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Top 7 Mistakes African Freelance Graphic Designers Make

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So you’re part of the army of African Freelance Designers on Sourcegig, great! Now you’re ready to start working and make some cool cash, but hold on, let’s get this journey off on the right note.

Let’s talk about mistakes Freelance Designers make, and how you can avoid these deadly mistakes.

1. You’re not charging enough for your work:
This is a huge problem in the Global graphic design Industry and in Industries where there is no price regulation. Most especially here in Africa where most Design professionals tend to work for Chicken change. Unfortunately, the Internet has made it very easy for Clients to find very very cheap designers, but even though the value of a Dollar differs in different countries, this doesn’t mean African Designers shouldn’t value their work.

People don’t value things they get for free or little money and if you don’t value your work, who’s going to?
2. Thinking you can’t say NO
Freelance designers who are Freshers in the Industry are always desperate for work and in most cases they end up working on EVIL Jobs.

EVIL Jobs that have the following features:
– Working For free

– The project is for Tomorrow and they tell you this today ( unrealistic goals), in cases like this tell your client you’ll be working over night and charge them overnight rates.

YOU CAN SAY NO.

You have to value your time, skills and expertise and your Clients will do, too.

When the deal is not right, the deal is not right – Rick Harrison.

3. You’re taking too much Work – at the same time.
Time and again we have always emphasized that time management as a Freelancer is an essential quality. It’s great when you can get templates and churn out designs in a few hours, but remember that your clients will need to give feedback, reviews etc.
You need to make your Schedule flexible enough so don’t end up being buried with Jobs you took and that you can’t deliver on time.

4. You’re not Learning Enough.
This isn’t about learning some new tricks on Photoshop, this includes learning:

– The principles of Design

– Brand Communication

– Advertising, marketing, social media

– Read to broaden your horizon.

5. You’re not doing research.
Doing research is key to understanding your clients design project, you need to ask question relating to the project for instance,

– Reasons behind their Logo design or redesign?

– Why they want a website?

– Whats wrong with their current Logo? etc.

You need to understand the values and goals of the Project, research the market, the competition of your client.

6. Trying to create a Piece of art:
Truth be told, you first set of Design Jobs won’t be displayed in a museum or in an exhibition. The goal of your project is to convey a certain message clear to the target audience.
Sometimes your awesome Idea for a design might be completely different from what your Client had in mind, and vice-versa.

7. Not studying Typography:
This is big mistake most designer make; as a Professional graphic designer you should know what makes a good font. You need to understand concepts like,

– Kerning

– Tracking

– Leading ( line height)

Always remember that bad typography can make or break any project.

There you have it. These are the most common mistakes freelance designers make, and now that you know them, you’re less likely to make them.

What do you think, what other mistakes are freelance designers making? Let me know in the comment below.

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