Tips for Making More Money as a Graphic Designer


Make More Money as a Graphic Designer

Pursuing a career in graphic arts or graphic designing is one of the most popular branches in the world these days. From brochures, flyers and leaflets to detergent boxes, album covers, and food cans…graphic designing is truly everywhere.

With a substantial increase in graphic designing, the demand for good graphic designers is on a rise as well. But my point of writing this article is not to address the importance of graphic designing or graphic designers, I am referring to a more interesting factor related to this field, i.e. ‘money’.

All my designer fellows out there, do you know that you guys can earn more while working in the field of graphic design? Whether you do or do not know about it, this post may help you make some extra bucks by doing what you are doing right now, graphic designing!

We graphic designers are simple-minded creative people. Being specialized a lot, we need to understand how to get the maximum out of our design expertise.

It’s good to know that there are some creative ways the graphic designers can employ to earn more money without much more effort and we can then reap maximum benefits out of our career.

Plentiful Networking

Plentiful networking for designer

Networking for the sake of networking is the best tool to catch business and other opportunities that ultimately turn into financial benefits. Join design communities in your vicinity and try to attend their different events. This way you can mark your presence in your niche and among fellow-designers.

Social media is another important tool for professional networking (especially for graphic designers) and have allowed them to interconnect with the graphic design field.

Popular social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook help designers build a healthy network of their clients, colleagues and designer friends from all spheres of the world.

Cases in which a web designer referred a logo designer friend to his clients for a logo-making project are not rare. It can work the other way around as well –  a logo designer could refer his developer friend for a website project of his client.

Value Addition

Value Addition for designers

Value addition is a tip that helps graphic designers to earn some bucks above the regular standard. As a service provider you yourself are a good judge of how can you add the kind of value to your work that prompts your client to pay you more.

Suppose you charge $100 for a logo design. You can increase the value of your work by adding more attributes like:

  • quality
  • speed
  • more options

You could then charge $300 for the same project. There are many clients that value quality over money and you’ll be lucky to have such clients.

Another way of adding value to your work is to differentiate your style and methodology from that of your competitors, so that your clients are willing to pay you more.

Jack of All Trades

jack of all trades

Artwork by Matthew Stumphy

Although it is important to specialize in a single field or tool of graphic designing, multitasking favors your career very much in this branch. You should know the basic know-how of different departments that are associated with your job, i.e. copywriting, printing, even business management and business development.

Being a master at your area of expertise will earn you more, but having a good grasp of  all aspects of the business will earn you more prospects. Keep knowledge about logo designing, brochure designing and other attributes of graphic designing as well as your own personal expertise. This will bring you more clients and projects.

Relationship with Client

customer relations

Gaining a client is much easier than maintaining him or her. My graphic designer fellows often underestimate the benefits of a stable and long-term relationship with their clients. They just focus on the relationship till the end of a particular project.

There is a whole concept and strategy involved in retaining your potential clients. Instead of trying to earn more by finding clients, graphic designers should develop a long-term relationship with their existing clients in order to retain them for future endeavors. In the meantime, current clients keep sending you work and also refer you to others at times.

Bonus Services

bonus services as designer

As I have discussed in one of the earlier points, value adding services can earn you more than the average industry payment. Consequently, if you add some bonus services to your design services, it will make you stand out of the large crowd of competitors.

Such supplementary services highly affect the decision-making of your clients. For example graphic designers can tempt their clients by offering them multiple services at the cost of one, or a bundle package like:

  • get a website design and obtain a complimentary logo free of charge

Such an offer will not only attract more clients, but will act as an incentive for keeping current clients as well.

Client Division

client division

Treat your different clients in a different way. Many graphic designers make a mistake by keeping a static fee for all clients, i.e. they charge each customer the same rates.

Instead of keeping universal charges, designers have to learn to draw a line among their clients and treat them separately. Bigger clients like international companies should be charged higher and less money should be taken from the small business owners.

This technique of client division is known as the market segmentation, dividing your clients into special niches. On the other hand, keeping charges lower for “poorer” segments will earn you more clients who have tighter budgets.

Multiply Your Knowledge

multiply your knowledge

As a professional graphic designer, share your knowledge and expertise with others. You can do so by writing articles related to your areas of interest and specialization in the field of graphic designing.

For that you can use several platforms, including the most famous one – blogging. Not only will this harbor additional money in your pocket, but it will also add credentials to your graphic design portfolio.

Moreover, spreading knowledge broadens you horizons and you get to learn more and harness you skills better. If you believe that you have the ability to teach others, you can also opt on delivering lectures on graphic designing which is a well paid work too.

The Round Up

Graphic designing is a very rewarding carrier.  But only for those who know it well and also know how to make the most of their skills to reach the ultimate goal of business, a.k.a. money. Many of you might already be practicing one or many of these tips as a part of your daily routine.

However, whether you do or do not practice these activities, I’m hoping that this post will help you in developing a rewarding carrier as a graphic designer.

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Further Related Readings

  1. Amr Boghdady November 22, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I think the first tip is the most important one, at least for me; without social media sites I wouldn’t have had half the jobs that I’ve made till now

    Nevertheless, great article, thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Arfa November 24, 2010 at 11:18 am

      Thank you Amr!

  2. Alexander November 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Very interesting article. And you mentioned some parts that I haven’t thought about before. I’m actually to this point not a full fledge designer and have actually not made a dim from anything related to it.

    But still, I feel this article taught me something. Perhaps I’ll be able to make something in the future out of it.

    One thing that I feel I still don’t know after this is. How do you find a client? Sure, finding people you told us, but clients? Have any tips on how to approach on that one?

    1. Arfa November 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

      Thank you for appreciating the article Alexander. I will surely discuss the topic of ‘how to find a client’ in my upcoming articles

  3. Guest November 23, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    And the number one tip: Always use stock photography when writing an article about how to make more money as a graphic designer.

    1. Arfa November 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

      Guest, I have used the suitable images for this blog that are high quality and go with the topic as well. Thank you for your suggestion!

  4. Karen November 24, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I agree with treating clients differently, but I would focus more on not being afraid to raise your prices for bigger companies rather than lowering them for smaller ones.

    A lot of us are already too comfortable with lowering prices, and the tendency is very strong to compete with price.

    But that will only bring one to a downward spiral. There will always be somebody who will price lower than you.

    But if you focus on maintaining the highest quality of work, client communication, and customer service in general — not to mention all those value-added stuff you have to offer — you should stand your ground on your current price and not be afraid to ask more from those who can afford more and stand to lose more, as well, if they end up with a lousy designer!

  5. Mark November 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Awesome topic! Well written! My favorite part is market segmenting!

  6. Spraggz February 6, 2011 at 1:28 am

    This article was great. It reminded me of everything I need to be doing and more. Definitley kudos. Especially the point on harnessing all your talents into graphic design and how you can five lectures. It almost like by any means necessary, get your money lol

    1. Arfa February 7, 2011 at 12:24 am

      Glad I was helpful

  7. Ethan Zoreta April 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    These are really helpful tips! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Matthew Stumphy June 27, 2011 at 1:38 am

    That’s a great picture of the Jack of All Trades you have up there in this post. I’d love it if you put a reference to the artist who orginally drew it, and to his website (that would be me, Matthew Stumphy, and THANKS.

  9. Jan Milam September 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Enjoyed the article. Good basic advice. Only thing you might want to consider in future articles, (which is also a very important aspect of graphic design), is copy checking. There are a couple of blunders.

    1. Arfa September 7, 2011 at 5:50 am

      @Jan Milam

      Don’t just claim it, point out the blunders….

  10. Mario October 1, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    thank you for this article. nice, and informative

  11. Raj Sharma January 24, 2012 at 3:32 am

    i like your post very much. i m a graphic designer myself ……i design website logo/banner for a company……i just wanna know how can i earn more nd….i am also looking for a job

    1. Tayyab January 24, 2012 at 4:17 am

      your question is answered in the article… didn’t you read it?

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