Being a graphic designer means that you always need to be on top of your game. This includes top-level design skills, exceptional client generating skills, and running your business like a well-oiled machine.
This can only be achieved if you consistently work at improving your mental skills since this helps you to overcome daily challenges.
You’ve also heard that starting a business is hard. That you have a higher chance of failing than succeeding during your first two years. And this makes you wonder if it is even worth it to try in the first place.
But, I’m here to tell you that a myriad of myths saturate the web (and boardrooms).
Believing these myths keeps you stuck and prevents you from achieving your goals.
Yet, all these obstacles are simple to overcome when you know what they are, and how to eliminate them.
To achieve this, you have to change your mindset first. Second, you need to upskill. These two factors go hand-in-hand for as long as you’re in business.
MYTH #1. Making a great freelance income is easy
- Rewards are gained from doing something.. And that is work. When you invest your time and effort into your business now, you will generate a higher income.
- Pick a niche and develop your income strategy in a market with mass appeal and longevity.
For example; focusing on logo design, brochures, and Brand Identity kits are often the most lucrative in the graphic design field.
- Be persistent and persevere. Challenges and sacrifices are a part of any successful business owner’s story.
- Be creative and resourceful.
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance” – Steve Jobs
MYTH #2. Making a great freelance income comes quickly
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Hard work, dedication, failure, re-adjusting business concepts, and all the other available ways of overcoming obstacles the “easy” way, do not exist. Challenges don’t just disappear on their own.
It takes time and consistency.
That’s why most freelancers or small businesses quit in their first 2 years of starting out.
Find your first client, serve them well, and help them get results. Then, tell their story, find another client, and repeat the process.
Talk about your business all the time. Make this a lifestyle; it has to become a natural part of your day-to-day life and provide you with continuous cash-flow and income opportunities.
Telling people about your business at networking events, at restaurants, or in bank queues is a marketing tool. Off- course, use tact and only speak to those who it’s relevant to.
On your social channels
Speaking about your graphic design, life and business experiences, trials and tribulations on social media reminds your community about what you do. Tell them about how you solved a client’s problem. Share screenshots of testimonials as proof about how clients were satisfied with the work that you provided.
On your website
Use your website to share your wins, and even your losses too. This makes you more human, and clients want to see how you overcame any challenges.
On other online communities
Engage in Forums by providing tips on how to solve problems. By giving people something useful, they get excited about your brand and would want to do business with you.
Build traffic sources to your business
Follow the 3-step marketing formula:
1. Treat social media like your business depends on it
Actively posting valuable offers on social media is known to increase brand awareness.
Getting feedback in real-time and without spending money on community management, makes this marketing strategy ideal.
2. Blog your way to the top and out-rank competitors.
Blogs are a way of letting your ideal prospects and dream clients know what you’re capable of. It also allows them to get to know you. But the most important part is that it generates laser targeted and free passive traffic to your website.
Make Google your friend and business partner.
Using social media and blogging as part of your marketing strategy allows you to gain traffic to your website (and your brand), ongoing.
3. Take advantages of Joint Ventures
For example; Your graphic design clients would need the designed work printed or placed on a website. You could outsource work to them and vice versa. Forming relationships and collaborating with people who service the same target market is an easy way to generate clients without ever prospecting them yourself.
MYTH #3. Passive income is impossible
Passive income is doable but requires action on your part. You need to be consistent and stick with it.
The trick is to never give up. Keep moving forward. You only fail when you quit.
Learn from your mistakes. With every action, you will either be successful or learn an important lesson. Implement what you learn, and be smarter.
Learn from others. Find out what others are doing to successfully earn a passive income. Then, incorporate their winning strategies into your own business.
These are common myths that people believe. Consequently, graphic designers often quit in their first two years of business, or decide that the comfort of a traditional job is the better option for them.
The fact of the matter is that freelancing and small business management present the same challenges as when running a large business. Not knowing when you’re going to be paid or if you’ll land the next client is scary.
It is essential that you stay focused on you goals and persevere. Take daily steps to upskill and hustle as hard as you can to build a legacy. Tell everyone you know about your business, and use online marketing to your advantage.
And, just as important, build side-hustles (through passive income ideas) to supplement your client revenue.
Because, in the end, your reward is the attainment of your goals.