Graphic design is one of the most fun and creative enterprises. According to one estimate, more than 266,300 graphic designers are working in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 21 percent of all graphic designers in the country are self-employed or freelancers. This means the market for graphic designers is highly competitive, with designers frequently jockeying each other for projects. It’s a zero-sum game where whoever gets a project deprives another of the opportunity.

If you’re a freelance graphic designer, you need every edge you can get to succeed in your field. Below are 4 ways freelance graphic designers can find projects and land jobs.

  1. Sign Up for Recruitment Sites

There is now a plethora of recruitment sites companies use to look for the hired help they need for projects. Although you can try looking for projects on your own time and browse through sites, this is incredibly inefficient. Recruitment sites powered by programs, like Skill fuel, are home to hundreds of companies of all sizes, from multinational corporations to small businesses. Not only will you have an easier time looking for potential clients, they’ll have an easier time looking for you as well. These sites also allow you to showcase your portfolio and your accomplishments.

  1. Use Cold Outreach Email

Cold outreach refers to the process of sending a carefully crafted email to potential clients that you don’t have an existing relationship with you. This is kind of like door-to-door sales, only with more panache and less intrusive. Here are a few tips on how to craft and effective cold outreach email.

  • Never begin your email with bland phrases, like “to whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam.” Do your research on the company in question and personalize it.
  • Praise them for what they’ve done right with their graphic design.
  • Subtly hint that there are ways you think you can improve their graphic design.
  • Ask them to contact you and set an appointment for an online meeting or a physical one if possible.

You should also never call them directly. It’s annoying and rude. Better to let them call you for professionalism.

  1. Build Your Own Site

Business websites are like digital storefronts and without one, you’re basically walking about the internet panhandling for projects. You need your own website and it’s the best way for you to showcase your skills at graphic design. There are plenty of affordable platforms that can host a dedicated website for yourself. The site should contain everything potential clients need to know about you if they want to hire you. The information on your website should include the following:

  • Previous projects you’ve worked on.
  • Any glowing or positive feedback you’ve received for your work.
  • A gallery of your designs for them to peruse.
  • Your credentials such as any certificates you’ve earned or courses you’ve taken.
  • Your complete contact information for your business.

Forego any talk about your rates and instead ask them to contact you for such details. Your website should immediately capture the interest and pique the curiosity of potential clients. It’s a crucial step to building your brand as a freelance graphic designer.

  1. Leverage Social Media

Finally, use the power of social media to make a name for yourself and showcase your work for free. Sites like Facebook and Instagram can help self-employed creatives reach out to a wide audience and even contact potential clients. Instagram is particularly noteworthy because it caters heavily to graphics and images, making it perfect for you to show your work. Paid ads in social media platforms are also more affordable than conventional ads, allowing you to parade your work effectively.

Being your own boss can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have the right know-how and showcase your work accordingly, you won’t have to chase down clients. They’ll come chasing you.