6 tips on how to make more money as a freelance graphic designer

In 2020, there were over two million freelancers working in the UK. This isn’t shocking when you consider the many benefits of being your own boss; you set your hours, have the opportunity to work from anywhere and can choose the projects you want to work on.

However, freelancers have to wear many different hats when running their business, and part of this is ensuring that money is coming in. That’s why it’s so important to be money-savvy.  

In this article, we’ll explore the following:

  • How to make more money as a freelance graphic designer
  • How Countingup can help you manage your finances

How to make more money as a freelance graphic designer

Everyone is likely aware of the ‘feast or famine’ narrative surrounding freelance work: the concept that you either have too many projects or none at all. In fact, fluctuating income is stated as being the biggest drawback for 57.8% of the UK’s freelancers. So, what can you do to ensure that you’re getting the most out of each project and maintaining passive income on the side? 

Here are our top 6 money-making tips:

1) Raise your fees (when the time is right)

When you first start as a freelance graphic designer, there’s a good chance you set your fees on the lower end of the spectrum to attract clients. But have you increased these rates since then? If not, it may be time to re-think what you’re charging. 

Think of it as a way of giving yourself a raise as you would earn as an employee. If you’ve been working with a client for some time, you’ll be familiar with their processes and know what they like, making you a valuable asset. Quite frankly, replacing you at that point would be a hassle, so they’re probably more likely to accept your new rates.

This is also a great way to ensure that you’re not overworking yourself. Raising your rates will give you the freedom to focus on fewer, more high-value jobs. Not only will you have more time to work on each project, but you’ll be earning more at the same time.

2) Create and sell templates

If you want to make passive income while you work on other freelance projects, look no further. Putting in some work upfront to create downloadable templates is a great way to make more money since there are several small business owners who don’t have the time or skill set to design their own.

Some popular template types are:

  • ebooks
  • Invitations
  • Social media graphics (e.g. Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter)
  • Posters

3) Run workshops and webinars

Did you know that the global e-learning market is expected to reach £234bn by 2025? With e-learning growing in popularity so rapidly, now is a great time to capitalise on it. 

If you have knowledge to share you can sell online courses, workshops, training sessions or webinars. Not only will you be helping others on their graphic design journeys, but you’ll also be making extra cash.

4) Offer design consultancy

Some companies don’t have the resources, time or expertise to solve a design problem in-house. That’s where design consultants come in.

You can set an hourly rate and sell some of your time to provide an expert opinion on the challenges they’re facing. This can involve coaching and advising their designers or giving the team advice and pointing them in the right direction.

5) Sell physical items

This is a great way to be more creative with your designs because you’re not following a client brief. Instead, you can create your own graphics and sell them as prints, stickers, printed t-shirts and other merchandise. Again, this has the potential to earn you some passive income while you work on bigger projects, especially if you use a fulfilment company to process the orders for you.

6) Chase late payments

It’s never fun when you have to chase payments for work you’ve completed, but it’s necessary if you want to stay on top of your finances. However, this doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds. Here’s a good way to go about it:

  1. Check your payment terms: it can be annoying to find out that a client has lengthy payment terms but, if you check this beforehand, it can save a lot of frustration further down the line.
  1. Follow up: if your client is happy with the work, send a quick follow-up message asking for an update on when you can expect payment.
  1. Go directly to the accounts department: if you haven’t had any luck, email the accounts department. Remember to state your invoice number and when it was sent.
  1. Remind them of your contract: Still nothing? Getting strange excuses? Remind them of the agreement you have. If you have completed the work, you must be paid for it.

There are also other methods of protecting yourself in this case, such as including late fees in your contract or joining a union.

Make financial admin simple with Countingup

If you’re self-employed, you’ll know how much time financial tasks take out of your busy day. Why not make some of those tasks simpler?

With the Countingup business current account and accounting app, you can easily make payments, get cash flow insights, tax estimates and more at the touch of a button. By automating financial admin, you’ll be able to spend more time focusing on making more money as a freelance graphic designer. 

Find out more here and sign up for free today.