Working in logo design can be a little frustrating sometimes, especially if you’re just starting out or trying to pick up new clients. Every business needs a logo, but many decide to get theirs made one of two places: through a crowdsourcing service like Designhill, or by a friend, relative, or acquaintance.
There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but it makes it a bit difficult to get lucrative projects for anyone who hasn’t done a lot of online marketing for their design business. How are you supposed to get into the market if online services and flat rate groups have it cornered?
Is It Worth It?
While many artists and graphic designers would prefer not to participate in speculative work and crowdsourcing efforts, with good reason, there are a number of positive aspects to joining in. The most noteworthy of these is the pre-built client base. If you choose to sell your design at Designhill or any of the other decent crowdsourcing sites and services available to you online, you have access to an established clientele already seeking out designers like you. Any client you find on one of these sites will already have a budget and a comprehensive design brief, giving you a clear understanding of the scope of work and the payment you can expect.
If you have any history freelancing in the design world, you know that getting paid for your designs can be almost as much work as the project itself. According to the Guardian, “chasing invoices” is to be expected. The recommendation is to set clear terms for payment, send solicitation letters as needed, and hope for the best; if your design work is how you make a living, this could put a serious cramp in your lifestyle. However, the vast majority of crowdsourcing websites advocate for designers as much as clients, making sure that your work is paid for and there’s no argument about final cost; what the client offers as the budget for the project, you’re guaranteed to be paid.
Why Sell Online?
In smaller towns and cities, it may be possible to offer freelance services in-person or on a one-on-one basis, but it’s hard to make a living with such limited client option. Choosing to sell your graphical work online isn’t just smart, it’s all but required in today’s economy. In fact, Biz 30 refers to outsourcing graphic design work online as being the only way to get quality work on a budget for small to mid-size businesses everywhere.
Putting yourself online doesn’t just make it easier to obtain long-distance clients, however. By having a fully functional and aesthetic website or Internet portfolio, you can easily direct prospective clients in your community to visit you online and see what you’ve done, what you’re working on, and the skill level of which you’re capable.
Working online also allows you to market your work in multiple ways:
- Selling direct from your website
- Making bids on open projects seeking skilled professionals
- Contacting clients in need with recommendations and commission information
- Offering “stock” designs and templates for more economic clients
- Taking part in community or group efforts for a percentage of the final payoff
Different situations necessitate different selling, bidding, estimating and marketing styles, so try to get a good feel for a service or community before you jump in and start designing. Communicate with other designers in the community, check out the top clients and projects, find out the level of skill and creativity that you’ll be expected to put forth once you start participating; this way, you’ll not only know what to do when you get into your first big project, but you’ll also have goals to meet and skills to work on throughout the process.
There’s very little reason to hold back in marketing yourself online, and even fewer reasons to avoid the top crowdsourcing websites if you’re looking to make loyal clients out of online strangers. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be at least a little bit careful when selling yourself via Internet, if only because of informational overload. DWuser.com has a few recommendations for freelancing online the right way, the most important of which is to know what your work is worth. Remember that you’re offering a service here that very few people can offer at your skill level, so don’t let anyone undercut you. If the crowdsourcing site you choose prides itself not on quality work, but low prices, then you may be best served somewhere else.
Overall, there are a plethora of excellent ways to sell your work online, and finding the top places for you is a matter of your skill and preference. Contests and crowdsourcing sites are a great place to build up your skill and your client base, while working alone is an excellent way to hone your marketing capabilities. It all depends on where you are in your design career – as long as you start online, you’ll find the perfect place for your work.