1.) Be visible
Visibility is key in attracting clients, and for this you will need some form of online presence. If you are a graphic designer, this is of exceptional importance as you will need to present your portfolio contact details and branding to people who will make an instant snap judgment based on your online image. The most important thing is to communicate effectively, so even if you can make a fancy website that can sing and dance: don’t. Be approachable is much more important than being a genius.
Another aspect of being visible is by being on all of the platforms and directories that people look for designers on, and these include professional networks, freelance networks and directories and any social media that is relevant for you. Not only will being on these optimize your existing website, but they will also connect you to more people.
2.) Decide your pricing
Once you have gone freelance, you will need to do more than design. Marketing, accounting and admin will all be part of your new role, so make sure you are clear on your pricing before you start approaching people for work: as this will save you potential problems later on, and give you a justification for whatever you decide to charge for any work that you do.
3.) Stay motivated
By far the easiest mistake that any freelancer can make is by becoming too complacent with the new freedom of working when you want and for who you want. Staying motivated and sitting at your desk when you can easily take a stroll in your nearest park is of utmost importance to your success, so decide ahead of time what your working hours will be and schedule your work accordingly.
4.) Have a strategy
When you are first starting out as a freelance designer, it is very easy to get lost in the world of what you would like to be doing, instead of doing what will get you established. Getting yourself established, and being recommended, positively reviewed and developing loyal clients is a very essential step in creating a steady income stream and so make sure you have some kind of plan as to how you will expand your client base before you start, and be willing to do jobs that you would not normally do to keep you going through the quiet times and get the ball rolling.
5.) Keep marketing yourself
Once you have bagged yourself a few good, loyal clients it is easy to sit back and relax, believing that your income is established and will continue to be so. You could not be more wrong. As a freelance, no one is going to cover your bills if you get sick, or need a holiday, and so always always seek more and new clients to keep your revenue stream growing.
Ben writes about graphic design an loves to make use of a3 poster printing.