Start Your Journey as a Freelance Graphic Designer | Jason Miller | Skillshare

Start Your Journey as a Freelance Graphic Designer

Jason Miller, Freelance Graphic Designer

Start Your Journey as a Freelance Graphic Designer

Jason Miller, Freelance Graphic Designer

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10 Lessons (1h 8m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Which Route to Take?

    • 3. The Law of Attraction

    • 4. Principles of a Strong Portfolio

    • 5. Pricing

    • 6. Scoring the Right Clients

    • 7. Your Existing Network

    • 8. PItch and Win

    • 9. Business Tips

    • 10. Conclusion

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About This Class

This class covers the transition to setting yourself up as a professional freelance graphic designer; How will you find the right clients? How will they find you? How should you build your portfolio? Everyone has to start somewhere, and rather than feel like you are ‘jumping in the deep end’ with no idea which direction to head - this class will help remove the guesswork. You’ll soon be planning your own route to success via some of the following steps;

  • Creating an action plan and goals with realistic expectations
  • Niché down and decide what to specialise in
  • Finding effective ways to add the RIGHT type of project to your portfolio
  • Get the most out of your existing network
  • How to structure your pricing
  • How to pitch and win
  • Freelancing business best practice

This class is for anyone looking to go freelance, from recent graduates and self-taught graphic designers to those already working for an agency or business who are thinking about freelancing. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Jason Miller

Freelance Graphic Designer


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Hi I’m Jason Miller – a freelance Graphic Designer based in London.

I specialize in brand identity design, luxury brands in particular - but throw in a pinch of frontend web design for good measure.

MY GOAL ON SKILLSHARE: It's too late for me to travel back in time, and tell myself what works, what doesn't - how to streamline things, how to attract the right clients, how to scale the design process to a level that's viable for a freelancer... But I can share these insights with you!

There are some incredible, high profile designers already providing great tips and tricks at the Agency scale - but I feel there is still a need for this same advice at the freelancer level, and th... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Jason Miller. I'm a freelance graphic designer based in London. I specialize in brand identity design. Andi, I throw in just a pinch of front end Web design for good measure. Have a particular focus on luxury brands. Andi, I really enjoy what I do. This class is designed to help anyone looking to start virgin as a freelance designer. So whichever route you've taken up until now, perhaps you've come from working as an in house design. Maybe you've worked in an agency. Perhaps you just finished a course at college or university. Maybe you've self taught yourself graphic design or whichever route you've taken until now . Really, this course is designed to help you start your freelance career successful. This video is designed to answer some of the questions that just believing in yourself isn't going. You do need self belief, but you're likely have questions that have very specific fancies but will save you a lot of trouble. Questions like how do you find the right client or how they were right. Clients come across your work when you're building your portfolio, Do you could in your portfolio How do you build a strong should you specialize, do down and if so, to what extent? How do you get those 1st 2 place in your portfolio? Another question many designers have. Do I have to start out at an agency or as an in house designer, or can I start as a freelance is straight out of the gates. So I've been tree Lansing successfully for some time. I love what I do. I think most of my clients like my work on. Most importantly, I'm paying the bills that my business is running smooth. Hopefully, this class will prepare you give you some actionable practical advice that you can start implementing. Now the class project will be a little bit of the show and tell. So please use that as an opportunity to network to get some constructive feedback on your work. So I look forward to helping you plan for free long 2. Which Route to Take? : So which route should you take? It really? That's a personal decision, and it's different for each designer. Robin tell you which route to take eso, whether you had to a design agency to start out at work in house or start straight off a za freelance designer. Let's consider some of the principles, the pros and cons of each approach, and then you're in a position to make an informed decision yourself. So let's go through these together that, first of all, an in house designer. So an in house designer is working for usually a single brand as part of a design team, depending on the size of a brand that you can imagine, a company like Uber or Google are gonna have a massive in house team. But, of course, you're working on just that one brand identity, so you're always going to be within the same confines on boundaries. Even if you were part of the identity design team, you're going to get great experience for that specific industry or even niche. But sometimes be extent of your experience will be limited. Eso just a weapon few of a specific pros and cons, so starting with the pros and in House Designer has the opportunity to get great experience on really get to know a particular industry very well, so you might find you become a specialist. If you worked, for example, in a particular corporate sector as an in house designer, you'd find future work within next sector much easier to obtain because you know the industry inside out another advantage you're going. Teoh usually have access to a wider range of tasks, so you'd be working for the one brand. But you may be called upon to do some fairly diverse work. If you're working on the branding, and that's likely to be larger in scope, then if you were at working at an agency, another advantage is was usually opportunity in house to branch out. So if you worked in a particular field on do you wanted to branch out to learn something slightly different that there's usually more flexibility to do that in house. You can add to your skill set and perhaps expand your discipline on the last advantage. You're getting to know that specific industry very well. So what are some of the disadvantages of working as an in house designer. Well, because you're working for just for one brand, you're usually going to be limited toe working with a set brand identity with boundaries and rules, so you're not going to have the same creative freedom you would on agency or is a freelance designer. Another disadvantage. If you're working at a smaller in house company, the team is likely to be smaller, so that means less networking opportunities with other designers on. One last disadvantage on this isn't true of all in house design roles. But if your in house at a smaller company or brand, you might stunt your ideas generation. If you're constantly designing things with the same colors, the same fonts, you're not going to be as well prepared to freelance on come up with solutions for different brands. Each project now again, that's to be taken with a pinch of salt. Some in house roles really do afford you a great deal of freedom, and there's a lot of versatility there. But for the most part, if you're working as an in house designer, you're going to have less exposure to different identities, different styles. So one of some of the advantages of working with an agency. If you go down that route well, usually there's a great variety of projects, different brands, different styles that you'll get to work on. Eso is really good. Teoh jump into a project, get to grips with her brand, create deliverables for that brand, and then you'll move on to another project, usually from week to week. You may jump between a few projects, so that's very similar to the kind of work flow you might have as a freelance designer. So in that sense, working an agency is good preparation for freelancing, another advantage of working an agency. You're often presented very quickly with new challenges. So as part of your team that you might be assigned to work on something you could in no way complete yourself. But you learn from other members of the team. It's a great way to get experience to increase your skill level. Another advantage of working an agency is your working alongside lots of fellow creatives, so you're gonna be networking the whole time. You may be building friendships and relationships, but I'm gonna help you later on in your design career and the last advantage. There are some real similarities to working as a freelance designer because an agency is not working for just one brand that you're taking on different clients each month and that you often having to jump between projects. So that's really good experience, because freelancing at likely you'll be doing something similar. You may work on just one big project for a number of months, but likely you may be taking on a few projects at a time. And at an agency you're really going to learn Teoh, manage and juggle a number off overlapping projects. So that's good experience. Lastly, what? Avi pros and cons or freelancing straight out of the gate? Well, let's look at the pros first. Of course, you're going tohave more freedom. Eso freedom to choose the clients you work with. Freedom to choose when you get your work done. Freedom to choose how much work you take on. You'll be your own boss. Another great advantages. The flexibility this gives you eso. It's much more likely to fit in with your lifestyle on the lost advantage. But perhaps some of you this is a disadvantage is that you get to deal with your clients that directly so If you're a good communicator, you're going to enjoy that. You won't be going for an account handler. You get to really speak to and connect with your own clients, which means you build relationships and hopefully those clients will keep coming back to you in the future. Some of the disadvantages of working as a freelancer so pressure you're going to have to be your own boss. But that comes with responsibility. You've got to do the administration. You've got to be the account handler. You've got to be the social media marketer over rows of running. A business would now fall on your shoulders so some can handle that pressure comfortably. Others prefer to have someone else look after that, at least initially in their career. Another potential disadvantage is, of course, you have no fixed salary. Eso when projects come in, that's fantastic. Likely, you're going to earn more money than you would in house working an agency. But when you have quiet periods where there's another project, well, then you're not being paid for those periods. You're also not going to get holiday or sick pay, so that's a disadvantage to consider something else. I want to mention when you're starting out as a freelancer, and particularly if you decide to do this. Having just self taught or come out of college or university is the importance of honesty. So when you're meeting a client when they're weighing up what you're going to do for the minutes project, be honest about your abilities. Be honest about the time frame. I don't promise the world on. Disappoint your client. If you can't deliver. Clients will usually appreciate you being honest, just taking things slowly with him, listening to what they need and, honestly, appraising where you're able to help. Another question you may have as a freelancer is what to charge. You want to build your portfolio. You're probably not comfortable to charge what you'd like to charge when you've been doing this for five or six years, but you don't want to undervalue yourself evil, so we'll consider that in the future video. So which route should you take? If you're not ready to make that decision yet, please keep watching on hopefully by the end of this class, If you're not ready to start as a freelancer, you'll at least clearly see the route you need to take, and then you can set some goals to get there. But if you are ready to start now, then let's jump into the next video. 3. The Law of Attraction: So what is the law of attraction? Well, simply put, it's the idea that in order to sell something that you have to first show it. So what kind of work would you like to do in the future? Do you have a particular style of design? If someone hired you to do a design job, what would you want it to be? What kind of style would you want It tohave. Do you want to be hired to work on luxury brands? Would you prefer to work on? Brands? Are a little more art in crafty? Well, it's good to analyze this. Align your portfolio toe. What you're hoping to do in future on by doing that kind of work you're putting out there is going to attract the same. So first of all. And even if you have not really started doing this yet, as a freelance, especially initially, you might have to be prepared to be quite versatile in the roles you carry out for projects , particularly if you're looking after a client, you really want to be out to look after as many of their needs as possible. But in a sense of what you put in your portfolio. You want that to hint that you have a specialization. And to be honest, you want to develop a specialization in the future. So, for example, is it likely a corporate firm of solicitors who want new brand identity are going to come to you if they see that in your portfolio? You've done some really impressive work, but it's been art in crafty. It's been for local market stores, or it's been for bohemian coffee shops. It's got a very relaxed, funky vibe, but it would be completely wrong for the corporate sector if they look in your portfolio and all they see ever is armed. Force off the arty stuff. It's unlikely ever been going to hire you to work on a corporate project so over over some flexibility with that, you'll find you're going to again attract what you're showing. So if you're hoping to score corporate jobs been try to align your portfolio in a wave. It that's what you're showing. So to give you some examples of different styles, and this may well be the way the mind of a client thinks. If they're looking at examples of your work, um, perhaps they see it as being luxurious. Maybe they see it being urban gritty. Maybe it has a kind of high tech vibe to it. Maybe it looks bohemian, crafty. These are examples of a way that clients may think when they look at your portfolio. So try to come up some categories yourself. And we're going to look at this in a later video. How we can apply this when we're building your portfolio. So in order to do this successfully that you need to decide which kind of clients would I like to work with Now? You can't be too specific If you say I only want to work with solicitors, you may be missing out on a lot of business, but if you say I'd like to work with corporate firms in the professional sectors eso, medical companies, legal companies, then you're opening yourself up to a broader category. But they have a certain look and feel that's in common. Eso I think of what categories off business you may want to work in. I chose early on to work with photographers on fellow creatives, so I found photographers Ah, great type of company toe work with. They often really appreciate creativity. There's a relaxed feel to their brands, but some of them wanted quite ah, high end luxurious vibe to their work. So, if possible, try to decide that which kind of clients would benefit best from the style that feels natural to you. If you worked on a few different projects and you feel you really naturally lean towards doing very nice, crisp, clean corporate identity projects, then think of the clients that would benefit from that natural style you have now again, you've got to be versatile, is a designer. You can't say I only work in luxury and there's no other type of design I can do. But as a freelancer, looking at what kind of work we're attracting to ourselves is good to pick something into, specialize and become really good at that. So as a rule of fun, I think narrow focus as far as you there, and some have done this with great success. I know of designers who have literally picked a specific type of business toe work with, and they worked with just those companies. But they've become known as the go to designer in the industry, so be careful initially. Don't never, ever focus too much, but you might benefit from really highlighting yourself with someone who specializes. So I thought it might be helpful to see how I've tried to do this myself. Right now, I'm not claiming to have made for perfect balance, but hopefully, if we look through my portfolio on the kind of message the style life tried to put out there, you can judge for yourself how narrow I've made that focus. So as mentioned, I thought it might be helpful just to have a look through my own website. In a way, I've put this in place. So looking at my portfolio page, you'll notice these aren't exactly the same type of businesses. We've got a mixture of different brands here. We've got photographers, event companies, a corporate company. Ah, very high end luxury brand. But what hopefully ties these brands together? It's the effect of every will high end and as we now flip through the different categories , the brand identity, hopefully you see similarities in the style. So it's all high end. Whichever business it is, it has a luxury minimalist feel. Eso you don't have to show only photographers or only corporate companies. But I've chosen to show only those businesses on this portfolio of a tie in with the look and feel I'm trying to achieve. I tried to get the balance right between showing that I have a specialization as showing there's a kind of consistent style to my work. So if clients come to me, they know what to expect. I know what they're looking for, but I've also tried not to alienate anyone specifically. 4. Principles of a Strong Portfolio: Okay, So what are the principles behind a strong portfolio? Well, really, this video follows on from some of the principles we just considered in the video law of attraction. So, really, as a client, browsers, you will work whether they recognize it. Consciously or not, they usually have a mental checklist we're going through. So they want to see examples that come as close as possible to the end outcome they're hoping for. Some clients don't know what they want, but usually at least in a broad sense, someone will look for your portfolio. And if you have an example that they feel they'd be happy for you to present them, then they're going to feel confident working with you. So in this class, we're going to try to get into your client's head to anticipate some of the forts and feelings they might have. And then we'll carefully designed your portfolio to reassure them as they look through. So before they even contact you, they're going to feel very in safe hands just from looking for your work. It's worth noting that this is very different to the strategy a design agency that may use . They have broad teams made up of different individuals, so they may not want Teoh specifically align themselves to a particular style or sector. Some of them do. But as a freelancer, really, you want to put a bit of individuality out there. You want to be versatile, but you want to reassure particular kind of client. You can do a great job, Robin Broadly. Make ah wider number of businesses Think you might be able to do a good job so best to really impress a smaller group than not really hit the target with a larger group. So, if possible from this lesson onwards, try to share in the class project. So as we're going through these points, use it if possible, to update your own portfolio, please share it with the class in the section below. And let's make this a bit of a show until it's a comment on its Travis portfolios. I'll try to comment if possible, and hopefully between following some of the ideas in this class and getting feedback from others that we can really strengthen on level up your portfolio. So please download if possible, a word document I've made as a resource. That's a please download a copy of that will just create your own from what we're discussing, Andi, hopefully what you're going to end up with is a checklist you can run through as you are analyzing your portfolio. Now, this won't be the same for all of us. We're gonna ask you to Really? Taylor, vis to the kind of client you want to attract. Okay, so once you've downloaded the checklist, please resume for video on demand letters. The first question on the checklist is, What style are my clients looking for? So again, we mentioned this briefly in a previous video. But in a general sense do you want to attract clients who were looking for luxury branding or something a little more economical? Um, does it align itself to a bohemian look or a very corporate look? Try to categorize without being too specific just for general feeling off your work. So you'll see once you've chosen the style of your work, we've got a score for each of these questions. Eso Once you've decided on that, look for your portfolio. Eso, for example, with mine. If I've got lots of luxury projects shown and then there's one of them for a brand who really wanted to attract a budget conscious customer that's probably going to lower the score of my portfolio. And it would raise alarm bells in the head of a client who's just wanting toe. Have a luxury brand developed eso next? What industry or sector are your target clients in So again, is it industrial construction companies, perhaps corporate and professional sectors, creative companies, photographers, artisans? Or perhaps it's fashion, food and beverage. Whichever industry categories try to specify and see if you can align your portfolio to those general industries. So now another important factor at what scale of business are you hoping to work with? Because it's quite unlikely if you're hoping to work with large multinational companies on do your portfolio show small local businesses, but you're going Teoh reassure on score those big companies. By the same token, if you're hoping to work with small local businesses and you go to your local greengrocers and you show them a portfolio where you've worked for big name brands, you're probably going to scare them away. They may assume you're not the right fit for them, even if you were willing to price yourself fairly. So try to determine the size again in fairly general terms. Small businesses, sole traders, medium size businesses and then the larger enterprises. So now some more general questions on we'll start with should be an obvious one. Is face my best work now? I say it should be obvious. Sometimes it's not. It's better not to put something in your portfolio just to take a particular box dentition of a bad example. So ask yourself, Would I be proud to present this to a future client if this was a product I just completed with the client? Be happy if this was a result. Now, if you feel you could do better or this isn't your strongest work, just leave it out less is more another piece of general advice for your portfolio. Don't just show the end result. Make sure the end result is featured, and that's what you see first. But if possible, explained the brief, go into a little bit behind the scenes, and if someone looks a little deeper, get let them get a sense of your process at what led you to make these design decisions. And for some clients, that's really important, and there may actually hire you on the basis off liking your process. The fact they can understand the way you're thinking as well as the end project on then lastly and again, perhaps this should be an obvious question. But would you want to work for a similar client in the future? You hated working on you didn't enjoy. You'd never want to work for that kind of company again. Then why show it in your portfolio? You may attract more of the same. So try to show examples of work that you enjoy doing or that you'd be happy to do in future . So please go through the checklist, score your portfolio, perhaps give it marks out of 10 and see. Are there changes you can make to your portfolio to give a higher score? Onda, You contest this and I'm sure you're going to find the higher score. You give your portfolio with that checklist of a better the results you're going to see because this is very close to the way clients think, particularly those 1st 4 points. So mainly clients are looking for similarities. They want to see things with signal. You're going to be a tow handle their projects. They able to find what they're looking for just through browsing your portfolio. So the 1st 4 points on that checklist Voser things a client, usually subliminal lead notices on the last few points were those of things you've got. Teoh. Analyze yourself in summary. A portfolio is only a strong as the weakest item you show. Often, what will stick in someone's mind is something that raises alarm bells as much as a piece. They really liked eso. If you think something's week, leave it out of your portfolio. So if in doubt, leave it out Now. Lastly, we'll just touch on this. How do you show your portfolio? So obviously, if you're able to create a simple website, that's gonna be mawr impressive, especially presenting yourself as a freelancer trying to come across as a professional business. See if you can put a simple website together. So maybe used a site like Squarespace, possibly even wicks on. You can actually put a very professional website together on Be Hans, so those are some options. Teoh create a professional looking portfolio, and that's sure to attract a better standard of work 5. Pricing: the case. So, pricing. How do you structure your prices? How should you charge? Should you chart a set price or hourly? Well, the answer depends on the situation. Sometimes you will want to charge an hourly rate, but one thing's for sure. You want to pay careful attention to your pricing. You want to have given us a lot of four. Calculated it carefully beforehand. Onda. As always, we're going to consider some principles, but will allow you to apply this to your specific situation on to your clients. So let's go over some of the principles together. Eso First of all, you need to be aware of your competition. What are others with a similar ability to you charging To do this? Now you can look around online, but I suggest not basing your prices solely on crowd sourcing sites, open job market sites, sites like Fiverr or people per hour, depending on the region of the world. That's going to give you a very mixed range of abilities on some lowering and lowering their prices just to beat the competition. So maybe look at local designers, those that live around you or those we're gonna have access to a similar market. As you maybe do some secret shopping, try to find out what they're charging on what clients are prepared to pay them. Then, of course, work out your own costs. So I don't just mean what you'd like to earn Parola. As a freelancer, you've got to take into account the overheads often office. If you have one equipment you might need to refresh each year software you need licenses for. There are numerous costs now associated with your business on. While the hourly rate can sound quite tempting at first that you really need to make sure that your accounting for those things you'll also want to make sure you're charging enough to give yourself holiday pay on a possibly sick pay over. Let's hope that's not necessary, so time is money. If you're charging a set price to do a task, you want to make sure you're fairly compensated for your time. So, of course, if you're doing something for the first time or you're less familiar with it, there's gonna be some leeway there. Perhaps you end up under charging for your job. We overcharged for some others, but in general, try to do your do your research. At least roughly estimate how long something will take you and make sure what you charge is going to be fair. Make sure you're you're not working for nothing. Eso. You'll also want to be prepared to give your clients and ball park figures. So if someone approaches you, they want you to design a poster for them or new logo brand identity. They're wants some idea of what this is going to cost and likely how long it's going to take eso again. Honesty is good if you're not 100% sure, Um, give him at least a fair estimate and say to them, depending on how long this process takes, it could be between this figure and that finger. But please be prepared to give him some ball park figures they'll want to know whether it's within their budget will not. And if they're prepared to pay you, if you simply say to someone I'm going to charge hourly. This is my hourly rate, and I think it should take around so many hours. But then it actually takes you twice that time you're gonna have a very unhappy client. So whichever way you decide to give them a rough estimate. Make sure if you are going to go over budget, you let him know as early as possible and give them choice. Make sure they can decide whether you spend a little longer. However, perhaps they they have less options created for them so that it stays within budget. So that's quite important to keep the client happy when they pay you that final balance on . Lastly, when do you charge hourly Wendy's George a set price? Well, that really depends. Personally. I like to charge a set price for something. I'm familiar with a larger project that the client would be very daunted, too. Have an open hourly rate and so funding a front end Web design projects, or perhaps from Tim Web design combined with brand identity. We could be talking a lot of money so a client will want to know I'm committing to do this at a certain price, and I'll detail how many revisions I'm going to include. How many concepts I'm going to create, and I put that in a contract. Eso both sides. No, what their investment is on. Hopefully you keep things on budget. If you're doing updates or small bits and pieces, then it's reasonable to charge an hourly rate. I would say anything you expect to take in a region off five hours or less. You can't always given at create a final figure. So for me, that's an occasion where I'll say to the client, This will take a few hours on. We agree an hourly rate so hopefully this gives you some ideas on. You can start calculating your own pricing structure. So while we're talking about pricing as something related to that is your workload now you've got to work out your pricing to cover your costs and expenses. Will you be able to freelance full time immediately? Well, maybe you can. It might be at first. You're only able to generate enough work to feel, let's say, two days a week. Well, if that's the case, my suggestion is try to find something else to support you. Don't raise your prices. So for that two days a week that you're charging enough to pay yourself five days a week, that's probably going to result in unhappy client on. You'll be overcharging. So instead, why not try to find something part time, if you can, in as closely related or business as possible. If you could find some other design venture part time, brilliant and then you're gaining experience and you're able to focus for that set period of time when you're freelance work and it gives you less stress, more flexibility of your pricing. So that's something I did. I worked for a photography agency for a number of years. I've got some really useful contacts that learned how to run a business. But it also gave me great freedom evenings, weekends and a few days a week to focus on my freelance projects. So we're for two Together. I was able to take that initial plunge into freelancing without the panic and the pressure off, earning a full time salary right off the bat. So hopefully you'll find something that works for you along those lines, as I say, if you could perhaps work part time for a design agency or an in house gig, perfect, even if it's slightly unrelated, try to make an industry sector that you'd like to work within. So it just says I did that with photography, and I now work branding and building websites for photographers. Perhaps you could work part time for solicitors if you wanted to work with corporate and legal firms. Or if you'd like to do design for food and beverage or retail, there's no shame in getting some experience in the industry, learning how it actually works. And then your design is going to be better in a long room. So that's a less glamorous reality off freelancing. But sometimes it is a hard reality. You can't always afford to freelance full time with nothing else to support you right from the get go. So do what it takes, but put your heart and soul into your work. Make sure your pricing fairly that you're being compensated when you are doing that design work on. Hopefully that gives you the template for future success. 6. Scoring the Right Clients: Okay, So how do you score for right clients? And let's consider some of a pre requisites to this stage. Eso If you've watched the previous videos, we've looked at how to identify the right client for you. Who is it you want to attract? What kind of projects do you want to work on in future? Ensuring that portfolio is going, Teoh reassure on really make that specific target clientele be attracted to you naturally, that the rule of attraction show the kind of work you want to attract more of in future on then. Lastly, we've just looked at pricing. So how to structure your pricing competitively. So once you have those things in place, how do you actually go out and start getting those clients? Well, you'll need an action plan to do that. So the key is you even want to know where to go to find those clients. Or you need to make sure, ideally, you've positioned your some self somewhere, but they're going to be looking eso What are some practical steps you can take on again principles to achieve us? It's the number one. Find out where your target audience will be looking So if you want to break into the construction industry that you're looking to do brand identity for construction firms, where do they look of every kind of people that will Google Online? Well, they look through Pinterest for ideas. Before they engaged a company to do their brand identity, Would they shop around on Instagram that the king at hashtag X Will they look through industry specific magazines? How, then do you get yourself visible at these places? Do you need to work on your social media presence? Make sure that your work appears for certain Hashtag X will possibly, and that's worked for some designers. If Air Google searches, can you do a paid AdWords campaign? What can you work on your S CEO to make sure that, if not nationwide's at least for a specific area, maybe your local area at you rank for logo design in construction for your town. So apply that prince support Teoh your target audience to your local area. Try to get yourself seen by the right people. It is much more effective to be found by those looking for you. Event is to approach or even cold call companies, but that is something you could do. So by all means try Tous up appointments. Look for companies that might need your surfaces on. Go for it, pitched to them, even give him a call. Pop in and visit them. Affair local. Sometimes you'd be surprised what taking the initiative can achieve. The next principle is that really you've got to be prepared to spend money to make money. Now it's true. You might end up using something like social media, which doesn't cost anything. If you're not doing PE, that's and that might snowball and work for you. Maybe you managed to get a name for yourself. In a certain industry, on git hasn't cost you a penny. That's excellent. But for most of us, we've got to be prepared to spend something that I have a marketing budget. So work out what you're prepared to spend, what kind of return you'd like for that and the wrath of and spend that entire budget in one big splash. Why not test small in that amounts that so large enough to see if it's worked or not, but small enough that you have not, you know, spent your whole budget for the year on one big idea. So, for example, that you could try some paid social media rights, try to learn that there are plenty of videos out there to show you how to target a specific audience and demographic. Eso put some money aside, spend that money on that marketing and see what the return is. If that works, see if you can do more of it until you reach the volume of what you're looking for. If it hasn't worked or even if it has, try something else. Try doing some Google AdWords marketing. Try doing some S CEO. You might even be able to do that to a certain extent by yourself. But try these different avenues of marketing, measure the results and start to build up this almost an index off what works for you. That means if you have a quiet period in future, you can go back to the index. Andi Well, if I spend this much money, I can expect more or less this kind of return for him. Unless you do that, Really, you're just gonna be hoping and praying each month that the work you need comes in on none of us really want to be in that position. So try to come up with some paid strategies, even if you eventually don't need them. It's really good to have him there under the desk to pull out when needed. Eso afeard principal off them before people actually look to hire someone to do a design job. They look for inspiration, and sometimes that's too vin instruct for designer. And often, if someone hires me to do a project, they send me a link to a Pinterest board they've created. So whose work or they pinning? Or sometimes, interestingly, it will be my own work. Sometimes they'll screenshot things from Instagram. Sometimes they're Google search. So again, look into this looking toe hash tags and keywords. And again, this is where it really benefits you to pick a specific target audience. Because then, for that specific niche on perhaps area, you can have a chance of getting your work out there getting it seen. So that's a fantastic position to be in. If someone thinks your work inspires when that may lead them to actually contact you toe work on their project, so see if it's possible to do that on Lastly, over. This is something that takes time to build momentum. Word of mouth is so powerful and reputation you really can't understate the importance of growing a reputation in your industry. So whichever area of graphic design you specialize in, even if you have quite versatile roles, you want to build relationships with people. Always leave a client with a good feeling. Try to leave him with a positive view of you, even if that means giving them a little extra going the extra mile for then that always pays off in a long room. I just try to genuinely care for people. Look after your clients and they'll usually look after year in return. The lever. Come back to you of repeat business, or they might recommend you to their friends. So, really, this should be an important part of your business. Marketing efforts. It's a passive part, and if you are doing your job the right way, naturally is going to have a snowball effect to really invest in your client's. Treat him well. Leave them feeling positive force about you, and they're going to come back and look after you. In the end. Eso word of mouth referrals. That's really life blood to a freelance designer, you want to grow your network off clients as's quickly as you can on. So speaking of networking, we're going to look at that specifically in the following video. You may be able to get more out of your existing network of a new realize. 7. Your Existing Network: So how do you get the most out of your existing network on? I stress the word existing because this isn't necessarily about new networking opportunities. There's probably networking opportunities that you can take advantage off right now. People you already know that a part of your life who could really help you of your freelance career. And sometimes it just requires thinking laterally. So who do you know that might be able to help you to get that next client or to have a very useful project in your portfolio? So, first of all, don't just think of creative, you know, if you know creatives by all means, reach out to them and maybe you can collaborate on a project will be introduced to a new client. But think of those who perhaps work in a new industry would like to break into. So again, in principle, this could apply to any industry. But if you wanted to work in the construction industry, you wanted to do maybe quite almost brutalised corporate style branding, and you thought the construction industry is right for me. But how do I break into this? Well, maybe you've got an uncool. Maybe you that has a friend in your personal network. Just ask your parents. Ask your siblings. Ask your uncle's. Ask your rants. Do you know someone in this industry? And the chances are you're going to get You're going to get some feedback from that. Now, when you find these connections and obviously the closer they are to you for better reach out to them on offer, maybe to do something, even at a reduced price or if you're really starting out, um, asked to do something. I love him to see if they like it will not Andi, you know you could do it pro bono if you have to. If you really think having this project is gonna be a centerpiece for your portfolio and it's gonna help you start to gain a presence designing for a particular industry. So that's a personal decision myself. I don't like to work for free, but if you really think this might help you to get a foothold and you're doing it to help out a friend or a friend of a friend, you know there's no shame in an offering to do something to help them out. So that's one way you might break in to an industry using your existing connections. If you're not already on social media, then it goes without saying Build your online presence. So try toe. Have accounts on over popular social media channels. Make sure you're on instagram post. Regularly engage with people. Um, just try to take advantage of every opportunity ever that's on Facebook, you know, engaging with friends. You went to school with old work colleagues. Just keep in touch with people. Let them see occasionally without bombarding them. Let them see posts. Let them see what you're working on. You'd be amazed. What can come of that? Just make people aware while respecting their privacy. Make from aware of what you're doing on perhaps your existing online network, you know, is going to help you. There's also some networking opportunities, but take a little bit off initiative. Eso, for example, local networking groups. Eso I've I've tried that. It was really good board a lot of business in. I didn't need to do it in the end, so I stopped now. But if you find a local business worst business networking group, that can be a great way not only to find new clients for yourself. You'd be amazed at the clients you might have access to that you share with other professionals. So by helping others by putting them in touch with people they can work with, they'll be looking for opportunities to pay you back. That's a very powerful kind of networking and also your clients if you're working on a design project for them and they need one of these other professionals, if you've done good networking, you're gonna be or to recommend them, someone to help. So you could recommend the copywriter. You can recommend an accountant that makes you seem more of a professional yourself by growing that network. Eso definitely consider doing some form off business. Networking industry shows could be another great way to network eso. That's not so much existing networking again. This is something proactive. But if you want to break into a specific sector considered going to trade shows for the industry, sometimes you can even pay to have a display stand. Andi picked your particular service to, but find out where people in the industry you want to be involved with, whether you go where they look for partners for business partners on. Try to get yourself air. One last suggestion. If you're someone that loves coffee like I do, don't just grab a coffee and leave a coffee shop. Bring your laptop with you. Sit there. Let others in the coffee shop kind of get to know your face. Let them see some of your work. You'd be amazed who might lean over to you and say, Oh, just notice what you're doing there. I actually need that or who you might get chatting to. Just try to be. Try to be friendly. Treat everyone. Azaz, I suppose A perspective client. Even if nothing comes of it, you'll feel better just being a sociable person on at best, you might pick up a client or two from doing that. 8. PItch and Win: so how to pitch and win eso. This isn't me giving you my advice as, ah, marketing expert or someone who's extremely good at pitching. This is coming from someone who felt very nervous to pitch the clients. At first I remember going to my first meetings and, you know, I was tense. I was uptight, but a few secrets help me. Some of these I learned early on, some of picked up over the years. But I want to share these with you, and hopefully it will help you to relax more. Pitching on definitely is gonna prove your chances of success. Eso first of all, when you go to pitch to a client, whether that's a face to face meeting or perhaps a sky poor in the initial phone call. Rather than worrying about getting the job, try to focus yourself on meeting the client's needs, like really understanding them. So listen actively, you know, repeat key things. They say back to them show that you're really engaged. You're really understanding what they're saying to you, and then that's going to lead you to naturally ask relevant questions. You're going to give yourself a better picture of what that client needs, how you can solve any problems they might have and how you can meet. Then I think naturally, if you feel someone really gets you, they hear what you're saying that they're coming back with intelligent comments, You begin to feel more confident they're going to be able to take care of things for you. If someone is just, you know, prepared a sales pitch and they're reeling at you what they're going to do for you and why you should hire them. To be honest, that doesn't inspire much confidence. And you wonder, you know, do they really care about me? Are you listening to me at this meeting? So for me, that's that key piece of advice. Listen to your clients when you go to the meeting, have the aim off saying, really that don't pitch to them. So the key to a perfect pitch is not to pitch it. It's to listen and just come back and respond to them. And if you do it the right way, it's gonna flow. Naturally, they all have questions. If you've listened, you're gonna be able to give them good answers. Another key, I think Teoh pitching successfully again. Honesty. So if there's something you're not sure, you can dio just say it beyond this say, Well, I'll do some research into that or I have a few ideas, but I'd really like to spend some time and come back to you. People will appreciate that if you try to black it. If you try to just spend them something come up with something clever on the spot, particularly if they know what they're talking about. They will realize what you've done. Andi, you've probably ruined the pitch. They're not going to trust you. It's honesty, very important part off pitching in lime of honesty. I think, as a rule of farm, I like to under promise and over deliver, so it doesn't mean play down what you're going to do for the client. But don't promise the world. And then you set your client's expectations so high that you know we're gonna be left potentially feeling short changed. If you can't follow through on on this grand picture you've painted instead, just promised them what they need, you know, promise within reason and then go the extra mile. When it comes to the project, impress win over deliver eso that communication is so so important listening to the client's needs. But of course, you will want to share something with so share relevant examples of your own work. Try to resist the temptation to just show them anything. Whatever you you have on hand, less is more. Show one Project one project. You really feel that client will appreciate that rather than show free projects that are maybe a little disjointed or not relevant that climb now, what if you don't have a project that you feel is the perfect fit for that client? What if this is a new client on a new industry, perhaps even a new style of design that you're sure you can do? Perhaps you've practiced and done it. But you want to do this for a paid client now? Well, find examples off similar projects that you haven't done. They claim they're yours. Show them to the client. Say I found these things online. I love them. I love her style. I love the vibe. I really want to do something similar. I want to add this to my portfolio. I'm confident I can do that for you again. Honesty is refreshing. If you pitch that way to recline, they're probably gonna want to give you that chance to add this piece you're desperate to add to your portfolio. You've got to balance that with, you know, not using the client as as a guinea pig. That's not going to inspire confidence in anyone. But if it's, ah, slight leap forward for you, it's something a little new. Just be honest about it. Show your enthusiasm on. The client will probably be happy to let you let you do that for them. On another important detail. Do your homework before the meeting. There's nothing worse than going to me. A client. Andi, Uh, you don't know the first thing about them. Their business. That would be a schoolboy error. Do your homework. Try to find out much about their business and industry as you can before you meet them without stalking them. Of course, on lastly, don't be afraid to discuss the terms of business. So you know creative ideas are one thing understanding their needs. But make sure you go over the terms. So if you're offering design revisions, set realistic expectations for them. How many revisions are you going to include in the quote you give them what would be the cost if they need some extra revisions or extra concepts where you have a contract with them, I hope you're gonna have a contract or at least terms and conditions eso made from away you'll be sending a contract across. Were you asked for a deposit? When will the balance be do discussed? These things don't be embarrassed about them. They're not gonna weaken your pitch, Actually going to make you seem more professional and inspire confidence in your climb. 9. Business Tips: so some essential best practice for running a business. Andi, if you're now freelancing, you haven't run a business before. Some of his ideas may be new to you. Whatever you do, don't skip this video. This is an important part of freelancing successfully. So you're now going to be the bookkeeper. We possibly accountant, the accounts handler of a marketing director, Theo Administrator. You're going toe. Wear many different hats in running your business and these are some practical tips. This It won't be an extensive guide on how to do these things. But here's some things to note down on a few tips that are gonna help you to do this professionally. So first of all contracts don't even for the small jobs. I think you know this means an extra step to booking the project in. Please, please make sure you draw up a contract. If you don't want to have a solicitor to do that, then at least find a template online and customize it. Just make sure you have something in writing of you and a client agree to. It's really important to do that, even from a legal standpoint. If you're contract gives transfer of copyright to the extent you're happy to give it to your client after a job. Without that, they could have trouble in future using the work you've designed for them. So you really need to get a contract in place. So perhaps at the same time is asking for the contract to be signed. You asked for some form of deposit or down payment on the project. Now I think that's perfectly reasonable. A something I've been doing for years now. I won't start a project unless it's for a very reputable, larger corporate firm without some kind of deposit. To me, it means you're sharing the risk. Even if a client has some reservations about they not met you before, this is your first project together. How do they know you'll give them what they want or you haven't met them? Eva. And you're about to spend a considerable amount of time. If it's a larger project trying to solve a design problem, Onda very for Judge in that particular case, you could do an amazing award winning job, and they could decide this isn't for me. Actually, I'd rather not pay you so contracts and taking a nonrefundable deposit will protect you from that, at least when you're partially covered for the time you'll spend. And again, if a client serious about working with you and respect you as a professional, this is something we should be prepared to do. So in terms of managing your workflow, I highly recommend using business management software, if you can. Now I found something called Light Blue. I managed to customize that, and it fits perfectly for my needs. As a designer that manages my workflow calendar. I can get contracts digitally signed. It comes across, is very professional. When a client is sent, items are generated by this has gotta chris professional edge to it. But also, it saved you so much time. Andi admin. So definitely look into that. Andi. Perhaps you can comment on share any business business management tools that you've used successfully over the years. So another tip eyes to manage your workload and your max workload. Now it's easy to feel, especially when you infuse. Yes, stick about starting out. You just want to take a much workers you can the phone rings and email comes in. Yes, yes, yes. Don't book too many projects you will burn out on. There's nothing worse than working through too many projects at once and feeling you're not able to give each project way deserves. Your clients are putting a lot of faith in you. A za professional. You've got to know what your limits are. Don't take on more than you can comfortably fit at any one time, even if that means potentially missing out on the project you'd like to have worked on. See if they're willing toe weight. Try to shuffle things around, but do set a cap. It's not professional to take on too much work on, then produce a substandard results. Another tip is to look into fonts on also stock images. So look into this. If you don't know this already, look at the way their license, your obligations as faras licensing, given on how you can get from license on behalf off a client and make the client aware of this before you start a project. If possible, make sure it's a part of your contract on that they're responsible for certain parts off a licensing. Now, if you don't do that, let's say you designed something that looks amazing you use a font lis included in the adobe. Sweet on you present this to your client, but they fought. They would be able to reproduce this themselves in future, and they suddenly realize they need a license that they don't have That's gonna make you look stupid to decline. It might make them angry. Ever wonder why you didn't make them aware of this before? And the same for stock images? You can't grab things off of Google that you need to license images professionally and make sure your clients are legally covered for any licenses they use. Attempt to build relationships with your clients. View that as an important part off your marketing. So sometimes it can feel our This isn't invoice herbal time. Well, it's important time. You've really got to be prepared to build riel human relationships. That's what's gonna keep clients coming back to you. That's what will move into, recommend you with confidence to their friends. Eso invest in it and put some time aside when you're working out your max workload. Put time aside each week for for talking to clients on the phone for meeting them. If they need to meet that you want to make sure you're available to do that on. Lastly, be generous with your time, by all means. But, you know, we're not talking about, you know, a sample project for a family member or friend. We spoke earlier about the way that might be a good way to break into an industry. But once you're ready to start working professionally, don't work for free. Varies paid work out there. There are clients who will value what you do use for strategies we've discussed to find them and to make sure they can find you. Make sure you value your time, and it's a common misconception. But if you're not busy enough, lower your prices. Lower your prices until you get enough work in. It doesn't work that way on you don't want to be competing at the bottom. Really. You want to charge a fair amount for the work you're producing on. Just work on your marketing techniques for work will come, but whatever you do don't work for free, hoping that that will lead to something in future on that also goes for at work in process with paying clients. So if they request something extra and perhaps we imply, or you assume they want you to do that for free. Don't make from aware of the cost. Show that you respect your time. And if you respect it, they'll respect it, too. Uh, alternatively, if if you don't respect your time, if you're constantly throwing in things for free, then that will become a natural expectation. They may not value it on, and you're not being paid fairly for your work. So get that balance between being generous on being fairly compensated. So hopefully those of some practical business tips of it you can look further into. But putting them in place is going to make sure you're you're set up for professionalism and success. 10. Conclusion: So are you ready to go freelance? Well, if he answered that, that's no. Maybe you don't feel you're quite very yet. That's okay. There's no shame in that. At least now you can make an action plan, you know where you're headed and hopefully you can see some clear steps to get there. If you do feel you're ready to do that now, then congratulations, Andi. I hope this this short class has helped you just to start thinking about some of the ideas and principles you might want to put into place. And I hope having some honest advice from someone who's been here who's done that before, helps you to get there in a more straightforward way to avoid making some of the painful mistakes over others after making in doing this successfully. So just to recap what we've learned on, hopefully how that might help you. Eso we looked at the law of attraction. Definitely when you're building your own portfolio on, I hope you've had a chance to get involved with a class project. Please work on your portfolio. Share it. Let's see what others think that perhaps their feedback and help you take it to the next level but the law of attraction. So show what you want more off if you don't have anything to show you. Some of the advice as's faras networking taken advantage of your existing connections on get something that's going to attract more of the same. We looked at the importance off narrowing down your target. So even where you can expect work from other industries, you can expect a range of styles you're going to have to work in having something that feels a little more consistent. Something is going to reassure a particular type of client. It's going to make it much easier for you to attract the right kind of work. So hopefully you be able Teoh, identify an industry like toe work in or perhaps an issue like to specialize in. And that's really going to improve your chances of attracting more of the same in future eso. We also looked at the importance off building a strong portfolio and that those principles really go hand in hand together. Hopefully, you're ready to work out your pricing, use the principles we considered. You work out what you need toe considered a possibility off something else to support yourself while you're starting out freelancing. Don't be ashamed about doing that and just make sure you're fairly compensated for the time you're spending. We looked at how you convince in. Try to score the right kind of clients or put yourself somewhere that they're going to come across you, that they'll notice your work. We also looked at how to pitch and win, and there's more to that. Have been just really wanting the job. Really. You want to understand your client's needs and assure them off that lastly, we looked at some vital business tips, particularly contracts on just for fundamentals. Off running a business successfully of it are hopefully going to save you some headaches. So it's been great sharing some of these tips and some of my experiences with you. I hope this helps you to set up your own freelance business for success. Please get in touch with the comments below. Let me know what you think, Andi, I wish you all the success in the world for the future