How To Get Your First Graphic Design Job (6 Key Tips)
A Guide To Finding Work As An Entry-Level Graphic Designer
Are you a freelance graphic designer just starting out and looking for your first client?
Landing your first job or client can be daunting, especially when you’re competing with other talented graphic designers.
In this article, we’ll be sharing some expert tips on how to get your first client as a freelance graphic designer. From creating a strong portfolio to networking effectively, we’ve got you covered. So, whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your client base, read on for some valuable insights that can help you succeed.
1. Build A Professional Graphic Designer Portfolio
As a freelance graphic designer, your portfolio is your most valuable asset. It’s the first thing potential clients will look at to evaluate your skills and expertise. A strong portfolio can help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of landing your first job.
To create a strong graphic design portfolio, start by selecting your best work. Focus on showcasing your own projects that demonstrate your skills, creativity, and versatility. You may also want to consider including case studies that describe your design process and the results achieved for your clients.
Quality is more important than quantity. You don’t need to include every project you’ve ever worked on. Instead, select a few key pieces that best represent your style and abilities!
Here are some examples of places to showcase your work:
- Behance.net: Behance is a popular platform for designers to showcase their work. It features portfolios from designers all over the world, making it a great resource for inspiration and examples of best practices.
- Dribbble.com: Dribbble is another platform for designers that emphasizes visuals and showcases design work in a grid format. It’s a great place to find examples of effective portfolio layouts.
Here is an example of a good portfolio:
- Jessica Walsh: Jessica Walsh is a well-known and successful graphic designer whose portfolio features a variety of design work, from branding to web design. Her portfolio is well-organized and visually appealing, with clear descriptions of each project.
If you don’t have enough content for online portfolios, you can get multiple clients immediately with Revolancer’s unique service exchange feature. Link up with other freelancers now, flex your skills, get a few projects under your belt, and build an epic portfolio!
2. Establish Your Brand Identity
Many graphic designers understand that brand identity is a crucial aspect of growing your client base and graphic design career. How are you going to set yourself apart from other freelance graphic designers?
This is what sets you apart from others in your field and helps potential clients recognize and remember you. Your brand identity should reflect your personality, style, and values as a designer.
Establishing your brand starts with defining your unique selling proposition (USP). This is the thing that sets you apart from other designers and makes you the best choice for your ideal clients. It should be reflected in your brand messaging, visuals, and overall brand identity.
Once you’ve defined your USP, you can start to develop your brand. This includes creating a logo, selecting a color palette, choosing fonts and typography, and developing a consistent style across all of your branding materials.
When developing your brand, it’s important to keep in mind your target audience. Your brand should resonate with your ideal clients and reflect the values and qualities they are looking for in a designer!
3. Find Your Niche
A niche is a specific area of graphic design that you specialize in and become known for. By focusing on a niche, you can establish yourself as an expert in that area and potentially command higher rates.
So, how do you find your niche?
It’s best to start by assessing your strengths, interests, and graphic design skills. Consider the types of design projects you enjoy working on and the industries or niches you are passionate about! This can help you identify a specific area of design in which you can specialize in, and help you find a graphic design job suited to your software skills.
Staying up to date with industry trends is also a good idea. For example, in recent years, there has been a growing demand for designers who specialize in UX/UI design, branding for startups, and packaging design. Maybe you could be a branding specialist, logo design expert or graphic web designer! By focusing on these niche areas, you can position yourself as an expert in a high-demand field.
4. Network With Other Graphic Designers
Networking is a crucial aspect of building your freelance graphic design business. It’s how you connect with potential clients, establish relationships with other designers, and build your reputation in the industry.
Here are some tips for networking successfully:
Attend industry events: Attend conferences, workshops, and other industry events to meet other designers, learn about new techniques and graphic design software, and make new connections.
Join online communities: Join online communities and forums for designers to connect with other professionals and learn from their experiences with graphic design jobs. Why not join the Revolancer Facebook community today?
Collaborate with other designers: Collaborating with other designers can be a great way to build relationships, communicate ideas and showcase your skills. Consider reaching out to other designers in your professional network to see if there are any opportunities to work together on projects!
Use social media: Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram can be great tools for networking. Share your work, engage with other designers, and connect with potential clients and industry influencers.
5. Market Yourself
As a freelance entry-level graphic designer, marketing yourself is crucial to attracting new clients and growing your business. Marketing involves promoting yourself and your work in a way that showcases your soft skills and expertise, and attracts potential clients.
Social media platforms can be powerful tools for promoting yourself and your work. You can post examples of your personal projects on there and allow potential employers and other freelance graphic designers to get to know the real you.
You can also create your own website as a place to show off your graphic design skills and visually appealing designs!
6. Exchange Services With Other Freelancers
Starting out as a freelance graphic designer can be daunting, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can build a successful business that supports your creativity and career goals. Remember, it takes time, patience, and perseverance to establish yourself in the industry, but with the right tips and guidance, you can achieve your dreams.
If you need help with your social media marketing or web development as a graphic designer, why not link up with other professionals on Revolancer? Our unique service exchange feature means you can get access to web developers, a UX designer, and more!
At Revolancer, we understand the challenges that come with starting a freelance career with no experience, which is why we offer a platform for freelancers to exchange services with one another. By joining our community, you can connect with other professionals, gain valuable experience, and build your portfolio while providing your services to others!
Before You Go
Now that you know how to get your first graphic design job, make sure to check out the Top Project Management Tools for Freelancers and our guide on How Freelancers Get Paid. If you are interested in taking your career to another level, check out the Top Freelancing Skills To Learn!
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer