⭐️ Hitchhiker’s guide to becoming a freelance designer
Courtesy of @daniandor_uiuxdesigner
Short guide of how I’ve switched from a full-time job to freelancing:
⏰ Get a full-time job
📚 Learn as much as possible
🤝 Connect with people
🖼️ Put your work out there
🕸️ Create a safety net
💸 Re-think salary
🔍 Let them know that you are looking for work
📝 Ask for recommendations & referrals
Get a full-time job
This might look counterintuitive, but if you are a junior, it will help you a lot to start out in a company because you have access to resources and people from which you can learn a lot of stuff.
Learn as much as possible
Once you started working in a company, observe all areas of product development. It’s very helpful to understand how what you are doing fits in the big picture.
Connect with people
Creating a LinkedIn profile or getting on various design online communities is always a good thing. Follow other designers to learn from them, and whenever it’s possible meet and talk to people in real-life.
Put your work out there
You should put your work so others can see what you are doing. A portfolio is always a good idea, either you create your own or use a platform for this.
Create a safety net
Put some money aside that could cover 3-4 months of expenses, in case you don’t find a project in that period of time. It’s very comforting to not feel a huge pressure when you start your life as a freelancer. Another way to do it is to have a part-time job and look for freelance gigs besides that.
As a freelancer, you can wave goodbye to the idea of a salary coming on the same day of the month. You have to learn to think a bit differently when it comes to money. I created a spreadsheet for tracking incomes and expenses; if you are interested, DM me.
Let them know that you are looking for work
Start asking in your circle of people to see if someone knows anything about a project. Also, you can post it on LinkedIn. The idea is to let people know that you are looking for work. Besides that, start actively searching on various platforms destined for this.
Ask for recommendations & referrals
Once you finished a project, don’t hesitate to ask for a short recommendation or even for a referral. A happy client’s recommendation might help you a lot in the future.
Bonus — 8 useful tools for everyday usage:
GetResponse — an email marketing platform that enables you to create a valuable marketing list of prospects, partners, and clients, so you can develop relationships with them and build a responsive and profitable customer base.
Manychat — visual bot builder for Facebook Messenger with broadcasts, analytics, scheduled posting and many other features!
Crello — free graphic design editor that helps create images for social media, print and other web-based graphics.
Funnelytics — the best funnel mapping software available to marketers and entrepreneurs today.
FlyWheel — is managed WordPress hosting built for designers and creative agencies.
Integromat — is a powerful automation tool that connects your apps and services to work smarter, not harder.
Leadpages — lets you build beautiful, high-converting websites, unlimited landing pages, pop-up forms you can add to your other websites.
FlowKit — allows designers to create frighteningly fast user flows within Sketch and Figma.