Every time I’m in need of design work and I visit my favorite freelancer portal I become really disappointed, not just because of the fact that it is usually difficult to get great talent but also because of how manipulated the system is.
I once tried to hire someone on one of these sites to help me design some graphics only to waste two precious days trying to explain what I wanted while at the same time ending up being disappointed. The problem isn’t with the fact that there aren’t great designers out there, it is because they are all relying on a system that is making it difficult for them to move forward.
If you’re a freelance designer with great skills and talent it is very important for you to realize that all those low paying jobs aren’t your best option – you’re supposed to be in control, you’re supposed to choose the jobs you want to work on and you’re also supposed to set your prices. In fact, there is nothing stopping you from being rich as a freelance designer.
I’ve learned a lot about the art of getting clients and putting yourself in control in the last 8 months and in this article I will be giving you some tips to help you eliminate the competition and start getting more offers as a freelance designer.
Be an Active Proponent of the Service You have to Offer
I’ve actually been studying the freelancing world for some time now and one thing I have noticed is that every highly successful freelancer not only offer their service, they are a product of the service they offer. It doesn’t matter what service you offer, or how great your skills are, the best way for people to see what you’re truly capable of is if you’re a living example of it.
By this I mean, as a freelance designer, instead of having to fight for the latest job posted on Elance.com or any other freelancing portal, why not create a platform where you will be showing people your work and the results you get from it.
In most cases most people need to see how powerful the services you offer will be and what they will get from it, and you don’t necessarily need to preach this to them before they realize it – all you need to do is let them see that you’re a living example of what you have to offer and let them know the kind of results you’re getting from it.
For example, I’m a freelance writer who has written over 500 guest posts in the past two years. I didn’t get a client until I wrote an article on how I was able to write 270 guest posts in 8 months. The article instantly showed people that I’m capable of writing on a large-scale and that a lot of my guest posts get approved, I also explained how I was able to write that many guest posts and the results I got from doing so. The end result is that even though I didn’t have a page asking people to hire me on my blog at the time of writing that article it has resulted in me getting clients (some of which I rejected).
There’s a saying that action speaks louder than words. Instead of trying to compete for every job offer on freelance portals, why not make yourself the center of attention by creating a website that shows people how you are making effective use of your talent?
Try to Master the Art of Pricing
Do you think telling me you can do that same high quality design I paid $1,000 for at just $80 will impress me? Far from it!
Have you ever wondered why free things are undervalued in the world we live today? The reality is that cheaper things are even more undervalued than free things.
It is human nature to perceive things that are too cheap as not valuable and people also tend to avoid things that are too expensive – it is your duty as a freelance designer to be able to balance both.
As a freelance designer who is looking to get a lot of job offers don’t think you can beat your competition by lowering your price. There are a lot of factors that determine how great your work will be besides the price, and those great clients you will end up appreciating in the long run won’t choose you because you have a low price.
You need to realize that every client wanting to hire you wants the best work possible and you should also realize that they don’t want to spend a fortune to get this work done. What this means is that you shouldn’t just price your service low or high – you need to master the art of effective pricing and you should learn to charge the right prices.
If the real value of the design work you will be doing is $700, don’t charge $500 for it to make it more attractive to clients. That will only backfire!
If you can learn the right amount to charge for your services then you will easily become a magnet that attracts the right clients who are willing to pay the right amount for your services.
Don’t Accept Every Offer You Get
Another important thing to ensure you stand out from your competition and get a lot more offers as a freelancer is by being careful with which offers you accept.
This means you should try to know who your ideal clients are from the beginning and you should start accepting offers from only those people you think are the best fit for you.
If clients see you as someone who is very picky with the kind of job he/she accepts then they will start giving you more respect and will also ensure you’re always satisfied. What I mean is that if you’re the kind of person who is happy to accept those $10 jobs whenever you see one, whenever quality clients see you they will have a low opinion of you and will therefore think you are incapable of doing what they want and thereby leave you.
I know it might not be easy to turn down some offers at first but you need to see it as building your career. Some offers will destroy your freelancing career if accepted as they will only be wasting more of your time instead of making it easy for you to work on more great jobs.
Anytime you see an offer that you don’t think is right for you, reject it, and spend half the time you will have spent working on it marketing yourself – you will be amazed to see how great that can work for you.
Understand that Your Work Doesn’t End as a Designer, Marketing is Part of Your Business
This is probably the most important tip in this article and also what many designers get wrong.
The difference between you going broke and becoming very rich as a designer will be determined by how good you are at marketing your business.
You need to realize that we’re now in a world where there is a lot of competition, especially since it is easy for just anybody to learn design and start using his/her skills. It is therefore very important for you not to just sit down in one place expecting offers to come to you but, rather, go out there and market yourself.
Since you are already a living example of your work, the next thing is to get people to see this. This means you should try to be everywhere your potential clients are. Take a look at the top design blogs in your field and start contributing great tutorials to them every once in a while and also use the opportunity to let people know you’re up for hire. You should also leverage your email signature and your signature on the forums you’re very active at to let people know you’re up for hire.
The reality is that we will be getting a lot more offers if only we could let people know we need it. Don’t just sit down there and expect clients to come to you, go out there and market yourself.
And, no! I’m not saying you should start struggling for jobs on those freelance writing sites again – instead, try to be independent and make yourself the only center of attention, now use every opportunity to get people to discover you. This way you will be the only option they have and they will have no other choice than to start working with you on your terms.
You need to face the reality that the designers making the most money from their skills are not those fighting for jobs on freelance portals. Some designers get projects that pay them as high as 4 and 5 figures in one day, not by competing for jobs on freelancing portals but by making themselves the center of attention. You can follow the tips in this article to start getting more offers for your work and start making more money as a freelance designer.