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How to Become Freelance Designer

How to Become Freelance Designer

Edited By Team Careers360 | Updated on Mar 06, 2024 03:39 PM IST

Working full-time sitting on a desk, reporting to the workplace sharp at 9am is not the part of everyone’s dream job. There are few people who do not prefer to work 9 am to 5 pm. Freelancing is gaining popularity over the last few years. It might not be easy to work as a freelancer but it is worth the effort. The work of a Freelance Designer may seem like being your own boss at work. But, it is a lot more, including determining your own schedule to work on projects you care about. Having an educational background in designing is a must to kickstart a career as Freelance Designer.

How to Become Freelance Designer
How to Become Freelance Designer

How to Become a Freelance Designer

If you are searching for how to become a Freelance Designer, then you are at the right place. We have a complete guide for you to become a Freelance Designer. So scroll and keep reading the step by step guide to learn how to become a Freelance Designer to start your journey as a Freelance Designer in the world of work.

Find your First Clients

Are you searching for how to start freelance design career. Well, there is no rocket science involved in it. The first step is to find your first client. Not having clients means not having a business and without a business you can-not make it as a Freelance Designer. Designing may only turn out to be a hobby without a business. Gaining first freelance graphic design clients provide individuals with confidence, momentum and traction to become a freelance designer. There are a number of ways to become a freelance designer and to find your first clients.

Move to Freelance Job Sites

There are a number of freelance job sites where you find numerous opportunities for freelance designing work. Some of the quite popular Freelance sites are Fiverr and Upwork. Investing some time at SolidGigs may help you earn some good clients.

Build a Personal Network

If you have worked for a long time on a desk job or you have been a student for years. Then you must have built a good personal network. Instead of blasting social media posts, you may reach out to your friends and relatives who might need a freelance graphic designer.

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Market Yourself with an Identity

If you are thinking of how to start a freelance design business after getting a few client leads. Then, the next major step is building your own brand to get identified. The other elements to becoming a freelance Graphic Designer are: Once you get a few client leads, you may think about other elements to expand your network and market your work. Mostly argue that freelancing is a one person business, so you should use your name as the company name. But, if you are thinking of expanding your freelance business, then you should come up with some interesting design business names.

Build a Portfolio

There are a number of freelance graphic designers who resist marketing their business. They do it because they have not finished their portfolio yet. You need to build a minimum viable freelance portfolio. You may showcase your best works in the portfolio and encourage visitors to hire you.

Deliver Overwork to first Clients

To build a strong network, you need to make your clients happy with your work. It literally does not matter from where you got your first clients through your personal network or from a freelancing website. You have to make your first clients satisfied with the work you delivered. Even if it takes too much work on the project, you have to make it. It will increase your chances to get word of mouth about you that will further increase your network and get you more work.

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Master the art of Paperwork

Being a Freelance Designer is not always about building a network and creative work. You need to learn about the paperwork too. It includes writing invoices, sending proposals to clients and working with contracts as well. While getting started you can give it a start with Google Docs or similar to documentation. A freelancer invoicing software makes it quite easier. Freshbooks, Quickbooks or Honeybooks are also some websites for creating paid invoices. It follows up with the clients who failed to pay at time.

Don’t Hurry in Flurry

You might have been searching for how to become a freelance designer for a long time. Several expert designers might have told you that becoming a freelance designer means never compromise and be picky about the clients you want to work with. But it does not help each time. This advice is for those who have years of experience in freelance designing. But, if you are starting out in freelancing then you should not be so picky.

Focus on Building Network

You need to focus on building your network to find clients. You may utilise your current network to get the new work. Tap into your personal network to find clients. Once you have utilsed your current network, however, you’ll find you need to grow that network in order to continue to find new work. A Freelance Designer has to learn to work with people, meet new people and provide value to people. To make new clients, you might need to dedicate a number of hours each week to reach out to potential clients through cold-emailing, networking or SEO. Solid Gigs or Google Alerts may help you to automate client finding activities.

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Collect Payments on Time

The most critical task while learning how to become a freelance designer is to collect payments on-time. Being a freelance designer, you must not hesitate to ask for payment from your clients. Several newbies may find it quite embarrassing or awkward to ask for their payments from clients. Getting paid is just part of the business. There are several tools such as Freshbooks that not only sends invoices but also collects payments. It reminds clients about their due invoices and when they forget to pay. It takes details of credit cards right on the invoice itself.

Get Referrals

The happiest moment in a Freelance Designer’s life is to get their businesses through word-of-mouth marketing. You do not need to invest a penny on expensive ad campaigns. It is just your happy clients overwhelmed with the work you delivered to them that start speaking about you in their network. Hence, you get more referrals and more business without any constant cold outreach.


If you are thinking of transforming or evolving your design career from a 9 am to 5 pm full-time job to a freelancing gig, then all you need to do is networking and marketing your skills through a portfolio of your best works. Remember over delivering to your first clients can help you earn referrals that generate more businesses that constant cold outreach.


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