The world of freelancing can be a tricky one to navigate, especially if you are new to it, but there are a few tricks of the trade that can help you not only find your way, but define it in a way that suits you. Here are a few top tips for working as a freelance designer:
Know Your Value
Arguably the most important part of making a living as a freelancer is understanding what kind of living you can rightly make with the talents you have at your disposal.
Go in too high and you’ll price yourself out of the market. Go in too low and you’ll do yourself out of work and, of course, precious money.
The rates you set yourself can be based on a number of factors. Your level of experience is obviously key, but it isn’t the sole factor that many seem to think it is. What’s been more important in my experience is knowing confidently how much value you can bring to a client on any given project.
Great confidence coupled with great experience is a deadly combination. It means you can win the projects you deserve to win and walk away from the projects you deserve more money for if your client isn’t willing to pay you properly.
Stay Humble and Honest
To that end, a crucial code of conduct for good designer is to stay grounded when it comes to rates. Unrealistic demands stick out like a sore thumb, so with knowing your value comes maintaining honesty and modesty.
People buy people, after all, so it literally doesn’t pay to be cocky and argue that you are worth a great deal more than the budget on the table. This is where respect comes into the game; treat your clients with respect and you’ll get the same in return.
Be Curious and Continue to Learn
In line with the modesty mentioned above, it is very important to be open and willing to learn at every step of a design journey. Being open to criticism is a great trait for any designer to have, since it shows a willingness to get it exactly right for a client. What’s more, it’ll help you grow as a designer, too.
Research will also help you develop. Read about the mistakes that other designers have made. Read about the challenges and successes that other designers have had. Listen to design podcasts, watch design videos — the more you immerse yourself in the world of design, the more likely you are to become a key player in it.