Learn How to Build a Career as a Freelance Presentation Designer

What Is a Freelance Presentation Designer?

What is a PPT designer, and what does it mean to be a freelance PowerPoint designer?

Freelance presentation designers may offer their services for hire. They might also build presentation products for sale. 

Many freelance PPT designers have left behind full-time presentation designer jobs. It’s common to “hang up your own shingle” and offer PowerPoint presentation services on a freelance basis. 

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Offering freelance PowerPoint presentation services can help you pursue your design passion. (Image source: Envato Elements.)

Here are some career paths to explore your options as a PowerPoint designer:

  • Offer freelance presentation design services. Typically, freelance presentation designers will price per project. There are defined deliverables, and payment occurs at set project milestones.
  • Build products for sale. You can also create a product portfolio that you sell. For example, you could build a library of flexible pitch deck templates that you sell at a fixed price. This leaves customization to the buyer.
  • Start a presentation design agency. In this route, you partner with others to create an agency. An agency is simply a group of creative professionals. This works well if you have diverse client needs that require multiple professionals to accommodate. 

Before you launch your freelance PPT designer career, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges. You’ll spend more time on tasks like marketing, sales, and bookkeeping, for example. If your passion is only for the design work, it might be best to stick to full-time PowerPoint designer jobs.

If you still feel the itch to offer your own PowerPoint design services, you’re in the right place. We’re going to share tips that you can use to become a freelance PowerPoint designer.

Learn more about the art of closing freelance deals with this helpful post:

How to Become a Professional Presentation Designer (with Pro Advice)

Let’s walk through the steps you need to become a freelance PowerPoint designer. You’ll see expert tips from those who have done the same. We’ll break this process down into steps that anyone can follow to transition from presentation designer jobs to freelance roles.

1. Start With Your Why

I strongly believe in starting with a why for your business. This idea was popularized by Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk, which has accumulated over 11 million views.

Launching your own business can be challenging. It takes perseverance to find clients who need presentation designers. Before you start your journey, you need to have a compelling why.

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Start with a “why” statement as you launch your freelance PowerPoint designer business. (Image source: Envato Elements.)

Here are some great examples of “why” statements for presentation designers:

  • I want to create a business that balances work with my life.
  • I want to save others time and let them do more of what they’re best at.
  • I want to earn more income than I currently can in my job.
  • I want to create presentation designs that inspire confident presentations.

Your why won’t be the same as every other freelance PowerPoint designer. It’s okay to build a “why” that is truly specific to you.

For freelance presentation designers like Kristian Olson, the “why” was driven by a market opportunity:

When I realized how much graphic designers despise PowerPoint and that the people who mostly use PowerPoint are not graphic designers, the lightbulb went off in my mind. It’s supply and demand.

Think of this as the center point around which every other decision is made. When you’re unsure how to handle a situation or what your next step is, come back to your why.

2. Build Up Your Portfolio

Many PPT designers feel a “chicken and egg” type scenario plays out as they launch their business. They need clients to get work, but they have to show potential clients past work to land them.

So, what do you do when you launch your presentation design agency? You need to build up a portfolio that puts your best foot forward.

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You need a solid portfolio to launch your PowerPoint design services. (Image source: Envato Elements.)

A presentation portfolio is key. But so is how you share it. I highly recommend creating a simple website to showcase your work. So does Adrienne Johnston, a professional presentation designer:

I built a portfolio website to establish an online presence. That portfolio included anonymized past client work and some practice work that I made feel more authentic by creating branding for.

When your dream client comes calling, you need a place to send them to show your work. Build a portfolio with your featured work that you’re proud to share. It’s one of the keys to winning more business.

3. Define Your Offering

Eventually, a client is going to ask you: “What types of PowerPoint presentation services do you offer?” It’s important to have an answer!

It takes time to refine your offering. Don’t worry too much about creating a detailed list of every service you could offer. Instead, start by letting your first few clients dictate what you want, and then revise your “menu” over time.

An important part of defining your offering is choosing what not to do. You can’t be all things to all people. There will be times that you might feel like what you’re asked to do is beyond your sweet spot.

It’s okay to be flexible with your PowerPoint presentation services. Just make sure you don’t commit to work that you can’t fulfill. While it’s tempting to take on more work, some projects will simply be a distraction.

4. Find Your First Client

There’s no magic formula to finding your first client. It’s truly one of the most challenging parts of being a new PPT designer. Here are a few ideas to land freelance presentation designer jobs:

  • Take on pro bono projects. Volunteer work can pay dividends. Not only will you contribute to a great cause, but you’ll also meet more people in the process. Pro bono projects, those performed for free, give you a chance to build up your portfolio while also networking.
  • Create portfolio pieces for fictitious clients. Who says that you’ve got to find your first client to do great work? Take one of your favorite brands and build out a fictitious presentation template for them. Then, share it with others.
  • Leverage existing contacts. You might already have your first lead for a potential client. If you left a full-time job, work your network for any open design needs.

Finding your first paid client is a challenge. When you feel discouraged, don’t be afraid to go back to your why.

Consider these inspiring words from design expert Tom Caklos:

Don’t be discouraged when you hear “NO” a lot. That’s the part of the process. Think of it like this: by each “no,” you are getting closer and closer to “yes!”

You launched your career as a freelance PowerPoint designer for a reason. With perseverance, you’ll find clients that help you reach your goals.

Check out this excellent guide for even more ideas to find your first freelance client:

5. Retain and Grow With Clients

There’s a classic saying in business: it’s easier to keep a client than it is to find a new client

In my own freelance practice, I’ve certainly found this to be the case. But to retain and continue to earn work, you have to stay connected.

It’s ideal to set up check-ins with your top freelance clients. Set reminders or use a simple CRM system to help you monitor your client connections. It’s okay to send check-in emails periodically to assess needs. Doing so will keep your offering top-of-mind for your key clients.

Learn more about landing and servicing major clients with this expert advice from Andrew Blackman:

6. Define a Growth Plan

When you start your business, it can be hard to imagine staying busy. Getting your first client is the hardest step, but word of mouth can spread your success stories quickly. As word spreads, it’s important to build a conscious growth plan that charts your course.

Making a growth plan is another occasion when it’s important to go back to your “why.” If, for example, your “why” was to balance work and life more, your growth plan should fit the vision.

It’s important to make time for periodic planning sessions. It’s easy to become so busy with the design work that you lose sight of your overall goals. By carving out time and intentionality for business planning, you keep your “why” in focus.

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Plant seeds for growth in your freelance presentation design business connected to your “why.” (Image source: Envato Elements.)

There’s one problem I hope you face as a professional PPT designer: having so much success that you have too much work!

Over time, it’s ideal to continually optimize your client portfolio. If you have more work than time, then it’s time to raise your rates. Remember that your time is finite, and every project has an opportunity cost. That means that every project you say “yes” to means saying “no” to someone else.

Presentation expert Tania Izquierdo offers these tips to lean on others as you grow your business:

I work hard to control the possible growth and volume of work available to me at all times, collaborating with other potential professionals or delegating resources whenever I see it is necessary, or hiring professional services such as advertising and legal advice which I believe will help my business continue to grow properly.

7. Keep Your Skills Up-To-Date

As your business grows and scales, one thing is crucial: you need to keep your skills up to date. Many freelancers become so focused on the work at hand that they neglect to learn new skills.

With a skill acquisition mindset, you can even branch out beyond being a PPT designer! After all, there are other popular apps like Apple Keynote and Google Slides. If your clients shift to these apps, you can keep working with them.

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To land more PowerPoint designer jobs, keep adding to your skillset. (Image source: Envato Elements.)

It’s tempting to use all your available time to do client projects as a PPT designer. But to win more PowerPoint designer jobs, you can add more skills to your tool belt. Maybe you can become an animation expert, for example.

No matter what you want to learn, the key is to make it a priority. Put scheduled time on your calendar that’s dedicated to browsing, collecting design ideas, and learning new skills. Then, test your new knowledge with clients. You might be amazed by how much your work improves over time!

Keep your skills up-to-date with the latest presentation design trends:

Learn More About Microsoft PowerPoint

New skills can help you land more freelance PowerPoint designer jobs. We’ve built up a deep library of the best PowerPoint resources in our collection, How to Use PowerPoint (Ultimate Tutorial Guide.)

We’ve got you covered with the tutorials you need to become a PowerPoint professional. See more of the top tutorials to level up your PPT designer skills in the tutorials below:

The Best Source for PowerPoint Templates (With Unlimited Downloads)

Got a big presentation coming up and want to make a lasting impression? Envato Elements is your one-stop shop. One subscription gives you unlimited access to everything you need.

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With our collection of ready-to-go templates, you’ll find creating presentations easier than ever. Choose a template, customize it with your content, and you’re ready to present. It’s a time-saving solution that gives you pro results with less work.

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You Just Learned How to Become a Freelance PowerPoint Designer 

Ready to launch your own PowerPoint design services? You’re sure to land presentation designer jobs based on the tips in this article. Start with your why, and you may be amazed by where you land.

Now, it’s your turn to launch your career as a PPT designer. It’s time to put some of these skills into practice. Use the expert advice to start building a business plan for offering your own PowerPoint presentation services today!

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