When deadlines are looming for graphic designers, searching for new business can quickly fall to the bottom of the list. You might feel secure with a steady stream of work, but by keeping an eye on potential new clients, you can cover your back and ensure an opportunity is never missed.
To help our Shillington graduates and entrepreneurial friends in the design industry, here are 15 essential websites to help freelance graphic designers find new business:
Long favoured by the freelance community, Upwork offers its users a place in which to find more clients to help fuel small business. From its unique pairing system, which matches projects to candidates with the highest-rated work, to its assurance of a wide variety of opportunities and high pay, when it comes to connecting with new clients, Upwork should definitely be on your list.
2. People Per Hour
People Per Hour promises to help its users “start small, move fast and build up” through its profile and proposal search. The WorkStream function enables all Job History to be kept in one place – from message threads to briefs and quotes – client communication is seamless. A rating system allows users to be reviewed, which helps encourage repeat business.
OnSite describes itself as a platform for quality, curated freelancers, with no middleman and no percentage. Offering a marketplace of freelance opportunities, users are matched with jobs relevant to their skills, and only “top quality talent” with proven client and agency experience are approved – acting as a safeguard between both designer and client.
Pitched as “the future of work”, YunoJuno is an all-in-one platform that connects clients to the “best freelancers in town”. Primarily aimed at attracting “elite” designers, the website’s hassle-free approach, includes its contract freelancers having their invoices paid within 14 days of issue, which means no more late payments and no more chasing.
Soon to become part of the Upwork family, Elance offers a community for creative freelancers looking to find work. In addition to partnering a client with a designer, its Enterprise feature can also connect large teams of freelancers for collaborative working.
Toptal is a US-based company, offering the work of designers to companies in need of freelance talent. Stating a sole acceptance of “great freelancers” only, the site boasts an array of internationally renowned companies with which to build on-going working relationships.
Seeking to pair small businesses with freelance designers, Freelancer is currently one of the largest outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplaces on the web. Connecting over 21million employers and freelancers globally, from over 240 countries, regions and territories, it’s a solid place to pick up projects and to connect with potential clients.
8. Working Not Working
Connecting companies with the universe's most creative creatives! That's the claim by Working Not Working, an invite-only community of the best talent in the creative industry. Roles include designers, illustrators, motion designers and more. A really friendly resource trusted by some of the world's biggest brands.
A creation of Adobe, Behance is the leading online platform for designers to showcase their creative work. It offers companies the opportunity to explore talent on a global scale, with social elements such as the ability for commenting and ‘liking’ posts, as well as a jobs board. Best of all, it’s completely free, and acts as an online, visual CV.
10. We Work Remotely
We Work Remotely offers a jobs site that isn’t restricted by geographic area, which makes it particularly useful to freelance designers looking for their next gig.
Described as "the premier place for independent professionals looking for freelance work", iFreelance is a hub in which to meet small and large business owners and sell your graphic design skills.
Project4Hire is a freelance marketplace that connects hiring clients to professionals and contractors all over the world. Clients post their project requirements and freelancers send quotations or bids for the amount they would charge to do the job or service. Clients can select the freelancers of their choice at any time, and begin working with them.
Simply Hired is a website and mobile app for online recruitment. Although mainly targeted towards full-time employment, it also presents an opportunity to discover businesses that are seeking design support, helping you to get that all-important first foot in the door.
DesignCrowd is a community-based site that allows businesses to post briefs out to its pool of creative freelancers. Designers are invited to submit their ideas for consideration, and then once selected can liaise directly with the client on edits and feedback. Once work is finalised, it can be downloaded straight from the site.
15. Skills for Change
Not for $$$, but to boost creativity and design for a good cause, Skills for Change is an online volunteering and crowdsourcing platform that will leave you feeling warm and gooey inside. Ok, so you won't necessarily get paid but this feel-good community will give you the chance to add new projects to your portfolio while giving something back.