Starting a career as a freelancer involves way much more than being good in the area you chose to work in. Not only you have to make sure you deliver great quality work, but you also have to learn how to become your own boss. You need to establish goals so your business can prosper.
For freelancers working in the creative industries, like graphic designers, it is crucial to know how to divide your time between focusing on refining your craft and expanding your business. It is important to have skills that are not directly related to your field of expertise.
To be a good freelance graphic designer, you should not only excel at Photoshop and Illustrator. You should also pay attention to the practical aspects of the job, such as knowing how to communicate with clients; keeping your finances tidy; and learning how to negotiate the details of each project.
Graphic designers on our platform say it is key to have excellent communication skills when handling projects. “Besides obviously having a good taste, the freelancer should be as close as possible to fluent English to be able to use both chat and voice when communicating with employers," said Vadym, a Preferred Freelancer and co-founder of the account vad1mich.
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Discipline and planning are imperative when working as a freelancer. To be your own boss, you also need to be good at making the rules and sticking up to them. Knowing how to distribute your time is a great way of not ending up feeling overwhelmed.
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It is important for freelancers to try to keep their finances in order. It does not matter if you are starting out or are already well established. If you keep putting off doing your expenses you will eventually waste precious time in the future by having to do everything at once. A good idea is to set aside some specific dates of the month to pay the bills and organize invoices.
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Knowing when and how to back down while negotiating the particular details of a project is also considered essential. Freelancers have to learn how to position themselves and their businesses. “In order to succeed on Freelancer.com, designers should have good negotiation skills," said Fasieh, co-founder of DigitalArcanum, a team of freelancers that has completed over 930 projects on our website since signing up three years ago. They are also part of our Preferred Freelancer Program.
Diplomacy is not only needed when you are a president of a nation or a prime minister. It's important for freelancers to know how to act in moments of crises to not burn any bridges with clients. “The freelancer should have an ability to find solutions in every situation to make every client happy, so even when things go sideways, and they inevitably will once in awhile, he should apply most efforts to resolve the problem," advised Vadym from vad1mich.
Armed with the right graphic design skills plus these soft skills, growing your freelance business is much easier than you've imagined. Ready for your next clients? Look for new projects to bid on today.