How To Become A Freelance Graphic Designer Without Taking On Any Risk

If you’re one of the millions of people who have stumbled into graphic design, then you probably already have a lot of the foundational skills you need to work as a freelancer. Leaping working for other people, though, can be tough at first. 

As much as we hate to admit it, the risk is an inherent part of freelancing. Luckily there are ways to take on freelance work without taking on too much risk.

How To Start Your Freelance Graphic Design Career – YouTube
1. Explore strategies for starting a freelance design career
without exposing yourself to unnecessary risks.
2. Learn about building a strong portfolio and online presence
to attract potential clients.
3. Understand the importance of effective communication and
project management skills when working with clients.
4. Discover methods to find freelance graphic design work
and secure consistent projects.
5. Gain insights into setting competitive rates, tracking
income, and managing finances prudently.

Before Starting To Do Any Work, You Have To Have The Right Mindset

Two things matter most in business: quality of work and quantity of work. Quality is the most important thing, and it will take you further than anything else but quantity is also important because you can’t always control what projects come your way. If you want to get good at something, you have to practice it over and over again.

So before starting any project for a potential client, think about how this project will help grow your skillset as a graphic designer, or how others will benefit from seeing what kind of job you did on this particular task. Will they be able to learn from your work? Would they find it valuable? If so, then do it!

Hiring a freelance designer can be daunting, especially when you’re unsure of where to start. Learn valuable tips on how to make the right choice in our guide on how to hire a freelance designer when you have zero clue.

Don’t Procrastinate Your Day Away

If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get distracted and procrastinate. But if you want to be a full-time freelancer or even just freelance on the side while working a traditional job you need to learn how not to procrastinate. Here are some ideas:

Set deadlines for yourself, even if they’re self-imposed. If there’s no real pressure from clients or other people, then put it on yourself! Set a deadline that’s earlier than what you think is reasonable, but still realistic enough that it will motivate you.

Break down big tasks into smaller pieces so they don’t seem as daunting. If something seems way out of your reach right now (like creating an entire website), start by putting together a mood board or sketching some ideas for each page of the site in Photoshop or whatever program your designer uses. 

This way when someone asks about “the website” later on in their project timeline, at least they’ll know the direction in which things are going without having been exposed directly to any potential client stressors early on during their relationship with their designer/developer team members.”

Learn To Grow Your Own Garden

You might be wondering if you need to work late into the night, but the truth is that most graphic designers spend their days working from home during normal business hours. The difference between them and you are their routine in general, so let’s talk about what they do differently.

You need sleep! It’s true! If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain won’t function properly and your body won’t be able to regenerate itself after a long day of work. You may think this sounds like common sense, but some people still push themselves too hard without realizing it can affect them negatively later on down the line.

Also, make sure to eat healthy food that doesn’t contain too many preservatives or artificial ingredients (like MSG). 

This will help balance out any possible side effects from lack of sleep and give you more energy throughout each day so that when it comes time for bed again at night, everything will feel less stressful than before.  

Starting this new lifestyle out there on its own without anyone else around anymore except yourself alone all alone without any friends nearby anymore either anywhere near where we left off last time with this idea about how much fun it would be if only someone else could join us too someday soon maybe then we might feel better. 

Because right now I’m thinking about life being hard sometimes especially when things aren’t going well enough yet again today like yesterday was better than today but tomorrow morning might not matter as much anymore either because one day down means another whole week ahead which brings us back full circle again so what’s next?

Starting your journey as a freelance graphic designer? Dive into the basics with our comprehensive guide, A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Research, to understand how research plays a crucial role in your success.

You Will Constantly Be Learning Or Improving Your Craft (So Enjoy It)

You will constantly be learning or improving your craft (so enjoy it).

The most important thing I want to stress is that you need to be a lifelong learner. You will not know everything once you make this career change, and it’s okay! It’s great! 

Expecting yourself to know everything before taking on this new field would mean losing out on the fun of learning how to do something that interests you so much. Learning new things is exciting because they open up more opportunities for growth and improvement in your current skill set, as well as inspiring future projects outside of work hours too! 

The creative process never stops you just have to keep up with the latest technology so that you can continue creating awesome things for clients (and yourself) alike.

You Are Not A Superhero

Being a freelance graphic designer does not mean you are Superman, it means you are human. You will be tired and stressed at times, but that’s okay! You can still take on projects and be successful if you’re willing to put in the work.

You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to be professional when taking on projects. If your client isn’t happy with their product or service, they won’t recommend your services (and neither will their friends).

There is always room for improvement as a freelancer, so don’t think that once someone hires you they will never want anything changed again. Your clients will always have new ideas!

A Nice Design Doesn’t Always Mean A Good Design

A nice design doesn’t always mean a good design.

Design is subjective. What may look great to you might not be the best option for your client, or their target audience. Before designing any project, you should ask them what they want their design to accomplish and what type of style would work best for that goal.

For example, if you are designing an ad banner for an eCommerce website, it’s important to ask what message is most important in the ad (ease of use? price?) and how they want this message conveyed visually (use black and white photography? bright colors?).

Discover unconventional insights about marketing research from an unexpected source – zombie movies! Explore our article on 11 Things Zombie Movies Can Teach Us About Marketing Research to see how the undead can illuminate effective strategies.

Be Clear With The Client On What They Want To Be Done

Once you’ve gotten approval to do the project, it’s time to get down to business. Before you start working on anything even before you turn on your computer you should make sure you know exactly what is expected of you.

Be clear with the client on what they want to be done, who will be responsible for doing it, at what point in time and how much money will be exchanged, and how often (e.g., monthly payments). 

It may sound like a lot of questions but if something goes wrong later on and this information was not agreed upon beforehand, there may be no legal recourse for either party involved!

Stay In The Loop With Communication

To be a successful freelancer, you need to be in the loop with your clients. One of the best ways to do this is by using some sort of communication tools like Slack or Trello.

Keep them updated on what’s happening with the project: This can be as simple as sending them an email that says “I’m working on it right now” or posting a screenshot of what you’re working on in your #progress channel. 

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or time-consuming just enough so they know you’re still alive and kicking!

Ask questions when needed: If something feels off about their instructions and/or deadlines, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification before proceeding with work. 

It might seem annoying at first (and maybe even feel unprofessional), but it will save both parties from misunderstandings later down the line when things get more serious than just chatting over Slack chat messages

UI = UX = UUX (User Interface = User Experience = User Universal Experience)

The last thing you want to do is confuse your client by throwing around terms that sound similar but have different meanings. UI, UX, and UUX are not necessarily synonymous, but they’re related.

UI (user interface) refers to the look and feel of a product or service: how it looks on the screen, how it feels in your hand, etc. UX (user experience) refers to how someone interacts with said product or service how easy is it for them? Is there friction? 

Does everything work well together? Is the user’s journey seamless from start to finish? Is there anything that can be improved upon? Does it make sense at every step along that journey? These are all examples of what makes up UX.

Finally, we come back around again when we discuss UUX: universal user experiences! In short: 

This means designing for everyone out there in their unique way so that everyone feels included and has an enjoyable time using whatever product or service you’ve created for them regardless of whether they’re blind or deaf; whether they’ve never seen or used anything like this before; whether they speak one language or twenty languages; whether they live in America or India…

Dispelling myths can clear the path to a successful design career. Challenge misconceptions with our breakdown of the Top 15 Misconceptions About Working for a Design Agency and gain a realistic perspective on this creative industry.

Do Not Get Too Attached To Your Work.

As a graphic designer, it can be difficult not to get attached to our projects and designs. We find ourselves pouring lots of time and energy into our work, and sometimes we even start feeling like the project is “ours” or “ours alone.” 

That is simply not true! Your designs are meant for someone else’s eyes the client and when you finish working on a project, you must let go of any feelings of attachment that could get in the way of delivering the best result possible.

Remember: Your work is NOT your child; they are meant to be consumed by someone else! It’s normal if this makes you feel uncomfortable at first (it did me). 

Just take some deep breaths and remind yourself that this client will love your design even more than you do because they have different needs than yours as an individual designer would have had when creating these graphics themselves…

Not All Clients Will Accept Feedback Or Suggestions – And That Is Ok

As a designer, you have to be prepared to take on all types of clients. Some will be easier to work with than others, but you must be able to communicate effectively with all kinds of people. 

Sometimes your client may not understand why you have made certain design decisions or why some things need to be changed. This can be frustrating at times and it requires patience and understanding from both parties involved.

For this process to go smoothly, it is important that you set expectations from the beginning. Be upfront about your rates and policies as well as any restrictions that may apply (i.e., before starting any work). 

The last thing anyone wants is having an unhappy client after spending hours working on their project only for them not like the final result because they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into beforehand!

Ask For Payment Upfront, If Possible (Depending On The Circumstance).

When dealing with clients, it’s important to be diplomatic and reasonable. If you’re a freelancer, you understand the importance of setting boundaries with your work time and balancing your life (and finances).

One way to ensure that your client pays up without feeling like they have to is by asking for payment upfront in other words, as soon as possible. If you’re working with someone for the first time, consider asking for a deposit before starting any work on their project or assignment. 

This will help them understand that they will be responsible for paying at least half of their final bill before the project is complete.

If you already have an established relationship with this client and trust them enough, consider negotiating different terms when setting up payment plans going forward whether they involve deposits or not!

Are you ready to excel in your freelance graphic design journey? Our guide, The Ultimate Guide to Freelance Graphic Design Clients’ Success, provides insights, strategies, and tips to help you establish a strong foundation for your thriving career.


Becoming a freelance graphic designer is a great way to earn extra income. many benefits come from being your boss, like setting your hours and working remotely. 

But it can be difficult for new freelancers who aren’t sure about their skills or don’t have an existing portfolio to get started. By following these steps, anyone can become a freelance graphic designer and start making money online today!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to further explore the topic of becoming a freelance graphic designer:

Simply Business – How to Become a Freelance Graphic Designer Learn the steps and considerations for transitioning into a successful freelance graphic design career, including tips on finding clients and setting up your business.

GoCardless – How to Become a Freelance Designer Discover insights into the world of freelance design, including advice on building a portfolio, setting your rates, and managing your finances.

Escribr – How to Become a Freelance Graphic Designer Without a Degree Explore strategies for becoming a freelance graphic designer without a formal degree, focusing on skills development, networking, and building a strong online presence.

Frequently Asked Questions

You’ll need to be a good designer. That is the most important thing. You can’t just become a freelance graphic designer, because there are already so many of them. You need to take your time and learn the tricks of the trade before you start selling your services.

How Do I Keep Learning?

I’ve found that reading and watching tutorials online is the best way to learn new skills as they come up. It’s also useful to ask peers for help as well! Once you have enough knowledge about what makes a good graphic designer and how things are done in this industry, then it’s time for step two: marketing yourself and getting clients!

One thing I did when starting was joined social media groups related to my field (I’m talking Facebook pages, and subreddits). This helped me make connections with people who could later become potential employers or even friends down the line! 

Another great resource would be LinkedIn – this site connects professionals across industries worldwide through one common goal: finding jobs! 

If someone searches “graphic designers near me” on Google then chances are high-someone will find their profile somewhere in between all those results… so make it worth checking out by making sure yours stands out from others’ 🙂

What Do You Do If You Have A Client Who Refuses To Pay?

If they don’t pay, there are several options. You can either send an invoice and wait for the payment or send an email to remind them of their payment commitment. If they still refuse to pay, you can take them to small claims court with proof that they owe money or simply cut ties and move on.

What Do You Do If You Are Unhappy With Your Work?

I am pretty happy with my work most of the time, but I still get a lot of negative feedback from clients who aren’t happy with how things turned out. When this happens I try to find out what went wrong and make changes accordingly so that future projects will go better for everyone involved. 

Sometimes this means removing some elements from designs or changing something about the design process itself (for example: making sure that there is more communication between myself and the client). The most important thing is not losing sight of why I started designing in the first place: having fun while making beautiful things!

What Is The Best Way To Get Clients? 

Well, you could start by building a website that communicates exactly what your freelance graphic design business does. It should be simple and easy for people to understand and should make them feel like they’re in good hands if they hire you.

How Do I Charge? 

Once you’ve got a basic site up with samples of your work, it’s time to start connecting with potential clients! They’ll most likely contact you through email or social media; if they ask about your rates or availability, send them an email explaining how much per hour or project so that they know what it would cost them before hiring.

How Do I Keep Track Of My Finances? 

There are lots of apps out there that help freelancers manage their money Udemy has a few suggestions for some great ones here!

How Do I Get Paid? 

When someone hires you as a graphic designer (or any other kind), they’ll usually pay upfront before any work begins. 

This means that when bills come in from Amazon Web Services or MailChimp or whatever other services or platforms were used during this project, those payments should go straight into your bank account as soon as possible without being held up too long by any waiting periods between vendors paying out accounts every month after collecting funds from customers who hired them.* 

How Do I Do Billing? 

There are many different billing software options available today one such example would be FreshBooks which allows users to create professional-looking invoices right within their browser window using nothing more than HTML5 code running on top of Google Chrome.* 

How Do I Get An Office Space? 

If this question seems odd coming from someone who has just finished answering all those previous ones about how much money should one expect when starting as a freelance graphic designer… well then maybe consider how many hours per day do spend sitting behind a computer desk instead 😉

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