5 Tips to Making a Living as a Freelance Designer

April 18, 2022
 By Erin H.

While it may seem like a dream come true to be a freelance designer, there are several factors you need to consider before jumping headfirst into the design industry. Freelance work is unpredictable, and you often have seasons of little work and subsequent seasons of crazy overloads. It takes a quick thinker and flexible worker to succeed in the freelance world, but the rewards of making art for a living are immeasurable. In this blog post, we will look at 5 tips to make it big in the industry of freelance design.

1. Utilize Social Media

Without a doubt, every designer should have a dedicated Instagram or Behance account to showcase their work in addition to an online portfolio. Twitter is also a great platform for artists, as you can get your work seen by countless numbers of people if retweeted by the right person. No matter what your commission schedule looks like, make it a priority to keep your social media feeds consistent. Schedule a social media calendar ahead of time, and watch your work amass a following.

2. Streamline Commissions

Your website is a staple of your work as a designer. Since 900,000 domains are registered every week, make an effort to have a clean, polished, and stunning home page. Make it easy for someone to request a commission, and respond quickly to any questions. If someone can order a commission without any issues, chances are that they will recommend you to others.

3. Learn Time Management Skills

Clearly, doing good work quickly is the name of the game in design. To determine prices for your work, measure how much time it takes you for each project. You should always log your hours and change prices accordingly. Set alarms for rest times, and take plenty of break time to prevent artistic burnout. In addition, strive to perfect your working schedule and creation process to fit as many projects in as you can. Set achievable goals, and finetune your art-making hours.

4. Have a Support Network

It can be easy to assume that you need to build your artistic success on your own. This is fundamentally false, as every successful artist has learned from many mentors. Connect with the online design community on Behance or DeviantArt, and talk with other artists on your social platforms. Find designers in your local area and meet up for coffee. Sometimes the key to success is having the right people in your corner to support you.

5. Never Stop Improving

Without a doubt, being a designer is all about constantly learning. Focus your attention on your projects, but be constantly keeping up with new trends. On your off-hours, take time to scroll through Pinterest or Instagram and save art that you like. Having a library of images and designs you enjoy will benefit you the next time you have an art block.

Working as a freelance designer can be stressful and overwhelming, especially since workflow can be unpredictable. However, with the right tools, mindset, and talent, you can turn your passion for design into a full-time job.

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