Companies that invest in quality graphic design are perceived to be more trustworthy. It’s no wonder that graphic designers continue to be in high demand.
Graphic designers are indispensable; from company logos to social media posts and website design, all media requires the work of a graphic designer.
There are two distinct ways to become a graphics designer: one, get a degree in visual communication, graphics design or any other art/design related course of study. The other way is to be self-taught, and all that is required here is artistic talent, self-motivation and focus. Whichever way you choose to start, with enough drive you can carve out a great career as a virtual graphic designer.
Are you interested? Here is how to go about it:
Pick A Niche
While graphic design itself is a niche; there are many sub-niches under it. All graphic designers will have some area that they gravitate towards because they enjoy it and are skilled at it. Do you want to design just logos or do you want to make infographics? It’s your call. While this may be difficult when you work as an employee in an organization, as a freelancer, you can pick whatever category you want to work on and which job you want to turn down.
Set Yourself Up On Freelance Sites
Freelance sites are a great place to start your graphic design career. They will help you land those first clients, after which (if you are good) word of mouth will do the rest or you might get picked up by an agency. In the early days, take advantage of putting yourself our on as many freelance sites as possible. They are all different; Upwork, Sage Groupy and Fiverr are just a few of them. The more sites you are on, the more your chances increase of getting matched. When using these sites, you want to make sure your portfolio is top notch and that you update it regularly. Cast out a wide net in the beginning and it should only be a matter of time before you start landing clients.
Market Your Skills
You can’t expect everyone to know that you are a graphic designer, you have to make them aware. How do you do that? You use your social media skills. Social media is a free and with just a little bit of a time commitment, it can do wonders for getting your name out there. If you are a graphic designer, people will expect to see nice graphic designs, a platform like Instagram works very well here and Linkedin will help you tap into professional networks.
Invest In Yourself- Training And Retraining
Over time, there would be a need to train and retrain yourself. You must stay in line with currently acceptable industry standards and there is no way to find that out except by training and retraining. A great free source for this is YouTube and Podcasts. You can find lots of videos and tutorials on current trends in the industry to sharpen your craft.
Find complementary freelancers that work with graphic designers such as social media managers, agencies and marketers. Also build a network of graphics designers, either virtually or physically. You can learn from each other, update your skills or just enjoy each other’s company.
Your Portfolio Is Everything
Always update your portfolio. A blog or website work very well as an online portfolio where you can showcase your work in a professional manner. It is where your skills will be judged and will ldn you the job you want so always make sure it is the representation of your skills and your niche.
As a graphic designer, you must understand that it is tough and competitive out there. As a result, you must constantly stay on top of your game to improve your chances of getting the best clients. With several online training sites, that should be no problem. You can be that top notch graphic designer you have always wanted to be, follow these simple guide and you will only get better as the days go by.