To prospect, be effective and retain customers, we will have to acquire 7 main qualities that we will immediately review.
For sure, you certainly have a specialty: webgraphist, illustrator, copywriter, etc. But it is also important to be versatile in your missions in order to be able to respond to a complete services.
If your client wants you to develop his graphic charter, logo, website and presentation brochure, you will have to be multifunctional at the risk of missing out on the contract!
The direction of the organization skills
Working as a freelancer requires a certain sense of organization to exercise the profession as calmly as possible. As your status indicates, you are independent and are therefore responsible for managing all aspects of your business.
As you charge by hourly rate, it is important to be able to make the achievements on time, to satisfy the customer and gain his confidence, but also to be paid at your fair value. Respecting the deadlines for which you are committed is essential: it is a way to prove to your client that you respect his expectations and his organizational constraints, especially that you are a reliable professional.
In addition, you have to master the retro-planning, especially for large-scale projects where several documents have to be created. You must be able to split the mission into tasks and know what you will need to start each of them.
Feel free to arm yourself with tools that make it easier to manage projects such as Trello to track your progress, especially if you have several projects to do at the same time!
Even if you start as an independent, it does not necessarily mean that you will work alone! You can have customers who work with a team of service providers and will therefore be put in contact with them, for example, if you need to make visuals for social networks, your client can put you in touch with his community manager.
Also, do not neglect your network! Building a small team of freelancers doing something similar to yours (or not) can be very valuable. You will thus find all the advantages of the team work of the salary world: advice, inspirations, but also support during rush!
You will have to adapt to different types of customers with different requirements.
The artistic fiber of project leaders can be a thousand leagues from yours. However, sometimes it will be necessary to leave your personal tastes aside to adapt to the customer's request.
Of course, if what he wants is outdated or does not correspond to his activity, you have the right to explain and submit your idea, Nevertheless, the customer is king and it's still him who will have the last word!
developed sense of relationship
As a graphic designer, you will have a lot of dialogue with the client to identify his needs and the message he wants to convey. To understand his aesthetic preferences and his expectations, it is essential to take the time to discuss the subject, or even to meet. It is also advisable to inform your client about the progress of the project, to reassure him, especially if he is counting on you to launch other tasks.
The sense of relationship is also what will help you to sharpen your team spirit.
The Creativity (of course!)
Based on a client's specifications and needs, the graphic designer must be able to quickly visualize the design he will produce. Cultivating your creativity is essential to continue producing productions that meet the expectations of your customers, but also yours. All means are good to inspire: permeate other worlds, get out of your habits! Creativity is the essence of your work.
the ability to sell oneself.
This is one of the essential qualities for any professional but especially for freelancers: knowing how to sell ideas and market yourself.
Indeed, as an independent you must constantly show that you are up to the proposed projects, much more than if you were an employee. Knowing how to sell in order to get the most stimulating projects is a quality you will need to work!
To support your speech, do not hesitate to highlight your achievements to reassure the client and show that you know how to adapt to the demand.
Stay tuned ! It is important not to rely on your achievements to learn about new methods and trends in your field of activity, in addition to looking for new ideas.
The world of design is today closely linked to the digital world, in constant evolution. So think about doing a regular training and be agile!