Graphic and web designers can have a tough time finding gratifying work on freelance sites. Too often, you end up working for pennies and compromising the integrity of your brand. Thankfully, freelance sites are not the only way to go about growing a design business.
Here are a few reliable ways graphic and web designers can make more money:
1. Cash in on unused files
Sell your design leftovers to Graphic Leftovers
Not everything you design will be loved by your clients. Instead of letting those unused designs go to waste, cash in on them by selling your files on marketplace design sites.
As an example, Graphic Leftovers is a website where graphic designers can sell logos, icons, illustrations and more. Or there’sThemeForest is a popular marketplace for designers who have web design templates to sell.
Before you sell any of your work on the web, of course, it’s vital to double-check the files you’re selling are not under the rights of any of your current or past clients.
2. Try your hand at consulting
Braid Creative have turned their design know-how into a full-fledged consulting business
Consultants are often what I like to call experienced doers, aka highly valuable people. If you have a skill you know other people in your field want, sell consulting services that teach other freelance designers how to duplicate your successes.
A perfect example of smart creatives who’ve turned their design know-how into a full-fledged consulting business is Braid Creative. Kathleen Shannon and Tara Street, who have backgrounds in advertising and freelance designing and writing, started Braid to help creative entrepreneurs brand themselves.
To do this, they offer ‘Braid eCourses’ on personal branding and ‘Braid Coaching’ services.
3. Charge what you’re worth
If you’ve already done some spec work for a client and now they want to hire you for a job, don’t be shy about charging the rate you know you’re worth.
Many designers, especially young ones, don’t charge enough, or rather, they undervalue the price of their work. Don’t do this. Charging more is also a way to help maintain a high level of quality cliental.
Remember: Clients aren’t just paying for your hourly time, they’re paying for your expertise, experience, training and equipment. Stand by your pricing and you’ll be better off for it, guaranteed.
4. Give away free stuff
Bri Emery has got great exposure for DesignLoveFest by sharing free stuff
Now that you’ve started blogging, here’s one really effective way to drive traffic back to your site: Give away free and, of course, beautifully branded downloadable resources like templates, themes and graphics.
Popular blogger and designer Bri Emery of DesignLoveFest has a segment on her blog called ‘Dress Your Tech’ where she shares beautiful downloadable desktop and mobile wallpapers.
Because people love to share awesome free stuff, this segment has created great brand exposure for DesignLoveFest. It has also opened up a lot of collaboration opportunities as Emery will often team up with another designer or artist for a Dress your Tech post.
5. Invest in tools
Sometimes you have to spend money to earn money, and that’s certainly the case in design, where you need to invest in tools to get the most out of the skills you already have.
If you know Photoshop and a little bit of CSS and HTML, you’re a triple threat! Take advantage of your skills and invest in a third-party design platform that’s packaged for resale, like my own service ShortStack.
Online tools like ShortStack allow designers to save time designing and, more important, broaden their service offerings. In addition to websites, logos, and posters you can use this tool to create custom Facebook apps, social contests, opt-in landing pages and more.
Get more tips
Beyond these ideas, there are lots more ways freelance graphic and web designers can earn more cash. This blog post is a sneak peek at one of our latest PDF resources.
Get Instant Access to our Exclusive PDF, “9 Ways Freelance Graphic and Web Designers Can Make More Money and Attract Better Clients”
You already have the skills you need to take your freelance design business to the next level. Now’s the time to do what designers do best – get creative!