Congratulations! You’re finally doing it: you’ve quit your job to go freelance. We all know that the best part of being an adult is getting to do whatever we want, and for you, that means pursuing graphic design full-time.
Now, as a full-time freelance graphic designer (a.k.a., “freelancer”), you’ll be free to set your own hours and work from wherever you want but there’s so much more than meets the eye when it comes to making a living doing what you love.
Below, we’ll take a deep dive into this super-specialized career path: why it might be the right fit for you; how much money freelancers in the field typically make; and how to start finding clients and building up your own business with (mostly) no experience required.
|Flexibility in work schedule|
|Opportunity to work on diverse projects|
|Potential for higher income|
|Ability to choose clients and projects|
|Building a personal brand|
|Developing a varied skill set|
|Learning business management|
|Networking with clients and peers|
|Balancing work-life according to preferences|
1. You Can Choose Your Working Hours
One of the best things about freelancing is that you get to choose your working hours. You can work from home, from anywhere, and on a flexible schedule that suits you best.
This means that if you want to take care of personal business like dropping your kids off at school or taking them to their doctor’s appointments, then all you need to do is put on your headphones and get right back into it after a quick break.
It also means that if there is an emergency at home whether it’s an issue with one of your children or a broken pipe you can simply shut down your computer and attend to the situation with out worrying about losing business time.
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2. You Can Work From Wherever You Want
As a freelance designer, you can work from virtually anywhere. You could choose to work from home or the coffee shop down the street. You could work in a library or a coworking space.
Many freelancers do just that they’ll go to the library for some peace and then take their laptop over to Starbucks for some ambient noise when they want social interaction.
Some will even take their laptops on vacation with them so they can get in some remote design time without having to worry about where they’re going next or how much it will cost them!
A great way to start working remotely is through an online job search platform like Upwork (formerly Elance).
This site has thousands of jobs posted by companies looking for designers around the world at any given time and luckily these days technology allows us all to access those opportunities no matter where we live or what kind of equipment we have access to!
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3. Be Your Boss!
There’s no boss to tell you when and where to work, so it’s up to you when to start your day. You can set aside time for a morning run before getting started on projects, or perhaps some laundry first. The possibilities are endless!
Being your boss also means being able to exercise control over your schedule. If there’s something in particular that needs doing today, put it at the top of your list and do it! Want a long lunch break? Take one! Need evening hours?
Sure thing! Being self-employed allows for flexibility within certain limits and those limits are entirely up to you (though I’d recommend not going crazy with them).
As the final benefit of working freelance: there is no official dress code or decorum other than whatever is appropriate for the project at hand.
If that means wearing jeans and sneakers while working on client projects during daytime hours or dressing up in a pinstriped suit while working late into the night it will all be okay because nobody else will know except yourself.
4. You Will Earn More As A Freelancer Than At An Agency
You will earn more as a freelancer than at an agency. The average salary for a graphic designer working in the US is just over $60,000 per year. This number can vary wildly depending on your location and experience level, but it’s safe to say that working at an agency will not get you there.
If you were to work on the same projects as other designers and earn the same amount of money (which isn’t likely), then your income would be capped by their salary.
As a freelancer who sets his rates based on demand for his skills and services, however not just what he feels he deserves your earning potential could be much higher than this benchmark figure would indicate.
While many factors contribute to your final compensation package as a graphic designer (including average hourly rates), let’s focus specifically on how much work from clients pays out compared with what it takes you personally to complete it all:
5. The Opportunity To Try Different Things And Get More Experience
You will have the opportunity to try different things and get more experience. This means that you can experiment with new techniques, try out different kinds of clients, work with a variety of people and gain more skills along the way.
Just think: if you were working for someone else as an employee, they would likely give you only one or two projects at a time to work on. That’s it. In freelancing, however, there are no set rules about what kind of jobs should be done in which order.
Unlike an employer who assigns tasks based on their priorities and needs (and possibly even those of his/her client), clients who hire freelancers have much more control over what they want to be done by when meaning that there’s no reason why someone looking for marketing assistance couldn’t hire five different people simultaneously! That said though…
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6. Putting Yourself Out There And Marketing Your Skills Is Easier Than It Might Seem
Putting yourself out there as a freelancer can be daunting, but it’s also one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.
One of the best ways to get your name out there is by creating a website that showcases all of your skills and experience. You should use this site as an opportunity to tell stories about yourself and why you’re qualified for certain projects don’t just list off buzzwords like “excellent communication skills” or “professional demeanor.”
Your portfolio should have samples from all different kinds of projects, including print pieces, web designs, and logos. Make sure all these samples are organized so that potential employers can easily find what they need without having to dig through too much information!
7. You Don’t Have To Put Up With A Toxic Boss Or With Office Politics
Freelancers don’t have bosses and many of them even choose not to work from an office at all. That means you have the freedom to set your hours, go on holiday whenever you want, and do whatever you like as long as it doesn’t interfere with your work for clients.
There are no strict dress codes or seating arrangements at play here either if you want to wear shorts and flip-flops every day instead of business attire, then knock yourself out!
There are also no office politics because freelancers tend to be self-motivated individuals who aren’t looking for positions where they can climb up the corporate ladder (because they don’t have one). They simply want to earn some extra cash on their terms so that they can enjoy their lives outside of work too.
This means that there won’t be any gossiping about coworkers in this type of employment environment either – which is a good thing for those who prefer a more peaceful working life!
8. You Save Money On Commuting Expenses And Work Clothes
When you work from home, you can wear whatever makes you most comfortable. If your commute is a pain in the ass, this alone might be reason enough to go freelance. Who wants to spend upwards of half an hour each day getting ready and then driving somewhere? Why not just put on some pajamas and get down to business?
Many freelancers also choose to dress more casually than they did when they were employed by someone else. After all, if you’re working from home, there are no bosses or coworkers around whose opinions matter (unless they visit).
And even if they do come over, it doesn’t matter the only thing that counts is how professional your work looks! You don’t have to look like everyone else at the office; instead, embrace yourself as an individual by choosing clothes that reflect who you are and what matters most in life whether it’s comfort or style or even just having fun with color!
9. It’s A Great Way Of Building Up Your Local Community
If you live in a big city, it can be easy to forget that your location has a small community with its issues and problems. Volunteering may seem like something only charity workers do, but if you have graphic design skills and are looking for some extra work on the side, consider helping out with projects that affect those in your area.
You could help local businesses by creating promotional materials or websites; volunteering at charities; providing free advice on how to improve their branding or marketing through social media, or even offering discounted rates for basic design services.
You could also provide free training sessions for people who are interested in learning about graphic design but don’t have the money (or time!) to pay for it themselves this way they can earn some money from doing simple tasks around town as well make connections within the industry!
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10. There Will Never Be A Limit On How Much You Can Earn
This is a great point to end on. There will never be a limit on how much you can earn – you can grow your business as much as you want to take it.
The sky is the limit! Don’t get stuck limiting yourself by thinking that there are only so many clients out there or that because you’re just starting, no one will hire you. There will always be new clients and more opportunities for growth if you keep working hard at it.
Also, keep in mind that even if things aren’t going perfectly right now, they could change in an instant! Maybe a client finds out about your work or maybe someone hires you for a project that makes them happy enough to refer others to your company after seeing the final product (which means even more money!).
Freelance Graphic Design Can Be Fun And Profitable!
If you’re like most people, you probably want to enjoy your job and make a comfortable living. Freelance graphic design can be the perfect solution!
Graphic designers get to work on their schedules, often from home offices or wherever they choose to work. They also have a lot of control over the pace of their workday and limit distractions by turning off notifications on their phones, e-mail program, or computer screen saver (or all of these).
In addition, many freelancers set their hours so that they can take time off during normal business hours if needed for personal reasons like doctor appointments or family obligations.
It’s not uncommon for freelance graphic designers to earn upwards of six figures annually and this is just one side benefit!
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So, graphic design is a great career choice. It’s flexible, interesting, and always changing. If you’re looking to work as a freelancer, though, there are some extra considerations you need to make before diving in.
Think carefully about the skills you have and what kind of work you want to do; figure out if it’s the right time for you to start your freelance journey and if you can take on clients; and get ready to face some challenges that come up when building your business.
We know that sounds like a lot of stuff to think about now and it is! but don’t let these details deter you from pursuing what could be an awesome opportunity for your life. With the right preparation, planning will help ensure success in this journey. Best of luck!
Explore more insights about freelance graphic design careers and related topics:
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Do You Need To Get Started?
Graphic design is not a career that requires an expensive education or degree, but it does require some technical know-how and experience. If you don’t yet have that, the best thing to do is start working on your portfolio (learn about how a portfolio can help you find clients here).
How Much Do I Need To Earn To Make A Living?
It depends on where you live, but generally speaking, freelancers charge anywhere between $20-$50 per hour depending on their work experience and geographic location (some areas pay more than others).
As long as you are charging enough money for your time and skill level (about $40/h), then yes you can make a living off of freelance graphic design!
What Is Freelance Graphic Design?
Freelance graphic design is the practice of designing graphics, logos, or other imagery for clients in exchange for monetary compensation. It’s often a creative outlet for people who have an eye for visual art, but it can also be an ideal career choice if you’re looking to build your portfolio or gain experience in the field.
How Much Does A Freelance Designer Make Per Hour?
According to PayScale’s report on graphic designers’ salaries across the country (and its recent update), median pay ranges between $25 and 30 per hour.
However, these numbers are only averages; depending on your skill set, experience level, and clientele base among other factors your salary may differ significantly from those listed here.
To get an idea of what you might earn as a freelancer based on where you live, visit our interactive map here!
Where Do I Find Freelance Work?
There are plenty of websites out there that offer flexibility when it comes to finding new opportunities in this field: Upwork connects businesses with designers from all over the world.
Behance offers portfolios from professionals all over North America; 99 Designs allows clients from around the world access to thousands upon thousands of logo designs submitted by aspiring artists worldwide.
Fiverr lets anyone sell anything (whether it be their artistic skills or something more practical) through micro-tasks such as creating social media graphics or editing photos).
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.