The graphic design field has become highly competitive, and not just because there are more designers entering the field. With technology advancements and cookie-cutter design studios like Canva, graphic designers are starting to feel the heat in this industry.
However, freelance graphic designers who do the daily grind and put their best professional foot forward are still generating lucrative designer contracts. Inexperienced freelance designers typically bring in rates of $25 to $50 per hour in their contracts, whereas established and esteemed designers charge between $65 to upwards of $300 per hour. Butwhat does a freelance graphic designer need in order to start making money that reflects their worth?
To make a living through full-time freelance graphic design, there are many factors to consider. Luckily, it’s not rocket science, and for the business end that can be a little more complicated, The Contract Shop has your back.
When you consider the freedom, flexibility, and overall joy in working as a freelance graphic designer, that alone makes it worth the risk. Goodbye, boring office job, and hello, life as a digital nomad!
But at the end of the day, you have bills to pay, and in order to make this leap, you need a gameplan. Here are the top factors to keep in mind as you make the transition into freelance graphic design:
Think about where you’re going to source your clients from. There are several, reputable websites where you can advertise your services for a small fee or for free. Websites like Fiverr, Guru, and DesignCrowd offer platforms for freelancers to put their portfolio out there to companies and businesses searching for designers. Many graphic designers also develop their web design skills and can gain a lot of clients with website knowledge.
You can also opt for marketing via social media by joining graphic design groups on Facebook and creating profiles on various social media apps (Instagram and Tiktok, for example) showcasing your work and linking back to your professional contact information.
Good old word-of-mouth doesn’t hurt, either! Talk to friends and family about your new transition and ask for them to keep their eyes peeled for opportunities. You’d be surprised how effective in-person recommendations can be!
Knowing how much to charge continues to be a tricky situation for designers of all experience levels. That’s why at The Contract Shop®, we’ve developed a graphic design rate card template graphic design rate card template to help you get started and feel completely grounded in how you set your rates. After all, you don’t want to charge unrealistically high rates and scare away new clients, but you also don’t want your work and expertise to be under-valued.
When setting your rates, it’s best to start with what you want your hourly pay to be (factoring in your experience, of course). Then, consider setting a flat rate per project based on the estimated amount of time the scope of the project would take, making sure that this flat rate closely resembles how much you would charge hourly. There are many ways to set your rate, so be sure to check out our other articles about how to set yours!
The business end of freelancing is often intimidating to creative professionals–you likely feel confident in building brands, not legal documents. Luckily, we at The Contract Shop® have you covered.
We offer a collection of bundles catered specifically to small businesses and freelancers with legal contract templates drafted by actual lawyers. No more loopholes that leave you biting the dust or in a last-minute panic because you forgot to include Terms and Conditions for your website.
Working as a freelance graphic designer is incredibly rewarding and lucrative. When you work for yourself, you set your schedule, where you work, and who you work with.
While you can’t put a price on that sweet deal, you can definitely set a price on your rates. At The Contract Shop®, we have everything you need on the administrative and legal end to become a real freelancing professional and generate income like one, too!
Kevin Gallagher is the CEO of The Contract Shop®, a contract template store for creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, coaches, and more. His background is in helping online businesses grow, having previously worked at Allbirds managing part of their operations. He is proud to report that his digital artist wife Mandy is a happy customer of The Contract Shop®, and his main motivation is to help as many people like her as possible with the tools that they need to confidently manage their businesses.
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