Web design is considered one of the highest paying industries, and the experts in the field sure are among the top-paid personnel online.
Being a visual artist on the web does sound like a dream job, but it might be a struggle to get started and become established as a freelance design professional.
I am sure everyone will agree that making that first $1000 is the hardest (but also the most important) step in your career.
However, going from $5 a day to $65 per hour as a web designer isn’t as big of a challenge as it might seem.
The key to kick-start your design business while making your first buck is to choose the jobs that will not only pay up but also payout in the long run. Your first job should give you the opportunity to show off your skills and creativity, opening the doors to new high-class clients.
Here are 7 job examples of what you should be looking for in your first-ever clients.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
1. Visual Identity Design
- Skills that come in handy: Graphic Design, Logo Design, Social Media Design, Branding
- Scope of the job: 80 hours
- Payment range: $1000 – $10000
Visual identity is a vital part of a brand, and getting on board with clients at the beginning of their journey is both a risky and awarding experience. It’s true, some clients require nothing but logo design.
Although, what you really want is to offer the full deal: the brand palette, fonts, image styles they will be using, social media templates. And a logo in all shapes and sizes, of course.
Once you get the chance to create someone’s brand – it’s your time to shine! Be really careful and Especially, if you are only beginning to put together your portfolio.
The key to making a good visual identity is to listen to your clients and focus on their industry along with their main target audience.
Once you set the framework for what the client wants, you can let go and be as creative and out-of-the-box as you naturally are.
Heads up! Don’t be afraid to reach out to pricey clients and start with a large-scope project. If a client is willing to pay the generous amount, it is usually a sign that the process will go smoothly for both of you. You shouldn’t forget to map-out the clients that value your work. Building partnerships is essential for accelerating your career.
2. UI/UX Design
- Skills that come in handy: Graphics Design, UI Design, UX Design, Web Development
- Scope of the job: 50 hours
- Payment range: $1000 – $8000
UX designers are in high demand. And those who make it to the top of the industry are guaranteed to have fun and be very well compensated.
So, how do you get started?
First thing first, you should know your territory. UX is not as creative as it is analytical, so a completed course and a basic experience in the field are a must.
Clients searching for a UI/UX designer are interested in investing for long-term results and they require perfection.
For your first UX job, start small – even smaller projects will be well-paid, but you can put in extra hours to perfect your skillset.
User experience and interface design is an essential aspect of every website. This is why you should make sure to put a job well done to your portfolio, including the reviews from satisfied clients.
3. Digital Marketing Graphic Design
- Skills that come in handy: Graphic Design, Social Media Design, Illustration
- Scope of the job: 40 hours
- Payment range: $1000 – $5000
Being a part of a digital marketing strategy can be an exhilarating experience for you as a visual storyteller.
Moreover, it is also a great asset for your future job searches. Digital marketers are very well aware of the value visual elements are bringing to the table.
That’s why these guys often hire someone that has a variety of helpful skills.
What will you be doing in a digital marketing campaign?
Create, create, create! Given the visual narrative from your marketing colleague, you will (most likely) be in charge of:
- Landing page design
- Social media banners
- Social media posts
- Social media adds
Why are digital marketers awesome to work with?
Because they simply are. Marketers are far more creative than the end-clients you will be working with for the biggest part of your career.
More importantly, they will give you a lot of space for you to be creative as well.
- Skills that come in handy: Graphics Design, Illustration, Animation, Video Editing
- Scope of the job: 60 hours
- Payment range: $1000 – $6000
Movements catch our eye nowadays while both animations and videos are captivating tools for advertising. C
ombining design with a sense of timing and proficiency in video editing will bring you loads of creative job opportunities.
More and more websites are now looking for a motion graphic designer to create interactive elements on their pages.
They also crave inspiring headers and cover videos that will increase the engagement of their audience.
Useful skills to have onboard are using video editing and animation software – these will be considered as a plus. Upgrade your portfolio by adding cherries on top. For example, learn how to add captions to videos.
5. Web Illustrator
- Skills that come in handy: Graphics Design, Illustration, Web development
- Scope of the job: 80 hours
- Payment range: $1000 – $8000
If you grew up drawing as a child, and you are still more than anything a fan of pen and paper – an illustrator is the career calling for you!
When building a website, most folks go to a graphic designer.
Even though graphic design is a must-know skill, some brands will ask for personal illustrations to navigate around their website.
Illustrators are essentially doing web art all along – creating original images to follow the story of one’s brand. With a simple portfolio of your sketches and mock-ups blow your first client away.
Present your authentic style and dive into the pool of art professionals. Don’t be shy.
With the ability to produce quality illustrations, you can further be hired to a variety of positions (to do digital marketing, a designer of e-books, online courses, and much more).
Add advanced skills to your CV such as knowing how to create infographics and get an advantage in your job application.
6. Web Mockup Design
- Skills that come in handy: Graphics Design, Product Design, Web Development, UI/UX
- Scope of the job: 100 hours
- Payment range: $1000 – $10000
Web mockup design or rather digital product design is an endless forest of opportunities, and it is only a question of finding the right clients.
When it comes to creating the mock-up, a golden rule applies: the more expensive the product – the more they will pay for mock-up services.
Another way to make money by making website mockups is to sell your mockups online as downloadable projects.
Websites such as Frepik can distribute quality mockups as premium and earn you a passive income for a long time.
When it comes to websites, focus on prototyping interactive websites that will showcase everything you know about what the digital audience wants.
A website mockup job can further bring you other web design jobs once you position yourself as a true expert of the craft.
7. Web Development & Design
- Skills that come in handy: Web development, Graphic Design, Branding, UI/UX
- Scope of the job: 120 hours
- Payment range: $1000 – $25000
Web design is a perfect mix of analytical and creative tasks. By classic web design job people understand the website outline building and designing the key elements of someone’s presence on the web.
But, web design can include many other aspects as well:
- Graphic design and/or illustration
- UI/UX design
- Digital marketing campaign design
- All of the above
To make your first $1000 as a web designer, it is enough to start small. Begin with a small or medium-scope project that will bring you your first positive review.
The essential skill to even begin web design is to perform well with popular website builders (WordPress, Wix, etc). Mastering Visual Builder and similar tools can also be a great advantage for your first job.
It is far too demanding to take upon yourself to do both web development and design.
If you wish to build websites, take some time to figure out which direction you want to go. Which skills to develop to perfection.
Web design has brought many new opportunities to the table.
What’s more important, more and more freelancers are joining in on this race every single day. If you aim high and wish to prove your quality, start thinking about the field you wish to be the best at.
Make your first buck doing the job that fits the description.
An exceptional quality that you shouldn’t take for granted is being well-organized.
One half of your communication with clients won’t be about your work. They also want to know if you are punctual – can you meet their deadlines.
Add structure to your creative process to swipe them off their feet.
Finding a job as a graphic/web designer can be a pain at first, and you will come across all kinds of clients – those you will love to work with for ages, and those whom you can’t wait to get rid of.
Remember: Just because you are new at freelancing doesn’t mean you have to settle for difficult clients and the lowest payment rate. You set your own value and you deserve a budget that will make you feel appreciated and acknowledged.