How I Built A Six Figure Graphic Design Business in 4 Years

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How I Built A Six Figure Graphic Design Business in 4 Years

If you consider professions that pay within the vary of six determine yearly earnings, graphic design sometimes doesn’t come to thoughts. In truth, the typical graphic designer in America makes roughly $43,507 per yr. Making six figures as a graphic designer means doubling that after which some. It’s an bold aim, and it’s numerous work, but it surely’s actually not unimaginable.

In abstract, my path to creating six figures as a graphic designer was to supply my companies on a contract foundation, promote them with content material advertising and marketing, and use that content material to create supplemental revenue streams.

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I don’t speak concerning the enterprise aspect of Logos By Nick fairly often — primarily as a result of it hasn’t drawn a lot curiosity when I’ve previously — but it surely’s one thing I’m actually keen about and love discussing, and it’s my web site in any case, so I’m going to debate it anyway. If 1 individual reads this put up and finds it fascinating then I’ll contemplate it a hit.

On this put up I’m going to stipulate how I constructed a graphic design enterprise that pays me six figures, and what I’d suggest doing in the event you’d love to do the identical.

Begin Freelancing

Since salaried positions for graphic designers don’t sometimes pay wherever close to $100,000 per yr, the perfect method is to take issues into your personal palms and go the freelance route.

Being a freelancer is a double-edged sword. Your earnings potential is limitless, however the whole burden is on you. You could possibly find yourself making lower than minimal wage (or nothing in any respect) in the event you don’t perceive the nuances of enterprise and digital advertising and marketing.

Screenshot of the old website
Right here’s a take a look at what Logos By Nick seemed like at launch in 2015 (click on to enlarge)

In 2015 I launched photoshopservices.web with a $15 price range ($10 for a yr of area title registration and $5 for my first month of internet hosting,) and simply 4 years later it’s already bringing in six determine earnings. If I knew then what I do know now although, I in all probability might’ve completed it a bit of faster.

Develop A Technique

The largest problem I had was not having a transparent plan of motion. I didn’t know what was efficient and what was a waste of time, so I used to be form of simply feeling my method by means of the darkish and studying by myself. You’ll be able to see this in a put up I wrote again in 2016. A number of the issues I used to be contemplating attempting turned out to be an entire waste of time, and I want I’d’ve identified that again then (this put up is considerably of a followup on that put up.)

I’d wish to elaborate on this some extra and share a few of what I’ve discovered over the previous 4 years that put me within the monetary place I’m in now. All the blueprint is simply too advanced to cram right into a single article, however what I’m going to do is break it down into a couple of common items of recommendation for brand new freelancers to set them on the proper path. That is mainly what I want I knew again in 2015.

Increase Your Costs By Elevating Demand

When you’re going to make good cash as a freelancer, it’s important to cost excessive charges. However as a way to cost excessive charges, it’s essential to have prospects who’re keen to pay these excessive charges. That is the place the idea of provide and demand comes into play.

Raising your prices as a graphic designer

A product’s worth correlates with its availability in relation to how many individuals need it. If a product has an abundance of provide however little or no demand, it’s not price very a lot. Nevertheless, when there’s numerous demand and a restricted provide, it turns into very invaluable.

As a freelancer, the product you’re promoting is your time. It’s not a brand design or a zipper folder with a bunch of information in it. When purchasers rent me, they’re buying blocks of my time. The emblem is simply the results of shopping for it. So so as so that you can cost larger charges, it’s essential to make your time extra invaluable. And since your time is already a restricted provide, all it’s important to do to make it extra invaluable is improve the demand.

The way in which that I improve demand for my companies is with content material advertising and marketing — movies and written articles that clear up particular design-related issues for individuals looking for options to them.

Create Demand with Content material Advertising and marketing

Content marketing

I create demand for my graphic design companies by creating a lot of content material that catches the eye of hundreds of individuals day by day. Due to that I commonly discover myself ready the place I’ve extra inquiries than I can presumably deal with at a time, forcing me to boost my costs much more as a way to keep off a few of that unmanageable demand. It’s a very good drawback to have!

When you construct your demand up so excessive that you simply commonly have purchasers keen to pay you $1,000 per undertaking, you solely want to amass 9 of them each month (or 2.25 per week) as a way to make six figures as a graphic designer.

Ditch The Freelancing Platforms

A screenshot of the Upwork website
A screenshot of the Upwork homepage – a platform I used to get employed for freelance initiatives as an inexperienced newbie.

I do know I’ve been an advocate of web sites like Upwork and Fiverr previously, and I nonetheless am, however I have to make it very clear that these platforms ought to be handled like stepping stones and nothing extra.

Freelancing websites are nice if it’s essential to acquire some expertise and get a really feel for what it’s wish to handle shopper expectations and meet deadlines, and possibly even make some supplemental revenue. However when you’ve sharpened your abilities and gained some expertise, and also you’ve established that you simply’re able to doing this and wish to pursue it additional, it’s time to take the coaching wheels off and construct your personal model.

The rationale why you need to keep away from freelancing websites if you wish to make six figures as a graphic designer is as a result of the provision and demand equation is stacked in opposition to you on these websites.

See more: Zigzag custom shape in Photoshop and how to create tutorial

Number of proposals

Give it some thought: 1 individual posts a job; 50 individuals bid on it. It’s a tiny little bit of demand in opposition to an abundance of provide, so it naturally drives down the worth of the service.

My freelancing profession acquired began on Upwork (often called Elance on the time,) however I wouldn’t be the place I’m in the present day if I didn’t launch photoshopservices.web and begin constructing my very own model as an alternative of Upwork’s.

Construct Supplemental Revenue Streams

Multiple streams of income

I wouldn’t rely solely on freelancing revenue. Freelancing is nice, but it surely’s a way of life of peaks and valleys. Generally you’ve gotten extra work than you’ll be able to deal with and the cash is flowing like a river; different instances you’re at your desk with nothing to do and twiddling your thumbs whereas your checking account bleeds out.

Having extra revenue streams can carry you thru the gradual instances and go away you with additional in your bowl throughout the good instances. For this reason I like to recommend utilizing your design abilities to create programs that generate income for you whilst you’re busy getting cash. That is what’s known as recurring revenue.

Recurring Revenue

With freelancing, you do the work as soon as and receives a commission for it as soon as. However while you a create a digital product that generates recurring revenue, you do the work as soon as and receives a commission for it again and again. I’ve been capable of accomplish this with all the programs, templates, and design guides that I promote on this web site, in addition to my YouTube channel.

I might make a brand for a shopper and make a one-time $500 revenue from it, or, I might make a YouTube video demonstrating make a brand and as an alternative make $50 per thirty days from it indefinitely.

That is precisely what occurred with a brand design tutorial I made practically 4 years in the past…

Monthly earnings of a YouTube video

This was a video that took me possibly 20 minutes to file and edit, however to this point I’ve remodeled $1,600 since importing it, and it’s not executed but! This video will proceed paying me for the foreseeable future, and it’ll accomplish that quietly within the background whereas I’m busy designing that $500 brand for a shopper.

Lifetime earnings of a YouTube video

Taking that into consideration, simply think about what may very well be potential in the event you had over 300 movies uploaded to YouTube, all bringing in search site visitors and producing advert income day by day. Granted not each video goes to repay like this instance, however all you want is a small proportion of them to hit and also you’ve acquired your self an additional $20K per yr coming in on prime of your freelancing revenue.

Making six figures as a graphic designer turns into so much simpler when you’ve gotten recurring revenue streams that generate income for you whilst you’re busy getting cash. Between YouTube, the affiliate merchandise I promote on this weblog, and all the digital merchandise I promote right here as nicely, I might shut my pc off for the subsequent yr, do no work in any respect, and I’d nonetheless make sufficient cash to reside comfortably.

Recurring Revenue VS Freelancing Revenue

In my expertise freelancing revenue doesn’t pay in perpetuity, however it’s simpler to acquire and it gives bigger upfront funds. Freelancing revenue ought to be your major focus when beginning out as a result of it’s going to be what pays essentially the most at first.

Recurring revenue is harder to realize and pays off in small, regular drips, however when you’ve obtained it, you receives a commission in perpetuity. Since recurring revenue streams take some time to materialize, I’d suggest making this a secondary focus.

Each sources of revenue are invaluable in their very own regard although, and I nonetheless pursue each to at the present time. The extra various your revenue profile is, the extra revenue stability you’ll have. Ultimately you’ll attain a degree the place you’ve gotten extra revenue stability than you’d with a salaried job. A job might hearth me at any second and I’d be left with no revenue, however it could be practically unimaginable for me to instantly lose all 5 of the bona fide revenue sources I presently have.



One other profit of getting these extra revenue streams is that they offer you leverage to be extra selective of the freelance jobs you settle for — you’ll be able to even select your personal working circumstances. I’ve discovered this to be notably helpful at any time when somebody tries low-balling me on my costs.

The individual with essentially the most leverage is often the one who can afford to stroll away. The wonderful thing about my place is that I don’t must tackle any freelance work in any respect if I don’t need to! I make sufficient cash to reside comfortably simply from this weblog.

See more: How to Resize an Image in Photoshop | Photoshop Services

Evidently, if I’m going to tackle shopper work, I’m solely going to take action on my phrases. I’m very snug with politely declining a job supply if somebody isn’t keen to pay my charges (though I do make exceptions for purchasers I’ve labored with previously as a result of I worth that long-standing enterprise relationship,) or if I get the impression that they’re going to be troublesome to work with. This offers me an unimaginable quantity of leverage.

When purchasers low-balled me on worth 4+ years in the past I often accepted it as a result of I used to be ready the place I completely wanted the cash and had nothing else occurring. Now that my monetary wants are much less dire, I don’t budge in any respect.

Focus On Indexable Content material; NOT Social Media

As of proper now, 100% of my enterprise is generated from YouTube and Google search. My enterprise grows when individuals seek for a design-related drawback they’re having and land on my movies and articles. This simply doesn’t appear to occur on social media.

I’ve over 10K followers on Fb, and may you guess how a lot enterprise Fb generates for me once I’m not operating adverts? Actually zero.

Thumbs down

I’ve wasted numerous {dollars} and hours over the previous 4 years build up my following on Fb, and it was all in useless.

Final yr Fb altered their algorithm in order that your posts received’t attain the overwhelming majority of your followers. This soured me on Fb a lot that I’ve just about deserted the web page and now rely solely on my mailing checklist to inform followers of latest posts. This additionally reinforces the significance of constructing your personal belongings, like your web site and mailing checklist, versus counting on another person’s.

Social media does have its makes use of (Fb remains to be glorious for operating paid adverts for instance,) however my content material is constructed round fixing issues for individuals, and the reality of the matter is that social media is a not an incredible medium for problem-solving content material. It’s nice for promoting, community-building, and private branding, however that’s not what my enterprise is constructed round.

The Social Media Treadmill

One other drawback I’ve with making content material for social media is that it’s solely seen for a day or two, then it dies, by no means to be seen once more. This places you in a state of affairs the place you consistently must be posting and interacting with individuals as a way to preserve the plates spinning, as a result of enterprise will come to a screeching halt the second you cease. That is what’s known as the social media treadmill — you’re simply operating in place day in and day trip with none form of cumulative profit.

After I add a video to Fb, it will get a bunch of views throughout the span of some days, however no one watches it once more after that. After I add that very same video to YouTube, it additionally will get a bunch of views, however individuals proceed to observe it for weeks, months, and years to come back as a result of it’s listed and looked for.

The identical could be stated for running a blog. I’m not going to waste my time writing a protracted put up on Fb or LinkedIn, or begin a prolonged Tweet thread, once I can write a 400 phrase article by myself web site that brings in 100 guests per day from Google search as an alternative. Why would I work to construct another person’s platform once I can construct my very own?

Screenshot of Google search traffic
Knowledge for a single article I wrote about brand colour mixtures that brings in at the very least 100 guests from Google search day by day.

Again in 2015/16 I had this concept that I used to be going to make use of social media to seek out purchasers and generate extra enterprise, but it surely simply by no means panned out that method. My time was a lot better spent writing articles and making YouTube movies that folks uncover organically.

Please don’t take this the improper method although — I’m not saying which you could’t construct a wildly profitable enterprise with social media — you most actually can. My message is that it’s not the one method. I do know we’re presently within the period of everybody and their canine desirous to be a private model, however you don’t must be a charismatic social media celeb as a way to construct a profitable freelancing enterprise. Being an everyday previous problem-solver nonetheless works.

How A lot Work Does This Take?

Hard work

Since 2015 I’ve recorded and edited 340 movies and written 192 articles, and that’s along with serving freelance purchasers on a full-time foundation. If you do the maths, 532 items of content material divided by 208 weeks (4 years) comes out to 2.56 items of long-form content material per week on common.

Make no mistake, that is under no circumstances simple and it’ll not occur in a single day. It takes numerous work and requires numerous persistence. The primary few years that I did this felt like an entire lot work for a bit of little bit of reward, however the shiny aspect is that it could actually now be a bit of bit of labor for an entire lot of reward.

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How I Built A Six Figure Graphic Design Business in 4 Years

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How I Built A Six Figure Graphic Design Business in 4 Years

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