How to start a Graphics Design Business

Are you thinking of starting a Graphics Design Business Online? Great idea.

It is no longer news that Graphics Design Skills are one of the highest paying skills on Fiverr and other freelance platforms, especially considering the role it plays in many tech related areas.

For this reason, many designers have positioned themselves to set up Graphics Design businesses online.

So many of these guys are from both advanced countries and even third world countries, including countries like Nigeria, India, Kenya etc.

Many of these guys are stay at home moms, focused on building online businesses from home, others are students, Designing Graphics for small businesses as a side hustle. Many others are people working 9-5 and designing Graphics on part time basis.

The good news is that no matter their location or status, putting their Graphics designing skills to work has paid their bills.

Again, according to a recent survey, the average monthly income of a graphics designer is around 135 thousand Naira. With the lowest being around 61 thousand Naira and Highest around 200+ thousand Naira.

Although these salary scale will always vary, based on your experience, skill set,etc. as a smart Graphic Designer with substantial skills, there’s always a chance to scale up.

So, your aspiration to make money online as a Graphics Designer is not out of place at all.

Of course It’s true, starting a business like Graphics Designing has some learning curve attached to it, especially if you’re just starting out and focused on being in the business for the long haul.

But then, if you have some basic to mid level Graphics Designing experience, it’s also something you can start within a matter of days.

Unlike most other online skills, you don’t need any heavily paid professional training to get started as a Graphics Designer.

With your basic skills and gadgets, you can start out as a Graphics Designer and make some few bucks to support yourself while learning and improving your skills along the line and as much as you want.

Before we discuss further, let me clear the air.

The tips you’re going to learn here will get you started out as a hungry entrepreneur, stay at home mom, or who ever you are; provided you have a decent understanding of the technology behind the skills and how it works…

But, as you keep making income to support yourself, it will be in your own best interest to keep learning and improving your skill-set, and perhaps get some professional certifications where necessary.

What is a Graphics Design Business?

In a simple definition, Graphics Design business is a business that provides Graphic Design services to other businesses.

There are different kinds of graphics design businesses so the one you choose will determine how the business is run.

What makes Graphics Design Different From Other Online Businesses

Generally, starting a Graphics design business is not just a little less complicated to get compared to other home run business…

It’s a business you can start with some beginner skills while still learning through the process.

And If you’re a student or someone needing a part time hustle, running a Graphics Design business could be the perfect hustle for you.

Keys on how to Build a Graphics Design business from scratch

Find Your Motivation

Whether it’s Graphics Design or any other hustle, before starting any bushiness, one of the things to consider is your motivation for getting started.

So here, you’ll want to ask yourself, “Am i running this business just to make money? Or to learn the skill in a better way”?

What exactly is your motivation to start a Graphics Design Business? Here’s the best time to find that.

Now, assuming this has been sorted out and you now understand your primary reason for starting a Graphics Design Business, the next thing you want to do is move on to setting goals, based on what is motivating you to start the business.

So, if your motivation is to start a business you can run by the side while doing your 9-5 job or being in school, you can set and tailor your goals to fit in with that, putting into considerations the time you’ll need to spend on your business and the other activities you’re engaged in.

In fact, setting goals like growth targets etc. will also affect the way you run the business..

So, you have to be really thoughtful and thorough through the goal setting process. Although that doesn’t have to scare you in any way. You can always adjust your goals to meet your realities, at intervals.

Also remember, while setting your goals, you have to consider the resources available to you like time, money, etc.

Evaluate Your Skill set

Now at step two you’ll have to figure out the skills set you have.

The reason is because there are different sub niches and genres of Graphics Design. In fact, according to 99 designs, there are about 8 graphics design genres and sub niches.

And you can always decide to focus on any of this, based on your skills set.

So, the following are some of the popular kinds of Graphics Design genres:

User Interface Graphics design, Marketing and Advertising, packaging, publishing graphics design among other genres

Each of these will need a slightly different skill set. And resources to start a graphics design business.

So you want to evaluate your skill set alongside your goals before getting started.

If you’re a complete beginner without basic skills or someone with intention to work part time as graphic designer, you can start with any of the niche you feel the skill set is easier to learn, for a beginner.

From that particular one you can expand to learn the others through the process.

Define your Graphics Design niche

Often times, most beginners make the mistakes of targeting the whole market with their services. This is not a smart strategy. You want to start with defining your perfect client so you can focus your energy on targeting them.

At this point, based on your knowledge of the different niche, you’ll want to choose a particular kind of client you want to cater for. Or put differently, your area of specialization. The knowledge of this will also affect your business brand.

Of course most times we all want people that can pay big bucks as our first clients.

But who says you can’t start from somewhere? Depending on the level of your skills, you can start with lower to mid level paying clients just to build your portfolio, and then focus on higher paying clients as you continue to gain experience and exposure.

Remember, your business can always grow and expand with time, same with your brand. And based on this, the more you grow, the more you have leverage to redefine your focus and exclude some set of clients from your target market.

Create and Customize your brand

One thing about Graphics Design Business is that there are many people doing it.

So, to really stand out; there have to be something unique about you or the way you deliver your graphics design services.

This uniqueness can also be built around the kind of the clients you want to target…

For instance, you can focus on targeting mid level and city based corporate clients for marketing and design ads.

Based on this target audience, you’ll want to brand your business to meet their taste preferences.

Again, if what you want them to notice about your business is your sophisticated designs, try to show this through your branding, websites, logos and even portfolio.

If you want your client to think of yours as the coolest or hottest or most affordable Graphics Design brand etc., you can show this through your branding too.

Get a Business Plan

Planing should have come with goals setting but I decided to list it as a separate step because of its importance.

Now at this step, you’ll try to figure out a step by step plan that will help you arrive at the goals you set earlier.

Of course planning doesn’t have to be a huge task. All you need is to map out the steps or strategies you’ll use to achieve your set goals. Then edit and add it all up.

If you’re going to run a one man part time Graphics Design business, find out how many hours you’ll work in a day/week to achieve your target.

For example, set a clear goal on your expectations based on the effort you intend to put into your business on a weekly basis.

As part of planning too, there’s need to figure out how much you’ll need to get started. And how much you’ll need to keep the business running until you make some decent income.

Also, as part of the planning, you’ll need to choose a platform you’ll use for marketing. This should be the platform where you can find your exact target audience.

Based on your target goals and available funds, decide whether you’re going to use Targeted ads, Content Marketing or both.

Finally, another thing you need to figure out at this point is your client. Where are they and how would you meet them? You’ll need to research this and include it through the planning process.

Build your portfolio

One good way to get clients faster as a new Graphics Designer is to have some good jobs to show for your skills.

Yes this is what it is, in today’s digital world, you don’t just tell clients what you can do, you show them.

So you’ll need some jobs to demonstrate to your clients your level of experience and Graphics design skills. This approach is very strategic and a good percentage of marketers use this.

If you’re just starting out without experience or any portfolio, don’t feel sad. With the right combination of confidence and tact, you can still cross the hurdle.

As a newbie too, you can start out doing some free stuff for some not for profit organization, small businesses or your friends.

Get the noise about it and tell your brand story as appropriate. In fact, you can focus on the big names. The bigger the name, the larger the impact, especially when managed well.

After all is done, be sure to get their recommendations and testimonials from whoever you’ve designed for and add this as part of your portfolio.

If you’re all set to try out freelancing as a Graphics Designer, the following link contains a number of top freelance websites for Graphics Designers you can start with.

Set your pricing

Make some research about pricing within the industry so you can set the right price for your Graphics Design Business.

For a start, you’ll want to be careful and learn some pricing and negotiating skills…

Because, besides your skills, your pricing plays a big role in whether a client will do business with you or not.

For instance, depending on your target audience, if you set a very high price, you’d come off as a cheat to some clients.

And when you set a price that’s too low, you’ll end up cheating yourself, because some clients would even think you’re not good enough.

So, to be on the safe side especially for the beginner, you may need to have both a general and customized pricing system.

A general pricing system can be one you use for all similar Graphics Design task.

For example, you can decide to have a uniform price for all Graphics design for Content Marketing. Or Book Covers.

For the customized ones, you’ll charge your clients based on their ability to pay and the nature of the job.

Get your Website ready

Alright! So now you got a portfolio, it’s time to show the world what you got.

So you’ll first start with setting up a website for your graphics design business.

To do this, you’ll need a domain name chosen based on your business brand name. You’ll also need to set up your business profile on popular social media platforms.

Now, on your website, be sure you create a portfolio section where your work can be boldly displayed.

BTW, you can get your first class graphics design business website done with us at

Important pages to include on your Graphics Design website

Our services page: This should list the services you offer.

About page: This is almost ubiquitous on all websites. Your about page should contain your best information about your business.

With an about page, you should be able to try to make your prospect feel a thing for your business.

Pricing page: Lists your prices and packages.

Frequently Asked questions: should answer the questions your target audience would most like want to ask.

Blog. Post regular update about industry news, tips etc.

Adding a blog to your graphics design website will help you especially when it comes to search engine optimization, and getting your prospects back to your website.

With good and high quality content on your blog, you will get the chance to develop your brand as a thought leader in the Graphics Design Industry.

Final Words

Besides starting out a Graphics Design business, you also want to achieve sustainable growth with the business. The following are key steps that will help you to grow your Graphics Design Business and gather new clients…

Grow Your Social media Pages

In this year and age, you can only ignore the effect of social media at your own peril.

This is because the social media is not just a platform to share your brand story and other content with an already established audience.

It’s also a place you can scoop some clients and grow your brand while building your graphics designing muscle.

So, as a start up Graphics Designer, you have to take your social media really serious. Post valuable information consistently and focus on building a loyal and engaged audience right there.

Get the work done

Now, after all is said and done, the next thing you want to do is to get started. So here’s where you research where your clients are located, and strategically get your services to them.

Instead of working on getting fast money, focus on building something substantial. Create enormous value for your client.

Network and build robust relationships. When done strategically, this can do a lot from getting you access to new clients, to helping you build collaborations that will give your brand a wider exposure.

Remember until you do, nothing can be done.

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Victor Winners

Victor Winners

A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond.As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses.Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy.With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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