It’s hard finding your positioning as a freelance designer. When there are so many designers out there with different styles, how do you position yourself to showcase the best version of you?
Should you try a variety of different projects to show that you are skilled in everything? Or should you focus on a specific area/niche of the industry that plays to your strengths?
In this post, we’re going to answer all the questions you may have about positioning as a designer and we’re going to provide 4 essential steps you must take to position yourself in the best way!
Table of Contents
Step 1: Position yourself in your mind
In order to master positioning as a designer, you need to be able to position yourself in your mind and really understand what you can bring to the table. Know what you’re good at and what you might need a little work on. Make a mental (and physical) list of your skills and focus on those when positioning and branding yourself.
Here’s an example of how you could go about doing this.
Imagine you run into a person from a major design company or business and they ask about your job. You tell them that you’re a freelance designer and they suddenly ask about your skills and qualifications. You have a couple seconds to position yourself in your mind, compile a quick list of your best skills, and present those skills to the person in a way that brands you as a designer.
Sounds impossible right? Well, it’s not impossible if you have already positioned yourself in your mind and are confident with your skills. So when positioning yourself in your mind, think that you’re about to pitch yourself to a potential client. It’ll help you brainstorm and get those creative juices flowing.
Step 2: Use your portfolio to your advantage
In our previous blog post about networking as a freelance designer, we talked about building a portfolio to showcase all your designs and skills. Here’s where you can use this portfolio to help position yourself in the design industry.
Your portfolio should contain some of your best designs and should showcase the skills you have grasped the best. So your portfolio will be quite useful in helping you narrow down what you’re good at and what you should focus on.
Once you’ve noticed a theme/pattern in your portfolio, it’ll become a little easier to figure out your specific position in the industry and how you want to brand yourself as a designer.
Step 3: Identify your position and stick with it
After you have narrowed down the specific area or niche you want to fit in, stay within that area! Try not to get distracted by others and what they’re doing because they’re focused on their niches and may be doing different things than you.
You may think something someone else is doing is really cool or popular, but don’t let this discourage you from your own work or specific area. Remember that you’re really skilled at what you do and that creativity can go a long way.
Start tailoring all your future work to your specific niche and really establish that brand for yourself in the design industry. This will also help you find clients who are in the same niche/area as you so the entire work process will become easier overall.
You both will have shared interests, goals, and visions of what needs to be accomplished and you will be able to tailor to their needs.
Your clients will know that they found the right person for the job, but more importantly, you will be confident that you are comfortable with the work you are doing and that you will do your work to the best of your ability.
Step 4: Practice, improve, connect and find YOUR thing
Now you’ve successfully found your positioning in the design industry, but you’re not finished yet. Practice your skills regularly so you can improve and produce better work for your clients. What good is finding your niche if you can’t produce high quality work that fits within the niche?
Connect with other designers in your niche so you can give each other relevant feedback and help each other out when you get stuck. You can learn more about this in our previous blog post about networking where we also mention the Desircle Communiy Slack, a great place to find freelance designers in your specific niche.
Finally, make sure you take this time to find YOUR thing as a freelancer designer. This should be something that makes you and your work unique so you can differentiate yourself from the competition.
Your unique attribute will serve as one of the main parts of your portfolio and your brand and you want to make sure it comes across very clearly in everything you do.
- Position yourself in your mind so you can get a better idea of your attributes, skills, and focus
- Use your portfolio to help you find positioning and branding as a designer
- Identify your positioning and focus in on it to really solidify your position
- Practice, improve, connect, and find your unique thing that makes your work special
Now you should be able to answer the questions we asked at the beginning of this post. Positioning is all about finding your area/niche in the industry and really focusing on it to achieve the best possible results. Don’t try and spread yourself out too thin because it’ll make things more difficult for you in the future.
Hopefully you’ve gained a better sense of positioning and you’re ready to find your position in the design industry and become the best at what you do!
How did you find your positioning as a freelance designer? Tell us in the comments!