Habits of Successful Freelance Designers

by . March 14th, 2014

The term “freelancer” was invented by the Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, Sir Walter Scott. He introduced the word in his 1819 novel, Ivanhoe. (World Wide Words: Freelance)

[pullquote]I offered Richard the service of my Free Lances, and he refused them — I will lead them to Hull, seize on shipping, and embark for Flanders; thanks to the bustling times, a man of action will always find employment.[/pullquote]

Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott, 1819.

A freelancer is someone who offers services as an individual, not as a permanent employee of one company.

In this article, You The Designer will share the common habits of successful freelance designers including what it takes to be one and some tips to help you in doing business with clients.

A must for aspiring freelance designers:


Trusting your gut and making judgments by what your heart tells you really do work.


Always be mindful of design trends to keep yourself updated with what’s hot and what’s not.


Passion and a huge amount of hard work will do the job for you.


You must have specific goals for a span of time and choose your position in the market to survive in the business.


 Persistence is always the key. Your continuous hard work will land you jobs that you want.


Courage is very important if you want to be a freelancer because it’s not easy to be one.


Learn to accept that there are things that you can and can’t do.


Since you won’t be a permanent part of a company, be ready to work with a number of bosses with different wants and needs.


A freelancer should have a spirit for entrepreneurship to be able to manage and maintain his business endeavors on his own.

In doing business, a freelance designer should:

    • Be particular about the services you’ll offer and choose your position in the market.
    • Create proposal/contract templates.


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  • Give appropriate pricing on your work.
  • Give yourself an appropriate brand name.
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  • Accomplish your identity kit.
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  • Dress up properly during client appointments.
  • Be punctual on client meetings.
  • Accomplish tasks on time.
  • Always take down notes from clients.


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  • Be able to multi-task


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  • Only accept projects that you can do.
  • Ask for down payments and only pass original files if already fully paid.
  • Ask for feedback. This will ensure that you’re always on the right track.
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  • Look for a good printer to accomplish printing jobs for you.
  • Take short and long breaks to unwind yourself.


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  • Have an investment plan.


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To wrap this up, we listed things that you, as a freelance designer, can do during downtime. (Because there’s more to life than work!)

        • Clean your e-mails. Trash unnecessary spam messages.
        • Check-up your equipment. Clean them!
        • Update your skills or try to learn something new.
        • Schedule a general check-up with your doctor.
        • Vacation. Go somewhere quiet and rejuvenating.
        • Remember the rest of what’s life to offer.
        • Enjoy! A lot!


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