How I started Freelancing as a UI/UX Designer with no experience? | by Arpit Chandak | May, 2023

UX Planet

Earning your first $2000 without any experience

How I started Freelancing as a UI/UX Designer with no experience?

Are you considering a career in UI/UX design but don’t have any experience? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

As someone who has been in your shoes, I understand how overwhelming it can feel to enter a competitive field . I’m here to tell you that it’s absolutely possible to break into freelancing as a UI/UX designer with no prior experience.

In this article, I’ll share my personal journey of how I got started in the industry and managed to earn my first $2000 without any prior experience.

My First Earnings from Fiverr

From building a portfolio to finding clients and marketing yourself, I’ll provide practical tips and insights that will help you kickstart your career in UI/UX design.

So if you’re ready to leap and turn your passion for design into a lucrative career, keep reading!

Before you start reaching out to clients, you must have a few things ready to showcase your skills and expertise. Here are the three things you need to prepare:

1. Portfolio

Your portfolio is the most critical asset when it comes to freelancing as a UI/UX designer. It’s your chance to showcase your design skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. To create a portfolio, you must find a platform that works best for you, plan out your portfolio, and publish it within a set timeframe. Make sure to take feedback from other designers and improve upon it continuously.

2. Templates to Approach Clients

To reach out to potential clients, you need to have semi-personalized templates that are short, to the point, humble, and respectful. You can use ChatGPT’s prompt to create multiple templates quickly:

“Write <email/LinkedIn message> template to reach out to clients for <a single design service>.
The template must have an area <value addition section>.
Also, the template should be very short and to the point. It also needs to sound humble and respectful.”

3. Optimize Your Social Profiles

Lastly, optimize your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles to attract clients. Ensure that all details are filled up, and you have a proper CTA to encourage clients to schedule a consulting call.

Once you have your portfolio, templates, and social profiles ready, it’s time to attract your first clients. Here are three ways to do that:

1. Cold Emailing and Cold Messaging

One of the most effective ways to get clients is through cold emailing and messaging. Look for potential clients in your industry through company searches on LinkedIn and VC fund websites. Create a potential list of recently funded companies that are among your target audience, and cold message them with templates created in the previous step. Always focus on adding value first.

2. Freelancing Platforms

You can also find clients through freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. Register yourself on these platforms and create a solid profile. On Fiverr, create good-looking gig images and keep your prices competitive. On Upwork, start bidding on proposals with the least number of bids and posted recently (you can filter recent posts).

3. Finding Clients on LinkedIn and Twitter

Another effective way to get clients is through social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Search for “Looking for Freelance Designer” and make the filter to Posts on LinkedIn and Twitter. You’ll find multiple posts where people are looking for freelance designers. All you need to do now is message them with a proposal.

By using these methods, you’ll be able to attract your first clients as a freelance UI/UX designer. It may take some time, but with persistence and consistency, you’ll soon have a steady stream of clients.

Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

Building your brand as a designer is crucial to finding higher-paying freelance clients. Here are some ways you can start building trust and presence as a junior designer:

1. Creating Content on Social Media

Share your design journey and learnings on social media. By creating content around your design work, you can showcase your expertise and attract potential clients.

2. Joining Design Communities

Join design communities and be an active member. By participating in conversations and sharing your knowledge, you can build your reputation as a designer and expand your network.

3. Sharing Your Design Works

Share your design works with the world. Share your work on social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc.By displaying your skills and experience, you can attract potential clients.

4. Attending Design Events and Conferences

Attend design events and conferences to meet other designers and learn from experts in the field. By being an active participant in the design community, you can build your reputation and expand your network.

By following these strategies, you can build trust and presence as a freelance UI/UX designer, and attract higher-paying clients.

Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash

As a freelancer, finding clients is crucial to growing your business. Here are some additional ways you can widen your lead generation:

1. Creating Designs on Behance and Dribbble

Regularly create designs on Behance and Dribbble, and include a call-to-action (CTA) for freelance work in your profile or project descriptions. This can attract potential clients who are browsing for inspiration or searching for designers in your niche.

2. Writing Medium Articles

Write articles on Medium about design-related topics, and include a CTA at the end for potential clients to reach out for freelance work. By sharing your expertise and insights, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your field and attract potential clients.

3. Making Free Digital Products for Your Target Audience

Create free digital products that provide value to your target audience, such as templates or design resources, and include a CTA for freelance work in the product description. By providing value upfront, you can attract potential clients who may be interested in hiring you for custom design work.

By widening your lead generation with these strategies, you can attract more potential clients and grow your freelance business.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

To keep growing your freelance business and increasing your income, it’s important to repeat the above steps while also upskilling yourself as a designer. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

  • Set aside time each day to generate leads and reach out to potential clients.
  • Continuously learn new skills on a regular basis, even if they’re small. This could include anything from communication to design or anything else you want to explore.
  • Make sure to diversify your skill set and try to learn new things in all areas of your work.

By repeating these steps and consistently upskilling, you can continue to build your freelance business and achieve success as a UI/UX designer.

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

Congratulations, you made it to the end!

By following the steps outlined in this blog, you now have the tools and knowledge to kickstart your freelance career as a UI/UX designer with no experience.

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