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5 ways to make extra money from your design skills

design skills
In: Education

Are you a graphic designer, illustrator or creative hobbyist? Today we are excited to share our top 5 ways you can start earning money through your design skills!

  1. Create and Sell on Print on Demand sites

Ever wanted to see your designs on a t-shirt? or turn your artwork into products such as stationary, apparel, greeting cards and art print, you can do so by using print-on-demand sites.

These sites handle the ordering, manufacturing and shipping while the artist purely focuses on creating art. Here are a few of our favorite sites for apparel and art prints:

  • Redbubble
  • Society6
  • Teepublic
  • DeviantArt
  1. Sell on Stock sites

You can upload your illustrations, photographs or design templates on Stock sites. These sites then sell the images/artwork to others to use on creative projects!

You then keep a percentage of the profit, and this process keeps repeating without you having to do anything. The more you upload, the more you could potentially make. Here are a few of our favourite stock sites:

  • Adobe Stock
  • Freepik
  1. Start Teaching Online

Are you a Photoshop wizard? Do you enjoy helping others? Perhaps you have a unique design style that you want to share? Then teaching may be a perfect option to make extra money.

You can teach BlueSkyGraphics design courses UK, teach at universities and creative events, or even write an e-book on your creative process!

Here is some excellent platform to start teaching!

  • YouTube Channel
  • Udemy
  • Skillshare
  • Gumroad – to sell Ebook
  1. Enter design competitions on Crowdsourcing sites

Entering contests is a great way to work on projects you want to specialize in and grow your portfolio. These sites are a great way to boost your skills, and find recurring clients and make some money.

Here are some fantastic sites:

  • 99 Designs
  • OneMinuteBriefs
  • Minted
  1. Be open to Freelance work

Going freelance sounds good for many people. If it works, it can be a great option for people who don’t want to do job for other companies. The flip side is that if you don’t have clients for a long time, you’ll fall in monetary problem. For this insecurity, many don’t want the freedom freelancing. They prefer a secured job, instead. But if you are a well-known freelancer to any web workplace platform, you will be able to earn handsomely or regularly or even you can start a business of your own if you like. Just doing regular hourly work will not make you rich. You’ll do okay. Just doing traditional graphic design will probably not get you very far these days. Most designers that are successful are multi-disciplinary. Here are a few approaches that have worked for me and many of my designer friends to get freelance work!

Use your connections

Sometimes looking for work a little closer to home is the best way to get freelance gigs. Go through your contacts or directly approach brands or influencers on Instagram or Facebook that you will love to work with!

Online presence

Being active online is a great place to market yourself. Make it easy for potential clients to find you on different platforms (choose the ones that suit you and spend time updating them and engaging with others). There are loads of great online spaces for creatives to meet potential clients. We love Behance, Dribbble and Instagram!

Collaboration

Get to know other designers and collaborate on a project! Collaborations are a great way to make friends in the creative industry and attract new clients. I found Instagram to be a great way to connect and collaborate with other designers.

Networking events

Attend networking and creative events, talk to as many people as you can, and generally be interested in others and their businesses. Give out your contact details but don’t be too pushy. If we are in a pandemic or you’re not confident about meeting people, you can always join many online communities. Check out Meetup to find local creative events!

Stay Inspired and Current

A good designer will make an effort to stay current both in software skills and style! Try not to use the same tools, workflow and layouts for years. The creative industry is always evolving, and you need to adapt to it, experiment and grow with it.

Conclusion 

There are several ways you can make extra income; however, all require a lot of trial and error! Try to avoid using all mediums and expecting instant success, instead choose an area or two you feel most comfortable and put all your energy onto that. The graphic design software trinity is represented by Adobe’s Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Much like finding professional-level hardware, these programs are costly.

I hope that you found those tips useful and feel inspired to kick start your design career! Your journey will, at time be very challenging, but designing something beautiful is incredibly rewarding. Good Luck!

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