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Tips for Getting Started as a Freelance Designer

When you are first starting out as a graphic designer, the world around you seem dark and scary. You wonder if you have the needed skills to make it in this field and you will generally not know where to even get started. That is the bad news, the good news is that articles, such as this one, will help you to see the things you need to consider when looking to get going. In the reality of things, this is not as scary as it may seem. If you know what you are doing and how to go about doing it with these simple tips.

Who Are You as a Designer, Figure This Out!

The first step is that you need to figure out who you are as a designer. This is a question that sounds all in-depth and stuff, but in actuality, it is not as complex as it may sound. Anyone that has ever made it in this world, has done so by creating a style that was unique to them and applying it to the everyday world.

This style will be the heart and soul of who you are and will speak volumes in helping you to get recognized. You need to make sure that your style is fluid enough, that it allows you to adapt and adjust on the fly. Once you master this, then the rest will be a walk in the park.

It’s Your Work, Stop Giving It Away for Free

Often people will give their work away for free without even trying. This can be a serious issue if it happens too many times. While it is important to get your name out, you must stop just giving away the work that you put so much time and trouble into. Think about a meal, if it is expensive, it will be perceived as being better quality as opposed to a hamburger that comes off the dollar menu. Perception is reality and in the world of designing, that perception can have a huge impact.

Use Local Resources

Many designers will not take advantage of the local resources that are at their disposal. This is a shame as these resources can be all the difference in the world between getting noticed and just blending in with the rest of the designers. These resources are there. To begin with it only makes sense if you will take full advantage of these.

These are a few of the tips that you can use in helping yourself get noticed in the freelance designer world. You are not going to get a free pass, but you will generally have better success if you use these tips to get over the humps that plague so many talented designers.

New Photoshop CC Is Here

If you are like many of the people that has been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for the newest update to photoshop, then you will not be disappointed in the results of your long wait. Adobe promised something big was coming and they delivered with this update. While other programs were not able to achieve such powerful results. Adobe wanted to make sure that they got a product out to the public that everyone likes and could actually get behind.

We will look at a few of the features that will make this update one of the most powerful ones to happen in some time.

The Days of Better Masking

If you were hoping for better masking, then you will not be disappointed as Adobe delivered on this in a big way. Often it will be said that they over-delivered, but in this case, it was just the right amount.

Adobe has been making huge strides in dealing with effects such as windblown hair. This better masking tool replaces the refine edge features that was in the previous version. That is the bad news, but the good news is that the new tool can do a lot more than the refine edge tool could ever think about doing.

Facial Aware Liquefy

Again, this was another progress that came from the advancements in the new update. The tool automatically detects features in the picture and allows you via a slide to make the needed adjustments. This is a huge advantage as many types of program, such as Photoshop, will never be able to do something this advanced with such ease. This along with the content aware cropping ensures that you get more done in less time than you might otherwise spend time doing.

Font Recognition

The biggest issue a person might have is that they would have a problem with the fonts in a picture. Gone are these days as now there is a feature in the software that will go in and examine the font on a picture. Then, it will check if you have installed it and suggest that you use that font. If you don’t, then it will suggest for other alternatives that would work just as well and give you access to download these fonts. Afterwards you can use them in your project. This is one of the biggest advantages that users of the program will see when looking at how this program can make their life a lot easier.

Overall Speed Increase

There is a large amount of increase for speed that had not been there in updates past. Many of the features that were so popular and seemed to be the slowest, have been given a massive increase and now are three times faster than they used to be. This increase in speed means that you have a lot more increase in the amount of productivity that you generally had in the past. This along with the other improvements will mean an increase in the amount of work you get done.

Responsive Web Design 101

Most of our online activity takes place through our mobile devices these days. With more and more variation in the devices we use to access web content, it becomes increasingly important for web design to be adaptable to these devices. Nothing turns away users faster than awkward and user-unfriendly web pages! Here are just a few of the myriad benefits of using a responsive web design for your website.

It’s User Friendly

The easier it is for your users to navigate your site, the longer they will spend on it and the more they will revisit it. Sites that have a simple layout, intuitive construction, and easily tap-able links on their mobile versions help users feel immediately at home when visiting the website. Users should feel comfortable navigating your page, and that comfort should start the moment they access it. The first few seconds after someone accesses your webpage are the most important; a well-designed site will draw them in immediately, but a poorly designed one will deter them from exploring further. A responsive design will encourage users to spend more time perusing your content, as well as making it easy for them to access it from any of their devices.

It’s Cost Efficient

Making different websites for access from different devices is not only more cumbersome, it’s a waste of time and money. Spending energy and funds updating, maintaining, and developing multiple sites is an inefficient use of your resources, not to mention a pain in the neck! Instead of developing multiple sites to accommodate different devices, use a responsive design that can adapt to any device. Not only will it make your life easier, but it will make your web presence more cohesive and your brand feel more unified.

It’s Better for Search Engine Optimization

Your website should be designed to help itself gain more web traffic. One of the features that is of increasing importance in SEO ranking is mobile accessibility. The more accessible your site is from mobile devices, the higher up in search engine results your site will appear. Since more web traffic means more business, making your website mobile-friendly means making your business more profitable. Opting for a responsive web design will not only make your website more user friendly, it will increase the number of users that come to your site in the first place. Plus, they’ll be more likely to share links to your site with your friends, which further increases your SEO ranking. Just like magic!

As the use of mobile devices to access web content increases, it becomes more and more important for businesses to adapt their web presence to this technological trend. A responsive web design makes your life easier and your users’ experience better. What more could one ask for?

Personal Branding 101

Personal branding is the creation and marketing of a distinctive and memorable brand for you and your career. One of the most important parts of creating a successful business is cultivating a following that knows and loves your business’s authentic identity. Personal branding can lead to better professional opportunities, improved and diversified clientele, and recognition in your industry. Here are a few tips for personal branding to help you cultivate a following and increase the opportunities available to you.

Know Your Audience

Knowing who your target audience is and what their needs are is one of the most important features of personal branding. Your audience and your clientele are the ones who will most determine the success of your brand, so be sure to know your market. After all, happy clients lead to brand loyalty!

Use High Quality Images

The visual impression you make on your audience is the first and most lasting impression. Beautiful and professional images send the message that your product or services are high-quality, trustworthy, and exciting. With a strong first visual impression, your audience will immediately feel at ease and engaged.

Establish Networks

Connecting with other brands and professionals can open doors for you in your industry in unexpected ways. Start by listening to other professionals and making yourself of service to them, both so that you can learn from those who have more experience than you and so that you can create a network of allies. Cultivating a personal brand means establishing yourself as a leader in your industry, one that customers and other professionals alike are drawn to.

Don’t Stop Creating

There are thousands of places for you to showcase bits of your work to new audiences, so continue to create fresh and engaging content to share with the world. Don’t spend too much time on networking and forget to deliver creative new content with the networks already available to you!

Tell Your Story

Nothing establishes brand loyalty better than a personal story that your audience can connect with. Remember, your users don’t just care about the products you offer; they want to have a fully immersed, personal user experience. Cater to their experience by sharing your story so that they feel connected with not only your product, but also your lifestyle.

Personal branding is key to developing a successful business, as it connects who you are with the services you offer the world. These strategies will help you develop a personal brand that will increase opportunities and secure your place as a leader of your industry.