What Freelance Graphic Designers Should Do To Make Money In A Down Economy

The world of graphic design is a competitive one, and it can be tough to get your foot in the door. But what if you want to pursue freelance work? While many challenges come with being a freelancer like finding clients and keeping them happy without being on-site every day there are also ways to make money as a freelancer that isn’t as common among traditionally employed designers.

With this guide, we’ll go through some of the best practices for making money as a graphic designer while working on your set schedule. Without further ado:

How to Make Money as a Graphic Designer with an Unstable
1. Diversify your services to appeal to a broader market.
2. Build a strong online presence to attract more clients.
3. Offer value-added services that cater to current needs.
4. Develop skills in areas that are in demand during downturns.
5. Network and collaborate to access new opportunities.
6. Save and manage finances wisely to weather economic challenges.
7. Continuously improve your design skills and stay relevant.
8. Adapt your pricing strategy to remain competitive.
9. Explore remote work options to expand your client base.
10. Maintain a positive mindset and embrace change.

Focus On Smaller Businesses

One of the easiest ways to make money as a graphic designer is by working with smaller businesses. These companies are more likely to be hiring (and are more likely to be looking for freelancers) than larger corporations, which can afford to hire full-time employees or outsource their design needs. 

Smaller businesses tend to have less strict payment schedules too, so you don’t have to wait months after completing a project before getting paid.

Additionally, these companies don’t have rigid work conditions like bigger corporations often do they may be willing to work with you on hours and location of employment as well as other issues that might seem non-negotiable at first glance (e.g., working remotely).

When considering your options as a freelance graphic designer, it’s important to debunk common myths. Learn about the Top 15 Misconceptions About Working for a Design Agency and gain insights that could shape your decisions in a down economy.

Focus On Projects That Ensure Regular Work

A freelancer should focus on projects that ensure regular work. If you’re just starting in the graphic design business and don’t have a huge portfolio yet, it’s important to get as much experience under your belt as possible even if that means taking on some less-than-ideal projects. But once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your field, it’s time to start defining what types of jobs are best suited for your abilities.

In general, look for clients who are willing to pay for quality work and will want more from you in the future. These clients will be more likely than others to use the same designer again and refer other businesses their way; they’ll also be more comfortable with paying higher rates because they feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.

Consider An Independent Contractor Position

When you’re an independent contractor, you can decide what projects to take on and when. You have the flexibility to work from home or anywhere else in the world all you need is a laptop and internet connection. If you don’t like working after dinner, then don’t! Just because your boss doesn’t want to go home yet doesn’t mean that it’s too late for him/her.

You also get all of the perks of being an employee without actually being an employee: no benefits or paid time off (which means no vacation), and no taxes deducted from your paycheck by someone else (which means that all of those deductions are up to you). 

However, as an independent contractor, there are some additional responsibilities: paying taxes on your income from freelance work; keeping track of expenses related to doing business (e.g., web hosting fees) so that they can be subtracted from future income reports; maintaining adequate insurance coverage for yourself if any accidents occur during work hours involving third parties (for example, if there is a car accident while driving between clients).

If you’re a client seeking a freelance designer but feeling unsure, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with guidance on how to hire a freelance designer even when you have zero clue, making your search stress-free and effective.

Network Your Little Heart Out

The best way to get clients is to work with people you already know. That means networking your little heart out, especially on social media.

So, who do you know? Think about all the people who are part of your broader network: family, friends, and acquaintances from school and work. You can even include people from your past (those who may have moved away or settled down) or those new contacts who have been introduced by someone else in your network.

It doesn’t matter where those connections came from or how focused they’ve been. What matters is that they exist and that there’s a good chance some of them will be willing to refer work to you now that times are rough for everyone but freelancers like yourself!

Keep Your Clients Happy And You’ll Always Have Work

You must keep your clients happy. They want to pay you, but they don’t want to overpay. Clients are more willing to make financial sacrifices when times are tough, but they won’t do it if they feel like they’re being taken advantage of. To avoid this situation, make sure that:

You don’t overcharge: Clients will be more willing to pay less if they feel like their money is going towards something worthwhile and necessary. So don’t be afraid of trimming costs wherever possible!

You are transparent about your costs: Do what you can to explain why certain things cost as much as they do so that clients understand the value behind them and have peace of mind knowing that all costs have been accounted for before the project is started (or even after).

You respond quickly: The faster a client gets back in touch with a freelancer when there’s an issue or concern with a project (or even just needs clarification), the better chance there is of resolving it amicably without any drama later on down the line and everyone wants drama free situations here in our current economy!

Research, Research

You would not believe how many people I have met are at a loss when they try to figure out how to become successful as a graphic designer. They think that just because they have Adobe software, they can do anything. They’re wrong! You need more than just tools; you need knowledge and skills too!

That’s why researching is so important for freelancers like yourself who want to make money in a down economy: it leads straight to your success as an artist!

Venturing into graphic design freelancing can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Dive into our resource on Freelancing for Dummies: How to Get Started in Graphic Design to lay the foundation for a successful career, even during economic challenges.

Show The Value You Bring To Any Client

Show the client the value of your services, which can be anything from a simple logo design and a graphic for their website to an entire marketing campaign.

Show them how much experience and expertise you have in this field by showing off some of your finished work (portfolio).

In addition to showing them what kind of things you can do for them, tell them why those things are important and why is that logo so important? Why does their website need custom coding? What specifically will this design do for their business?

By showing them all these different ways in which they’re going to benefit from working with you, it becomes easier for both parties involved in making this happen: Your customer will know beforehand exactly what they’re getting into and how much time or money they should expect to spend on each aspect of making things happen between both parties – meaning less wasted time on unnecessary tasks!

Be Realistic About Your Pricing

The market has changed so much in the last few years that it can be hard to know what to charge for your work and how much you should be charging. You will have to be realistic about your pricing, especially if you’re a young designer just starting in the industry but even seasoned freelancers will have to change their thinking on this issue.

So let’s say that yesterday was your first day of business as a freelancer, but today is already looking better than yesterday: You’ve had four clients come through with projects, two of which are new clients who’ve never worked with you before! What do they want? How much should they pay? How do they compare with other available jobs?

There are no easy answers here (except maybe “charge more”). But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from our time interviewing designers around the world, it’s this: It pays off big-time when designers learn how to negotiate effectively for their services.

Be Creative With Your Job Search

Once you’ve got your resume and portfolio ready to go, it’s time to start your job search. To help you get started, we’re going to give you some advice on how to find jobs that work best for freelance graphic designers in a down economy.

Use your network of friends, family members, and acquaintances: You might be surprised at the number of people who are willing to help out in times like these. Be sure to ask for recommendations from those contacts who have been successful in the industry (or even unsuccessful!).

Use social media: There are plenty of opportunities out there for designers on Facebook and Twitter. Posting a link to your portfolio will give people an idea of what kind of work you do and can lead directly to a potential client relationship if they’re interested enough in what they see there!

Use job boards: There are plenty online that cater specifically towards finding freelance gigs so don’t feel like just because no one wants them right now doesn’t mean that someday soon someone won’t need something done right away!

Starting a design career requires wisdom from those who have paved the way. Gain valuable insights with The Secrets to Starting a Design Career: Tips from Top Designers, a treasure trove of advice that can empower you to overcome obstacles and excel in tough economic times.

Diversify And Keep Multiple Streams Of Income Coming In

Being a freelance graphic designer means that you can’t rely on one client, project, or skill. Instead, you need to have multiple streams of income coming in at any given time. This way if one stream dries up for whatever reason, you still have others to fall back on.

Diversifying your income will help keep uncertainty at bay and allow for a smoother ride through the ups and downs of freelancing.

Keep Up With The Industry

You need to keep up with the industry. Keeping up with trends in the graphic design field is crucial because it will help you get more jobs and earn more money.

It’s important to stay on top of new technologies and tools that are coming out so that you can use them for your clients. This will make them more interested in hiring you because they’ll see how fast and efficient you can work.

It’s also important to keep up with the latest news about your profession: who’s popular now, which companies have hired people recently, what kind of work they’re doing, etc., so that you know who might be looking for someone like you next time an opening comes up at one of these places (and then try contacting those companies).

Navigating the freelance design world demands avoiding pitfalls. Learn from others’ mistakes through our article on 15 Rookie Mistakes That Can Kill Your Freelance Design Career, so you can safeguard your livelihood during economic downturns.

Final Thoughts

Let me be the first to say that this isn’t going to be easy. I’ve been writing professionally for over a decade, and there are still days when I find it hard to get started or when my mind goes blank while staring at an empty page. 

But if you’re willing to work hard and put in the time necessary, freelance graphic design will pay off in more ways than one: you’ll gain experience that can help you land better jobs, build your portfolio and increase your chances of getting hired again by clients who appreciate your work ethic.

As Warren Buffet said: “If we keep thinking about tomorrow’s problems today… we’ll never get anything done.”

Further Reading

How to Be a Freelance Graphic Designer Short Description: Learn the essential steps and strategies to become a successful freelance graphic designer, even in challenging economic times.

How to Make Money as a Graphic Designer Short Description: Discover various avenues and tips for generating income as a graphic designer, ensuring financial stability during economic downturns.

How Graphic Designers Prepare for Recession Short Description: Gain insights into how graphic designers can proactively prepare for economic downturns and ensure their sustainability in the industry.

People Also Ask

What Is A Freelancer?

A freelancer works independently, without the structure of an organization. They are self-employed and typically work on projects or assignments that they have been hired to complete, rather than being hired as part of a larger team.

What Is A Graphic Designer?

Graphic designers create visual elements for communication purposes, such as logos and other types of branding materials; advertisements; brochures; signs; websites, and other computer-generated images (CGI). Graphic designers also often use photography to capture images for use in their designs when necessary. When you hire them to do this work for you, it’s called freelance graphic design services.

What Is A Graphic Designer’s Main Goal?

The ultimate objective for most graphic designers seeking to build an online presence is making money and lots of it! While not everyone can become famous overnight like Kanye West did with his album cover artworks for “Graduation” (2007), there are still plenty of ways that you can make money doing what you love: design! 

You could even start small at first if need be while building your client base until eventually branching out into new territories like animation or video editing anything goes really when it comes down right now so long as people demand better quality work from others around them then why not go out there today and make sure they get just what they want before tomorrow comes around again!

What Are The Qualifications To Become A Freelance Graphic Designer?

To go into the graphic design field, you should have at least a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. You can also take classes in art, photography, and other creative fields to get some of the skills you need. It’s helpful if you have experience working for an established firm as an intern or freelancer.

How Much Does It Cost To Start My Own Freelance Business?

If you already have some equipment and software, you can start your business for as little as $1,000. However, if you don’t have any of this equipment yet then expect to spend between $5,000-$10,000 initially on things like computers and software licenses. 

You will also need to pay for office supplies and any marketing materials that you plan on using such as brochures or flyers which can cost anywhere from $500-$1,000 depending on how elaborate they are designed by professionals who specialize in creating these kinds of projects for small businesses just like yours!

What Is The Best Way To Find Freelance Work?

The concept of “the best” is highly subjective, but one certain thing is you’ll have more success finding jobs if you’re working hard at it and making connections with people. As a freelancer, your value increases with each job you complete. Don’t be afraid to reach out to potential clients when you have something great for them!

How Do I Get Started With Freelance Graphic Design?

The first thing you should do is take a look at your business’s needs. Do they need something that will make them more appealing to customers? Do they have an idea for a new logo or piece of marketing material, but don’t know how to create it? If that’s the case, then it might be worth looking into hiring someone who specializes in graphic design.

The next step is finding a freelancer that suits your needs. There are plenty of websites where designers can advertise their services and offer samples of their work online (such as Fiverr or Freelancer). 

You’ll also want to check out other sites like Behance or Dribble, which showcase some excellent examples of professional work from professionals around the world! After all this research has been done there’s only one thing left: choosing between several different options until one fits perfectly within what budget constraints are available!

Why Should I Hire A Freelance Graphic Designer?

Freelance graphic designers are great because they can work on projects at the pace that works for them and their clients. They don’t have to take on a full-time job, but they still get paid well and have flexible hours, so they can spend time with their families or do whatever else they want.

What If My Project Takes Longer Than Expected?

Freelancers are very good about making sure that any changes to your project will be made promptly. If there’s something that needs to be adjusted, it’ll get done quickly and easily so that you aren’t waiting around for too long.

How Much Do Freelance Graphic Designers Cost?

The price of hiring a freelancer depends on the type of work being done and how many tasks are involved in completing the job (if it’s a large project). It also depends on what kind of skill sets are needed for the job the more specialized your needs are, the higher your costs will be (but often this will also mean better quality).

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