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I have worked as a Graphic Designer for almost a year. I was able to earn much more then I expected (I'm autodidact graphic designer), but now I think I have better skills and can price my work higher.

My areas of expertise : logo design, business card design, advertisement design, banner design, brochure design, menu design, photo editing and photo retouching. To be honest most of the money I've earned was for image editing, which is rather technical then creative design work.

There is one problem - I'm working on quite well-known freelance website and clients are willing to pay up to £100 for a logo design (which is ok if the logo design process takes 2 days tops not weeks). I've done some research and found graphic designers who charge for example £500-1500 for one logo design and have a loads of clients!

How can I earn more? Where to find clients with a budget higher then £100?

  • I hope that's not a couple of days FULL time for £100???!?!! – Digital Lightcraft Jul 13 '15 at 12:32
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    @DigitalLightcraft money has a different meaning in different parts of the world. For me 100 pounds would not be worth a couple of days of work but in eastern europe it might be. – joojaa Jul 13 '15 at 12:43
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    The short answer is, by finding real, serious clients, who want a designer they work with to really develop a style that brings out their brand, not the kind of clients you find on freelance sites, who generally just want something quick, professional-ish and fashionable-ish. As for how to find them: I've been in-house for too long to answer that but I'm sure others here can. – user568458 Jul 13 '15 at 13:32
  • You'll never get rich working at "freelancing websites" -- Not that you'll necessarily get rich otherwise. But as long as you have to pay some web site a commission on all design work, you may as well have a boss and a 9 to 5 with health care :) – Scott Jul 13 '15 at 14:25
  • Hi Rachel, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your question. If you want to know more about the site, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! – Vincent Jul 13 '15 at 14:36
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You will never get more on sites like that. Those sites nickel and dime designers and look for cheap people that want a solution. They could careless about the designers because they get paid regardless of your headaches. The better approach would be to establish yourself with examples of your work on a personal website and communicate.

There are plenty of serious clients and companies that browse the boards such as Dribbble, Behance, etc. etc. Post your work actively and communicate what you can do. Restricting yourself to crappy low end sites that some will never make a living on is a terrible approach. Personally I would disconnect myself from those sites if you're talking about getting into this professionally because some clients that find you and could turn around and search for you happen to run across that you offer the same services cheaper on a website they will go there.

You could also look for established quality agencies in your local areas that play a role in finding legit companies that are looking for serious relationships with designers. One thing I have found that is helpful when I was starting out in print design was to set good relations with the local mom and pop printers that have no intentions on designing.

This would depend on what you want. Although, based on what you've said, I would encourage you to stick with photo editing if you think you're making a revenue and possibly look into meetups with local photographers or user groups instead of using low paying sites.

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There is one problem - I'm working on quite well-known freelance website

Yea, that's really a giant problem. You'll likely never earn what a graphic designer is worth working on sites that are essentially set up as "How to find the absolute cheapest designer on earth".

Point being that clients that hire freelance work from sites like this really don't value the work. Or for that matter, they don't even value their own business.

It's like eating at McDonalds every day. Yea, it can work once in a while, but if you're eating there every day, you're devaluing your own body and food in general. :)

So, you're asking the right question, which is essentially "how do I get real clients?"

The simple answer is: Networking.

The more complex answer is: Networking, networking, networking.

Networking sounds simple, but it's work. Some ideas:

  • Join a professional group for designers in your region (in the US, AIGA is he primary one).
  • Ask design firms and ad agencies if you could come in for a critique of your portfolio. This is a good way to get feedback as well and make some connections for potential freelance work from these firms down the road.
  • Join a local business group. This is a good way to make connections with local small business folks...people who often need design work.
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    Eh that last point is debatable. Small local businesses are often the same ones that go to those freelance sites for the absolute lowest cost there is. Not always, but often. Upvoted for the rest of the answer though. – Ryan Jul 13 '15 at 14:46
  • @Ryan that's true. It also depends heavily on the community you are in as to whether that'd be a viable option. It works well in some and not others. – DA01 Jul 13 '15 at 15:06
  • Yep. What you charge becomes what you're worth. Another suggestion: ask about the scale in which the design is intended to be used. If it's a one-off design then sure, a small fee is warranted. But if it's something that's going to be used on, say, a fleet of trucks then your price should go up accordingly. – Dave Kanter Jul 13 '15 at 18:03

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