Becoming a successful freelance designer takes effort, commitment and desire to excel. When you decide to play your trade as a freelancer, all the responsibility to establishing your brand, getting work and setting up work schedule rests solely with you.
Freelancing however can become fun if take it seriously and learn to manage and deliver projects on time. As a skilled designer, clients will expect you to meet their specifications on time and the more you oblige them more work will happen. But yes, never take your focus on creative and attention-grabbing designs for projects you work on.
Here are some of tips for becoming a successful freelance designer
1. Create an impressive online portfolio
Without having an impressive online portfolio, your freelancing career won’t budge an inch. You need to show the world your skills, works done and projects handled. A strong portfolio should include some of your best designs and works. URLs of live projects and area of expertise so that clients can feel confident at hiring you. The portfolio would speak on behalf of your work; it would give clients a peek into your designs and expertise and ability to do justice to their designing projects. So, put up your portfolio on the web and let your freelancing career as a designer take off.
2. Build your brand and market yourself
Freelancing is quite a competitive landscape. To survive there, you constantly need to make your presence felt. You need to focus on branding through promotion of your skills, works, expertise and interest areas in different channels and platforms. Like a company, you need to reach to the target audience and inform them you do graphic designing. Branding and marketing can help awareness among clients, thereby improving your chances of bagging designing projects on a regular basis. You can leverage social networks and market your designing credentials to more prospects in low cost.
3. Pitch your design rates and work schedule to the client
After you have bagged a design project, the next important aspect is to sit down with the client for a discussion and pitch your design rates, work schedule and other work-related things. Whether online or in-person conversation, the talk should focus on meeting the client’s expectations through use of skills, resources and tools at your end. When you sit to pitch your work, it’s also the time to negotiate, discuss fees, work schedule, create process and client involvement in different stages and so on. Once clarity is achieved on all aspects, you can go about formulating an agreement for the work.
4. Follow the professional ethics with your work
Freelancing does not mean adopting a casual approach to work. There has to be all professional ethics and rules in place when you work as a freelance designer. Look, clients want due respect and all procedural norms with their projects if on freelance basis. So, it’s always better to sign a contract with the client before starting the work and have everything clearly mentioned, like nature of work, payment mode, date of delivery and so on. This will help both the parties – you and client – to approach the work with due professionalism and ethics.
5. Keep projects organized and on-time
Clients want their projects to progress smoothly in an organized manner and with proper professional rules. They just can’t comprise with two things – quality and time. Project delays are often a major factor in diluting the trust between freelancers and clients, so, you better give focus to this all-important aspect. There are so many free management tools which you can use and keep the project organized, break tasks into smaller units and approach the work in a more professional manner.
6. Keep clients involved at every step of the way
Good and professional freelancers never make the mistake of keeping away clients from different steps in the project. They would keep them in the loop, from the start to finish, will send detailed reports and have them involved in every creative aspect. This is how a top web designing company wins trust of their clients, not only by delivering quality works but also by keeping the client abreast with work at different stages of the way.