Getting started as a creative professional is never easy. Although the market for freelance and independent digital designers is booming at the moment, most newbies still find it hard to get their foot in the door.
Here are some of the ways you can get started and find work in the industry:
1. Join an Academy
Signing up with a reputed design school or academy like JMC Academy is more than just a way to hone your skills as a designer. At design school, you get to meet potential partners and collaborators. Some universities and academies also arrange workshops where you can meet potential clients and big businesses looking for designers.
2. Join a design network
Getting involved in the community is essential for every professional. But it is absolutely crucial for a professional who works alone. Freelance artists can sign up with an organization like AIGA or simply join a network on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Behance, or Dribbble. Networking efforts should eventually pay off by giving you your first client.
3. Showcase your work online
As a freelance digital designer, your career hinges on your digital portfolio. Make sure you spend enough of time perfecting your online portfolio and link up your social media accounts to the site so that you can help it gain traction. You can either create your own from scratch on Squarespace or WordPress, or use an artistic platform like Behance. Have a look at other popular portfolios to gain some inspiration.
4. Start your own projects
There’s no better way to demonstrate skill and passion as an artist than working on your own passion project. If you can invest a day or two every week in a project for yourself, it can serve as an outlet for your creativity and a great portfolio-booster.
5. Conduct workshops
Another great way to get your name out there is to conduct workshops. Teach people what you know and you’ll soon meet collaborators, partners, and clients who are keen to work with you.
Approach a local charity, art gallery, school, or animal shelter to donate some of your work for free. Helping a charity that’s close to your heart will give you more than just personal satisfaction. It will help you meet new people and find new clients.
These are some of the ways you can start building a career as a freelance digital designer.