Can I Work as an Independent Contractor With My Graphic Design Degree?

Working as a graphic independent designer can be tremendously rewarding, but many people aren’t sure how to enter the field. Fortunately, there are numerous opportunities available, but competing can be a challenge for recent graduates. While the road may be challenging, those who work the right way will see results. Here are a few tips for freelancing with a graphic design degree.

Build a Portfolio

Those who hire you will be placing a tremendous amount of trust in you, so you’ll need to convince them that you’re a smart hire. Doing so requires having a strong portfolio. You’ll want a fairly large portfolio, but favor quality over quantity. Even a single poor design can be enough to cause a potential client to look elsewhere. Make sure the website that holds your portfolio looks attractive as well.

Learn about Marketing

Working as a graphic independent designer requires that potential clients know about you, so you’ll need to ensure that your marketing efforts are sufficient. Start with a website, and make it as attractive as possible; a simple blog theme won’t be enough to impress visitors. Offline marketing can help as well, so go to industry events and other events designed to bring business owners together. Networking is an essential skill for freelancers, so spend a few evening per month meeting people who might be able to connect you with clients in the future.

Consider Working with a Developer

These days, most clients want some sort of interactivity on their websites, and they often contact developers first. By finding a developer and offering to provide graphic design services, you can increase the amount of work you’ll receive. Most developers are poor graphic designers, and those working as a graphic independent designer may find that teamwork is the best way to generate more interest.

Stay Current

One mistake many independent graphic designers make is failing to stay current with recent trends in graphic design. When at a typical job, staying current is a bit easier since you’ll be working with other employees; when working independently, staying current will require a bit more time. Fortunately, there are a number of great sites that cover recent design trends, and they can help ensure that the services you offer are never out of date.

Learn What Programming can Do

As a graphic designer, you’ll might spend little to no time doing any coding. However, by following news about web development, you can work with developers to determine the best way to incorporate your designs. When working with clients, you can tell them about new ways to redesign their websites, and you may be able to land bigger contracts for ambitious website redesigns.

Working as a graphic independent designer can be challenging, and you’ll need to ensure that you’re doing all you can to keep business steady. Fortunately, many website operators seek to find graphic designers they like instead of relying on developers, so those who spend time building their portfolios and marketing their services can create a profitable niche.

For more information on job opportunities, please see “Graphic Design Careers and Jobs“.

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