Making sure your freelance graphic designer business is successful is a bit more challenging than just running it. Especially if you’re new to freelance work, it can be difficult to find your feet

Instead of muddling through by yourself, we’ve put together some useful tips. These top tips should give your graphic design business a head start. They are: 

  • Raise your hourly rate
  • Choose your clients carefully
  • Maintain a healthy work-life balance
  • Send accurate and detailed invoices
  • Network all the time
  • Have multiple portfolios

Find success with these tips for freelance graphic designers

We’ve listed some of our favourite tips below. Use these correctly, and your business will be on its way to success. 

Raise your hourly rate

One of the biggest issues that most freelancers face is that they’re simply not making enough money. If your schedule is full, and you’re still struggling to pay bills — you might need to raise your prices

Raising your hourly rate can have two main benefits. 

First of all, you’ll start earning more per hour, which can make it easier to meet your minimum budget requirements each month.

Secondly, you’ll gain some free time. Although losing clients is generally considered a bad thing, if you’re getting paid more to do less work, this can promote a healthy work-life balance

If you find that you have too much free time, then you can always look for additional clients who are willing to pay your higher prices. 

Choose your clients carefully

When you first start out, you might not be able to be too picky about your clients. As you become more experienced though, you get more control over who you can work with. 

So make use of that.

Who’s the better client? 

  • Option A, who pays on time and is clear about what they need
  • Option B, who constantly makes minor adjustments, and requires a lot more effort

Choosing ‘A grade’ clients can make your life a lot easier, so don’t settle for less. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should get rid of a client the moment you disagree with them. Instead, look at how much time they take up compared to the money they pay you. 

Maintain a healthy work-life balance

In order to produce your best work, you need a healthy work-life balance. This involves getting enough sleep, eating properly, exercise, and downtime. 

As a freelancer, it’s easy to feel like you’re always working to make your business succeed. But you do need time off. 

One way to do this is to set yourself a schedule. This doesn’t have to be your standard 9-5 work day. Make it flexible to suit your needs.

Need to work 6 six-hour days to fit family time into your schedule? Go for it. 

Figure out the schedule that works for you, and stick to it. When your work time is done, pack it up and leave it until you start again. 

Don’t forget to take a holiday every now and again. 

Send accurate and detailed invoices

As a freelancer, you need to send an invoice to get paid for your work. Making sure your time is clearly listed and accounted for is key to getting paid the proper amounts. 

Creating and filling out new invoices for each job can be a time-consuming task. But you can speed up the process. Some accounting apps, like Countingup, have special invoicing tools you can use. 

These invoice tools let you create fully customised invoices that even have your logo attached. Better yet, if you prefer to do things on the go your invoices can be created and sent from your phone

You won’t need to worry about filing the payment properly either. When the invoice gets paid, the Countingup app automatically pairs the payment and invoice. 

Network all the time

One of the most important things to remember is that you should always be expanding your network. An extensive network is crucial to long-term success

Building strong connections with people can help you secure higher profile jobs. These jobs usually come with better pay, and the chance to make more connections.

If you don’t build connections, you’ll have to work a lot harder to find jobs and clients. For example, if you approach a potential client without having a connection to them, you become another face in the crowd. 

On the other hand, having a connection gives you a foot in the door and improves your chances of success. Which would you rather be?

Have multiple portfolios

As a graphic designer, you need examples of your work to show off your capabilities

Instead of combining examples of your work into one portfolio, have a separate portfolio for each style you can do. For example, you could have one portfolio that focuses on creating video game art, another for logos, and a third for infographics. 

With multiple portfolios in place, you can send applicable collections to different clients. This can help you target and win specific jobs, and also keep your skills varied. 

That way, if a current client needs additional services, you can show your capabilities and potentially take on more work. 

Keeping a close eye on your finances

One of the most important things you need to watch is your money. If you’re careless, it’ll be much harder to make your freelance graphic design business successful.

Since managing your finances properly can be a challenge, we recommend using accounting software for a helping hand. The Countingup app is a two-in-one business current account and accounting software combo. 

This essentially means that you can keep track of every penny that enters or leaves your account. It’ll also sort your spending into HMRC-compliant categories, perfect for getting those little tax reductions. 

If you’re interested in checking out the app for yourself, there’s currently a three month free trial.
So what are you waiting for? Download the app today.