Business of Creativity
What they didn’t teach you in school: How to become a successful freelance graphic designer
Being a freelance graphic designer doesn’t mean selling yourself short, creating $5 logos or giving away your services for free. Knowing how to build a stable business with a consistent client base that generates sufficient income is hard to learn by yourself. In fact, it’s often not even taught in many design schools, because often the instructors don’t know the basics of marketing themselves.
In the following video, graphic designer, Lauren Gonzalez, reveals the secret to reaching real success. She doesn’t offer the usual advice about posting on Instagram or creating Tik Tok videos, Instagram Reels or YouTube shorts, but instead shows the key step that most freelance graphic designers miss along the way.
Learn more about Lauren Gonzalez
Lauren has been a graphic designer for over 11 years and an artist since she was very young, drawing and creating everywhere she could. After majoring in animation/illustration she switched to graphic design and has been an avid Wacom user since day one of her design career. She remembers learning Photoshop at Art Center on a mouse and how when she was introduced to a Wacom, she couldn’t believe anyone was even allowed to use anything but this tablet to create on the computer.
After working in-house as a designer and then creative director for 6 years, Lauren set out on her own, building a design business from scratch. The first purchase she made before starting her new venture was a Wacom tablet, followed by her iMac computer. She had tried some other tablets here and there, but their drivers were not stable and the fluidity and reliability were much lower than a Wacom, so it was natural that her first investment was this vital tool.
After hitting many bumps and struggles of finding work in that first six months of her design business, she was able to overcome the rough patch and grow her design business to what it is now, a consistent client and income machine. After realizing how many other freelance designers were struggling out there, she created an educational business for designers called 4 The Creatives with the primary mission to stop creatives from being undervalued and provide a roadmap for them to build their own dream businesses that could give them a living doing what they truly love.
She continues to put out weekly design-related tips and tricks on YouTube and Instagram as well as runs her signature course program called the Consistent Clients Blueprint, where her students go onto setting up successful design businesses of their own.