The pandemic really changed the game of how to make money as designers. Remote work and freelancing have become the “new normal” for the work culture. Indeed, there is no longer just one way to make money and succeed in designing. This may lead to confusion and take a toll on your budget and work behavior. But, let’s look at the bright side; you have options! The beauty of freelancing is that you don’t have to bound yourself and stay stuck at one type of work. Freelancing offers you the independence of working on your own terms, flexibility to choose the type of work you want, and, yes, open multiple streams of income. There are ample ways to use your precious design skills to earn more and create a lucrative profile.
Are you still stuck on the “how” part? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! This article will discuss some of the most efficient ways to make more money through freelancing.
Branding yourself is one of the best ways to gain loyal clients and improve your searchability. With the advantage of these two factors, it becomes easier to attain clients and business. In addition, it allows you to show off your professional skills and polish your portfolio.
To brand yourself efficiently, all you need to do is craft a unique story and represent your authentic services in an admirable way. Branding may include logo design, style guide creation, business cards, letterheads, etc. You can also set out yourself for marketing material design, designing social media assets, printed pamphlets, signage, etc.
Some experts may even suggest branding as the first and foremost step for becoming a successful freelance designer. This is because you can create a strong impression and convey all the necessary details about yourself to prospective clients with branding.
2. Create service packages
You know you cannot do it all! Instead of showing people that you can do everything, be more detailed and realistic. Creating service packages will enable your potential clients to learn what exactly you can offer that no other designer can.
Service packages facilitate clarity about your services to agencies and clients who check you out and may help you to close deals with them faster than others. For example, you can keep specific categories of services like designing covers (for magazines, photo books, ebook designs, etc.), designing animation and video assets, web design, etc. You can then market your services and grow your client base.
3. Sell your designs
Instead of just working for 2-3 clients as a freelancer, you can also sell your distinctive designs. By creating products or assets, you can start a simple and effective business model of ‘one to many,’ instead of ‘one to one.’ You can design unique prints, stickers, icons, illustrations, plugins, patterns, and so many other things that you believe you’re good at. You can then sell these designs on Etsy, Redbubble, or your personal website. This way, you can create a customer base exclusively for you and open an additional channel for income.
4. Create content
Creating content is something most designers don’t consider seriously. It could be because content creation demands consistent and genuine efforts. But, remember, as a designer, you're in a unique position where people actually want to spend their time watching you simply creating designs. The creative process engages people and can become an effective source of your income. You can start your YouTube channel to show people your design process or offer them tips on designing. You just need to post videos, collaborate for paid sponsorship occasionally, gather viewers, and voila! There is another freelance income stream.
5. Create courses
If you have gathered a decent amount of experience and skills in designing, you can share your knowledge to harness an additional source of income. You can create your own course on YouTube, platforms like Udemy and Coursera, or create eBooks. Uploading your course on your personal website is also another option.
Teaching online is a flexible earning medium for freelance designers. If you love to teach, you have the complete freedom to engage with the learners actively, or you can simply sell your courses to collect fees. Either way, teaching design becomes satisfying when you know you’re helping others make their way with design.
6. Trust Blogging
Effective blogging is like a slowly effective magic spell for designers. However, to start blogging, you have to perform the things above-mentioned. Blogging can assist you in promoting your design courses, YouTube channel, service packages, marketing system, and much more. You can either own a blog or start blogging on your personal website. The best part is that blogging is one of the most inexpensive yet effective ways to boost your freelance business.
If you want different income channels as a designer, remember there is no ‘shortcut’ or ‘hack’ to become rich and successful fast. It requires active involvement, consistency, and multi-tasking skills to become and stay a dynamic freelance designer. So, yeah, it is challenging, and it will take time to build and retain these sources of income. You’ll have to stay patient while growing your business model and gaining customers or an audience. But, one thing is for sure; with stern determination and hard work, you will definitely reap the benefits later. Freelance designing can make you financially stable. And, who knows, it may even enable you to become a brand or open your own design agency in the future.