Graphic Design: How to find work
Get your name known. If you get out there and do good work, people will tell other people about you. The best advertising you can do is your best work. Your clients will speak to their contacts/colleagues and chances are someone will get in touch with you via an existing piece of work. Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth.
There are online resources for project work but it depends on your area of expertise. If you're a designer working mainly in the financial sector, for example, don't bother putting your name down on the Arts Council emailing list and vice versa. Decide which market you're interested in working in so you can target your approaches more efficiently. Each region of the country has a development agency that works closely with local business and recommend suppliers. You usually have to jump through quite a few hoops before becoming an 'associate' but you may find it's worth it.
Some designers advocate working for free in the early days, however, it can be tricky and will depend on your living situation. If you're just starting out and still living at home, there's no reason why not but if you have to pay the rent/mortgage, you may not feel that working for free is particularly appropriate.
Here are some cost-effective ways of advertising your services:
Word of mouth
Word of mouth can be one of the easiest and cheapest ways of building a client base. If you have built a good relationship with your client by giving them exceptional work, then it’s quite likely they will recommend your services to others. Why not network through virtual or in-person events to grow your network and create connections too, creating more opportunities to spread word of your business to relevant people. Spreading your graphic design freelance business through word of mouth is one of the most efficient ways of growing your business as prospective clients will see recommendations as a reliable and trustworthy source of information. As mentioned you will rely on your previous clients to give you good feedback so establishing a professional relationship with them is important.
Read tips on networking for freelancers here.
A website and an online presence are essential to getting work. A website can allow you to showcase your work and can be seen as a portfolio. As a freelance graphic designer, displaying your work is a necessity, whether this is through your website or someone else’s. It is important to show your previous work as proof of your graphic design skills. A website is a useful tool to do this and if you have skills as a web designer, that is a bonus as you can build a more complex design to highlight your graphic design work. If you do not have a website, there is basic software to set this up such as Wix, WordPress, and Adobe XD. You may also benefit from software skills to advance your understanding of software design such as:
A website will also make it easier for any prospective clients to reach you, as well as being able to see your skills and talent. You need to make sure that you keep your website updated and invest in it to make sure it is a true reflection of your skills and talent.
You need to get yourself on social media for your work. As a freelance graphic designer, you must make the most out of the reach that social media offers. Social media can be used to feature your work too, allowing prospective clients to see your skills.
It is a great marketing tool to promote your graphic design freelance business and social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are proven as popular choices. LinkedIn is a great network to make connections and grow within the graphic design freelance industry. To find work on LinkedIn, you can reach out to other connections, join graphic design groups and post that you are looking for work. Showcase your abilities on this professional platform to highlight your key skills and why clients should hire you; there is also an entire section of jobs posts to help you with your search. Twitter and Facebook are also great social media platforms to find work and can help you promote your work portfolio. This can be done through sharing and also Twitter’s popular use of hashtags. Social media is profound for using hashtags and is a quick and effective way of finding what you are looking for and any relevant trending topics. Engage with these trending topics as debates can be a great way of meeting people with similar interests to you. These are free-flowing platforms with easy communication so make the most of this and use them to reach out to prospective clients and other freelancers.
You can find work in many different ways but another great starting point is to look at advertising your services on various freelancer websites. They are a resourceful tool to share your portfolio and find work in the creative industry. Why not showcase your skills by adding your freelance business to the Freelance Directory. This will allow you to be found by both clients who may be looking to hire someone in your line of work, and other freelancers with complimenting skills looking to collaborate.
More on graphic designing as a freelancer.