Tips for Becoming a Successful Freelancer


We have been covering the subject of how to become a successful designer in the corporate world. We have published guides for making a resume, giving an interview and being productive at work. Now it is time to take a look at other side of the picture.

A job does guarantee a check at the end of the month, but there’s nothing like being your own boss. And to some, this is a reason big enough to leave their jobs and start freelancing. So let’s take a deep look at the pros and cons of freelancing, as well as a basic guide of how to achieve success as a freelancer.

You might also like to view: Tips and Tricks for Freelance Graphic Designers

As ever I’m dividing this article in sections. Starting with the Approach.

Ground Rules

freelancing tips

Here we notice the prerequisites for being a freelancer. This is the homework that should be done before taking the decision of being a freelancer.


This is the basic element. Most people love freelancing, because they don’t have to be so disciplined, work whenever they want and rest whenever they want. This is correct – up to a certain limit.

When you are a freelancer, it is only you who can give deadlines and only you will be accountable. Scheduling your routines and work is the foundation, if you don’t put this right, your whole freelancing will collapse.


Be ready to market yourself. Making calls and searching clients is just something that you’ll have to do bluntly, you can’t afford to be shy.

It is also a good idea to learn a few essential marketing tips, such as how to call a possible client etc. Google around, you will find plenty of material, and if you like this topic, I’ll make a post about marketing right here at Designzzz.

Choose a Niche

You might be able to excel in many types of designing, but you should have one top branch nevertheless. Your niche could be Logo Designing, Web Designing or anything similar.

It may seem that this could hurt your “client flow” since you are only suitable for one type of tasks, but it actually enhances your chances of succeeding in this supremely competitive industry.


Define a policy, the characteristics of your business. Policy is the way of reaching to your clients. The policy can be that we will work at the cheapest prices possible, or perhaps we will give the client Unlimited Revisions so that his design could look exactly the way he wants it.

Never think about making a few hidden costs or anything, that’s just a plain lie.


How to succeed in freelancing

Here we take a look at the right way to start your business and the key concepts for making it successful.


First of all, market the hell out of your business. How can a client come to you, if he doesn’t even know you exist?

In communication, the tips are that you should not sound too technical. One of the things that is far from popular among our customers is that we can’t really speak the normal, non-geeky language.  Try to control this habit.

Jack of All Trades

It’s good if you are a master in something, but it is quite essential in freelancing that you are a jack of all trades. These ‘trades’ include Marketing, Co-ordination, HR…. I think you got the point.


This topic could go forever, so let’s just cut it short. In the wrap up, I would only say that freelancing is a very difficult job when you start. But once you have leaped over the hurdles, it could turn out that being a freelancer was the best decision of your life.

Thumb Image courtesy: ideate

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  1. Natalie January 28, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I agree with most of those but would like to add one thing. At the beginning of your career be prepared to take the low paying jobs in order to build up your portfolio. Once you have got a varied portfolio then up your prices and stick to them. Working for low paying jobs is tough but once you get through that then it really is wonderful being a freelancer.

    1. Tayyab January 28, 2011 at 1:27 am

      Very nice point, one should be realistic and not try to become a Freelancing professional without having an impressive portfolio.

  2. Designing Mall January 28, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Niche selection depends more on marketing conditions/situations and your own skills, keeping in view the Threats and Opportunities. Very Effective Article…

  3. tirupati darshan booking January 28, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Excellent article for successful freelancer.
    wORDPRESS has numerous plugins for managing invoices.

    1. Tayyab January 28, 2011 at 11:35 pm

      @tirupati darshan!
      Great Point, I’ll be publishing a post for Free Invoicing Services Soon, very soon. Thanks for the Idea

  4. DTX Studios January 28, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Great post dude. Sounds good. Thanks! Its very helpful.

  5. Smashing Buzz January 28, 2011 at 7:02 am

    helping article and useful tips you sharing. thanks

  6. Aaron Moody January 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Nice, well written article with some great pointers for people new to freelancing. I personally have been freelancing part time for 3 years as I’ve been studying and once that’s over I want to get a full time job. I hope my experience as a freelance web and graphic designer will help me land the job!

    1. Tayyab January 29, 2011 at 12:14 am

      Of course your experience will help Aaron!
      Best of Luck 🙂

  7. Kirsty February 6, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Discipline is really important if your doing freelance work at home. Without discipline, you will be late on your deadlines and you can’t finish your work on time.

  8. Brett Widmann March 17, 2011 at 11:33 am

    These are great tips! I hope to go all freelance soon.

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