For people who are good at design, there are hundreds of different career paths available. You could be a graphic designer, fashion designer, interior designer — the list goes on. Many of these careers suit the freelance style of working very well, so you might consider starting your own freelance design business. An important thing to consider when doing so is how you’re going to find work.

This article will provide you with a guide on how to find freelance design work. We’ll provide different strategies for finding and approaching clients, such as using social media or freelancing sites. The topics we’ll cover include:

  • Freelancing sites
  • Approaching clients directly
  • Finding work through contacts
  • Social media

Freelancing sites

One of the most common ways for freelancers to get work is to use a freelancing website. These work like an online noticeboard: first, individuals and organisations post jobs that they need doing on the website. Then, freelancers will send applications to the individual or organisation explaining why they’re the best person for the job. The original poster can then pick who they want to work for them at their leisure.

Freelancing sites are good for finding work quickly, as the larger ones usually have tons of jobs available. Some freelancing sites allow users to create profiles, so potential clients can seek out specific freelancers and send them job offers. 

Most of the best freelancing sites are non-specific, which means they accept job offers and users from all sorts of industries. If you specialise in one particular kind of design, you may want to spend time looking for a site that also specialises in your field, as you’ll be able to find more appropriate job offers. 

Examples of specialised freelancing sites include the graphic design website Dribbble and the home design and decorating site Houzz.

Approaching potential clients directly

If you’re feeling bold, and you’re confident that you have the design skills they need, you might consider approaching individuals and organisations directly to ask for work. This strategy requires a lot of preparation and confidence, but it can result in enormous awards for you and your business.

If you want to approach a client to ask for work, the first step is identifying a potential client. A good idea is to look for rapidly-expanding businesses taking on many new clients or orders themselves and need freelancers to support their employees. You may also want to look for companies that have posted on social media or freelancing sites recently to look for new employers or freelancers.

Next, you need to know exactly how you’ll ask the potential clients for a meeting. Depending on the situation, you might be able to receive a work offer the first time you contact a potential client, but they’ll more often organise a meeting to discuss the terms of your contract and pay. 

When contacting a potential client, make sure you explain your relevant qualifications and how your work will benefit their business. You should also make sure you’re using a communications channel they prefer: don’t send an email to a company that conducts all its business operations over the phone. 

Finding work through contacts 

A great way to find work is by speaking with any contacts you have. Most of your business contacts likely operate in the same industry as you, so speaking with them to find work can be hugely productive.

The more contacts you have, the more job opportunities you’re likely to hear about. This means that expanding your network is always a great decision since new connections can bring a whole range of benefits to your business. 

Even something as simple as letting your friends know about your new business can help grow your network and find work, as they may know someone within the design sector that needs work done.

Social media

Social media is a very handy tool for freelancers, and it’s a great way to find work. You can use it to search for potential clients or post about your skills and the services you offer. Creating a social media profile is also free and easy, so it doesn’t take much time to start searching. 

A key thing to remember when using social media for business is to stay professional. You might want to create a separate profile for finding freelance work instead of using your personal one. It’s also a good idea to use more work-focused platforms too, so you try using Linkedin to find freelance clients.

Social media is a particularly useful tool for freelance designers as most platforms (like Pinterest, Instagram or Youtube) have a visual focus. Consider posting examples of your work on your social media profile, so you can use it as a portfolio when promoting your talents.

Invoice for your freelance work in seconds

Once you succeed in finding and completing some freelance design work, you’ll want to get paid as quickly as possible. 

The Countingup app makes this easy. Once you’re in the new invoice screen, all you need to do is enter a client’s details, the services you provided, and the payment date; then you can send the digital invoice off. Counting allows you to duplicate invoices too, to save time creating new invoices for similar services. You can even add your company logo to give your invoice a sleek, professional look.

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.