How To Become A Successful Freelance Graphic Designer, While Working Full Time

The world is more connected than ever these days, which means that any job can be done from anywhere. 

This includes freelance graphic design work! I’ve been a full-time freelancer for the last five years, and I’m here to tell you that it’s possible and worth it to start working for yourself as a freelancer without giving up your day job. Here are my top tips to get started:

How To Start Your Freelance Graphic Design Career – YouTube
Balancing a full-time job and freelancing requires effective time management.
Start by defining your niche and target audience to differentiate yourself in the market.
Building a strong online portfolio can showcase your skills to potential clients.
Networking within the industry can lead to valuable opportunities and referrals.
Prioritize continuous learning to stay updated with design trends and software.
Setting clear boundaries and managing client expectations is essential for work-life balance.
Calculate your freelance rates based on your skills, experience, and market demand.
Communication skills are crucial for understanding client needs and conveying your ideas.
Invest time in marketing and self-promotion to attract consistent freelance projects.
Don’t underestimate the importance of contracts and agreements for project terms.

Remember That Freelancing Is A Business.

If you are going to take on freelance design projects, treat your business like one. If you want to run a successful and profitable business, then you need to make sure that it is run properly.

Like any other company or organization, freelancers have to abide by certain rules and regulations for their enterprise to succeed. One of the most important rules is that they must be professional in every aspect of their work and personal life; otherwise, they will not be taken seriously by clients or potential employers.

Another thing that freelancers need to remember is that they should never allow outside distractions while working on a project. 

This means turn off all notifications on phones (or even better don’t bring them into the room), close all other windows on computers so nothing distracts them from what they’re doing at hand – whatever needs to be done until it’s done!

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Make The Right Decision For You

The first step to becoming a successful freelance graphic designer is knowing your goals. You need to know what you want from this career and how you plan on getting there.

The best way to determine your goals is to consider the following: In 1 year, how much money do I want to make? In 3 years, what kind of work do I want to be doing? In 5 years, who would I like my clients to be? And finally, in 10 years, what will I have accomplished with this business? 

Once you have answered these questions and written them down somewhere visible (a whiteboard or sticky note on the wall works well), it will be easier for you as they are always within sight reminding you of where you are going with your career and why it’s worth sticking with it through tough times.

Take Your Time To Find Clients

It’s important to take your time and find the right clients. Don’t rush into finding clients, just because you want to be making money as soon as possible. This can lead you down a path of taking on work that isn’t in line with your values and ideals, or that doesn’t pay enough for what it is (meaning: don’t sell yourself short).

Instead of focusing on getting a lot of clients, focus on getting the right ones. Take some time out of your day each week to reach out and connect with potential clients who might be interested in working with you; don’t forget about social media! 

Social media is an excellent place to start building relationships with potential clients; after all, they’re likely already following at least one brand or company whose style aligns well with what you do best.

Don’t be afraid to turn down work if it doesn’t feel right; remember: there will always be other opportunities! The goal here isn’t just “getting more freelance design jobs” it should also be about improving yourself professionally while maintaining a balance between work/life commitments outside of graphic design (and during).

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Don’t Be Ashamed To Ask For Help

When you’re starting, it’s ok to admit that you don’t know everything. You don’t have to be afraid of asking for help or admitting that. It will happen a lot in the beginning, and even though it can be frustrating sometimes to not understand something, learning how to ask questions is an important skill for any designer (and person).

You can find help from many places:

  • Your co-workers at your full-time job. They might have experience with certain programs or ways of doing things that can help you along your journey.
  • Friends who have already gone through this process before (or who work in a similar capacity as yourself). Sharing stories and experiences can be extremely valuable in helping figure out what works best!
  • Online communities like Reddit/StackOverflow are also great resources if you need an answer right away!

Build A Portfolio

Building a portfolio is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for being a successful freelance graphic designer. A portfolio will show your clients what you are capable of doing, and help convince them that you are worth hiring.

It’s best to build your portfolio around what you do best. If you have any unique talents or skills, use them! Clients love seeing an interesting approach to design that they may not have thought of before. They also love seeing creativity in logos and typography.

Make sure your portfolio is up-to-date so that it showcases your progress over time as well as what you can do right now (and don’t forget to update it when new work comes in). 

The images in your portfolio must represent quality work and show off both skill level and creativity if they don’t then clients won’t want to hire someone with such low standards!

It’s also good practice for portfolios not only contain finished projects but also sketches from various stages throughout the project lifecycle (ideation & research), which gives more insight into how much thought went into each piece created by keeping all steps visible rather than just showing finished pieces alone without context

Talk About What You Do

A great way to connect with people is by talking about what you do. Even if they don’t know that much about design and how it works, they will still be interested in your experience and expertise.

When you talk to friends and family, they are most likely going to ask how the business is going, what projects you’ve worked on recently (this can also serve as a good talking point), and who’s paying for your services right now. 

You can also share some knowledge with them for example, did you know that color combinations can have a psychological effect on people? Maybe there’s something else interesting about design that doesn’t always come up when discussing other careers with non-designers.

You’ll discover things about yourself too! For example, I started doing freelance work because I wanted more control over my schedule; however, now that I’m working primarily on my own time (and paying myself hourly), I find myself feeling quite isolated from others during some days/weeks/months…

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Stay On Top Of Your Social Media Presence

You can use social media to network with other freelancers and promote your business. As a graphic designer, you’re in an industry that is more than 90% freelance. This means that networking is essential if you want to succeed as a full-time freelance graphic designer.

Social media allows for connection and collaboration on an international level, so it’s important to stay active on major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for networking purposes. 

You can also use these platforms for showcasing your work, which will help potential clients understand what kind of design style you have: Is it modern? Elegant? Modern and elegant? 

By keeping up with all of the latest trends in design through social media (and blogging), you will be able to showcase all aspects of your talent as well as keep up with how people within the industry are behaving or reacting towards certain styles or ideas.

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Follow These Tips When Trying To Become A Successful Freelance Graphic Designer 

Do you want to be a successful freelance graphic designer? Great! You’re not alone. Millions of people have dreamt about this very thing, and it’s possible for anyone who wants it badly enough. 

But becoming a successful freelance graphic designer takes hard work and sacrifice, so before you dive headfirst into the world of freelance design, here are some tips for making that transition as smooth as possible:

Be prepared to put in long hours when you’re working full time outside of your job as a freelancer. This is especially important if you’re just starting it’s unlikely that clients will be lining up to hire someone who has no experience or portfolio at all (at least not until they’ve built up some credibility). 

So while working full time at your current job might mean having less time at home with friends, family, or other hobbies/activities (and perhaps even leaving those things behind entirely), sacrificing these things now will pay off later once all those hours spent working on projects turn into cold hard cash in the bank account.

Be prepared for rejection from potential clients; it’s part of the job description! Some people won’t like what you do regardless of how good it looks or how well thought out every detail may be; there will always be someone out there with different tastes than yours…

Don’t let this discourage or upset you though; instead use rejections as motivation towards creating better work next time around!

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I hope these ideas and advice can help you to make something special of your career, whatever you decide to do. When I first started I didn’t know anybody who was doing what I wanted to do, but there are so many people out there now who want to help and support you. 

The creative world is full of wonderful people and opportunities, so get out there and find them!

To conclude this article on freelance graphic design…you could be the next Picasso. Or Yoko Ono. It will take time, hard work, determination, and perseverance…but nothing worthwhile doesn’t cost a little effort!

Further Reading

How to Become a Successful Freelance Graphic Designer on LinkedIn Short Description: Explore valuable insights on achieving success as a freelance graphic designer from experienced professionals.

How to Become a Graphic Design Freelancer on Shillington Education Blog Short Description: Discover practical tips and guidance for starting a career as a freelance graphic designer from industry experts.

How to Become a Graphic Designer – Career Guide by BrainStation Short Description: Get comprehensive information and steps to kickstart your journey toward becoming a graphic designer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Way To Get Clients?

The answer depends on your competition and your location. Most freelancers find their clients through word of mouth, referrals, and networking events. If you want to focus on getting business from cold emailing, there are plenty of websites that can help you with this process (and others). 

I recommend Upwork or Fiverr for trying out different strategies. For example: how many emails should you send before calling them a day? What’s the best subject line? Do people prefer LinkedIn or Twitter?

What Is The Best Way To Build A Portfolio?

Start creating small projects for yourself until you feel comfortable enough with your skillset to start offering these services as freelance work. You can also ask friends if they need any designs done for free so that when it comes time for them to hire someone professionally, they will know who does good work! 

This not only helps build trust between yourself and potential clients but also provides valuable experience working under pressure without having anything at stake financially yet! Keep track of all projects completed in order so that it’s easy later when showing off what’s already been done before taking on new ones.”

What Is The Best Way To Build A Freelance Graphic Design Business?

Figure out what you’re good at and then focus on a niche. Don’t just settle for any clients, but rather find ones that will allow your creativity to shine through. Remember: if you don’t love what you do, it’s going to show in your work!

How Much Do Freelance Graphic Designers Earn?

It varies from person to person and depends on their skill level and experience. However, typically they can make anywhere between $30k-$50k per year depending on whether or not they have an advanced degree (master’s/doctorate) or specialized skills such as 3D modeling or coding HTML5 websites.

Should I Ask My Boss For Permission To Freelance?

It depends on how good of a relationship you have with your employer. If they’re supportive, then by all means! But if they don’t know or care about what you do, it’s probably not the best idea to tell them about the side gig in case it gets out at work and causes tension between you and your coworkers or bosses.

How Should I Balance My Full-Time Job And My Freelance Business?

To be honest, this is one of the hardest parts of running a business while working full-time. Many freelancers find themselves working more hours than ever before because they want their businesses to succeed and that’s okay! 

Ultimately, if something isn’t working out for either party (either client or employee), then both sides can get out without feeling like they wasted too much time in an unhealthy relationship. 

It might be difficult at first but once things start rolling smoothly again after some initial bumps in the road it’ll become second nature; just make sure that no one feels alienated in any way shape form or fashion during any transition period!

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