How to Get Freelance Graphic Design Work (Online, Home Based, Remote)

  • Written By: Michael Haralson
  • Date: January 2, 2022
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There’s such a significant need for visual graphic design these days. Just about everywhere you look – in the world of business, in the world of art and the world of education – graphic design is an important part. If you are a graphic design freelancer, how to get freelance graphic design work is a matter of process, and it will allow you to be able to work online, home-based, or working remotely from any location.

So how do you get freelance graphic design work? ● Know what type of design you specialize in and what your best skills are● Find project – engage with the many freelance platforms that are offering graphic design projects● Summarize your skills and benefits to potential customers and show it in a portfolio● Be sure to prepare your workspace at home for freelance work● Compete for freelance jobs on the right level – entry or experienced

Getting freelance graphic design jobs is not easy. Still, with some critical insight into the process of preparing and competing for projects from potential customers, it will give you an advantage. Additionally, by preparing properly, you will know what your interests are so that you will compete for the right projects. Let’s dive in.

How Do I Find Freelance Graphic Design Work Online 

Finding graphic design work online is a matter of process, preparation, and positioning your skills to compete for the right projects. There are lots of new graphic design projects offered. First, let’s find where they are hiding and then go over the process of applying for them. Let’s look at some best practices too.

Job Platforms That Offer Graphic Design Work

You can find graphic design work online by engaging with the many freelance job platforms on the Internet.

Although there are many freelance job platforms, if you are a beginner, it may be challenging to know which ones are suitable for you to start.

The big platforms like Upwork and Freelancer have a reasonably high bar to begin bidding on potential projects and have a filtering process designed to help the companies looking to hire. If you are a beginner, it may be strategically wise to start with some of the smaller platforms, gain some experience to show on your portfolio and then work on building experience on the larger ones.

I also recommend sending proposals and working on 3-5 freelance job platforms to give yourself a chance to experience the different ways some of the platforms work.

In the table below, I have listed 11 freelance job platforms that offer graphic design work. In this table, I have indicated whether fees or membership fees are required (these change depending upon the pricing plan or level of service you want from the job platform), whether it is easy to sign up or a detailed amount of information is required and the size of the platform. Finally, I have indicated whether the platform is dedicated to graphic designers.

Table 1 - Freelance Job Platforms That Offer Graphic Design Work

Freelance Job
Platform
Fees or Membership RequiredDifficulty to Get Started - Easy sign-up /Detailed sign-upSize of Platform (Small-Med-Large)Specialized for Illustrators & Artists- Yes / NoJob Platform Link
GuruYesEasy sign-upLargeYesGuru
Onsite.ioNoEasy sign-upSmallNoOnsite.io
FiverrNoEasy sign-upSmallYesFiverr
99 DesignsNoEasy sign-upMedYes99Designs
IndeedNoEasy sign-upLargeNoIndeed
Simply HiredNoEasy sign-upLargeNoSimply Hired
FreelancerYesDetailed sign-upMedYesFreelancer
Toptal NoDetailed sign-upLargeNoToptal
UpworkYesDetailed sign-upLargeYesUpwork
PeoplePerHourNoDetailed sign-upLargeYesPeoplePerHour
TwineNoEasy sign-upMedNoTwine
Freelance Job
Platform
Fees or Membership RequiredDifficulty to Get Started - Easy sign-up /Detailed sign-upSize of Platform (Small-Med-Large)Specialized for Illustrators & Artists- Yes / NoJob Platform Link

Applying For Freelance Graphic Design Work

Applying for potential freelance graphic design work can be complicated and time-consuming. However, as mentioned before, you should look at it as a process. If you look at it as a process, once you have done it once in one platform, you can repeat the same process on other platforms too. Naturally, there may be differences in how the platforms work with experts, but for the most part, if you understand the process and steps of what to do to register with the platform and then create proposals for jobs that match, you will be a few steps ahead of others.

Registering for platforms is a pretty straightforward process. You need to:  

1. Create an account 

2. Provide a great profile which outlines the types of graphic design work you can do, and that is desired 

3. In your profile or space where they require you to list your experience, make sure this experience outlines your strength, the types of projects you have done before and expertise level 

4. If you have created a portfolio in PDF form or have a portfolio website, be sure to link this in your profile and other areas of your profile 

5. Some platforms will require a subscription payment. If you choose a platform that requires it, choose the pricing plan for your needs. 

If you are a beginner, it may be better to try a few of the other platforms that do not require payment, and after you have gotten some experience and further projects under your belt, go for a paid platform.

For selected projects that match your skill and experience, you need to prepare a proposal or pitch to compete for the project. Today’s marketplace on freelance platforms is competitive. The better you are at competing for projects, the better your success will be. 

graphic designer-freelancingboss
Getting freelance graphic design jobs is competitive, you need to be on top of your game with skills and tools – FreelancingBoss

Even if you are a beginner, you can increase your chances of winning the project if you prepare properly. After that, it’s a numbers game with ratios, meaning that you need to be aware of how many proposals you need to make to close one project. It’s the sales approach, and we will cover sales ratios in future articles on freelance boss.com.

Creating a Portfolio of Your Work Projects

One of the best practices in getting freelance graphic design work is to create a portfolio.

A portfolio is a collection of your best work, shown visually as well as described in textual format. The importance of a portfolio as a best practice is so high that if done well, it will increase the number of projects you can get, and it will help you with branding yourself or your business as an expert.

Once you have your portfolio of work collected, it’s a good idea to water market and put it in a PDF. Remember also to write relevant text describing your work and, in some cases creating a short case study so that potential customers can understand your role in creating the design work in your portfolio.

If you want to take it to the next level, a website portfolio is highly recommended. Most of the best graphic design experts have their own website portfolio. It is too lengthy a process described in this article how to create your own graphic design website portfolio. However, we will cover this topic in-depth in other articles on this website.

Keep your portfolio updated and in an excellent format. It is a tool that can help you greatly and is a best practice that is used a lot by your competition.

Do Most Graphic Designers Work From Home?

In the US, 22% of graphic designers in 2018 were self-employed, i.e., they worked at home or their own small office. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm#tab-3

As the Internet and cloud technologies advance, it’s getting easier for people to work from home, and this also applies to freelance graphic designers. So let’s take a look to see what type of set up as needed for graphic designers if they get projects where they can work at home.

Graphic Design Work From Home Freelance Benefits

If you aim to become a freelance graphic designer, you have an option to be home-based and do your projects remotely at home. Although there are some cases where the customer will provide a desk set up in their office, the majority of freelancing projects can be done at home or anywhere.

We covered how to get freelance graphic design work from the online job platforms above. Once you have secured a graphic design project, you should have the setup at home needed to complete the project, and this means having the necessary graphic design tools and software.

home office graphic designer freelancingboss
There are many benefits to having a home office as a graphic designer – FreelancingBoss

Some of the benefits of working at home and doing graphic design work are the following:

● A home office set up can be customized to your preferences and are always there for you have arranged them 
● Time can be saved by eliminating the commute to the office 
● You can choose your own time to process graphic design work. You can work in the morning or the evening or even in the hours past midnight 
● If your home office is set up correctly, getting to a state of deep work where you can be as creative as possible, is easier

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Related Freelancing and Work at Home Articles You Might Also Be Interested In:
How Can You Create the Perfect Freelancer Workspace at Home?
How to Get Freelance Illustration and Artist Jobs (Online, Remote, Home Office)
How to Have a Minimalist Home Office Desk Setup (Workspace, Computer, Decor)
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H3 Freelance Graphic Design Work From Home Setup

As mentioned, work from home enables a freelance graphic designer to have access to all the tools needed in their home. Let’s take a look at what type of home office setup is required for a graphic designer.

Remembering that the aim of a good home office set up for graphic designers is to be able to complete projects according to specifications, promptly. So here are a few things that a good home office set up will require:

● A room or corner of the house that is designed specifically for your home office 
● Wi-Fi 
● Cloud storage system or external hard disks for storage 
● A suitable desk and chair 
● A computer – laptop or desktop with sufficient memory for graphics 
● Depending on preference, one or two computer monitors 
● Printer 
● External digital computer drawing pad 
● Preferred software applications

Tips for Working at Home As a Graphic Designer

Now that you have set up your home office, here are some tips for working as a home-based freelance graphic designer:

Set specific work time and free time – you should keep the number of hours for work completely separate from your free time. It is the best way to process your graphic design projects. During the time that you have scheduled to work, you should aim to do deep work and progress your project.

Aim for productivity – get the basics in place when it comes to productivity. Use the calendar planner, list things on your to-do list and process that to-do list, and use time management applications if they are helpful to you. You need to use your time productively to complete your project

work at home graphic designer freelancingboss
Being productive in your home office will enable you to finish your graphic design projects – FreelancingBoss

Keep distractions to a minimum – one of the biggest things that will hinder progress on your graphic design projects is distractions. It can come in the form of noise, people visiting and calling you, or it can be social media notifications going off. If you are doing work, keep these to an absolute minimum

Know the time when you are most creative – if you know that you are most creative in the early morning, then you should use that knowledge and progress your project when you can give your best to it. Block that time and use it on your projects

Entry-Level Remote Graphic Design Jobs

Getting freelance entry-level remote graphic design jobs can be a bit challenging. We have already covered the about the process of getting projects on freelance job platforms and adequately preparing your home office, now let’s take a look at how to overcome some of the challenges of getting entry-level graphic design jobs.

Whenever one contemplates a career, it helps to understand if the work you do will be something “bigger than just the work”. Here’s a YouTube video on the impact of graphic design on society which may give you some added perspective and motivation in the choice of our work – Design’s Impact on Society.

YouTube Video – Design’s Impact on Society by Adobe Creative Cloud

YouTube Video – Design’s Impact on Society | Adobe Creative Cloud -FreelancingBoss

Finding Entry-Level Graphic Design Jobs

If you’re just starting as a graphic designer and want to go freelance, how can you do this with little or no experience and completed graphic design projects? It will not be easy, but just keep in mind that every expert started precisely where you are right now. They did not have tons of experience or multiple completed projects.

I suggest that you be strategic here.

In choosing the freelance job platform – select 3 to 5 smaller job platforms, do not expect you to pay to use their platform and may have a lower bar for when starting to compete for projects.

Choose to look for freelance jobs in the city where you live – in addition to online freelance job platforms, and you have the opportunity to check for graphic design work at local companies. The best advantage here is that you will have less competition if you contact a hiring manager directly.

Remote Graphic Design Jobs Full-time

Another opportunity to try and find freelance graphic design work is to look for a remote full-time job. It is different from freelancing in the way that you are working for a company, not your own business or as an individual contributor, but you are working remotely at home. 

colors graphic design freelancingboss
Freelance graphic design is a good career and you can also choose to work as a salaried employee – FreelancingBoss

There are advantages to this approach, especially if you are a beginner and seeking entry-level remote graphic design jobs. 

A company will most likely have you work with other designers who have more experience than you and who can be a kind of coach or mentor in the early stages. 

Additionally, if it is a full-time remote job, you will most likely have a recurring salary, and this takes a lot of the pressure that you might have at the beginning freelancer.

Remote Freelance Graphic Design Work While Traveling

If you have set yourself up to work remotely by having a home office, with just a little extra effort, you can make a mobile office and work remotely while traveling or from anywhere. 

Many people who are starting in graphic design our young people and they also have a desire to travel. Many do this. 

Take graphic design digital nomads, for instance. For these digital nomads, working remotely is their daily existence. Some change the country where they are living every few months, and the whole time they are working remotely on graphic design jobs. 

If you learn to work remotely from your home office, it’s just an extra step to work remotely while you are on the road traveling.

Conclusion

To get freelance graphic design work is not impossible even as a beginner. It is a good idea to have your eyes open and understand that there is a process that you have to do well to use freelance job platforms and get customers. As we’ve discussed, the competition can be very fierce. 

Take the extra steps to prepare your home office so that once you do get freelance graphic design work, you will be prepared to process it and complete your project. It will help build your brand and your expertise, which you can then add to your graphic design portfolio. 

Finally, to get entry-level remote graphic design jobs, it’s a good idea to be strategic and use not only online freelance job platforms but to take a look within the city where you are living, using a combination. Take a boss approach and go find those customers!

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