15 Best Ways to Start Freelancing in Graphic Designing

By | June 6, 2020
Best Ways to Start Freelancing in Graphic Designing
You can start a successful graphic design
business as a freelancer.

15 Best Ways to Start Freelancing in Graphic Designing

Do you want to start a freelancing career or business in graphics designing and don’t know how to go about it? If you do, then this post will show you what to do to realize your dream.

Freelancing in graphics designing generally entails selling of graphics services to employers online without a long-term contract.

Becoming a freelance graphic designer is a great way to make good extra income especially if you are holding a fulltime job.

It also gives you the opportunity to build a side graphic designing business as you are working on a paid job; you can do your side designing job at your free time.

Here are tips to start freelancing in graphic designing:

  1. Check your toolkit and examine yourself
  2. Choose a niche or diversify your career
  3. Establish a personal brand
  4. Create a business plan and goals
  5. Build a freelance portfolio
  6. Find clients and deliver more than required for your first clients
  7. Start freelancing by carrying out projects for a client
  8. Build your network and utilize it
  9. Master the use of invoice to record proposal
  10. Don’t get too choosy while starting out
  11. Popularize your brand outside your blog
  12. Time management
  13. Decide your price tag for each type of design
  14. Map out your perfect work day
  15. Join or create a referral network

How to Start Freelancing in Graphic Designing

  1. Check your toolkit and examine yourself

The very first thing you should do as an aspiring graphic designer is to examine your abilities and ask yourself questions to know whether you have what it takes to be a freelance graphics designer.

Do you have the necessary toolkits and digital devices to carry out the tasks? If all of the necessary requirements are in place then you can kick start.

To start freelancing in graphics designing, getting the proper gadgets and programs is vital, having the current software programs and being able to use them is a great advantage.

  1. Choose a niche or diversify your career

Working on mixed projects and clients can help you gain knowledge and experience on different aspects of graphics designing, but you will benefit from specializing on a particular niche, being a jack of all trade and master of none is not advisable in the field.

Before you become perfect on a niche, research to know whether there is enough work to support your business.

Is there a high demand for the product or service you want to specialize on? Consider if you can work efficiently in the niche.

It is also advisable to diversify your work and don’t spend all your freelance time working for one particular client or the same type of project.

You might never know when that particular business might fall. So, calculate your odds and know the particular operation that suites your choice.

  1. Establish a personal brand

To start as a graphics designer, you will need a strong personal signature brand to be identified as a freelance graphic designer.

Establish an online presence as a graphic designer by creating a blog for yourself; link a functioning email with your personal brand name as the handle, so people can reach you.

How you present yourself as a graphics designer matters a lot; the name of your brand and business proves extremely important.

  1. Create a business plan and goals

Starting as a freelance graphics designer requires you to structure a business plan and goal to facilitate future success as a designer.

Do you want to use freelance work as a part time gig or as a full-time business?

Decide on the strategy and your goals in the business.

Look into the financial aspect, your budget matters a lot.

The gadgets you need should be put into consideration and the marketing strategy, and your scale of operation, do you want to operate as a sole owner of the blog or a cooperative freelance venture.

Creating a business plan is a viable way of starting your career as a freelance graphics designer.

  1. Build a freelance portfolio

Building your portfolio is vital as you plan to kick start and succeed in the field as a freelance graphics designer.

If you want to grow in the field, you should build a minimum viable portfolio that highlights your best works which the clients assess and determine whether to hire you or not, depending on their assessment concerning your previous job.

That is why you should adorn your portfolio with the best of design you have worked on.

If your previous works are not encouraging, work on a new selection of projects to improve your portfolio for it to look appealing to the clients.

The entire look of your portfolio will speak a lot about your talent as a graphics designer.

  1. Find clients and deliver more than required for your first clients

Finding and discovering clients to work with might pose a threat to your career as a freelance graphics designer; there are site that can help you sort for clients.

It’s advisable to deliver more than the required for the clients so as to impress them and get good ratings and referrals from them.

You can meet clients through your personal website or other freelancing platforms, no matter where you met them. In both cases working for them exposes you to more opportunities.

The more you gain experience and exposure as a freelance graphic designer, the more your template becomes unique to fit your working diction.

  1. Start freelancing by carrying out projects for a client

Once you get a gig, it can be hard to figure out where to start as a beginner.

All you need to do is to communicate with the client about the project, ask them about the details and the idea behind the brand, so as to communicate meaning and deliver the best design that depicts their brand ethos.

You can also undergo some market research, perform some sketches and refine the concept with your computer as the finished product.

  1. Build your network and utilize it

As a freelancer, it is essential to market and grow your network, and devise means to market your brand, marketing is not only for prominent companies or other industries, as a freelance graphics designer market is also important, you will need to build your network in order to advance and find new gigs.

Marketing as a process of building your network doesn’t always mean that you have to buy display ads or pay any identified media body to place your ads on air.

Social media is the best way to build and advertise your brand, meet and communicate with clients and other designers.

  1. Master the use of invoice to record proposal

Freelancing is not all about getting clients and carrying out projects for them; as a freelancer you need to run your career like a business.

This means that you need to learn how to write invoice and send proposals to your clients and also make contracts and agreements with them so as to avoid any misunderstanding along the line.

You can use Google Docs or similar service as a starter, but it is recommended to use a freelance invoicing system like Freshbooks.

Freshbooks creates professional invoice in less than 30 seconds and also reminds you and follow up with clients that forget to pay for the services rendered.

  1. Don’t get too choosy while starting out

If you’re starting a career as a freelance graphics designer, don’t be picky or selective on the kind of clients or project you want to take on that is on your area of specialization.

Turning down too many freelance design jobs because of the small pay or the nature of the project they sent makes you to be at the risky end of losing your clients and cutting yourself off in the field.

Starting as a freelance graphics designer, you might not have many samples in your portfolio, and the market might not be ready to hire you and pay you at expert rates, you’ll have to work a bit more for it by starting at the scratch and being less picky.

  1. Popularize your brand outside your blog

Online domain is vital for freelancers while starting out, but reaching out to people in person like people living within your community is also a good strategy to popularize your career in freelance graphics designing.

You can print business cards and flyers, paste bills and make sure you come up with designs that display what your brand stands for.

Attractive physical graphics can be used to reach and attract clients that are not online, you can render graphics design for them and give them your online handle to follow and contact you via your page if they need subsequent designs.

  1. Time management

You need to keep proper track of your time as a freelance graphics designer, manage the time spent on a particular project and the agreed time of presentation or submission to the client.

There are awesome mobile app and software that can help you keep track of your gigs and help you adjust for future projects.

Time schedule is one of the challenges freelance graphic designer face, figuring out how to schedule and manage your time is one of the ways to start freelancing as a graphics designer.

  1. Decide your price tag for each type of design

Freelance graphics designer should be able to make a standard profit in the competitive market by mapping out a specific charge for each project.

The price should not be too costly. You might end up selling yourself out in the field.

You have to make research about different design categories or you can join graphics design web forums and make enquires on what they charge for a particular project, but you can always decide for yourself a price range you want to adhere to.

  1. Map out your perfect work day

As a sole freelance graphics designer, you are your own boss and you have the benefit and freedom to work anytime you choose.

It is also a disadvantage because you might not be propelled to take up projects and make money the way you should, you might decide to sleep all day, it needs a lot of motivation to be hard working on your own.

Working round the clock and being maxed out as a freelancer is not good for your wellbeing and social life, so mapping out your working days and hours and adhering to it is another way of starting a successful freelance graphic designing career.

  1. Join or create a referral network

Freelance graphics designers with lots of gigs can refer projects to other designers that they trust so as not to lose the client.

Joining a referral network is beneficial for starters in the field, you can get to meet professional designers, mentors, and prominent clients.

Your mentors can refer clients to you, thereby exposing you, adding flesh to your portfolio and making you more relevant in the field.


Working as a freelance graphic designer can open up a great opportunity to increase your income and gradually build a business.

If you are interested in applying your graphic design skills to work as a freelancer, you can find valuable tips and ideas to start it up from this page.