5 Things Every Freelance Designer Should Do

Posted on: April 12, 2009


As a freelance graphic designer, you will have to wear many different hats from time to time. It can become extremely difficult to juggle all the different tasks thrown at you in a given day. In this post I want to concentrate on five things that will not only increase your productivity, but also your number of clients.

1. Keep Your Office Space Clean

messy-deskDesigners rarely place any importance on office cleanliness, however, it can help immensely with your efficiency. When you know where things are, you waste less time. A dusty and messy desk doesn’t exactly contribute to a good working environment. Staying clean and organized will help keep those creative juices flowing and help you optimize your workflow. One thing is for sure, cleaning takes timehis brings us to number two.

2. Have A Time For Everything

clockAs freelancers, we create our own schedule. This is an asset, when you’re able to manage your time wisely. Unfortunately, for some this is overwhelming and has caused them to miss deadlines, thus damaging their reputation and their brand. To avoid this, schedule the time you need to wake up, start work, clean your office, take lunch and at what time to call it quits. Also, don’t forget to schedule breaks. Whether it’s playing Xbox, taking a walk, a nap or a coffee break, schedule it for no more than thirty minutes. As a side note, doing this doesn’t mean you follow your schedule like a robot; it’s an outline to help you have a more productive day.

3. Blog And Be Blogged

bloggingBlogging serves multiple purposes. Not only does it let you express your feelings and thoughts. It also allows you to share your expertise of the industry; whether that is graphic design or another niche. The reality is that two people can think the same exact thing, but the way YOU present it may help someone that didn’t understand the concept the first time. Also the second part of number three reads, “be blogged”. What does that mean? In short; do something worthy of being written about. Due to technology a lot of clients are obtained by website visits. Suggestions: Guest write for a blog, write a tutorial, create a vector pack, etc. All these efforts will be linked back to your site, therefore, getting your name out to the design community

4. Follow Up Promptly

emailYou should definitely respond to e-mails and phone calls promptly. When I say promptly, I mean no more than twenty-four hours. By being professional from the beginning, you are showing the client how the rest of your working relationship will go. Unfortunately, I have made the mistake in the past of not returning emails promptly and have always felt really embarrassed by it. If you’ve felt this way, channel that embarrassment into resolve that you won’t do it again. If you respond briefly and quickly, your clients will tell their peers how great your service was. Word of mouth can be your greatest form of advertisement, but remember it can also go the other way.

5. Dress the Part

computerIf you are a designer, it should be written all over the clothes you wear. For example, if someone is a dietitian, yet they are overweight, would you want his or her services? No. In the same way, our creativity and sense of style should be reflected by what we wear. If you’re at home working, the rule is different. Wear whatever you want. I know of freelancers that work in their pajamas, but when meeting with clients, dress the part and look sharp.


I hope you found these five tips useful. I invite you to add to the list with your comments. I would also like to inform you that when you comment on blogs, you can link back to your website. If you write something significant, somebody might look you up. Thanks for reading!


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