Guest Blogpost by Bloguettes
Anyone can say they are a freelance graphic designer, but you can immediately set yourself apart with a few simple steps that we want to share with you on how you can be taken more seriously.
Create Your Business Package
Have a solid business package down. When I say business package, I mean your résumé, cover letter, digital portfolio, business card, and invoice. (If you want to go the extra mile, try adding a branded envelope and folder!) Whether you’re applying for a job or meeting a client for the first time, this gives the best first impression. Since you are a graphic designer, brand and design your documents yourself! A strong brand also gives them an impression of what your style is and a sense of who you are.
Design Tips: When designing documents, use gridlines. It’ll make your documents easier to read and feel more fluid. As for typeface and color, use what speaks to your personality the most, but knock the opacity down to 70-80% when it comes to the body and add extra leading. This helps make your information feel light.
Meeting With Clients
Don’t be nervous! Bring in a résumé, cover letter and business cards (which you should always have on you), just in case the client has more partners that you haven’t had the chance to introduce yourself to.
Bring a notebook or your laptop so you can ask questions and take notes. Here are a few to always have on your list:
- What’s the best way to contact you? (Get their contact info so you can email, text, call, etc)
- How would you describe your company?
- Who is your audience and what message are you trying to send?
- What size do you need the project?
- What colors/fonts would you like? (The company may have strict branding guidelines)
- Do you have any specific imagery in mind? (Getting examples gives you a great starting point!)
- What format do you want the final project in? (This helps you send the project in the right color mode: CMYK or RGB)
- When is the deadline?
You don’t want to overload yourself with a lot of work and have everything up in the air. Deadlines at least force you to work on things in a timely matter and who knows, maybe you’ll give it to them earlier than expected and that’s always a plus!
Prior to the meeting, decide if you want to be paid hourly or by project. From there, figure out how much time it takes you to complete a project, and make sure it’s worth it. I got this tip from a good freelancing friend once: always oversell yourself. If the client wants to cut it back a bit, make sure it’ll still be worth it. If the client isn’t willing to meet you in the middle, again, know your worth.
Bonus tip: get paid half before and half after the project is completed. This helps prevent being taken advantage of. From previous experiences, there are some clients that won’t like the total cost of the design, some that won’t like the actual design, or both. This half & half approach ensures that both you and the client are together until the end.
After the meeting, send the client a friendly thank you email with a personally-branded invoice with the following included:
- The description of the project (ex: Illustration, 4×6)
- The total cost and the amount currently due (half now, half later)
- How to send payment: Paypal (warning, there’s a transaction fee of 2.9%); a physical check; Chase Quickpay (my favorite, no transaction fee!); Venmo.
Make sure to check your email daily. It’s important the client feels like they are being well taken care of and chose the right freelancer to do the project. If your deadline isn’t until months ahead, make sure to communicate with them in between and update them on how your project is going.
And voila! You, my friend, are now being taken seriously as a freelance graphic designer.
About Bloguettes: The Bloguettes turned branding and platform building into a successful millennial women-run business that strives to be a pioneer in the digital age. Through three-day branding workshops, webinars, tutorials, and a stock photo membership, the Bloguettes aim to equip individuals with the tools needed to grow a following on social media, craft a good photo, monetize a blog, and educate individuals with basic Photoshop skills. And with an impressive list of past partnerships on their roster including Hilton, Uber, GoDaddy, Conair, The Every Girl, Whole Foods and more, they have the skills to do it!
Photographs: Bloguettes – Stock That Rocks