1. Define Your Business and Niche
One of the first steps is to define your business and what it will look like. Think about:
- Project size
- Perfect niche.
For example, are you going to take on small or big projects, are you going to focus more on a more specialized market or a more general one?
Do you want to work with established businesses, individual clients, or startups? The list goes on, but you get the picture.
Giving serious thought to these things will help you enormously because it will enable you to narrow your focus.
Furthermore, by narrowing your focus, you will get a much clearer picture of your ideal client and how to reach them.
Do your homework and check the market. And brainstorm. You’ll need a lot of brainstorming till you hit the jackpot.
And although you can brainstorm by penning down ideas on a piece of paper, a more organized and “editable” way is to use software with an infinite canvas feature.
It means you have limitless space for all your ideas and thoughts. Furthermore, this feature also comes in handy for later stages of your business planning:
- Organizing marketing material
- Doing strategy planning
- Working on your brand identity and logos, etc.
There isn’t anything wrong with doodling, but having all your ideas in one place helps you stay focused and more organized.
Let’s see what the next step should be.
2. Find First Clients
Does this come as a surprise to you? That this step comes so soon?
You’re probably thinking that you’re not ready yet, that you don’t have a portfolio or any project down the road.
You’re not the first one to think like that since many freelance graphic designers first think about the business name, logo, brand colors, etc.
We’re not saying you can’t do it like that, but frankly, it is a waste of time to do this first.
What you need are clients to launch your business and build your portfolio. This will create momentum and traction.
What’s more, it will trigger self-confidence, and that’s just what you need to develop further.
You can find your first clients in many ways, but the following two might be the quickest:
- Tap into your personal network. Send customized outreach emails and ask your network to spread the word a bit.
- Check freelance job websites - They provide a great pool of jobs and projects to help you get started. Try Fiverr or Upwork, for example. Another option is to register at companies like Anomadic, which connects you with possible clients.
Regardless of which method you choose, it would be best to get clients first before taking any further steps down your freelance road.
3. Define Your Brand
Once you get a clearer picture of your ideal client and niche and have some clients in the pipeline, it’s time to get down to thinking about your brand identity and logo.
Here, the crucial thing is to think about what kind of message you want to convey to your future clients.
Now it’s the best moment to think about brand colors, your logo, and how they’ll reflect your business.
You should stay consistent across all the social media platforms and all of your marketing campaigns.
You will probably spend a lot of time on this, but the good news is that with many graphic design tools, like Glorify, for example, you can speed up the designing process.
You can use a cool Brand Kit feature which helps you centralize all of your brand assets and store them in one place.
This way, you can create your brand’s color palettes, logos, text fonts, and brand templates in a few clicks.
And the best thing is you can access and edit them at any time.
If you are just getting started and need some inspiration to get the creative juices flowing, this read will surely help.
Our next stop is building your portfolio.
4. Create a Minimum Viable Portfolio
Most freelancers who are just starting or have only a few projects down the road tend to think they aren’t ready to market or promote themselves.
This is actually not true - Just because your portfolio isn’t thick, it doesn’t mean you have nothing to show.
A great way to do a bit of self-promotion and acknowledge the work you’ve done so far is to build a minimum viable portfolio.
It probably sounds more complicated than you may think. In a nutshell, it is a portfolio that showcases and highlights your best work and attracts potential customers.
And yes, don’t feel intimated if it’s just a one-pager. As long as it brings value and shows your skills, it is ok.
If you’ve done previous steps, the time has finally come to make yourself more visible on social media.
5. Use Social Media
Tapping into your personal network is great for starters. However, you will need to expand your line of business, make new contacts and create new opportunities.
Nowadays, one of the best ways to be seen is to utilize the power of social media.
Although you may feel tempted to be on every social media channel, don’t be hasty.
It’s much better to focus on channels where you know your audience is. This is why it is so important to know your niche.
If you know your niche, you know where to find them. Moreover, you’ll know what will work for them.
Creating posts to raise your brand identity and visibility is a creative process, but having to manually resize every post for a different platform can be a nuisance.
Luckily for you, there are options that can automate that process.
For example, if you look at Glorify’s Template Library, you will find a Bundle option.
How is this helpful for you? By choosing a template you can fully customize and edit, you will automatically get it in formats suitable for other social media channels.
Furthermore, bundles are a great marketing aid for your email campaigns, paid ads, thank-you notes, etc.
Being a graphic designer, you probably like starting from scratch and unleashing all your creativity, but there is nothing wrong with saving tons of time and doing a few quick edits.
Especially when you have fully customizable templates. There is a lot of room for creativity there.
6. Miscellaneous Requirements
There are, of course, other things to consider when you think about how to start freelance graphic design.
Still, they fall under administrative, legal and taxation scopes, which aren’t our expertise.
As a general rule of thumb, make sure you thoroughly check all the laws and regulations of a specific country to avoid unpleasant surprises.
So let’s wrap things up!
Wrapping It Up
Developing your freelance graphic design business will take time. It will take lots of effort and sacrifice.
However, if you follow the steps we’ve described, the whole process should go much smoother.
And what else can make your freelance journey much smoother? A robust graphic design tool.
A tool that will cover many aspects of your business, starting from its very core, such as designing product images and, over photo-editing tools, to marketing efforts.
Such a tool is Glorify.
Glorify is a graphic design tool that helps you create stunning visuals for your business needs in a matter of minutes. You can:
- Create product images and mockups
- Brainstorm and ideate on infinite canvases
- Do advanced photo-editing
- Do marketing campaigns
- And many more.
Having an intuitive dashboard with all functions at your fingertips, Glorify cuts the time you’d otherwise spend on ironing out all the little design imperfections and technical details.
For you, as a graphic designer, spending less time on creating designs without compromising quality is crucial.
Therefore, you can take on more projects without feeling pressured to meet deadlines.
Glorify’s evergrowing Template Gallery with fully-customizable templates is also a great time-saver with no restraints to your creativity.
As a freelance graphic designer just starting their entrepreneurial journey, you need to find solutions that will save your time while boosting your marketing efforts and the quality of your designs.
That is why Glorify would be an excellent choice for you.
Start your freelance journey with Glorify so you can be one step closer to all the perks that freelance brings.