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Why and How to Start a Freelance Career

Why and How to Start a Freelance Career

Michelle Taute

As a design writer, I’ve talked with tons of graphic designers over the years, and I’d be hard pressed to name one who hasn’t taken on a freelance project at one point or another. But before you dive into those ranks, you need to figure out why you’re doing freelance in the first place and how you’re going to get started.

Why Freelance?



Only you can fill in the blank for yourself. I want to freelance to…

1. Make Extra Money

Entry level design jobs aren’t going to make you rich, but taking on a few side gigs can be a great way to pad your bank account. Just check with your boss first: Some companies have policies that limit your ability to freelance. You also need to steer clear of projects that compete with your day job and keep your freelance work out of the office.

Are You Ready to Freelance?

1. So have you freelanced before?

Not really
Yes, I have

Learn a New Specialty

If you spend your days designing healthcare brochures but long to create websites, taking on freelance work can help you make the switch. Not sure what kind of design you love most? Freelancing allows you take on a greater variety of work as you explore the options and build your book.

Land a full-time job

It’s not a news flash that the job market is tight. But not everyone realizes that freelancing can put you first in the hiring line. Think about it: If you’re already doing great work, why wouldn’t they hire you? Just be sure to mention that you’re open to full-time job opportunities.

Build a business

Finally, there are some designers who have that entrepreneurial itch. They daydream about running their own studio with a small staff or doing solo projects on the beach. What you need: self-motivation, confidence and a willingness to put yourself out there to market and network.

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