One of the things I love about being a designer is the flexibility of potential income sources. Let’s admit it, nobody likes to put all of their eggs in one basket and nobody should. Fortunately, us designers are in a pretty good position.
Let’s walk through some of the opportunities available to you right now to profit from the design skills that you already possess. As you sharpen your skills you just have to apply yourself and be a bit clever in your strategy to efficiently maximize your income. Here are a few tips to help you do just that.
Foregoing the traditional route
Designers are not just there to put a nice looking topcoat on the finished product anymore. Design plays a major role in the development of every product on the market, physical or digital. If you find a really good company to work for you’ll have an opportunity to advance in your design career and potentially be on your way to big things.
But what if you can’t land that dream design job and your skills are going to waste? Time to change the way you think about your design career. One of the best career avenues is one built entirely from scratch, and the best place to start is by offering design services to put your skills to work.
In layman’s terms, branding is a step beyond designing a logo. On a branding project you will be involved in creating a unique personality for a product in the consumers’ minds, mainly through assets such as logos and other graphic elements, typography and photography style. All of which will be used throughout the lifetime of the company, through collateral, product releases and marketing campaigns.
The aim of branding is to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. The key to selling branding is emphasizing the importance of this, and communicating to your clients that improved branding means more business for them.
Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. Often many individuals will work in teams covering different aspects of the design process, although some designers will cover them all.
The most common web design client is a company or individual who is looking to keep up with competitors in their space by reaching more customers through the internet, so highlighting the return on investment of having a strong web presence will help you close more deals.
Successful advertising connects a product or service with interested consumers. Through eye-catching visuals and clever copywriting, ads try to influence the public into purchasing the product. Promotional design brings wider appeal through direct mail pieces, fliers, coupon, websites and store displays.
You can go digital, focusing on things like banner ads and social media graphics, or set out to conquer the print game, with a focus on flyers and catalogs.
Apparel design is a rewarding, fast-paced and highly creative job. In order to stay at the top, well-designed and well-developed products are key. Product development helps to identify a market opportunity, creating products that appeal to the market, develop technical specifications, and modify the product for production
One of the easiest ways to get started in apparel design is by designing t-shirts. A t-shirt design can be literally anything, so there’s a customer out there for whatever design style or niche you’ve come to master. The most rewarding aspect of this particular service is seeing people walk around wearing your designs.
Customers are drawn, more than anything, to products that look good. Something that is well designed and interesting is bound to attract more potential customers than a product that is poorly designed and looks bland. This is the importance of packaging design. It is, after all, a key part in marketing a product and ensuring it sells. It is also a key part in associating a brand to a certain thing – be it a color or a feeling.
If you have a skill you know other people in your field want, sell consulting services that teach other freelance designers how to duplicate your successes. You can make extra cash for this, while sharpening your own skill at the same time. The fact that you’ll have other designers looking to you for feedback, direction and inspiration will keep a fire lit inside you to further advance your own career, and hold you accountable to doing just that.
Selling consulting services to other designers is much like selling design services to companies. It’s essential to have a portfolio of sorts to showcase your past success. This can be achieved through case studies that dive deeper into your design process and the impact your work has left on your past clients’ projects.
Not everything you design will be loved by your clients. Instead of letting those unused designs go to waste, cash in on them by selling your design files or assets on marketplace sites. As an example, Graphic Leftovers is a website that lets graphic designers sell logos, icons, illustrations and more that have been leftover from client projects.