Tips on finding work online for beginner designers

how do I find clients that are actually serious about paying you, I’ve messaged 50+ people about logos etc I have some experience in design and want to do this on the side but nobody is willing to pay me and just want me to work for free. my goal is to get $200 doing design work so I can buy a half decent drawing tablet (have the huion 420 right now ). so yeah some tips or places to look for work would be really helpful thanks :smiley:

I’ll answer your question.

You find clients through a strategic mix of marketing communication potentially including but not limited to: formal networking events, informal networking, trade organizations, trade shows, public relations, a web presence, a social media presence, traditional advertising (potentially including but not limited to direct mail, broadcast, and out of home), online advertising, SEO, cold calling, third party websites, and referrals. Oh, and you have to do great work and have a great reputation.

All of that said, you’re asking the wrong question.

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Think on this.

A person who wants a logo for their business usually wants the business to succeed.
The thing the designer is creating that is called a logo, is part of a much larger picture called a brand.
If you don’t have the chops to know what goes into a brand, a logo, a business and all the marketing stuff that surrounds a business, why would they hire you.

The little craiglist logo jobs? If you want to aim higher, earn your chops. “Side hustle” is not equal to “Designer.”

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YK, Do you have a portfolio that shows lots of work? If yes, does it show lots of good logo design? If no, start by doing some branding exercises and design logos, letterheads, etc for fictional companies. Put together a creative brief for each company where they tell you what they need/want, and then detail in a case study how you are going to solve that creative branding problem for them. With these in your portfolio you will have something for potential clients to gauge your skill.

I am curious about where you are messaging these 50+ people who want you to work for free. If these are on freelancer web sites, they may not be the clients you want.

After you have something to show in your portfolio, you can look for Facebook groups for local business associations in your local area. There you can ask about advertising your product (Logo Design) and link to your portfolio. In other words, start small and work your way up.

All of that said, however, the point about “branding” vs just “logo design” is an important one. It is always possible a client will come to you and say that have their branding already thought out, and will just want a visual representation of this branding. Other times, a client won’t know what they want/need, and are looking to hire someone to design an entire Brand for them, which might include a name, tag lines, colours, and more.

Start by hitting your local library and look for some books on branding. Read up on Brand design, and some case studies on famous brands. You can also learn by looking at any existing brands/logos you see, from famous, to mundane local ones (family restaurants, small shops etc). You can privately study and deconstruct these brands/logos and try to determine if they succeeded in their goal of representing that business (and it’s product/service) to consumers.

Don’t look at it as odd jobs to make money. If thet’s what you want, get a part time job to pay for these things while you spend your free time learning about branding.

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And this is what the “profession” of design has become when there is no skill level bar for practitioners to pass.
Buyer beware.

Sorry, but you don’t learn this stuff from books. You don’t even learn it in school. In theory you learn it by being a junior designer working for someone who does know this stuff and can school you along the path. But that is no longer true either. With the numbers of “designers” the schools pump out in a year, there aren’t enough jobs out there to get even that number up to speed, let alone the self-learners.

I’d seriously suggest a different side-hustle.

Snobbish? Maybe sounds that way. But Graphic Design is a profession. Not something you do on the side cuz you like art.

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Yikes, Tthis OP is 15 years old according to their profile (just looked.)
That right there is the crux of the problem.
Not even old enough to enter into a business contract.
None of the above comments apply. You can’t get clients because you aren’t yet old enough to be working in the field, let alone have the training needed to be doing this work.

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OP, if you think Graphic Design is a career you want to pursue, then do so. Take art and art history in Highschool, and _do_read books on Graphic Design, branding, and marketing. Learn from online tutorials, and do work on putting together a portfolio.

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While not technically graphic design work- when I was 15, my art teacher got me a lot of work painting storefronts of windows in my small town. It helped me learn a lot of valuable lessons that I was able to apply to my graphic design career and many other areas in my life, like not wanting to work a job that required me to be out in the sun.

Most of it was lettering and holiday related stuff

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Yup, think school yearbook, class posters, that kind of thing.
As for pocket money, you may have to look elsewhere. At 15 I was mowing lawns in a cemetery. LOL.

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I never see kids mowing lawns anymore. Or shoveling driveways in the winter. Kind of sad.

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Fifteen-year-old civil engineers. Fifteen-year-old kids practicing law. Fifteen-year-old accountants preparing tax returns for businesses. Need a root canal? Meet me after school at my parent’s house before Mom gets home.

I can’t think of a another profession, besides our own, that has so seriously damaged both its credibility and future prospects by its complete inaction in lobbying for minimum standards-based licensing requirements.

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I was just at that same cemetery a few weeks ago. They had 4 guys on superfast zero-turns out there mowing the grass. We would get yelled at if we got even one blade of grass on the headstones or in the plantings. These guys just.don’t.care. Grass everywhere. They even mowed down the front plantings on the rents’ grave one summer. Until I put a nice blade height “pretty” rock on each side…as did a lot of other people.

But the town now doesn’t pay to have a bunch of teenagers out there and they don’t have to pay a couple adult supervisors with whips to keep em in line and they don’t have a fleet of push mowers that have to be gassed up and maintained. Our supers were school teachers working for the summer.

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Up here school teachers party all summer long in my filthy rich neighbor’s swimming pool … whilst our tax dollars keep them well stocked in booze and BBQ supplies … /vent.

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Kids in my neighborhood will mow lawns. But they expect to use my mower, my gas, get refreshments and they charge $50. :woman_facepalming:t3:

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Sounds like a pretty good gig. Maybe we’re in the wrong business.

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I’m plenty fine with teachers taking the summers off. IMO, they don’t get paid enough to deal with all those little bleeps all day every day.

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yeah, I’m still learning from what I gathered up from the replies I basically need to learn more and have more portfolio work I just started design 2 weeks ago, I’m Australian and it’s currently the winter holidays. so instead wasting time I just decided to learn by myself, so I spend every day for 2 weeks learning the basics of illustrator and photoshop. I have some work to show, it’s not great at all but it’s a start. So guess I asked the wrong question.

This is what I’ve done so far: https://www.instagram.com/y.k__design/
I’m doing the 30 logos challenge on day 16 right now
I’m missing some logos cus I only posted what I thought was ok

YKDesigns, I’m in New Zealand so there are similarities with our school system.

Do you have any resources at your school that you can lean on? Talk to your art teacher or head of the art department. If you don’t have any design subjects, they can often point you in the right direction. When I was your age, there were extra-curricular Photoshop and Illustrator classes that we could attend, because they didn’t teach those programmes at age 15 in school. They were put on at local tertiary level art/design school in the school holidays for high school age students. If you show interest, you might even get funding to attend.

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I’m taking visual arts at school right now, I’ve applied for graphic design and do illustrator stuff in class and at home. I am really into so ill see where it takes me

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That’s great YKDesigns. Sounds like you are on the right track.

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