Why I’m Starting My Own Freelance Graphic Design Business

I’m a freelance graphic designer and I’m excited to share my story with you. My name is Kerri, and I’ve been a freelancer for over five years now. I’ve designed everything from logos to postcards to websites (and quite a few things in between). 

In this post, I’ll discuss the many reasons why starting your own freelance business can be so rewarding and help you get started on the right track if you’re thinking of going solo.

How To Start Your Freelance Graphic Design Career – YouTube
1. Motivation: Discover the author’s personal reasons for venturing into freelance graphic design.
2. Decision Factors: Gain insights into the factors that influenced the author’s choice to start their own business.
3. Challenges: Learn about the challenges the author faced and how they approached them as a new freelance graphic designer.
4. Passion for Design: Understand the author’s passion for design and how it drives their entrepreneurial journey.
5. Lessons Learned: Explore the lessons and valuable experiences the author shares from their initial steps in the freelance graphic design industry.

In Control

As a freelancer, you can control your schedule. This is a huge perk. You may not have the flexibility to work in your pajamas, but at least you’re free to set your own hours. And when I say “schedule,” I mean both time and place as long as there’s an internet connection nearby and enough coffee in my cup, I’m good to go!

With control over your schedule comes control over what projects you take on. Many freelancers are tempted by the highest-paying job they can get their hands on but this often leads to burnout and exhaustion because they don’t take into account how much effort each project will require (and how stressful some clients might be). 

By choosing only those clients who align with your interests and work style (more on that later), you’ll be able to avoid feeling overwhelmed by any one particular client or project.

As a freelancer, you can also choose how much money you earn each year (within reason). If things aren’t going well on certain projects or with certain clients, then maybe it’s time for something different! 

The freedom of self-employed means being able to move from one type of work environment to another without having someone else dictate what happens next in terms of career direction: 

Whether it’s learning new software packages or trying out new types of design styles; taking classes through local universities; or volunteering at nonprofits the possibilities really are endless here…

Starting a freelance graphic design business is an exciting journey. If you’re wondering how to begin and earn a good living from it, check out our comprehensive guide on How to Start a Freelance Graphic Design Business. Get insights and tips to set yourself up for success in the world of freelancing.

The Numbers Matter

You’ve probably heard the saying “the numbers don’t lie.” However, in many cases they do.

While it’s true that you can have an educated guess about how much a client will pay you for a project and whether or not you’ll be able to make your money back on it, there are many factors at play here that go beyond simple calculations and estimates.

The reality is that knowing what your costs are (and being prepared for them) will give you control over the situation, confidence in your abilities as a designer, direction as to where your business should go next, and urgency around finding new clients. 

Knowing how much money is coming into your bank account each month also gives you an idea of what’s possible with your current setup and whether or not changes need to be made in order to get closer to where you want things to be financial. 

Finally, calculating all these figures helps establish clear parameters around which decisions need to be made when working with clients or even deciding which jobs are worth taking on in the first place!

A Challenge

You’re going to face challenges. You will have days where you struggle to stay motivated and productive or feel like the entire world is against you. Learning how to overcome these challenges will be one of the most important things you’ll do in your new business. 

If you can weather a few storms, come out on top, and keep moving forward the rewards are great!

I think it’s important for me (and anyone else who thinks about starting something) to realize that although there are challenges involved with starting this kind of business…they aren’t impossible ones!

Gives You A Purpose

Starting your own business gives you a purpose.

If you’re reading this, chances are that you already have the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful at graphic design. You have the creativity and ability to come up with great designs. But if you’re looking for more meaning in life, owning your own business can give it to you.

You’ll now always have a reason to get up every morning and go out into the world and apply those skills, knowledge, and creativity towards making a better life for yourself and perhaps even make some money while doing so.

Working for a design agency might seem glamorous, but there are common misconceptions that need to be addressed. Learn about the reality behind agency work in our article on Top 15 Misconceptions About Working for a Design Agency. Discover the pros and cons to make informed career decisions.

It’s Actually Fun

If you’re like me and you love to design, there’s nothing more satisfying than creating a new project. The idea of making something that other people will like is exciting, but actually seeing that happen is even better. 

I love seeing my designs on websites and in magazines, knowing that they were made by me makes me feel good about myself. When my work is popular (as long as it doesn’t get an overwhelming amount of bad reviews), it gives me the confidence to continue producing good stuff for people to enjoy. 

And because I’m self-employed, all the money goes directly into my pocket instead of going through an employer or client first! It’s great being able to make money doing what you love most: designing!

It’s An Investment In Your Future

You might be thinking: “Sure, I’ll get paid for doing this now, but what about five years from now? Ten?” Well, if you’re willing to put in the work and take some risks, it can pay off big-time. You’ll be surprised at how much money is out there for you if you’re willing to work hard enough for it.

I’m not saying that everyone wants to earn six figures and live a life of luxury that’s not true at all! But there are many ways to earn more than enough money to support yourself while working from home or wherever else feels comfortable and safe. 

And if you have kids someday (which let’s face it, most people do), starting a freelance business will help bring financial security into their lives as well!

Freedom Of Time And Space

The flexibility of working for yourself is one of the most attractive things about this career choice. You are able to set your own schedule and work from anywhere, so you can travel more often if you want to. As long as your laptop, tablet or phone is handy, you’re ready to go! 

This means that you can take advantage of paid time off whenever it suits your fancy and there’s no reason why that has to be limited only to when other people are taking vacation days. 

If I wake up on a Saturday morning and decide that I’d rather spend my day at home than go in for work (which happens pretty frequently), then nothing stops me from doing so. It’s all about what makes me happy.

Now let’s talk about some specific ways that being a freelancer allows me freedom over my schedule:

Transitioning to freelance design requires careful consideration. If you’re curious about how others made the decision to become a freelance designer, read How I Decided to Become a Freelance Designer. Learn from personal experiences and gain insights that can help you navigate your own path.

The Good Feeling That Comes With Accomplishment

Do you remember the last time you built something? Something that was just for you, that no one else could have used. Maybe it was a new website for your blog or a new online store. No one is going to care about how beautifully designed it is, but YOU will because it’s YOUR product. 

There’s something special about creating something that wasn’t there before, especially when someone appreciates it and uses what you’ve made. That feeling of accomplishment is like nothing else!

You may be thinking this isn’t relevant in graphic design because I won’t be making websites every day (and some designers don’t). But even if you do create websites often, there are still plenty of opportunities for self-satisfaction when designing them:

  • You can be proud of helping people who need your services
  • You can feel good about yourself by providing quality work at an affordable price
  • You Face Your Own Fears and Discover What You’re Made Of.

When you start your own business, you will face your fears head-on. You will be forced to deal with the possibility of failure and success without anyone else’s help or support.

You might discover that you have a fear of failure or success. You may have to face your fear that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough. 

You will have to face the fear of being alone and being vulnerable as well as the fear of being out of control and making mistakes – which can be crippling if left unchecked.

Gain Self-Confidence And Discover Your Self-Worth

When you are working for someone else, it can be difficult to feel confident in your skills or to make a career out of your talents. As an employee, you might feel undervalued and not appreciated. 

You may also feel like your creativity is being stifled by someone who has more power than you do. This can lead to low self-esteem and a lack of motivation when it comes time to work on new projects.

In addition, being unhappy at work can also lead to other problems such as anxiety, depression, and burnout which will make it even harder for you to focus on anything but how miserable life is right now.

Do Something About That Money Situation

I know, I know. You’ve heard this all before. But don’t worry we’re going to talk about it some more because it’s important that you understand the money situation as a freelancer.

You see, as a graphic designer, you can often make more money working for someone else than starting your own business. 

And if you are just starting out in your career and haven’t built up any experience yet, you probably won’t be able to charge enough to justify quitting your day job (and then paying taxes on what little money you actually earn).

Design projects sometimes hit roadblocks, but there are effective strategies to overcome them. Discover what to do when your project seems stalled in our guide on What to Do When Your Design Project Is Taking Forever to Finish. Get practical tips to keep your projects on track and maintain your creative momentum.

A Chance To Be Your Own Boss

Working for yourself has the obvious benefit of not having to answer to anyone else. If you’re out of pajamas, it doesn’t matter because no one is going to see you anyway! You can work when and where you want without wondering what your boss will say if he catches sight of your morning jogging attire.

You also get a chance to choose which clients are right for you. If someone asks for something unreasonable or unrealistic, decline them politely (or hire someone else on Upwork). 

It’s easier than saying no when working for someone else because there’s no one watching over your shoulder at all times and in fact, this freedom might even help make you more productive since there are fewer distractions around!

The Great Potential For Unhappiness At Work  Especially In Graphic Design

What I find most appealing about this is the potential for unhappiness at work.

In graphic design, it’s hard to find jobs. When you do find one, it might not be what you expected and could leave your self-esteem shattered. 

And even if the job does turn out exactly as you hoped for, it has a short lifespan one year or two at most before another company takes over the project (or even just a part of it). If that happens, then goodbye paycheck!

If you’re new to graphic design and want to explore freelancing, our guide on Freelancing for Dummies: How to Get Started in Graphic Design is the perfect starting point. Discover key steps and insights to launch your freelance graphic design career with confidence and success.


Starting your own freelance graphic design business is a great way to get paid for doing what you love. It’s something that I wish I had done sooner!

So, if you want an exciting career where you can do the things that are important to you and get paid for them, then starting your own freelance graphic design business may be right up your alley.

Further Reading

Explore more resources to enhance your understanding of starting and succeeding in a freelance graphic design business:

How to Start a Graphic Design Business: Learn step-by-step guidance on establishing your own graphic design business and making it thrive.

Freelance Designing Resources: Dribbble provides valuable resources for freelance designers, including tips, inspiration, and tools to excel in the industry.

Starting a Graphic Design Business: Discover insights into the process of launching a graphic design business and overcoming common challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Start A Freelance Graphic Design Business From Scratch?

To start your own freelance graphic design business, you need to have the skills to create designs for clients. To get these skills, there are lots of resources online and in print that can help you learn the basics. 

You can also look for online classes or local schools that have programs in graphic design. Once you have some experience, it’s time to start marketing yourself as a freelancer!

What Are The Risks Of Starting A Freelance Graphic Design Business?

The main risk is not having enough work (or any work) come in during your first year as a freelance designer. 

This can be especially true if there isn’t much competition where you live or if most people already know who they want to hire when they need custom designs made on their websites or other marketing materials like flyers or ads. 

It may take several months before your client base grows enough so things begin picking up steam again once the word gets out about how great everyone thinks your work is!

How Do I Choose A Name For My Business?

This is an important question because it’s the first thing clients will see. You want something that reflects your personality and style in a way that people can instantly connect with. If you’re not sure where to start, try using one of our favorite apps: Wordoid! 

It’s a fun little tool that generates names based on your preferences (you can even pick from a list of top-tier brands). Just be careful not to get too attached before checking for availability online; it’ll save you time later if nobody else has taken your idea first!

What Are The Steps Involved In Starting My Own Freelance Business, From Start To Finish?

Starting up as an independent graphic designer involves more than just buying some fancy software you also need to set up shop and figure out how much money you need before you begin work on any projects at all! 

First things first though: find out what kind of equipment will be necessary (and whether or not those tools come with any maintenance fees), then decide how much inventory

What Does A Freelancer Do?

Freelance graphic designers can work from home, but they also have the freedom to work anywhere that has Internet access. They choose their own hours and set their own prices for projects.

What Are The Benefits Of Being A Freelancer?

There are many benefits of being a freelance graphic designer. You will have more flexibility and can work at your own pace with less stress than someone working in an office environment (although there’s no guarantee). 

You will be able to exercise your creative muscles without having to conform to someone else’s idea of what looks good or is acceptable within their company culture. You can take on projects that interest you instead of having limited options if there were multiple employees working on similar types of projects in-house at one time (and often underpaid). 

You might even be able to charge more than if you were employed by another company because companies tend not only to save money by outsourcing their design needs but also save time as well since they don’t have to hire/train new employees every time there is a need for additional help due too workload demands. 

Therefore saving both would mean saving overall costs associated with hiring outside contractors such as myself:) It’s all about finding a balance between quality work & meeting deadlines vs personal satisfaction & making enough profit off each project so that one doesn’t feel guilty taking breaks from working hard during busy times when things get stressful 🙂

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