Is it possible to make a viable career as a freelance logo designer? If not a career, how about a period of just earning enough to pay the bills and mortgage or rent? Or if you are living at home, having shit loads of money to go out and buy designer type things, like two new Apple Mac Pro and 30" Cinema Displays?
Or just taking drugs and getting drunk. Far be it for me to judge your lifestyle.
I can only speak from personal experience here, and limited at that. I have not long been doing freelance logo design, I guess I seriously thought about becoming a freelancer as a career several years ago. So at that time, I started planting the seeds for ImJustCreative.
It does take determination and patience
The last year has seen me work tirelessly behind the scenes to get IJC up and out there, even before I had a decent portfolio or any real clients to mention. I have experience with marketing, advertising, branding and of course, design. So these allowed me to really tap into the necessary veins to start the flow of information and news from the IJC heart.
It does take determination and patience
Way before I even considered taking on work, I was tapping into social media to start getting the IJC name out there. My web site has seen multiple revisions, shifting from one genre to the next, before finally finding its footing, as you see it now. It is a regularly updated design and typography blog, not to mention my portfolio.
This is my agency, my store front. The home page is my front door that's always open.
The path to success
The key is to get yourself out there however and where ever you can. The saying that goes something like, "you can be the best and most gifted designer ever, but if no one knows you exist, you might as well not, exist." From many years of experience, seeing other agencies fail at even the basic level of communication prevents me from making these fundamental mistakes.
Get yourself out there
I am out there, and I continue to get out there. Every day I spend time on Twitter, FaceBook and keep my blog updated. I have other strategies in place that will see the light of day soon. I have ensure that for at least one set of keywords, I come up in the top 1-4 results in Google. This has opened the floodgates, people now see me worldwide, and the logo proposals trickle in.
Much of my work right now comes via Twitter or Google.
Right at the beginning, I decided to drop the multi-disciplinary graphic design title. Too much to focus on, too much to try and market and frankly, way too much competition. I decided to focus on logo and brand identity for several reasons. Easier to market and advertise, focusing on just logo design allows for a much easier path to getting picked up by Google and other forms of discovery.
Also, I just wanted to be able to focus my mind, my efforts on one area. I wanted to commit to logo and brand identity and nothing else.
Logo design is what I do, and people know it. There is no mistaking it.
Now that's far easier to market than doing everything under the sun.
Doesn't need to be said, but I will. I am utterly dedicated to logo design. I read, I soak, I collect, I digest everything to do with logo design and brand identity. I read volumes and volumes of books, subscribe to countless web sites. I surf for new inspiration daily. I think and dream logo design. Well, the latter may be slightly exaggerated, but it's not far from truth. I wake up with ideas in my head, we all do from time to time.
So can you make it?
Well, I would say yes.
Things are looking good for me right now. I am pushing and pushing IJC. I am determined to make it a success. I still have a way to go before I can claim to be 'paying my way' but it looks promising.
My reasons for making this leap to freelancing are valid. I don't want to ever go back to working for some narcissistic MD. I don't want to be caged up in a poky studio that feels more like a battery farm. I want to have that 'so achievable' work like balance. You need to have the right reasons to make it work. These reasons push me to make this a success. This is all I need to keep me on the straight and narrow. You need your own reasons.
If you don't have valid reasons to take the plunge to freelancing, you will struggle. It's not easy, but equally, it's not impossible.
What has made it more manageable for me personally, is opting to find and work in that niché. That was a calculated decision for me.
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