Diving into freelance is a challenge, especially in the competitive market of logo design. It’s not always about feeling the joy of working at your own time or having control of your workload. Sometimes, you get stuck in a creative rut and can’t find inspiration, or worse, clients. If you are determined enough and want to learn how to become a freelance logo designer, you’ve come to the right place.
Assuming that you’re already equipped with the knowledge and tools needed in logo design, let’s go straight to the freelance side of things.
1. Start building your portfolio
To get prospective clients to work with you, you need to show them impressive outputs. We’re not talking about 10 pages of logos here, but a few of your best ones would suffice.
By now, you’ve probably identified a few logos that you feel you could improve. What you can do is take these and play around with them. A few examples would be sports teams, local shops, food brands, or mobile applications. When you’re doing this, think as if you’re actually rebranding them and not just doing a mock design. Remember, potential clients will see this so you still need to give your 100 percent even if it’s just practice.
Take note, however, to be careful when uploading these publicly. It’s best to put a disclaimer explaining that you are only using these for your portfolio and not for profit.
You can also create fictional logos out of your imagination––or you can also create your logo. Ask yourself, if you were to become a successful logo designer, what would be the logo representing you? You can use your logo for branding afterwards, too.
Another good idea is to sign up for free logo prompts. This way, you’ll be able to practice every day. It’s fun and exciting because you never know what to expect, so make the most out of it.
2. Look for clients
There are many ways to look for clients, so don’t just limit yourself to one platform.
Start with people within your network. If you have family or friends who are in need of branding for their small business, offer to help out. This is a good starting point because if you deliver something amazing, they’ll most likely let others know. Also, if their business is successful, you’ll be proud knowing you’ve contributed. One for the portfolio!
Then you can move on to your family and friends’ connections. Simply ask if they are in need of a logo design or if they know anyone who might be. It won’t hurt to try. Something to keep in mind, though––don’t expect to get paid like a professional yet. You have to start somewhere to earn the trust of clients. Good thing you can still use the logo to your benefit; add it to your portfolio.
You can also go online and search for freelance job sites. There are hundreds and thousands of freelance work available for logo designers. While this is not something you should settle on for long-term, it’s also a great way to get started.
Don’t forget to do your very best on each project. Not only does word-of-mouth affect your reputation significantly, but your confidence also relies on this. If you do good, you’ll feel good.
3. Ask for referrals
Do this every chance you get! When you’ve got a happy, satisfied client over the moon, ask them straight up if they know anyone who could benefit from your logo design services. You never know, they might have coworkers, colleagues, friends, or family who could use your help. You could even offer them a cut in every successful referral, it’s up to you––just don’t annoy them.
Most of the time, your transactions will be online so you’ll have to send them an email. Worry not because according to David Tendrich from Millo, this email template is an effective way to generate referrals:
“Hey [client name],
I’m so glad you’re happy with the latest logo. I’m extremely passionate about what I do, so knowing you’re happy made my day.
Actually, it’s because of this, that I was wondering if I could ask your help in something…
It’s my goal to help as many businesses as I can to grow and flourish through beautiful design. So I was wondering if you knew of any other businesses who could use my help?
I know how much people hate getting “cold-called,” so if anyone comes to mind, do you think you could just send my website their way with a few kind words and ask them to contact me?
I’d be extremely grateful.
And of course, as your friends, they’d get the royal treatment.
Also, as a more concrete way of saying thanks, I’d love to give you [insert some kind of gift here: % discount, business card design, etc.] for every person who ends up hiring me.
It’s just a small token of appreciation, as referrals are one of the biggest things that keep me afloat.
Anyways, once again I’m glad you’re so happy, and I can’t wait until our next project together.
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Make use of it!
4. Do not rest
(Not literally.) No matter how much is on your plate at the moment, don’t be too confident that you’re no longer going to look for new clients. Soon, you’ll finish all your current projects and you’ll realize that you haven’t got any lined up. As a freelance logo designer, your queue should never be empty.
To avoid this situation from happening, make it a habit to allot an hour or two every day for lead generation. Go through freelance websites, send emails, post promotions––do anything that involves getting clients. Once you’ve established this habit, you won’t even notice you’re doing it every day.
5. Review your work
Throughout the whole process of securing projects and getting the job done, review your outputs, as well as the experiences you had with your clients. Did you come across any challenges or bottlenecks that you could handle better in the future? Did you commit any mistakes or shortcomings that could’ve been avoided if you had just done something differently?
Don’t be shy to request feedback from your clients. Even if they say negative things, you will learn and grow as a freelance logo designer––and if they say positive things, you will be motivated even more.
Also, take time to go over the logos you’ve created. They are your masterpieces; you should feel proud of yourself. As you review them, determine what you need to improve on or change. You’re definitely going to spot some aspects you wish you could’ve done differently, so take that knowledge and apply it to the next.
Obviously, there are more steps than the five mentioned above, but aspiring freelancers spend too much time finalizing the little things. As you move forward and gain more clients, you can tackle the invoices, automated emails, and more. The most important thing when starting out is making sure you’ve got your portfolio and projects.
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