Monday, September 19, 2011

Success Tips

Skills of a Successful Freelance Graphic Designer
If you are psychologically suited a career as a freelance graphic designer can be creatively rewarding. Here is a list of some of the top skills you must have to be a successful freelance graphic designer:
  • A passion for what you do.
  • Confidence in what you do.
  • Ability to market yourself.
  • Excellent communication skills through speaking and writing.
  • Ability to "read" your client and personalize the services provided for them.
  • Very good organizational skills.
  • Self-motivated, driven and excited about what you do!
  • Good production and technical skills.
  • Ability to be efficient and productive.
  • Ability to prioritize.
  • Ability to deliver quality results within a a reasonable time frame.
  • Actively seek work on a consistent basis and stay in contact with current clients.
  • Be objective and not too emotionally attached to your work.
  • Understand yourself, how you work best and what motivates you - this will develop over time.

Deciding to be a Generalist or Specialist
 First let me define the two as best as I can. A generalist is someone who takes on a variety of project types. For example, print design, identity design, web design, product design and so on. A specialist is someone who... well, specializes in something specific. For example, a pattern designer for kids clothing or a graphic designer who focuses on corporate identity design.

In my opinion neither is a better option than the other. However, starting out you may find yourself as more of a generalist and as you develop you'll probably discover a niche.

MY THOUGHTS: Over the past few years I discovered that I have a somewhat specific style but a broad range of production and design skills ranging from print to web to photography. At some point I may decide to specialize in one particular area.

How To Be More Attractive To Clients
Here is a list of a few ways to be more attractive to potential clients. Most important though just be yourself!
  • Being personable and having a sense of humor.
  • Being mature and responsible.
  • Having a personal style.
  • Not having a personal style.
  • Keeping cool when things are not so cool.
  • Really connecting with your client beyond what they do.
  • Appropriate pricing for the market.
  • Having relationships with vendors.
  • Show that you are working for the client not just for yourself.

MY THOUGHTS: I have found that being yourself is the most important thing you can do when meeting with a potential client. You want to show your passion about what you do and that can be a real struggle when you're not yourself. A sense of humor also goes a long way! :)

The Daily Life of a Freelancer
The daily challenges of a freelancer will change overtime. When starting out you may be spending most of your time searching for potential clients and jobs.

Here is a list of a few things that most freelancers deal with on a daily basis:

  • Juggling projects.
  • Managing stress.
  • Knowing when to take a break.
  • Staying focused.
  • Keeping up with your own business duties.
  • Isolation. Get out of the house!
  • Dealing with everyday frustrations.
  • The fluid nature of the job.
Like I've said before, every topic can be explored more thoroughly. But, I genuinly hope that this will stir up some thoughts, questions and inspire you to do what you love and love what you do!