Freelance Graphic Design
Freelance graphic design can be very rewarding. You're your own boss, you're not stuck in an office and there is really no limit on how much you can potentially earn. But it's no walk in the park either. Before you begin to think about becoming a freelance graphic designer, you should ask yourself some questions and look at some facts. What are some of the things you are going to want in place?
You will need to pick a good name that will help you stand out from the rest of the competition and sounds professional. Really try avoiding the word freelance in your name. Pick something that sounds like it's more than just a solo act. You will most likely need to check with local authorities whether or not your name has already been chosen. Registering a name prevents others from using this name, and prevents you from taking others that have registered.
Without a doubt, you will need a place where you will not be distracted or disturbed by the outside world. Office space is ideal, but many freelancers can work out of their homes with success. If working from home, try and have a whole room or even wing of the house dedicated to this business. Trying to work while your kids are taunting you to build a Lego spaceship can be testing and distracting. Keep this place of work clean and organized. Even if a client never sets foot in your office, keep it clean. Don't have objects in there that will distract you. This is your place of work. Keep it that way. Pick a large room to work from where you won't feel cramped. Look for a large desk or something with a large surface area. Having room just enough for your computer/office equipment isn't enough. You should have a place where you can lay out written ideas, drawings, printouts, and more. Have a filing cabinet to keep all of your clients information in along with other important documents and agreements. Have your phone in a good place where you don't have to move away from your computer/work area.
A business these days without a website is outdated. A freelance graphic design business without one should be burned to the ground. With the huge explosion in technology and the Internet, to not have a website for your freelance graphic design business would be business suicide. Website hosting these days is cheap, with plenty of space and resources at your disposal. Save those sites for playing around with ideas of your own. Pick a reliable website host, upload your site, and keep the site updated. This is important in conveying professionalism.
What good is a site if no one can find it? You will also need your own domain name. Rather than having a long winded, cheap looking address provided by a free website hosting service, register a domain name so clients can click on www.yourname.com rather than something like http://members.icenterwebsites.net/~huebs . This kind of address looks terrible, and shows you don't even have the patience and time to do something as simple as this correctly. Domain names cost around $10 or higher a year, depending on where you look.
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Make sure to also check out:
Graphic Design Schools
Picking the Right Graphic Design School
Graphic Design Job Descriptions
Layout Artist Jobs
The Graphic Designer Salary