This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to be successful freelancing Graphic Design

If you are a Graphic Designer, freelancing can be pretty cool. Freelancing just means doing work for individual clients, instead of working full-time for a company. Many companies need graphic design work done every once in a while, and so there is a gigantic market for you. But being able to tap into this market takes much more than Graphic Design skills. I started freelancing Graphic Design when I was 19, when I compared the difference between doing a "minimum wage" job while going to college versus doing some freelance. No, I wasn't a very good designer. I got better at design, but when I started freelancing, that was the least of my concerns.

Sure, you have to be a decent Graphic Designer. You need to know how to run Adobe software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and InDesign. You have to have some ability in page layout, logo design, that sort of thing. But that skill set is not rare. I've seen thousands of wonderfully talented Graphic Designers in my day. To be successful, and to make money, in freelance, you have to know a little bit about sales.

No, I'm not talking about becoming one of those annoying salespeople like you find on used car lots! But if you are going to freelance, you have to learn how to interact with business people. If this is new to you, treat it like anything else you are learning, practice with friends. You will need to be able to do these things:

Make, and keep appointments. The average creative person I've met would forget their head if it wasn't screwed on! I know, I am one of those people. Use some type of technology to remind you what day it is, what time it is, where you need to go. Computers are great at this. Put them to work for you. I use iCal, which sends a reminder to my email and my iPod. I also have an ordinary little dry-erase board at my desk.

Estimate time and money. You have to have an hourly rate, and you have to be able to estimate how long something is going to take you before you start it. Would you buy something if you didn't know the price in advance? Neither will your freelance client. Learn how to do it.

Defend your reputation. If you want to know how to get more clients, make sure that the clients you have right now are satisfied. People love referrals. Every move you make should assure people that you are reliable and can follow up.

Be reliable. Graphic Designers, like all creative people, have a reputation as flakes. People will talk about you, especially if you are flakey. They will say, "don't hire this person!" You may think that is funny to have a license plate holder that says, "Always late, but worth the wait!", but clients won't. They will hire someone else who will show up on time, do the job right, and make the deadline.

Do these things and a huge market of freelance work opens up for you!

If you would like to get personal on-site software training in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Dreamweaver in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, please contact me. Paypal accepted, morning appointments only.