5 Tips I Wish Someone Told Me Earlier When I Started as a Freelance Designer

 If you’re just starting out on this thrilling rollercoaster ride of freelancing, I’ve got your back. As a seasoned freelancer, I’ve gathered some valuable insights along the way—lessons that I wish someone had shared with me when I first embarked on this adventurous journey.

So, grab your sketchbook and get ready to soak up some wisdom as I spill the beans on five tips that would have made my freelance life a whole lot easier from the get-go.


1. Build a Strong Network:

Okay, here’s the deal—networking isn’t just for corporate folks wearing power suits. As a freelancer, your network is your secret weapon. Connect with fellow designers, entrepreneurs, and potential clients through social media, design communities, and industry events. Trust me, the power of a supportive network is immeasurable. It opens doors to new opportunities, referrals, and collaborations that can take your freelance game to new heights.

“Early in my career…I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypercritical humility… I deliberately choose an honest arrogance, and I’ve never been sorry”

2. Embrace the Art of Self-Promotion:

As a freelance designer, you are your own brand ambassador. Shout your skills from the virtual mountaintops! Create an eye-catching portfolio website that showcases your best work, optimize your social media profiles, and share your creative process and insights. Don’t be shy—let the world know what makes you unique. Self-promotion may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s essential for attracting clients and standing out in a sea of talented designers.

3. Master the Art of Client Communication:

Ah, client communication—a skill that can make or break your freelance career. Clear and effective communication is the key to successful client relationships. Be proactive in understanding client requirements, set realistic expectations, and maintain regular updates throughout the project. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or provide your professional opinion. Remember, open and honest communication builds trust, fosters long-term partnerships, and saves you from endless rounds of revisions.

4. Value Your Worth and Set Clear Boundaries:

Repeat after me: “I am not a design vending machine!” It’s crucial to value your skills and expertise as a freelance designer. Set fair pricing that reflects your worth and the value you bring to the table. Additionally, establish clear boundaries with clients regarding project scope, revisions, and deadlines. Remember, you’re running a business, and respecting your time and expertise is vital for a healthy work-life balance.

5. Embrace Continuous Learning:

Design is an ever-evolving field, and as a freelancer, you must keep up with the trends and constantly upskill. Invest time in learning new design techniques, exploring emerging tools, and staying updated on industry trends. Online courses, workshops, and design communities are treasure troves of knowledge. Embrace the thrill of learning and let it fuel your growth as a freelance designer.

Wrapping Up:

So there you have it—five invaluable tips that I wish someone had shared with me earlier in my freelance journey. Building a strong network, mastering self-promotion and client communication, valuing your worth, and embracing continuous learning are key ingredients for a successful and fulfilling freelance design career.


  • Matthew Lutrell

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