Turn Your Freelance Graphic Design Business Into A Full-Time Job

So, you decided to try your hand at freelance graphic design. You must be pretty good because you’ve got some clients and have been providing them with their graphic design needs for quite a while now. 

They like you and you like them, so that’s all great. Yet lately you’re starting to feel ready for more: You want to make this a full-time gig in which you’re your boss and can determine how much of your time is spent doing what work.

How To Start Your Freelance Graphic Design Career – YouTube
1. Transitioning from freelance to full-time requires careful planning and strategy.
2. Build a strong client base and consistent workflow before making the transition.
3. Evaluate your financial stability and savings to ensure a smooth transition.
4. Consider streamlining processes and outsourcing tasks to manage increased workload.
5. Embrace continuous learning and professional development to stay competitive in the market.

Start With Small Jobs

You can start by offering your services to small business owners or individuals who need help with logos, business cards, flyers, and other design projects. This is a good way to build your portfolio and gain confidence.

It’s also important that you build a solid reputation for yourself as an expert graphic designer. The best way to do this is through word-of-mouth referrals from clients who are happy with their work and would recommend you to others in need of design services. 

These referrals will help you secure more clients because people will trust your work when they hear it from someone else who has worked with you before.

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Work On Things That Interest You

Learn New Skills And Make Yourself More Marketable

If you’re not already, consider learning new design software. It’s always a good idea to learn something new to stay fresh and keep up with the latest trends. The more tools you have at your disposal, the better! 

If it interests you enough, consider getting certified in a particular program (like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop). Being certified can help set you apart from other designers, as well as demonstrate that you have extensive knowledge of the program’s capabilities.

Design What Interests You

Try not to get distracted by projects that don’t interest or excite you they’ll only lead to frustration when they go off track and require more work than expected; instead, stick with those things which inspire passion within yourself because this will make everything easier down the road when deadlines are approaching fast behind them!

Do Your Research And Join Design Forums

Join design forums and online communities. As a freelance graphic designer, you will have to spend much of your time working by yourself. However, this doesn’t mean that you should isolate yourself from the industry entirely. 

The best way to keep up with what’s happening in the world of graphic design is through networking and joining design forums or other online communities where designers can connect and discuss new techniques and software updates. 

You should also consider getting involved with professional organizations like AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), which offers free classes on topics such as pricing structures, marketing strategies, etc. so that you can learn more about growing your business as well as staying up-to-date with new trends in design technology!

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Get Online Exposure

Create and update your online portfolio. Make sure it’s up-to-date, easy to navigate, and shows off both your best work and a wide range of your abilities.

Advertise on social media.

Start a blog that showcases all of the above items in more detail, as well as any other relevant information (for example: link out to other articles or tutorials that are related to the topic). Write content on topics that are relevant to graphic design and/or freelancing in general (e.g., tips for finding clients). 

Blogging can help establish yourself as an authority in your industry and build trust with potential clients who visit the blog regularly and because it doesn’t cost anything except time + effort (and maybe some coffee!), there’s no reason not to try blogging if you haven’t already!

Join online communities relevant to graphic design or freelancing (such as Stack Overflow) so that people can get more context about who you are/the kinds of services/products they might expect from working with you rather than just reading what’s written here alone. 

This helps them feel comfortable hiring someone like yourself without even meeting face-to-face first! 

Many different types exist out there today including professional networks like LinkedIn where professionals can connect professionally through job postings but also through discussion groups where people post questions about various topics related directly back onto their blogs. 

These discussions often end up being very helpful when searching online since few people publish everything publicly.”

Apply For Jobs And Volunteer Projects

To get your foot in the door, consider applying for jobs and volunteer projects. Many sites can help you find freelance graphic design jobs. You can also join design forums to showcase your work and find projects. 

Volunteering is a great way to build up your portfolio so that when it comes time to apply for more paid gigs, you have something to show potential employers.

Create A Portfolio (And Update It Regularly)

If you are going to have a portfolio, it should be updated and relevant. Don’t create a great-looking portfolio that has all the wrong samples in it. Your portfolio should show the type of work you do, but also what kind of customer or client you want to attract.

A good portfolio will have a wide range of samples, including logos; business cards; flyers; posters; and invitations. You can also add samples of artwork if you feel like it will enhance your resume (or not). For example, if you are an illustrator who does book covers for children’s books, adding some examples would be beneficial (and impressive).

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Keep A Weekly Schedule

Now that you have a process for your work, it’s time to start keeping track of your schedule so you can stay on top of things. This goes hand-in-hand with your task list and will be extremely helpful in ensuring that nothing gets left behind.

It’s important to set a schedule, but it also needs to be flexible enough to account for all the unexpected situations that may arise. 

You’ll want to block out specific hours or even days of the week for specific tasks (e.g., blogging on Monday nights), but try not to put too much pressure on yourself if something comes up unexpectedly and changes your plans. 

If there’s something important happening at work or home unexpectedly, don’t feel bad about skipping whatever was originally scheduled you’re not going anywhere!

Stay Busy & Focused!

You should also be working daily. This doesn’t mean you have to be working 8 hours every day, but it does mean that you need to make sure that you are productive and can work on your projects. 

It is important to set yourself up with deadlines, so that way you will ensure that everything is finished by an appropriate date. Deadlines are key here because they help keep us focused and get out of the house periodically (which helps with creativity).

If we get distracted easily, then it can be difficult for us as freelancers because there are so many things vying for our attention at all times! 

It is important that when working on tasks or projects for clients, we make sure we can stay focused and not get sidetracked easily by other things such as social media sites or phone calls from friends/family members who just want someone else’s opinion about something happening in their lives right now…

Don’t Get Distracted Easily

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to freelance is allowing yourself to get distracted easily. When you are working on a project, it’s important to stay focused and don’t let anything else distract you from what’s in front of you.

One way that I’ve found helpful in staying focused is keeping my environment as quiet and comfortable as possible. 

It’s easy for me to get distracted at home because there are so many different things happening around me all the time: people talking, dogs barking, neighbors playing music or doing yard work outside my house, etc. This can cause me to lose focus on what I’m working on and take longer than necessary to complete any given task.

Taking breaks helps too! One thing I did when starting was set up office hours where I would only work during those hours each day. 

Then after that time was up (8 am-5 pm) it was time for a lunch break before heading back into the home office space again until 5 pm came around again; then repeat the process until bedtime came around (which usually ended up being 10 pm). 

This helped keep my mind fresh throughout the day while still getting everything was done that needed to be done within those 8-hour blocks of time provided by clients/employers.”

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Get Out Of The House Every Once In A While

If you’re going to be working from home, it’s good to get out of the house every once in a while. If you work from a coffee shop or public library, it’ll feel less like work and more like just being around other people. If you can run or walk somewhere else, that’s even better it will give your mind a break from sitting all day at an office desk.

If you’re feeling stressed out by how much work you have to do, take some time for yourself! Take a nap so that when you wake up refreshed and ready to go again (instead of just lying on the floor), all those tasks will seem easier than before.

Ask For Referrals & Testimonials From Clients

Asking your clients for referrals or testimonials is a great way to build your client base. If they’re happy with their experience with you, they’ll be more than happy to refer you to others. It’s best if you ask them directly at the end of each project so that they have time to reflect on their experience before writing a glowing review.

Once you’ve got some positive reviews under your belt, make sure that those reviews are easy for potential customers to find on your website or social media profiles. This is especially important if one of these platforms takes up most of your creative time (like Instagram).

Set Goals For Yourself And Stick To Them!

Goals are a great way to stay motivated and focused on your business. As you’ve probably heard before, writing down your goals is the first step toward achieving them. A goal should be something important to you, challenging but achievable, and specific. 

For example: “I want my business to make $1 million in revenue next year” is a great goal! It’s specific enough that it could be measured (in this case by revenue), but not so specific that it doesn’t leave room for flexibility as life happens around us all the time.

Create A Website For Yourself!

A website is a must for any freelance graphic designer it helps you stand out from the competition and showcase your work, which will in turn attract clients. 

You may think that making your website is too much of a hassle, but it’s not as hard as you think! And if you don’t have the time or skills to make one yourself, there are plenty of great options out there that can help get your business off the ground.

When creating a website, keep it simple and clean with an easy-to-navigate structure so people can find what they need quickly (and in case they want to come back). 

Also, decide whether or not you want any contact forms on your home page (we recommend keeping them separate). Using WordPress is also highly recommended because it makes updating content simple and allows you to create different pages without having to know HTML code!

Build Up Your Social Media Presence

Social media is an integral part of your business, so you need to make sure that it’s being used as effectively as possible.

If you’ve never paid attention to social media before, or if you’re new to graphic design and not sure where to start, here are some helpful tips:

Create professional profiles on all of the major platforms. If you already have a personal Facebook or Instagram account, use that as your professional profile don’t post anything about work on those pages. 

You don’t want people searching for your business on these platforms and finding only personal information; it could tarnish the reputation of both yourself and your company. 

Once you’ve set up these accounts, fill out all available fields in each profile (name/title/location/etc) so that people who visit them can learn more about who they’re dealing with before contacting them directly.

Use hashtags when posting new content online this will allow users interested in similar topics to find what they’re looking for more easily while also helping others discover related content they might enjoy reading or viewing themselves!

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Learn To Deal With Rejection Like A Pro!

Let’s face it: rejection is a part of life, and if you want to become successful in your freelance graphic design business, you’ll have to learn how to deal with it.

Risking the possibility of rejection can be one of the biggest obstacles for new freelancers. However, learning how to handle rejection like a pro will help you maintain your sanity while building up your business.

When applying for jobs, always ask for feedback. You may think that asking why they didn’t choose your proposal could hurt their feelings or make them think less of you as a designer but this couldn’t be further from the truth! 

Asking for feedback allows them an opportunity to give more detail about why they selected another proposal over yours so that next time around when an opportunity arises again (and there will be many opportunities!), you can improve on whatever aspects were lacking before for them get chosen over other applicants!


The first step of starting a freelance business is to get clear on your goals and what you want to achieve. Once you have clarity, then it’s time to create a plan of action that will bring those goals into reality. If you’re not sure where to start, check out my top tips for getting started as a freelance graphic designer here!

Takeaway: You can turn your freelance design business into full-time work if you want to by following these tips.

Further Reading

How to Start a Freelance Graphic Design Business: A comprehensive guide on launching your freelance graphic design business, including practical tips for getting started.

How to Become a Graphic Design Freelancer: Insights and advice on transitioning to a career as a freelance graphic designer, covering essential steps and considerations.

Freelance Designing: Tips and Resources: Explore a collection of tips, resources, and insights for freelancers in the design industry to enhance their freelance career.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Way To Find Freelance Graphic Design Work?

First, you should do some research on the kind of projects that are out there right now. This will give you an idea of what people need and what they’re willing to pay. 

You can also look at previous work and reviews from previous clients as well as things like LinkedIn profiles to see if they have any recommendations or referrals for freelancers in your area. 

Once you have a good idea of what’s out there, do some experiments with different approaches and styles until something catches on, and then stick with it!

What Is The Best Way: To Deal With Rejection As A Freelance Graphic Designer?

Rejection can be hard for anyone, especially when working alone from home all day long. To deal with this feeling effectively, try writing down everything about each project before starting it including why exactly it was rejected so that when it does happen again (it will), you’ll already know what went wrong this time around so that next time around won’t be so painful!

Here are some common questions we’ve received from our readers:

How Do I Find Clients?

Answer: Get a referral from someone you know, or post a job listing on websites like LinkedIn and Craigslist. A few other good places for finding clients are Facebook groups or Reddit forums.

How Do I Get Paid?

Answer: Payment methods vary depending on what kind of client you’re working with, but most payment is done through bank transfers or PayPal. Once you sign an agreement with the client, they will send an initial deposit (usually half) which should be transferred into your account before any work begins. The second half is then typically paid upon completion of the project.

How Do I Manage My Time?

You need to schedule everything in advance so that there’s enough time for revisions and changes between rounds of revisions! 

This can be difficult because sometimes it takes longer than expected for clients to respond about their opinions/requests etc., but try not to stress out too much about these things because at least now you have more control over them than when it was just freelance work only coming from one source at once 🙂

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