As a freelance designer, you can’t always be at your desk to get your work done. You might be out of town on business or even just working from home. In any case, it’s important to have the tools you need with you at all times. This may mean bringing along a laptop and charger, but also including some basic items in your bag that will help keep you productive on the go.
In this post, I’ll give tips for what every freelancer should always have on hand while they’re working away from their office. Some are obvious; some might surprise you!
|1. Essential tools and resources are crucial for freelance designers.|
|2. Preparedness can enhance efficiency and client satisfaction.|
|3. Design software and hardware should be readily available.|
|4. Stock resources like fonts, icons, and images are valuable.|
|5. Legal documents and contracts ensure smooth client interactions.|
|6. Stay organized with project management tools and software.|
|7. Continuous learning and skill improvement are essential.|
|8. Having a well-designed portfolio showcases your work.|
|9. Networking and online presence help in client acquisition.|
|10. Adaptability and creativity are key in the freelance design world.|
A Good Computer
You need a computer that can handle multiple programs at once. A laptop is the best option for this, but it’s not the only one. You’ll also want to make sure your computer has plenty of RAM and storage and that you have space for more if you need it.
Your work will be much easier if your computer can handle graphics and video editing without struggling or freezing up, so look for a machine with an Intel Core i5 processor or better (or AMD equivalent).
It’s also good to have a desktop monitor on hand as well as at least one external monitor (preferably two) so that it remains easy on the eyes while working on multiple projects simultaneously.
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Backup Storage For Your Files
- Online backup vs. local backup
- How to access your files when you are offline
- How to restore your files if they get corrupted or accidentally deleted
While it’s important to have a good practice of backing up all of your files, what’s even more important is that you keep the backups separate from each other. For example, if you back up your files on two different hard drives and both hard drives fail at the same time you’re out of luck!
So, when choosing which type(s) of the backup storage system(s) are best for you and how many copies should be made: consider how much risk tolerance you have for potential disasters (e.g., floods, fires), how accessible technology is where you live/work (e.g., electricity), how much data needs to be stored and accessed (e.g., multiple gigabytes per day), etc.
A Reliable Internet Connection
When you’re a freelancer, your internet connection is the lifeblood of your business. You can’t work without it, and without it, you’re not very productive. If you don’t have a reliable internet connection at all times, chances are that your marketing efforts will fail miserably because no one will be able to find you. This means that all of your hard work and efforts might as well be water down the drain!
But how do we know which internet service provider (ISP) is best? Well, luckily my blog has already done all the heavy lifting for us and has put together a list of some of their favorite ISPs so we don’t have too much work on our hands when trying to figure out which one would fit best into our tight schedule while still keeping costs low enough so we can afford ourselves another week off soon enough.
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A Plan For Your Social Media Strategy
Social media can be a great way to market your business and build a community. It’s also an excellent resource for finding clients, connecting with other designers, staying up-to-date on industry news, and learning from other professionals in your field.
Here are some tips for using social media as part of your freelance designer toolkit:
- Use hashtags when posting on Instagram or Twitter. This will help you connect with other designers who might be interested in hiring you or at least give them a chance to see what you do!
- Join groups on Facebook where people discuss the same topic as you do (for example: “Sketch Users Group”). This is a great place to share ideas and meet new people who share similar interests with yours.
- Take advantage of LinkedIn messaging by contacting potential clients directly instead of through email or phone calls which might seem intrusive.
A Few Free Samples Of Your Work (Obviously)
If you’re going to be a freelancer, you must have your work on hand. Whether it’s a luxury or a necessity, the most important thing is that you keep a few sample pieces on hand so that people can get an idea of what your work looks like and how they should expect it to turn out.
This way, when potential clients first visit your website or portfolio, they’ll have something right there in front of them that represents exactly what kind of quality and style you’re offering and if they like what they see then maybe they’ll hire you!
The best way to do this is by having physical samples available because sometimes people will want to hold something before making their decision. If someone has never seen one of your pieces before (or even worse has), then handing them off will show them just how much attention has gone into each piece without having any bias from seeing only part of it online first (like with some stock photos).
However: Make sure these samples aren’t just sitting around gathering dust! If possible try incorporating these into client contracts so that after each job comes back successful everyone wins too; not only does this add value but also reinforces trust between both parties involved which makes future projects smoother sailing all around.”
Becoming a better freelance designer is a journey that requires continuous learning and improvement. Our article on 15 ways to become a better freelance designer offers actionable tips to enhance your skills and deliver outstanding results. Elevate your design prowess by incorporating these strategies into your creative process.
An Up-To-Date Resume And A Portfolio Website
You’ve already taken the time to create a resume and polish it to a shine. It’s time to display that diamond in all its glory, so make sure you have a portfolio website where you can show off your work. Having an online portfolio is one of the best ways to showcase your skills and showcase yourself as an expert in what you do.
It’s also important that your website be up-to-date because if it isn’t then clients will assume that either: A) You don’t actually know what you’re doing or B) You’re not interested in working with them anymore (and thus should not be hired). A good rule of thumb when creating a new website is: always keep the latest version of everything!
Some Sort Of Organization System For Your Contacts, Clients, And Projects
When you are working, you must stay organized. You should have a system for your contacts, projects, and clients.
Here are some tips on how to keep yourself organized:
Keep a list of all of the people who have hired you in the past. This includes their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. If they only gave you one of those things when they hired you, use another medium such as social media or Skype to get in touch with them again so that all of their contact information is in one place.
Then put this information into an Excel spreadsheet or Google Docs so that it can easily be accessed when needed (like if a client needs to be reminded about something).
Create separate folders within Dropbox for each client or project and name them accordingly so that when someone downloads something from their folder on your computer there’s no confusion about what exactly it was intended for (ex: “Client A Project”).
An Assortment Of Networking Events To Attend
Attending networking events is a great way to get your name out there, but it can also be intimidating. If you’re not sure where to start or how to make the most of it, here are some tips:
Attend events that are relevant to your industry: If you’re a freelance designer, try going to local design meetups or conferences in your area (or online if there aren’t any nearby). These gatherings will give you access to people who are engaged in similar work as you and may be interested in collaborating on projects down the road.
Meet new people and build relationships: Networking shouldn’t just be about exchanging business cards and collecting contacts for future reference; it should help you establish yourself as an expert within your field by connecting with like-minded individuals who could potentially become valuable assets for the future projects or collaborations.
Get yourself out there: Don’t let fear hold back from trying something new—just because something doesn’t turn out the way we planned doesn’t mean we should give up right away; sometimes these experiences lead us into unexpected directions that end up being even better than what we had originally envisioned!
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The Best Design Tools Money Can Buy
The best design tools are the ones that work for you. This is not to say that there are no universal design tools you can use Adobe Photoshop or Sketch on any project, and you’ll always be able to find an illustrator who knows how to use a pen tool but there are some things that only apply to certain jobs, clients, and industries.
If you know what kind of projects you’re going after at this point in your career path and already have the skills required for them, then it’s time to start thinking about what kind of software or hardware will help get those jobs done efficiently.
If you haven’t figured out what type of freelance designer you want to be yet (or if your skills aren’t quite there), then take advantage of free trials with every major service so that they can see if they like working with their product before committing any money.
A Cloud-Based File-Sharing Account, Like Google Drive Or Dropbox
One of the most important things you can do as a freelancer is to be prepared, and file sharing is a crucial part of that. You need to be able to share files with clients, collaborate with other freelancers on projects and send documents back and forth between yourself and your team. If you don’t already have one in place, setting up a cloud-based file-sharing account is the best way to go about it.
Google Drive and Dropbox are two popular services that offer both free and paid plans; they’re also easy to use and accessible from any computer or mobile device (and they offer apps for both).
Both services are secure enough that I would feel comfortable storing personal information like bank statements or transcripts in them in fact, Google has its suite of applications for iOS devices called G Suite Business Apps which includes Docs & Spreadsheets among others.
Office Supplies On Hand! You Never Know When You’ll Need Them
Let’s face it, office supplies are not the most exciting things in the world, but they are an essential part of every designer’s life. If your favorite pen runs out of ink at 3 pm on a Friday, that is a very bad thing. Having an organized system for keeping track of your office supplies will help ensure that this never happens to you.
You should always have pens and pencils (I recommend different colors for different types of work); highlighters; markers; tape dispensers; sticky notes (different sizes); post-it notes (different sizes); scissors; glue sticks or tape rollers; notebooks (different sizes and paperweights).
As far as organization goes, keep pens and pencils in one cup or container together with their erasers so they don’t get lost in storage somewhere else in your home or office space. Post-it notes and other small things can be stored within a small drawer organizer where everything has its place no more digging around trying to find what you’re looking for!
Designing for the web requires a unique set of skills and considerations that every freelance designer should be aware of. Explore our article on designing for the web: my approach to graphic design to gain valuable insights into creating captivating digital experiences. Elevate your web design projects with strategies shared by experienced designers.
In this article, we’ve covered a lot of important things to always keep on hand. One thing that’s for certain is that there are many more things you should have in your toolkit than what I’ve listed here. This list is by no means exhaustive and should be taken as a starting point for your toolbox. What’s also true is that having everything on this list won’t make you a better designer they’re just tools to help you become one!
In conclusion, if you’re looking for some quick inspiration or ideas on what kind of thing might work best as part of your design kit then check out The Makers Toolkit Pinterest board; pinning stuff from there will help me grow my collection over time too 🙂
Here are some additional resources to explore for further insights and information:
The Essential Freelance Documents All Graphic Designers Need in Their Toolbox: Discover the essential documents that every graphic designer should have in their freelance toolkit to ensure smooth client interactions and project management.
21 Tools for Graphic Designers: Explore a curated list of 21 tools that can enhance the workflow and creativity of graphic designers. Learn about software, resources, and apps that can elevate your design projects.
Graphic Designer’s Guide to Growing Your Freelance Business: Gain insights into strategies for growing your freelance graphic design business. This guide offers tips and advice to help you expand your client base and increase your freelance income.
People Also Ask
What Is A Freelance Designer?
A freelance designer is someone who works for themselves and takes on projects based on their terms. They can choose to work full-time or part-time, in the field that interests them most, or all of those things. They are usually self-employed, but it’s not necessary to be an independent contractor to be considered “freelance.”
How Can I Become A Freelance Designer?
If you’re interested in becoming a freelance designer, but don’t know where to begin, here are some tips for getting started:
Figure out what type of design work you want to do and focus on that. For example, if you love designing websites, focus on web design and building your portfolio with examples of your work. If the print is more up your alley, focus on developing a nice portfolio of printed materials and brochures for companies who need this kind of work done.
Then use social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to get the word out about your services. You may also want to consider advertising with Google AdWords or Facebook Ads so your business will show up when people search for specific types of designers (e.g., web designers) in their area or surrounding areas.
Find clients by reaching out directly via email with proposals for projects they might be interested in hiring someone like yourself for such as website redesigns/revisions or creating custom logos based on what information was already provided by them through previous discussions between colleagues etc.
What Does It Take To Be A Successful Freelancer?
It requires you to have the right mindset and attitude towards your craft or service that you are offering, as well as being able to manage time efficiently and effectively so that you can make ends meet every month with your bills paid off in full throughout the year even if things get rough at times due to lack of work coming in from clients, etc.
So, yes it takes discipline as well but not necessarily money because there are many ways for people who don’t have many funds but still have talent where they can earn income through platforms like Fiverr which allows sellers from all around the world (including Canada) so sign up today!
What Should I Have On Hand As A Freelance Designer?
The most important thing to have on hand is the ability to do your job without being tied to a desk or office. You need to be able to work from home, and you need to be able to work from anywhere there’s an internet connection.
That means that your computer, phone, and other devices are essential for your freelancing career. Of course, you’ll also need the actual tools of your trade things like pens and paper (for sketching), and software like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Outlook (for managing clients), etc.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.