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There are hundreds of ways designers can earn income, but a designer can only do so much work at a time. Fact is, even with how much work is available for a designer there will always be a limit to what he or she can do within a specific span of time. So the question is, how can a designer earn more income while doing just the same amount of work or no work at all?

To answer this question in more detail, here are some unique tricks and tips to end up with more money than the amount work you put into being a designer:

Find better ways of marketing yourself to your prospective clients


Marketing yourself to the people that need your services could mean a sky rocketing paycheck. It’s like hitting the bull’s-eye, plus you save money on marketing your services to people who would never want or need them.

One of the best ways to market your business better is by having a website of your own, or even a free blog for starters. This would give you the leverage of telling the world that “hey, I can design this or I can design that”.

Additionally, you should also establish your name and identity (logo) in the industry. Of course it’s not easy to be a household name to the people that need your service, but always keep in mind that it’s possible if you do it step by step. By this method, you will acquire more clients and have more work to do. Don’t fuss if you think that you can’t do all of the work. Just refer to the next trick.

Outsource other designers to help you with ‘some or most’ of the work

One trick to turn the tides from earning sufficient income to gaining huge profits is having people do the work for you. Compare two scenarios – you working your butt off and you leading a team of designers. In the first scenario, when you get sick, who will do the work? No one, hence you will end up with no earnings. Compared to the second scenario where, even if you don’t work at all, you still have people doing the job, thus earning the same money without having to break a sweat.

Don’t worry about hiring persons whom you think cannot equal your ability as a designer because you’re there to guide them and direct them towards giving you what you want. However, make sure that the workload that you have is more than what you can handle because it’s not ideal for you to have several workers yet you give them little work to do.

Take note of above phrase – SOME OR MOST of the work. Why? It is best for you to be left with at least a few hands on jobs because this way you are putting yourself in the shoes of your workers so that you better understand the jobs that they do.

Reminder: Hire people AHEAD of time when you are expecting a large workload because looking for the right person to include in your team takes some time.

Share Your Knowledge

You clearly know your craft inside and out, so why not shed some light about the design industry, your work process, or anything else you feel might be useful for design newbies. You can even find websites that will pay you for every single article you write. Obviously that sounds easier than it really is, however if you take some time to do some research, you’ll find numerous website that pay well for long and well written content. You can even write an ebook is you wish. That might take more time, however if you promote it well enough the end result could be worth your time.

Create and Sell Your Own Products


You know how to design right? Well, why not create your own digital products other people can buy and use. If you’re in this field I’m sure you’re fully aware of marketplaces like Videohive, Audiojungle, Activeden, Photodune, Themeforest, Graphicsriver, Codecanyon, Creative Market, Mojo Themes, etc.

You can create your own stock graphics, themes, icons, plugins, textures, Photoshop brushes, vectors, themes, and pretty much anything else that’s currently in demand. After that you can sell these items on your own website or on these marketplaces. You can easily crank these out during your free time, or on the weekends. Plus, if you truly love your craft, it won’t even fell like work.

Find other ways to make use of your design skills

For instance, let’s say that you currently design logos and websites. Is it not too mainstream to be doing those same tasks for the next five or more years? It is, so it is a good choice to expand your areas of designing service like designing applications, icons, and even t-shirts. By using this method, you broaden the services which  you offer to your prospective clients, who in turn offer you more work and generate more cash flow into your bank account.

Another thing to remember about this trick is to prioritize new clients that offer a large growth potential (but not to a point where you neglect regular or repeat clients). This way, you could expand your design business and even start building an empire.

Provide the best service that you can

One great thing about being a designer is that you get more work from the same clients if they happen to like your services. Common sense would tell you that if you give clients crappy designs or poor service, you would never see them again EVER. Another reason for you to do this is that when they like your service, you can expect a constant stream of work which means that you can stop looking for other clients for that moment.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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