Many designers have tried venturing into the world of freelancing. But not all of them succeeded. Some say that it could be due to their much expectation that they would get clients at once and earn immediately. Others pinpoint the cause with lack of preparation and knowledge on being a freelancer before they start doing it. Both the reasons could be right. One really needs to acquire the know-hows of freelancing before finally getting there. It is like swimming. One has to learn how to swim first before he finally jumps into the water. Without the knowledge and skills in swimming, there is a great chance for him to drown.

So, be sure that you will not get drowned in the pool of freelance designers. You don’t wanna be left out that while others are happily swimming and diving, you are merely watching for fear of drowning. Hence, before you start freelance designing, you need to have enough knowledge about it and you also have to be prepared with all the things needed in order to succeed. If you want to be a freelance designer, allow us to help you on how you can successfully start with the tips we have below. Chew on the tips so you can have a great start as a freelance designer.

1. Recognize the negative side of freelancing.

Recognize the negative side of freelancing
Image: Stock_Images

Of course, whenever some positive things are seen, there would be a downside. This is because not everything in this world is perfect. Hence, in order for you to start freelancing, you should know not just the advantages but also the disadvantages of it. There are more important things that one needs to know about freelancing like spending longer hours to work and not having a steady income. Doing that would help one get ready for the freelance world.

2. Have enough experience.

Have enough experience
Image: Watcharakun

Before you start freelancing, you have to see to it that you already have enough experience in the field. With experience, you are a few steps away from success of design freelancing. It would be good if you already did some designing offline and you have learned how to work with other people including with clients of different personalities. It would be better if you have a wide range of various design works so that you can have an idea on how to work on different types of projects.

3. Have a specialization.

Have a specialization
Image: Photostock

Before you start freelancing, you should have known which field you are specializing. You might be good in all kinds of designing but you should be sure that there is a particular field wherein you are really an expert. This way, it can make you more valuable to clients and you would also know where your strength is.

4. Create an effective blog and portfolio.

Create an effective blog and portfolio
Image: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot

It is always a must to have your own portfolio so that the clients can easily look into what you can do for them and what you have done for others. Your design skills can easily be seen on your works in the portfolio. You can also share your experiences, insights and others in your blog which can make you an expert in a certain field. This can help you acquire more clients knowing that you are well versed in designing.

5. Start as a part-time freelancer.

Start as a part-time freelancer
Image: Michal Marcol

It would be a lot easier for one to adjust if he starts with part time first. Doing that would give one ample time to adjust and to know the ropes of freelancing. You will also slowly adjust to the pressures of freelancing. You can also know how to find good freelance jobs.

6. Plan time for working hours.

Plan time for working hours
Image: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot

Before you start freelancing, be sure that you have planned your time already. See to it that you have allocated time for your personal stuff and for work. Look into how productive you can be on your time. If you have planned your time first, you can then schedule your freelance jobs according to it. You will not have a hard time choosing for your working hours.

7. Have a relaxing workspace.

Have a relaxing workspace
Image: Elf Tug

When you decide to start freelancing, you should have chosen an area for working. If it is in your home, you can look for a location that has privacy and is far from distractions. Consider where you can be comfortable. This can help you to be more productive and happy with work.

8. Know your best time.

Know your best time
Image: Photostock

Each one of us has our best time to work. Know yours. With that, you will be able to plan your schedule well according to when you can be more productive. If you think you work best during the morning, then, wake up early and work in the morning. Some people prefer working at night because they are more productive during those times. It depends on you on what time you can work best.

9. Use equipments of good quality.

Use equipments of good quality
Image: Elf Tug

When you set up an office, see to it that the equipments you will be using are also ready. Aside from being ready, it has to be of good quality. If your equipments are good, you will not have a hard time working and you will be more productive. This equipments includes your computer, printer, scanner, office supplies and many others. Even your software should also be good so that it would not be a hindrance to your work.

10. Conduct your own research.

Conduct your own research
Image: Phaitoon

Researching more about freelancing can help you to get ready. This includes not just online researches regarding the topic but you can also speak with other freelancers about what they do in order to succeed. You can also listen to their stories on how they started with it. This can inspire you and can also help you to prepare yourself in facing everything with regards to the challenges of freelance designing. Their experiences can surely be vital. You can also read articles about freelancing like helpful tips, experiences and others.

It’s Your Turn Now

Well, if you think that starting freelance as a designer is easy, you are wrong because you really have to be totally ready in order to succeed in the field. Many people find it hard especially when they are just starting but if you take some of our advice, you might be able to survive the early part of freelance designing. Would you like to share your experience to us? Feel free to share it for it can also be a big help to other designers who are aiming to start freelance.

Kareen Liez

About the author: A Civil Engineer who has a construction business and a youth volunteer for a civic organization. She also contributes for a local newspaper due to her unwavering passion to write.


  1. So in this article you are giving tips for designers on how to be a Freelancer, and in the second paragraph you stated that that “They should have enough experience in the field” . Seems weird, I’d suggest you replace that by inciting them to be more open to risks and adventures and new things … everything starts with a will.

  2. Nice one,
    I’ll give a start for freelance as a designer. 🙂

  3. In the beginning you have to get the word out. The advice i always give is to approach charity organisations. Help them out with their design and website. When they are happy they will be your ambassadors. Because of the nonprofit nature local media is more willing to cover the story and give some attention to the new website and the people that made it possible.

    Its nice to have a great blog and a great website but when nobody knows of it existence it wont do you any good. When you DO have done some projects you should be able to link from them to your own website (then the great design and blog come in handy)

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