How to Land Your First Gig as a Freelance Graphic Designer
When it comes to landing a freelance gig, there are a lot of job opportunities waiting to be discovered, if you know where to look. So, if you want to earn some cash and grow your freelance customer base, we have prepared several ways to help you discover your work opportunities. But, before we do that, you need to have a couple of things set up before you start looking for a job.
Always have in mind that the beginning is the hardest part, so do not allow yourself to give up, because once you prove yourself to several clients, you will be in a position where you will turn down work and increase your rates higher than you have ever imagined. So, let’s see how you can land your first gig as a freelance graphic designer.
An Online Portfolio
If you consider yourself a graphic designer, but you do not own your personal website and an online portfolio, you might need to re-examine yourself. This is your first step, because you cannot expect to land a gig by referring them to the sites you have worked on; the crown jewel is your portfolio, which needs to be your personal website. You need to prove yourself as a professional in order to be taken seriously. So, your portfolio is your creed.
Once you have created your portfolio, share and link it everywhere, even if does not seem relevant at times. You can also sign up for sites like Behance and Dribble, because they have good SEO and they show up in top results on Google search. This is a good way for people to see your designs and perhaps refer back to you. Do not just wait for people to come to you; place your work everywhere so that you get noticed! You need to put in some serious energy into securing your first gig, and then, the rest will come naturally.
Job Marketplaces for Freelancers
Upwork is a marketplace especially designed to connect clients with freelancers. So, create a profile, upload your website or portfolio and start bidding on contracts. You will encounter a high number of bids and you will notice that they charge less than you would, because many of them live in countries where living expenses are far lower. Don’t be discouraged, because employers do not want to waste their time; they always choose someone who is a professional and fluent in English. The time difference plays a part as well. But, most of all, they want quality.
If you are graphic designer who designs templates, not only are you going to earn money while you sleep, but you will also get excellent publicity. If people are buying your templates on various websites, they are actually seeing and using examples of your work. These people will likely ask you to design their website and offer you good money for it. Templates can even speed up your future work with clients, because you will have a base of already established designs to work from.
Networking and Word Of Mouth
The best way to meet people and to find clients is to get out there; going to various social events – that’s the trick. People prefer to hire someone they already know, and not someone who spams their inbox with links. You do not only need to meet people that are in your industry; meeting all kinds of people is what will land you your first gig. So, go to any meetup that matches your interests and inform people about what you do.
Just remember, when starting out, it is not the end of the world to make some mistakes. It is better to do one thing wrong, and then learn from that mistake. You will actually learn a lot in this process, and who knows, you may stumble upon something that will work out beautifully in the end.