Freelance graphic designers have become a thing for people nowadays. In the last two years, we have been in a challenging condition. Some people are sick, the economy is going down, many people being unemployed, and craving for some bucks give people a hard time. Many unemployed people are now trying out to be a freelancer. Freelancer graphic designers are not tied with someone. The only thing that tied the freelancers to work is deadlines. They can be dealing with selected clients. They can work for any hours, anytime, anywhere, wearing any outfits, and any circumstances possible. It is also their advantage in putting the price to the customers using their strategy and receive a full salary right from their clients. Since business growing up, businesses will also implement digital and visuals in developing the company. Designers will also be divided into minor specialties such as UI/UX designers, graphics, websites, videography, industrial, architecture, and more.
Freelance graphic designers also should put into consideration by companies since their prices per project are also competitive
It depends on the complexity and quantity of the project. As a company, the freelancers also must have a strategy in this competition to be stable financially. I know a person who works as a freelance designer. Now, he is still focusing on web design as a freelance worker. Working as a freelance designer made him put on his goal to achieve financial stability as a freelancer. He thinks about how he managed to build enough business to provide himself that much of a needed safety net. He can now say “no” to the wrong kind of work and demand higher rates from his clients. Yesterday, he shared everything with me, and here is what I can take notes from him.
1. Make a different offer for your service
My friend here really survives to be working on a work that is not really into him. He even worked for a client in the morally ambiguous business of short-term loans. Sadly, there is no choice for him to make this work, considering they will pay him an ongoing fee each month. It took the heat off him to make enough to pay for eating, transport, and daily needs. He also dabbled in some kind of SEO for them, which put him in a hard time.
Otherwise, this diversification of the services helped him a lot. Not only at his financial fulfillment for daily needs but also teach him some new skills and how to face a new challenge. He said that you could consider putting in some extra services to reach out to broader clients’ backgrounds and needs if necessary and possible. This can also make you different from any similar freelance graphic designers around you because customers tend to compare freelancers to one another depends on their needs and budget.
2. Niche and specific
The thing that is important in the freelance working world is specifying and having a niche in a particular work. He also told me that he is passionate about choosing a business niche and becoming a leader in that sector of business. Still related to the diversifying in the previous point, he suggested that I consider dispatching your “everyday” freelancer work and getting more focused on specializing in a rather specific business area.
Sure these so-called specialist moves will take much time to develop by yourself, but when you started to consider choosing to niche your service offering, you will gain many benefits such as you can put yourself as an authority in that field and compelling a steady stream of clients come to you. People can define you as the person who believe in the clients. By becoming a recommended freelance worker for a specific audience, you will also gain more word-of-mouth referrals from your clients to their relatives and more job traffic coming to you. This all will lead and helps to build more sense of income and secure financial planning as freelance graphic designers.
3. Seek and keep long-term projects
When you are already gaining more clients to come and loyal clients around you, it is now the right time for seeking long-term projects and repeating orders. You also can consider yourself as a contracted freelance to your clients. Apart from gaining more trust and prove that you are ready and dedicated, a contracted freelancer means dedicating several days per week for an agreed freelance day rate. You might say that this almost looks like working on a company, while I will agree with that, the thing is, it is your rule and your freedom in deciding what to do and how to do it.
My friend here has worked like this his whole freelance career, and he can prove that this way can also be beneficial to giving him more sense of financial security, which has reached thanks to 3-6 months contracts with trusted and believing clients. Contracting a job as freelance graphic designers might be risking the acceptance of the services offered, but when you finally made it, contracting can boost your earnings potential as a freelancer, as well as put down on your money worries. The more contracts you sign, the more work and money you will gain. Financial stability will start to achieve by working in a long-term contract role.
4. Start recurring passive income
This might unthinkable at first, but you might need to start charging recurring fees to generate passive income as freelance graphic designers. This way is his most favorite way to reach financial stability as a regular freelancer. He said that it is simple and easy to apply. He even stated that once your generated passive income had arrived. It requires the very least amount of effort to maintain. Plus, it can give you a real sense that your hard work is paying off. Taking an example from his experience as a web designer, two common recurring income strategies can be created from. The first one is website hosting and maintenance plans.
This will leads to more people knowing the website and helps growing up the business. The idea here is to be contractually agreed at a set fee that your client will automatically pay you each month. You might think that clients who will decide to make these contract deals are not that much. Typically, this is lower than your standard rate as freelance graphic designers with work per project, but the key is the volume. The longer both parties approve the contract, the more you gain. If you can win enough contracted clients while also put them onto basic retainer contracts, the fees will multiply and will be able to cover your costs, and you can achieve financial stability.
5. Time and patience
The thing that is also important for him to share is how long it will take him to reach his financial stability. He realized that this is very reluctant since literally, everyone wants quick answers. Everyone thinks it can be achieved in the nick of time. He explains that the path to financial stability in the world of work is a long road. Things get more complex as freelance graphic design since you compete with people in the same field and motivation. You barely cannot expect stability and are financially secured from day one, weeks, months, or even years. It takes time. He still has wobbled in the making, even in years after setting up his first business.
As freelance graphic designers, we also get freedom in literally anything. It is all our choice
Be patience in communicating with clients also important. Clients are often requesting something unusual, not explaining clearly, or even make something easy sound impossible. This can happen because the clients did not understand how their expectations will be. Sometimes, they literally do not have any sense of design, imagination, and calculation. This is also our job to clear things up. Our ability to explain will be a must thing to have. The ability to listen, understand, imagine, discuss, present, and persuade the customer to reach the best for both worlds.
He closed his sharing session with his feelings about how money worries are just a part of this business plan as freelance graphic designers as far as you do not fully hesitate to gain the funds faster. We just need to be comfortable, patient and expect when or where the following and business area will be work will come from. Being comfortable with the unknown is a valuable skill to have in business. Otherwise, if you can build a more predictable business, it can also be a gaining point. I hope that these tips can give you the tools you need to create financial stability in the freelance world. Good luck and try your best! Cheers!
Author bio: Ulfah Alifah Yuliarso writes this article. She is an SEO Manager and a Content Writer from RRGraph Design.