I need help with my business orientation

Hello, my name is Marina.
I am a graphic designer. However, I decided to turn my skills in a more professional direction.
I created a portfolio, and I started applying for jobs in Upwork, dribble, freelancers.
My concern is that after almost four months of an extensive search, I did not gain any position.
I managed to win a competition on 99designs and a competition in a poster contest.
Now I decided to sell my logos to some sites, but this is only a starter.
I just would like to know your opinion and possible advice.

Hello Marina, try to avoid sites like 99designs. As a designer, you need to value your work and profession. Maybe you should start by offering your services and searching your local area to find/fill a niche.

Clients shouldn’t be deciding amongst a grab bag of designers (which is what 99designs can be), people who aren’t invested in the research, development or outcome.

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You don’t say how much experience/education you have as a graphic designer.
Playing for pennies on crowdsource sites and selling “logo designs” on “stock sites” sort of implies no experience.

These sites you “sell logos” on. Do you sell the same logo on several different sites? Do you take them down from all sites once one is sold so that it becomes the property of the person who downloaded it first? Do the sites offer the logos only as “stock”? In which case, have you read their licensing agreement (which 98% of the time will say that stock offerings cannot be used in logos)?

Even offering a logo on a site, take down or not, shows little understanding of the branding process.

Are you looking to be hired somewhere? There aren’t a lot of smaller design firms left, and those that are left are not going to take the time to hand hold a newbie designer. Sad but true, there are very very few opportunities for a meaningful internship even, let alone a job. The competition for a slot at an agency is fierce, with usually well over 100 applicants for each job posted. You could try a sign shop or a local print shop. You may end up doing more production work compared to design work, but that isn’t a bad thing. Production work will teach you how not to make bad print file decisions so later in life your stuff will sail on through.

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Marina, to be quite honest, there are a lot of red flags in your post. As @PrintDriver suggested, it would be helpful to know more about your background, experience, and education.

Funny that you say you’ve decided to turn your skills in a more professional direction and then proceed to describe the least professional direction that a graphic designer can take.

If you have a strong portfolio, and for whatever reason only want to work online, there’s probably a more professional way of going about that, though I’m not sure what that may entail.

Hello thank you for your reply.
Yes I now this now for 99designs and try to different competitions sites but still the possibility to win is rare.
That is why I turned to sell readymade logos. But again this can not be a solution but just a passive income source.

Hello all and thank you for your reply. Here is some information about my background.
Hello, I have almost four years of experience in graphic design. I am competent with the majority of Adobe software. So I was working simply as a volunteer to practice my skills. I also found some jobs with local companies. However, due to the pandemic, I decide to work as a freelancer to increase my income. So last year, I decided to start my freelance graphic design career. That is why I am asking for assistance to see if I am moving in the right direction.

Logos and contests are one-shot projects from one-time clients who will disappear into the ether of the internet when that project is over. Terrible business model because it’s a poor return on your investment of time. You may spend 10 hours of unpaid labor for every 1 hour you end up billing. If you want to succeed you need to focus on your local community, and establishing long term relationships with clients who have an ongoing need for design.

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If you want to work as a freelancer, try Upwork and Dribbble:



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Hello Jakub.
I am subscribed to upwork and I made my portfolio in dribble.
I am applying for jobs to upwork for more than two months with no success.
And lately I started with dribble.
Does this process take so long or I am doing something wrong?

Marina, how can you even label yourself as a graphic designer if you feel what you are now doing is “more professional”? A true graphic designer by nature is a professional and would never feel that what you are now doing is a “more professional direction”. You need to reevaluate where you are in the design world and what skills you think you have versus what skills real graphic designers would need to have more than just odd jobs online. Just my humble opinion. :grinning:

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You usually have to send 50-100 proposals to get your first job on Upwork.

That being said, your profile and portfolio must be set up properly, and your proposals must be enticing.

A well-written Upwork proposal is all about the client and how you’re going to solve their particular design problem(s).

I highly recoomend this dirt-cheap course by Nick Saporito:

It’s about Upwork, but you can use the same methods to get hired on other freelancing sites, such as Dribbble.

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Thank you very much Jakub.
I will follow your advice.

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