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Starting a Freelance Graphic Design Business in Colorado

by Susan Seymour

A graphic design business might be a perfect choice if you are creative and enjoy designing. There are many benefits to this type of work. You can make your own hours, set how many clients you want, and be your own boss. In addition, if you do it well, you can simultaneously make a lot of money.

Colorado is also a good choice to start such a business. Many small businesses in the state might be looking for help with their graphic design needs. Graphic design is important for ensuring a brand looks professional, including having a slick website and a catchy logo. In addition, companies know that they can’t make mistakes with their graphic design, which is where you can come in. Here are some tips for starting a freelance graphic design business in Colorado.

Define How You Will Run Your Business

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There are many types of graphic design businesses. You can run yours as a full-time operation, or you can do it on the side as a second source of income. You can specialize in a specific type of design, or you can branch out into everything. Perhaps you want to work as a team with other freelancers or do everything yourself. Whatever you want to do, create a plan for getting it done. How you define your business will determine how you market yourself and how you operate going forward.

Choose a Niche

Once you’ve decided how you want to run your business, you will need to choose what kind of design you want to do. Many designer entrepreneurs find it beneficial to have a niche to start. Narrowing the focus of what you are going to do will help you perfect your craft. It will also help you focus on your marketing to attract the types of clients who want the services you’ve chosen. A niche could be making logos, t-shirt designs, or building websites. Whatever your niche is, you can build up your client base and your skills and then branch out to other things down the road.

Develop Your Brand

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Your brand is the image that you want to present to the world. It’s an expression of the personality of your business and a reflection of what you are all about. You will need a logo and a name representing the aesthetic you will offer to your clients. Choose a personality for your brand. That personality should come through in everything you present to the public, from your marketing materials to your social media posts. Your brand will attract clients to you, along with the quality of your work.


Once you have your branding, you can start to market your business. If you are a small entrepreneur, social media marketing might be the most cost-effective way. You can build targeted ads for people in Colorado or reach out to a larger market. The good thing about graphic design is that you can display your work to clients as a part of your marketing. They can see how skilled you are and your style, and if it attracts enough people, you will be able to build your client base.

Don’t forget about using search engine optimization to market your services. Clients looking for graphic design work will almost undoubtedly search on the internet to find a provider. Therefore, you must do your best to appear as high on the rankings as possible. Organic traffic is cheaper than paid clicks and is more likely to lead to high conversion rates.

Insure Your Business

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Many freelance graphic designers work from home. They don’t see clients in person and do all their correspondence by email or another electronic communication method. You might think that working from home means you don’t need any business insurance. However, nothing could be further from the truth. You can still be sued even if nobody is coming onto your property and getting injured. A client could suffer a loss of some kind based on an error you make. You could also suffer damage at your home that is not covered by your personal insurance since the damage was to your business property. Those are just two examples of situations that could cripple your small business. Learn more about your insurance options and get coverage that will protect you against any possible risks your business might face.

Build a Portfolio

As you build up to your launch and work on growing your business, build up a portfolio to show off what you can do. This should go beyond marketing material. You need a wide range of samples that you can show to prospective clients to give them a full scope of what you can do. It makes it easier to close deals and makes you look professional and organized. If you get permission from past clients, you can use work in your portfolio that you’ve already done for someone else. If you can get a positive testimonial, that would be even better.

Automate What You Can

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As a small business, your time is valuable. The more you spend on busy work, the less time you have to work on client projects or build your business. If you can automate that work, then you can save a lot of time. For example, use invoicing software to handle that aspect of things. Clients can get invoices electronically and make payments through the software as well. You can also collaborate with clients with business applications, so leaving feedback and notes is quickly and easy for everyone involved. The more efficient you can be, the more time you spend making money.

No business nowadays can get away without solid graphic design. Businesses need logos, websites, advertising materials, and branding to help set them apart from the competition. Gone are the days of tiny ads in the yellow pages. As a graphic designer, you can help others better promote themselves while you also find success for your business.