How to Start Your Own Graphic Design Business: Step-by-Step

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Graphic Designing is a wonderful profession that challenges your creativity to bring new ideas to life. Graphic Designing is involved with creating and presenting boring data or information in an interesting, attractive, and format that people love to view and get engaged with.

From creating dazzling brochures to explanatory infographics, and beautiful presentations to decent layouts, graphic designing covers everything a client needs to communicate across various media with the help of graphic designs.

Let’s dive in further to know how you can start your own Graphic Design Business.

How to Start a Graphic Design Business

Starting a graphic design business is easy, as it doesn’t need much investment and infrastructure to start with. You may start your graphic design business with a single laptop and paid subscriptions to graphic design applications, that help you to create stunning and eye-catching designs. And not to forget, a solid robust internet connection with a decent speed.

There’s no need for a complete business setup like having an office in a commercial space with high-class furnishings, you can start your business from a corner of your home too. All you need is a table to place your laptop and start working right away, provided you procure the legal permissions and no-objection documents from your local authorities. 

We list 9 steps for you to start a successful graphic design business here, let’s check them one by one.

Step 1 Find your clients

In the beginning stage of your business, I would advise you to get started with small clients. This is because work speeds up fast with small clients, as an individual or a small group of directors take the decision quickly to go ahead with any design.

In big organizations, a substantial time is consumed till you go through all the processes, right from pitching the client to presenting them your portfolio and if they award you a job, again there’s a lot of time involved till the job gets approved by all the stakeholders from the company.

However, if you are financially stable and can run a business for over 6 months or 1 year without any clients and income, you can select to go for high-ticket clients exclusively.

Please take a look at some potential client areas.

  1. Local clients:

Talk with your friends, associates, and relatives and inform them about your business venture. There are chances some of them are looking to get some brand designs done for their company, or they may have someone in their circle, looking for a graphic designer.

Alternatively, you can narrow down some areas- mainly commercial or industrial and start visiting or cold calling them to inform them about your business and ask for any work.

  1. Social media: 

Many organizations are posting their details on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. You can build a rapport with them, by connecting with them and commenting on their status or posts. 

You can also post regularly daily or weekly about what you are, what you do, and how you can help them. The more you engage, the more you will gain popularity on social media and be more noticeable. 

You can filter out bloggers and vloggers and offer them to provide graphics for their blogs or vlogs. A decent portfolio will add value to your proposal and you may end up having a work contract with them.

  1. Freelance marketplaces:

Freelancer.com, Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, Truelancer.com, Guru.com, etc. are some marketplaces meant to bring in the designer and the client on one platform. You can Google more marketplaces, register on those and display your portfolio.

Understand how these marketplaces work and accordingly draft the proposals. Study how the toppers have designed their pages and get inspired by them to create yours. Consistent efforts will pay them, and you will never know when you will get busy with lots of work from these marketplaces.

Step 2 Set your Prices

Many new entrepreneurs are confused about how they should price their services. Graphic designing is a business where there’s no standardization of rates; everything depends on the quality of the design piece you deliver. 

In the initial phase, it’s advisable to keep your rates low to beat the competition and attract clients. 

What I did was I simply noted down my monthly liabilities and evaluated how much I should earn per month to pay off my bills. Based on that I fixed my rate per hour if I am going to work for 8 hours a day.

Keep a 10-20% buffer as in the initial stages there won’t be continuous work and you will have to compromise with that, till you build a sizeable customer base. Once trust is built between your current clients and you, and you are sure you can earn the amount to fulfill your bills, you can raise your rates for any new incoming client and start making a decent profit thereon.

Step 3 Create your business name

Creating an attractive, attention-grabbing, and easy-to-remember name is crucial for the success of any business. I would recommend investing some of your time to come up with a creative name for your graphic design business. 

There are many AI-enabled business name generators available online, that can help you to come up with unique business names.

Once you zero in on your business name, the next move is to grab your online space on the internet. 

Step 4 Establish your online presence

Today, more clients are online than to be physically pitched. Let’s understand what you need to do to have your online presence.

  1. Website: Today a business website carries a decent value and helps to establish your brand in the online space. You can create your website with the help of WordPress or any other platform with the help of inbuilt website creators the hosting services provide as an additional service.

Submit your website to reputed and authoritative web directories and set up Google Analytics to measure your website’s KPI.


  1. Social Media: Today no one can deny the importance of social media. Open your account on popular social media like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, and start posting content relevant to your business.

If you have the skills of story-telling, it will benefit you as people love to hear stories and will connect more easily and quickly with your pages. 

Today, with the help of CANVA, InVideo, and Envato, you can create stunning graphics and videos in a couple of minutes, that you can post on your social media pages.

Step 5 Network with other graphic designers

As a new business, having a dedicated team for your business may be an expensive deal. Connecting with other graphic designers is a great idea and you can continue taking help from them.

It helps you to come up with better ideas, as graphic designing requires new ideation all the time and you may fall short of ideas, as a solopreneur in the initial stage. You will have to look at promoting and marketing your services, and it may get difficult for you to concentrate on work, therefore teaming up with graphic designers will help you to overcome this challenge.

Step 6 Create a decent workflow

Another crucial step you need to consider is creating a productive workflow. Doing business is a skillful act and you need to organize lots of tasks to be completed in a stipulated time frame and without exhausting yourself. 

Planning a workflow and following it will help you to set up your business efficiently. Assign different time slots to call clients, work on designs, study, and learn new techniques to upscale your skills, make proposals and send invoices, etc. 

Once you set these functions throughout the day, you will better sync with your daily chores keeping the chaotic conditions away.

Step 7 Deliver your assignments promptly

Any client will pay you as he is aspiring to achieve something to meet his goals. It’s vital to deliver your services within the time frame that you have committed. It will help you to get a good reputation and clients will be happy to continue working with you, once they start getting results from the work that you have delivered to them.

There may be instances that you won’t be able to make up as per the commitments. In such a scenario, informing the client about the delay will help him to adjust his schedule without putting a scar on your brand value.

Step 8 Get testimonials and ask for referrals

Once you have completed a couple of assignments successfully, it’s time to get testimonials from the existing clients. Testimonials work great for other prospective clients and conversion becomes easier. 

You can create a “Testimonials Section” on your website and also blow your horn on social media pages about a successful assignment and the happy words from the clients.

Step 9 Market your business

It’s of paramount importance to spend some percentage of the amount you earn from your business on marketing. Let’s understand what you can do to market and advertise your business through various channels.

You can opt for Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc. to reach out to a wider audience. The main benefit of using these tools is the analytics they provide to measure how your ad is performing and offers flexibility to modify your campaign to gain more results.

You may also ask your fellow bloggers to exchange each other’s ads with the subsequent bloggers. 

Conclusion

A graphic designing business is easy to set up with a nominal investment. It can be serviced from your home too, eliminating the cost of investing in an office in any commercial complex.

After reading the article, I hope you have known how to start a graphic design business successfully. Why not start now with these 9 steps? Hope you succeed in 2022.

 

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