It has been a while since I last wrote an article. Now that the world is going through the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel the need to write one to discuss what a Graphic designer can do to financially survive this pandemic.
I am currently fully employed and the thought of losing my job is scary but I prefer not to dwell on that. Fortunately for me, I have a freelance career to fall back to. It will be hard but what other choice do I have? I know for a fact I will have to trim my weekly upkeep.
Sadly, people are losing their jobs and you might not be spared. Coming to terms with that will help you focus on the next step.
I know what you are thinking, “Is he going to talk about sites like Upwork and Fiverr?” Nope. These are great avenues to make some extra money, but they are not the only online options. They are also easier than what I am about to suggest.
It is time for you to launch your freelance career! This means personal branding, creating a presentable portfolio and coming up with a price structure. It may sound easy but trust me, you will end up asking your family or friends “How much do you think I should charge for a logo”. I know because I did that.
Where to start
You will have to first get a website, then create social media accounts and embark on an email marketing campaign. In case you do not know how to design a website, I will give you a few tips.
If you are a web and graphics designer you can skip this section. If you don’t want to learn to code but need a website as soon as possible I got you covered.
You will need to learn how to install a WordPress theme, there are hundreds of YouTube videos that can show you how. Also, most WordPress Theme developers attach Installation guides to the downloads.
I prefer buying themes from ThemeForest. You can preview the themes, check reviews and how the developers respond to questions.
Once you install the theme you will have to customize it to fit your standards. Customizing is fun although if you are a perfectionist like yours truly, it will take forever. In case you want to read more about WordPress theme customization, wpbeginner did a fantastic job.
To have a fully functional website you will need a professional logo, a short bio, portfolio (with or without descriptions) and a few articles. You can do this in 1 week or less.
Social Media Accounts
I prefer Facebook and Instagram but I have seen some designers using Twitter. For you to look professional, you will need to design a cover photo for your Facebook page, upload your logo and fill the About and Services section. After that, share some of your best projects with a detailed description. Do not fill your timeline with offers!
Instagram is easier, all you need is your logo, a quick bio and a few well-designed banners to upload.
In my opinion, this is by far the most frustrating and scary strategy. You will need patience. “Should I have spent more time on it before sending it?” or “I wonder how many of the recipients will read the email.” These are just a few of the questions that will go through your mind. Just know, it’s just a matter of time.
Once you have done all this, start promoting your social media posts. Due to the COVID-19, you will not be able to meet your clients, so expect Zoom or Skype calls. Make sure to dress well before appearing in the video conference calls.
I feel that anyone can have an online freelance business. One just needs the drive and the means. It will empower you!