The economy is never stable, and the recession is an unfortunate time for most of us. It is only imperative that we find ways to make our ends meet, and as designers, some ways to do this are to offer your services to a particular niche, build a template that serves as a solution, share your knowledge on social media, and selling your own art online.
The landscape has changed from what we've already seen: there are more businesses and new opportunities for success, so it's best for you to be creative about your professional development. As we enter the new era, the demand for graphic designers will rise. Many companies are now turning to digital media and promoting their products on the internet. This in itself serves as an opportunity during this time.
Here are some ways to do so:
Offer your service to a niche you can help
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a downturn in demand is to go after niches that people will be willing to spend their money on no matter what. Designers are in a position where they can help particular clients with very specific needs and challenges.
For example, you might be someone who has a knack for designing mobile apps or responsive web pages, which could make you very attractive to small-business owners who want to get ahead of the curve by optimizing their websites and digital presence for mobile devices and their customers' growing preference for mobile shopping. And since there won't be as many big-ticket projects coming in, it's going to be even more important than usual for you to find those small-scale clients who are willing to pay you what you're worth.
You can also offer your services at a lower rate in exchange for an agreement that will get them immediate results for their time and money—like designing three blog posts for $200 instead of $25 each. Make sure you have the skills required for the job, but also make sure your client has realistic expectations about what you can do for them within their budget.
Build a template that solves a problem
As designers, we're used to thinking in terms of ideals and theories. We're taught to come up with a solution to a problem, then build that solution. What we're not taught is what to do when the economy's suffering and our clients just can't afford to pay us for all of our creative talents.
Approaching your work from a different angle—one that's more practical than idealistic—can solve this issue for you. You don't necessarily have to work for free, but you do need to look for ways to make money outside of your standard work.
Creating something that's more utilitarian and straightforward than artistic will give you a chance to be paid even when the economic conditions aren't ideal. This also means you won't feel like your talents are going underappreciated by clients who don't value your design as much as they should, and you are able to help them the way you can.
Share your knowledge on social media
If you are on a social media platform creating content that's relevant to your field, consider increasing the frequency of your content creation so that your visitors will be more likely to return to your site on a regular basis. You might also look into using advertising on your site if you have a large enough audience—this can help pay for your expenses while also providing an incentive for others to return over and over again.
Build your audience by providing high-value posts which you can do through research or by sharing your personal knowledge and experiences in the field. This can establish your credibility in the field and allow prospective clients to know about your work and expertise.
Offer a complete solution that helps people make money
How do you price yourself in a way that is still profitable but also makes you seem like you're offering an amazing value? The key is creating a package or service that offers the end user everything they need, but also includes additional details that might not otherwise be available. More than that, these packages or services become more appealing when they are also opportunities to make money.
For example, you can try offering a short masterclass on how to create their own online store or a platform for their dropshipping services. You can offer designing marketing assets for their business campaigns and more.
Sell your own art online
When you’re into arts, it can be easy to separate the creative work you do for jobs and the personal art you do for yourself. However, it can be harder to let go of what you do to fuel your passion. Selling your own art online, however, can be a way to make more money despite the recession.
When the economy is down, people don’t have as much extra money to spend on luxuries like custom art pieces. If you’re looking for some way to be able to make more of a living from your creative passions, selling your own art online may be the answer you’re looking for. It may take a lot of time and effort to get noticed and build up a following, but if there's one thing you're passionate about, it's worth giving your all. This can be especially rewarding when you see someone else appreciating your work and being able to use that as motivation to keep going.
We can't predict the future, but what we can do is prepare for it as much as possible. And that preparation could mean everything from learning certain skills to making new connections with clients or employers. The key here is to start now and not to wait until it could be too late. Markets are always changing, and by doing this, you’ll be ready if your market changes too.
For now, try to choose one of the ways here that you can implement in your own designing business. Find out how to market yourself and try taking steps to incorporate this into your current offers, one step at a time.