How to Start Your Own Graphic Design Business for Free

Starting your own graphic design business is not as easy as it sounds. It is not rocket science either. If you are a gifted graphic designer, you shouldn’t be terrified to start. A wise person once said that; Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.

If you tried it before and failed, try again.

That aside, the graphic design business is a very straightforward venture. Whether you want to make it a side hustle or your main income-generating venture, everything is possible. All you need is to put your best foot forward, and along the run, you will be surprised at the outcome.

With the web and internet taking over the world by storm, you have a fertile marketplace as a graphic designer. This article will show the how to start and make this a sustainable venture. Keep reading to find out how to…

1.    Find a Client to Work With

You are probably want to ask; isn’t that putting the cart before the horse? Well, it could be. On the other hand, this could work for you in unexpected ways. Here, we are believing that you have put your portfolio and what have you together.

To avoid burning so fast, perhaps starting with finding a client is the best shot you can ever make in this business. I’ll tell you why. Having your first client will energize, excite and arouse your passion to give your all. On the other hand, the initial nitty-gritty without something to motivate and propel you forward can be overwhelming.

This brings us to the knotty question; where can I possibly find my first client?

With all the technology and web, there are a dozen freelance websites you can find them. Fiverr and Upwork for example, among other places, we cannot mention today.

2.    Have a Price Structure

Now that you have scouted the best freelance websites to source for clients, the next big step is having a solid price structure. This is a very important thing to do long before you send your proposals and bids to potential clients.

Raise important questions and answer them before your clients ask. How are you going to charge for your work? Is it hourly, per project, or the complexity of a project? You might want to explore all the available options to avoid conflicts and uncertainty once you get your first offer.

3.    Brand Your Graphic Design Business

Having satisfied clients equals an impressive portfolio. With a handful of happy clients, you can now decide to brand your business. Have a business name that reflects your now solid venture. You do not have to brand your business with out-of-this-world names, you can simply go with your name, but it all depends on where you are headed to.

When you are starting, a business name might not possibly have any impact. But as your business grows and your clientele becomes significant, you will begin to realize that there’s a lot to a business name. Whatever you decide, make it easy, reflective, and eye-catching.

4.    Create a Website

Most businesses thrive through websites. You do not need anything fancy and complicated. Go basic. Depending on how savvy-tech you are, choose a website builder and a host that is not too technical for you.

Most people can swear by WordPress, but other website builders can also give you pure gold. A good example is Wix and Pixpa. They all have the “How to get started” writeup, s so that you do not get stuck when building your website.

5.    Have a Business Plan

This sounds all mixed up, right? But there is a catch to it. Most people who started any business with a business plan got stuck before they even began. You want to be progressive. Having a few reliable clients will motivate and give you the confidence to go about your new venture the right way.

Since you do not want to be swallowed in the planning stage, take a unique approach. An approach that has not been chartered by many. Besides that, answering the questions that arise from the business plan template will be easy because you now have clarity of what you are all about.

6.    Deliver Pure Gold

Yes, you read that right. We all mean business when it comes to business. If you are consistent, professional, and reliable with the few clients that you already have, your business will boom in no time. Always deliver high-quality work that requires a few to no adjustments at all.

Most freelance graphic designers fall off the progress wagon because of their inefficiency. Once you build trust and good working relationships with your various clients, they will always come to you with more gigs. But that is not all, if they are confident with your work, they will give you referrals.

7.    Write Invoices

This only applies to the cases where there are no escrows. If you are freelancing with well-structured websites like Upwork, there wouldn’t be any need for that. However, using websites like Freshbooks to create invoices will work two-way. This app automatically reminds the client when, how, and how much they should pay.

Besides that, invoices always help us to keep a clear track of our finances. Tracking all the incoming revenue should help you with documenting everything concerning your graphic design business.

8.    Ask for Referrals

The best way to grow your client base is through referrals. Once you have successfully executed a project with a client, make a habit of asking for referrals. If they are impressed with your work, they will always be happy to. Even when you haven’t asked.

To successfully do this, you must have excellent communication skills. Don’t beg, and don’t be shy either. Find a neutral ground and let your client make that decision. Remember, you must uphold professionalism while keeping new businesses coming.


The fun of building a graphic design business is changing the rules of the game when you want. With time, as you levitate towards the top tier in this industry, you can adjust your prices, communication structure among others, to suit your growing business

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