Finding inspiration and guidance for your own path.

Make A List Of All The Pros And Cons

If you’ve been thinking about making a change in your career, the first thing to do is make a list of all the pros and cons of both options. This way, you’ll be able to see what each option has to offer and which one will work best for your lifestyle.

You can start by listing out the benefits of freelancing (no fixed schedule, being your boss). Then list out some drawbacks (lack of structure, managing your finances). Next, think about some of the pros and cons of what you’re currently doing. Finally, make another list for whatever it is that you want to do next (i.e., working for someone else or starting a freelance business).

Exploring data collection methods is a crucial step in any decision-making process. If you’re curious about how to gather valuable insights, check out our guide on collecting data for marketing research projects and enhance your decision-making abilities.

Look At How Much Training (And Money) You Need

The next thing you need to do is look at the cost of training and certification, as well as materials. When I decided to become a freelance designer, I had no idea what it would take.

It turns out that your training and certification can cost thousands of dollars sometimes tens of thousands. And while many software packages are cheaper than they used to be (and have lots of free trials), they still aren’t cheap by any means. 

The same goes for new equipment or materials like markers or paintbrushes they’re not cheap! You’ll probably have to spend some money upfront on marketing materials too: brochures and business cards are staples in most businesses’ marketing toolboxes.

However, if you’re just starting there’s no reason why you shouldn’t experiment with less expensive options like postcards or social media advertising first before committing yourself financially by ordering an entire batch of branded tees from Threadless (which has been known to happen).

Making the transition to freelance design can be daunting, especially when you’re new to the process. Discover valuable tips on hiring a freelance designer even when you’re starting from scratch, and set yourself up for success in your new career path.

Check Out What You’d Need To Do for The Job

The next thing to do is check out what you’ll need to do the job. If you’re a designer and want to work freelance, you should get some training in design (or maybe even a degree), but that’s not the only thing you should look at. 

You should also look at what kind of experience or knowledge is needed for your industry, and how much money it costs to get it. Some jobs are more expensive than others because they require more training and certifications, so if that’s something that concerns you, make sure those things don’t cost too much before deciding whether or not this career path is right for you.

Create A Schedule Of Work And Rest Times

If you are working for yourself, you must have a schedule of work and rest times. You need to prioritize when you will be working and what other things in your life will take precedence over designing jobs. 

It’s just as important to make sure that this schedule includes time for relaxing, exercising, eating well, sleeping well, etc. If your schedule doesn’t allow for these things then there is a good chance that you won’t stick with it and ultimately fail at becoming a successful freelance designer.

It is also important not to set unrealistic expectations or deadlines for yourself or clients if they are paying by the hour or day (as opposed to a fixed price). If someone pays by the hour then they would want their work completed faster than if they were paying by the day or week which requires more effort from both parties because there isn’t any rush so long as all milestones are met within those agreed-upon deadlines/milestones (and sometimes even more).

Save Up Some Funds To Get Started

Before you switch careers, it’s important to make sure that you have enough cash to cover the initial costs of starting a business. I recommend saving up at least three months’ worth of expenses to keep yourself afloat during the uncertain early days.

However, if you can wait longer than this before starting your freelance career, then do so! It’s better to save up enough money so that your savings will last at least one year after becoming self-employed this way, you’ll be able to weather any unexpected expenses or slow periods on your terms.

Talk To People Who Already Do It For A Living

Everyone wants to know what the best way is to jump into their dream career, but it’s important not to seek out only those people who have been successful in that field. You need honest feedback from those who have made significant mistakes or found themselves in unexpected positions.

Just ask them about their experiences, and ask them what they would do differently if they had to do it all over again (if anything). Find out how they got their start, and how they ended up where they are today you could learn a lot from these conversations!

Starting a design career is an exciting journey, and advice from experienced professionals can provide valuable insights. Explore the secrets to beginning your design career as shared by top designers, and learn from their experiences to excel in the industry.

Set Up A Business Plan With Projected Income And Expenses For At Least The Next Year Or Two

You need to have a clear understanding of your business goals, objectives, and financial requirements. You also need to understand what personal requirements you have for the type of work that you do. 

This may include some element of flexibility in your schedule or the number of vacations per year that you want to take while working on this business. You should also decide on the structure of your company with regards to taxes and filing paperwork with state authorities so that everything is done legally and correctly. 

Finally, freelancers (and small businesses) in general need to understand their market competition as well as their customers’ needs to succeed in an increasingly competitive workforce environment.

Have An Idea Of How You Will Market Yourself And Your Services 

Including having a website created by someone who knows what they’re doing to make sure your presence can be easily found on the web, as well as having business cards made and learning how to network with new potential clients in person through events and conferences, etc.

It’s also important to have a plan for marketing yourself and your services. You need to have a website created by someone who knows what they’re doing to make sure your presence can be easily found on the web, as well as having business cards made. You should learn how to network with new potential clients in person through events and conferences, etc.

A schedule of work and rest times will help ensure that you remain productive while also taking care of yourself mentally and physically so that you don’t burn out or end up doing too much at one time without giving yourself a chance to recover between projects.

Decision-making is an integral part of freelancing as a graphic designer. Discover how professionals approach their choices by checking out our article on making decisions as a freelance graphic designer, and gain valuable insights into managing your freelance career effectively.

Think About Whether Or Not You Need A Degree Or Certificate To Find Work In Your Area

While you don’t need a degree to get hired as a freelancer, it can be beneficial to have one. You can still find work as a freelancer without having an education in the field that you want to pursue or even any formal training at all. 

But if you’re serious about making this career move and want to do everything possible to increase your chances of success, consider getting some kind of certification or degree in your area of interest. If you have time and are willing to invest money into it, there are plenty of online classes available with low tuition costs (or even free!).

If taking night classes isn’t something that interests you right now but going back to school full-time is something that does appeal or if neither appeals but getting some kind of certificate or degree sounds good consider taking classes at your local community college instead. 

This option is often much less expensive than paying for university credits and has many more flexible options available than most on-campus programs do (e.g., accelerated programs).

If you have a knack for design, there are numerous freelance opportunities waiting for you. Explore our list of top 14 freelance options tailored for designers like you, and unlock a world of potential paths to pursue your creative endeavors.

Consider If There Are Any Government Grants Available In Your Area

Government grants are a great way to offset some of the costs of starting up a business or a freelance career. You can often find grants for training courses and certification exams (sometimes even those required by employers), as well as other kinds of business expenses such as equipment purchases or marketing materials. 

The search for these types of opportunities can be time-consuming but it’s worth it because they are usually free money that doesn’t have to be paid back!

Final Thoughts

The decision to become a freelance designer was one of the best decisions I ever made. In this post, I shared things that changed my life and helped me get where I am today. If you are thinking about becoming a freelance designer there is no better time than now. You just need to take the first step!

Further Reading

Expand your knowledge and expertise in becoming a successful freelance designer by exploring these resources:

10 Steps to Becoming a Successful Freelance Designer: Learn the essential steps to thrive as a freelance designer, from building a portfolio to finding clients.

How to Become a Graphic Design Freelancer: Dive into the world of graphic design freelancing with insights on building your brand and client relationships.

How to Become a Graphic Designer: Explore a comprehensive guide to becoming a graphic designer, covering education, skills, and career pathways.

People Also Ask

What Is The Best Way To Start A Freelancing Career?

A: You don’t have to have years of experience as a designer, but you need to have at least some skills. It’s better if you can show your portfolio with your previous projects. Also, it’s very important to have an eye for design and love what you do!

How Do I Start Building My Freelance Business?

If you want to become a successful freelancer then trust me when I say this you need patience because nothing happens overnight. As long as there’s no market demand or demand from clients then nobody will hire or buy anything from anyone so be patient and keep trying until one day something clicks into place.

What Are The Benefits Of Freelancing?

If you love designing, freelancing is a great option because it lets you do what you love while still being able to support yourself. You get to work on interesting projects and meet new people, plus you have more control over your schedule.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my experience as a freelancer, it’s that the quality of life changes drastically when working in a job where someone else tells us what to do all day long.

How Do I Find Clients?

The best way is through referrals from people who already know and trust you with their projects. If no one knows about your business yet, start by reaching out to friends who have similar skill sets or interests as yours (or at least have worked on similar types of projects). 

Then ask them if they’d be willing to pass along the word about your services to others in their network it’s amazing how much easier it can be for someone else if someone else does the legwork for them!

What If I Don’t Have Enough Work?

It’s always a good idea to keep a few extra clients on the go in case of emergencies or slow periods. This can help you avoid having to turn away work when you need it most, and also give you the flexibility to say no to projects that aren’t quite right without feeling guilt.

How Do I Get Clients?

The best way to get new clients is through repeat business and referrals from existing ones. If someone is happy with the service they receive from your agency or freelancer account, chances are they’ll use it again in future projects if asked by their friends or colleagues. 

You may also consider offering free trials for potential customers who want something small done for free before committing themselves financially. however, this should only be used sparingly as it comes across as desperate rather than helpful!

How Do I Know If My Skills Are Good Enough?

You might be wondering if you have the necessary skills to succeed in this field. You can try a few things to see if your skills line up with what clients are looking for. 

First, check out some of the websites for freelance designers and see how many apply their design skills to the web (such as Dribbble). If your work is similar to or better than theirs, then that’s great! But, if it isn’t quite there yet, don’t worry there are tons of resources online that will help you learn everything from color theory basics to using Photoshop efficiently. 

Just start slow by working on smaller projects like posters and logo designs before moving on to bigger ones like websites. Once you’ve gotten more comfortable with your tools and understanding of design principles, feel free to email me so we can discuss my needs further 🙂

What’s The Difference Between A Freelancer And An Employee?

A freelancer is someone who works for a company on a contract basis, rather than as a full-time employee. They may work from home or in an office, but either way, they are responsible for their expenses (such as health insurance).

Is It Easy To Get Clients?

Nope! When I first decided to become a freelance designer, I had no experience and knew nothing about how to find clients. There are many other designers out there who have been in your shoes before; here are some questions you might want to be answered:

What Do I Need To Become A Freelance Designer?

First, you’ll need to be able to show that you’re qualified and have a portfolio of previous work. You’ll also need the skill set needed for your particular job. For example, if you want to design web interfaces, then you should have some experience with HTML/CSS and Javascript. 

Also, it’s important to have good communication skills when dealing with clients and colleagues in the design community. Finally, it helps if you enjoy what you’re doing because working as a freelancer can be very rewarding but also stressful at times!

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