Trying to increase your income as a graphic designer is not easy. At the end of the day, you are charging money for your time. You can only work so much more to earn a higher income, so you have to really think outside the box to move up in the financial ladder.
Here are some key strategies that you need to put into place in order to earn more as a graphic designer.
1. Promote Various Services to Clients
A simple way to earn extra residual income is to promote various services to your clients. The first thing to come in mind is web hosting. You can probably promote web hosting as an affiliate, but a reseller account will be more profitable once you sign up multiple people.
That’s not all you’re limited to. You can promote subscriptions to email marketing, social media management, landing page creation and SEO research platforms. Many of these services charge on a monthly basis and pay you for every month your referrals stay on.
If you manage to sign up 100 clients, you can be earning anywhere from $1000 to $3000 more a month from your affiliate commissions alone.
2. Position Yourself as a Specialist
Rather than simply being a graphic designer, you’ll want to specialize in a specific area of design. There are many design specialties like UI/UX, mobile-first, mobile app development, packing and overall brand design.
While these services aren’t as sought after as your basic graphics and web design services, clients are willing to pay a high price for many of these if it fits the business model.
The reason why is because there aren’t that many designers who are experienced in these specialties. If you manage to commit to one and develop your skills in that area, you can be earning more money per hour than the average graphic design work you’re requested.
You can always experiment with these design fields to see which area you excel at and what you enjoy doing.
3. Sell Your Designs on Digital Marketplaces
As a graphic designer, you have the skills to create and sell your designs on popular marketplaces. These areas of the web include Themeforest, Mojo Marketplace, CodeCanyon, TemplateMonster, Creative Market and WordPress.org.
Many designers are able to make a full-time income simply by creating premium WordPress themes on these marketplaces.
There are so many types of designs you can sell. The list includes logos, header graphics, fonts, HTML5 templates, graphics packs and more. By selling your designs, you’ll be able to generate revenue while you sleep. The only thing you may need to do is offer a bit of customer support, which will probably be unnecessary if you add great documentation for your products.
4. Put More Emphasis on Marketing Related Services
You can’t deny the fact that marketing service providers can charge more for their services than designers. They can always justify their costs by selling their clients that their work will provide a strong return on investment. That kind of argument can’t be made by graphic designers, which is why they are often undervalued by the businesses hiring them.
If that’s the case, why not use your design skills to expand into the marketing world? There are many different marketing services that include a lot of design work.
For example, there’s conversion rate optimization where marketers work to produce the best performing version of a site. Then there’s video presentations where businesses hire writers and editors to produce a video that can sell their products and services.
Yes, you’ll definitely need to expand your knowledge and skills to offer an excellent service to stay competitive. But once you do get the qualification and experience to offer these services, you can start to charge the same kind of high rates as marketers.
Remember, you’ll be able to justify the price with the promise of a high ROI.
5. Promote Other Service Providers for a Piece of the Pie
You have to understand that clients are getting more than just design work done. They’re working on their SEO campaigns, Facebook ads, Google ads, email marketing, landing pages, copywriting, social media, etc.
While you probably do not offer these services, it doesn’t mean you can’t make money from them. All you have to do is to partner with service providers that do.
You can work out a deal with a social media expert to cut you a good chunk of their service fee if you manage to refer him or her a client. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can try to convince the expert to promote your graphic design services for a commission as well.
The challenge here really comes down to finding an expert that can deliver an excellent service. The client may get mad if the service provider doesn’t do a good job and end up firing you.
6. Sell Your Own Digital Courses
Another great way to increase your income is to sell your own digital products. We talked about selling your themes, graphics packs, and other designs on the digital marketplaces before. But instead of your graphics design work, you can sell video courses, special tutorials, eBooks and even software on your site.
There are many designers nowadays running online workshops and selling video courses on various topics of web design. If you think you have some special knowledge you can offer, you should take time out to develop a course you feel can add a lot of value to other designers and even clients.
This can result in tens of thousands of dollars in earnings by the end of the year if you market your digital course properly.
Expand What You Offer
These are some key strategies you’ll want to try to increase your income. The last thing you want to do is to stick to getting paid an hourly rate for your work. You want as many sources of income as you can possibly generate.
Try your best to implement as many of these strategies as possible to maximize your income potential as a graphic designer.