Quantcast How to get work as a graphic designer. - digitalFAQ Forum
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11-02-2010, 11:40 AM
fzgfaq fzgfaq is offline
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I wrote all this in response to a post that I think may have been a troll. So rather than see it going to waste I thought Ide share it again. If you have more to add please feel free. This is somewhat of a how to on freelancing. I dont touch much on artwork itself because here we are talking business. I think the business we are discussing is the business of relationships.

The truth is that there are many factors that will get you clients and more than will help you do well with them.

The first thing is to have a portfolio which includes some decent work. If you dont have this then there is no real reason to hire you. See people are trying to convince themselves if something is worth it or not. The more reasons you give them the more likely they will hire you. Beyond a portfolio, when you talk to them, you may have to sell yourself more. I do this through simply telling them why whatever they want is worth it. Im like the positive voice in their head. If they are concerned if a website is worth it then I explain why websites are very worthwhile, same with a good logo, business card, etc. Sometimes they convince themselves long before you meet them that these things are not worth it, they can just get a cheap one or do it themselves. I do my best to explain the different between what I do vs what they do but if in the end they dont see what your saying then theres not much more you can do. Its their choice, be understanding and let them make their own mistakes.

The next is to start networking with people. You need to start helping people and people always enjoy graphic design so theres no shortage of work. How you should start is to do what you can for people. The trick to dedicated clients is developing good relationships with them and providing them with great service. Start with friends and family, make some logos, make some websites, make them money with it, ask for some money for these services, if they are hesitant then give them a deal or do it for free, just for the first few jobs at least. Try not to act desperate, as this is an indicator that you are trying to get something from them. You should be wanting to help them first. If they are standoffish about you helping them become more successful then try to convey that. Friends dont take from each other, friends give. Clients can pick up on if you are genuinely caring for them rather than just wanting their money. So you if give your friend great service and a great product generally they want to give you money. Its a nurturing relationship. If you sense a client is not this type of person then you may not want to do more work in the future with them. But this is why being genuine is beneficial. If they dont vibe with your giving nature then they will generally leave, whether they know it or not. Its the law of attraction on that one.

If you genuinely care about their needs then in no time you should start getting some more work. Either they will come back for more or they will recommend you to more people. If you treated them well and gave them a quality experience then you become valuable, they will want to share you with their friends and family who need help. If you get new clients from them then up your prices a bit and continue to do good work and give great service.

Above all be yourself. This is really the key to good relationships anyway. I treat all my clients as if they are friends ive known my whole life. If you cant get that way with a client then it might not be "meant to be" and it may not be your fault. Sometimes they are standoffish because either they dont let others get close and/or they treat business relations differently than regular ones. But most people want what you want, to be happy, so give them your self and be their friend. Humans love to connect to people, especially people who value them. Sometimes though it is you who is treating the relationship in a way that wont serve anyone. Some people make everything official like signing contracts and such. I think a gentlemens agreement is like an unspoken bond between people, its what friends have.

These are some of the main tools of my business. I think our "work life" mirrors our spiritual life. People who are used to working in structured business's for bosses need that security. It becomes like a security blanket, even if its not ideal or even if its painful. Doing freelance for a living is like living in the unknown with people you meet along the way, whatever direction you choose to take. It takes more faith to be out there in the unknown but after a while you start to see there is a natural order, there are natural laws. When you begin to see them you can have faith and no longer worry about where money will come from. For me I realized that if I simply do good, be a good person, give what I want to receive, think of others needs before my own, and seek balance, and understand that life itself has my betterment in mind then I dont need to worry at all.

After a while freelancing can develop structure so I cant full remove it from the life of someone working 9-5 but lets just say it is different. I find people working 9-5's are more afraid because they dont live in the unknown. They live in the known which is worse because we instinctively know that we cannot know what is around the corner, at any moment. So we agree to be a bit delusional and pretend we are safe when we know we are not. So that was we choose to live in constant torment rather than find our freedom. As in, freelance. I personally view my life like a garden. If I plant seeds of abundance (which means to give abundance to others), plant seeds of love, of caring, of nurturing, of what is right and bright and true, then the garden will grow into a beautiful one. My life there will mirror this. So I dont need to know what it will look like in 3 weeks if what I do now is the root cause of it. People who are disconnected from that truth worry constantly about the future. But we must remind ourselves that the only power we have to affect anything is what choose to do with out energy in this moment.

Well I hope I answered your question! I know the spiritual side of it can throw people off but you cannot separate your work from your life. Its all the same. You are the main ingredient in your own success. I love freelancing, I cant imagine going back.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human one."
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  #2  
11-10-2010, 11:45 PM
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Interesting post. I'll reply to some things, piece by piece...

Quote:
I wrote all this in response to a post that I think may have been a troll. So rather than see it going to waste I thought Ide share it again.
I'd be curious what post had a troll. On this site, abusive members are not tolerated. Trolls will find themselves both censured and censored, as this site was established as a place for educated discord for both professionals and general consumers/hobbyists alike.

Quote:
The first thing is to have a portfolio which includes some decent work. If you dont have this then there is no real reason to hire you. See people are trying to convince themselves if something is worth it or not. The more reasons you give them the more likely they will hire you.
A portfolio is a display (or evidence) of your skills and education, as applied in the past. It contrasts with a resume, which is simply a listing of what you've done and lacks any visible evidence. I don't really think you're trying to convince them of your worth as much as convince them that you're qualified to do the work.

Quote:
If they are concerned if a website is worth it then I explain why websites are very worthwhile, same with a good logo, business card, etc. Sometimes they convince themselves long before you meet them that these things are not worth it, they can just get a cheap one or do it themselves. I do my best to explain the different between what I do vs what they do but if in the end they dont see what your saying then theres not much more you can do. Its their choice, be understanding and let them make their own mistakes.
Yes, this is a big problem. Websites, logos, marketing collateral -- these are all important tools for running your business. Few businesses understand websites any better than they do advertising, marketing or PR that underlies it. To them, it's too often a "computer thing" that they don't want, but feel forced to do. They focus too much on the tech, simply because a computer is the tool used to create it and view it.

Creative work often comes with the baggage of a crap budget, which can only buy you an inferior product. Having a bad site is almost worse than not having one at all. It's worse to look stupid (bad site) than it would be for somebody to merely think it (not having a site).

Excluding the poorly implemented do-it-yourself jobs, the primary mistake for clients is trying to micro-manage the project, and insisting you do things that you know will not work. Sometimes the earliest part of a vendor/client relationship is getting the client to shut up long enough to listen to your professional experience and advice. That alone tends to be the biggest challenge for many alpha-personality business owners (which I would guess is a majority of them).

Other times, you have to have the guts to turn away work, because the client wants you to create a complete piece of crap. That could reflect badly on you, to other potential clients down the line. The client will no doubt brag on their new site/logo/whatever, naming you as the service who did it. Meanwhile everybody else knows it's junk, and they think it's a reflection of your work, rather than the idiotic demands of the client.

Quote:
Start with friends and family, make some logos, make some websites, make them money with it, ask for some money for these services, if they are hesitant then give them a deal or do it for free, just for the first few jobs at least.
I would suggest you not do work for friends or family. Like any other college student, you'll want to create your own "dummy" projects (portfolio pieces), and then sell yourself to legitimate clients. I don't care if you're 50 years out of college -- adopt the "senior year college style" method for building a portfolio. I've never met a pro who started out with making sites for friends and family, but I do know of quite a few out-of-work designers that did.

Quote:
If you genuinely care about their needs then in no time you should start getting some more work. Either they will come back for more or they will recommend you to more people. If you treated them well and gave them a quality experience then you become valuable, they will want to share you with their friends and family who need help. If you get new clients from them then up your prices a bit and continue to do good work and give great service.
This is a rarity, not the norm. I wish more people would help with word-of-mouth references, but it just really does not happen.

It's even harder to do when you're in the creative technology businesses, because many clients try to come to you with every silly computer question they need answered. Suddenly, they think you've become their free tech support line. You have to break that ugly cycle, and it often lends itself to their disappointment. It's one reason contracts with clients sound so negative (we won't do this, won't do that, etc) -- we're trying to avoid this sort of bad situation.

Quote:
I treat all my clients as if they are friends ive known my whole life
Generally speaking, this isn't a good idea either. Friendly? Yes, absolutely. My friend? No. Because when it gets right down to it, they'll often prove they're NOT your friends. This is a business transaction, not a friend/family relationship.

Quote:
I think our "work life" mirrors our spiritual life
I would leave spirituality/religion/politics out of it. Even if we're doing work for a church or political campaign, we're there for the work of the client -- not to spread our beliefs or become part of their choir.

Quote:
I find people working 9-5's are more afraid because they dont live in the unknown. They live in the known which is worse because we instinctively know that we cannot know what is around the corner, at any moment. So we agree to be a bit delusional and pretend we are safe when we know we are not. So that was we choose to live in constant torment rather than find our freedom.
So very true.

Quote:
Well I hope I answered your question!
Seeing how your started a new post, I'm not really sure what it was you were originally replying to. Maybe it was one of Sossity's posts from the past few months? Just be aware she's a student, as revealed on her many posts, and not a freelancer. (Not that I am aware, at least.)

But thanks for posting, all the same.

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Last edited by kpmedia; 11-10-2010 at 11:52 PM.
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  #3  
11-13-2010, 01:55 AM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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After reading through this thread out of curiosity, & saw my name mentioned, I want to make it clear to all or whoever thought there was a troll; to clear the air;

I dont recall posting about starting work in graphic design, I am going for an AA degree in it & I have mentioned this, I am certainly not trying to stir trouble or be a troll, & am actually a paid member. I am genuinely trying to learn about things, looking to experienced people who have been in the and work in the fields to make informed decisions.

Most of my posts recently have been about photography.
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11-13-2010, 02:00 AM
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Yeah, you're definitely not the troll. But in terms of what threads (on this site) that this person could have been -- you got me. The only recent posts on this site involving any kind of graphic-related work have been the tablet and photo posts. My answers are often brutally honest, so I may have even been his "troll" by a potentially touchy person.

At first, the post by fzgfaq looked like spam, but I didn't see any links or hyping of products.

Just a random person with some thoughts. But they're welcome here, too!

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11-18-2010, 04:38 AM
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As it turns out, the poster "fzgfaq" was a Chinese spammer whose only reply to this thread was spam for the illegal-warez site "ellamour.com" trying to sell fake copies of Dreamweaver. Such sites are more likely just to steal your credit information, so that $50 illegal copy could leave your debit card (bank account) drained of all its funds, or fill your credit card with unauthorized transactions/charges. Sites like this prey on the cheap and stupid.

Given the asinine, unusual and just generally terrible commentary in the first post (which was likely stolen text from another forum, if I had to guess), this doesn't really surprise me.

fzgfaq = ellamour.com = spammer/scammer = not legit = moron

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