Bolton School of the Arts: Letting your Creativity Flourish
03 Aug 22
“At the University of Bolton, we take great pride in providing a quality, supportive learning environment for our students.”
Professor George E Holmes DL | President & Vice Chancellor
“...tutors are very supportive and you’re not just a student ID number, at this university you are an individual with a name.”
Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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Categories: Graphic Design, Undergradute
Setting Up Your Own Graphic Design Business
The thought of starting up your own graphic design business can be incredibly exciting and daunting at the same time. Potentially seeming like a mountain to climb, with many intricacies that you aren’t familiar with like creating an online portfolio, setting prices and even sending invoices. However, if you break it down into smaller more achievable tasks, and only focus on one at a time, the huge mountain gets sliced up into a set of less daunting goals.
1. Developing a Portfolio
It’s essential that you have a portfolio of work to tempt future clients, so build a simple website at first to showcase examples of your best work. There are plenty of websites that you can do this relatively easily on such as Wix and WordPress. For a little extra, you can buy a website domain name from sites like 123-Reg for example, which can easily be applied to your new site through whichever hosting service you choose.
2. Sourcing Clients
Rather than jumping in at the deep end and designing your logo first (we understand the temptation) it is good to look at where you’ll find clients for your work - without clients, you’re not going to be able to the gain momentum that you need to grow. There are many sites, some which charge a small membership fee, that are great for finding clients. There are many freelancing websites to help you in building up your portfolio like FlexJobs, People per Hour, Upwork, Fiverr. In the beginning, it’s important to consider each of the projects you are asked to work on, as the more experience you have, the more likely someone is to hire you.
3. Setting Pricing
Next, you’re going to want to decide how much you are going to charge for your services. There’s a great tool by Bonsai for freelancers to help you figure out how much to charge based on the country you live in, how long you have been in the industry and the type of work that you are doing. You can slowly increase your prices over time as you develop your graphic design business but start low enough to be tempting at first.
4. Your Business Name
Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row next think about your branding - more specifically, the name of your graphic design business. Try to stick to something that is easy to remember, easy to say and easy to spell - it doesn’t have to be groundbreakingly innovative as you can always change it later; as long as you like it, that’s all that matters for now.
Finally, make it as easy as possible for your clients to pay - there are plenty of services out there that will create invoices for you like FreshBooks or QuickBooks which will make things a lot easier for you when it comes to getting paid. It’s important to be confident when you ask for payment - your clients will be expecting this and will not judge you for it. Once you have gone through the process a few times, you’ll begin to feel more comfortable doing so - it’s just part of business after all. It is advisable to ask for payment after the project is completed when you are first starting out, but once you are more established and reputable pre-payment may be an option.
Once you’ve reached this point, you should feel confident enough to grow your business through continued high-quality work and have a slowly growing list of clients. All it takes is some courage, commitment and consistency. If you have the passion and creativity for a future career in Graphic Design, take a look at the University of Bolton’s Graphic Design course based in Greater Manchester where you’ll get the attention and advice from our specialist tutors to get the best start possible.
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