7 Characteristics of a Successful Freelance Designer

7 characteristics of a successful freelance designer

Everyone wants to be successful in their career as a freelance designer, but how do you know you really have what it takes?

Don’t worry about it because we are here to provide you with 7 qualities you must have to be a successful freelance designer.

Table of Contents

7 characteristics of a successful freelance designer
Credits: unsplash.com


Let’s face it, to be a successful designer you have to be creative. It’s essential that you are creative with your designs so you can differentiate yourself from the competition. Like we mentioned in our positioning yourself in the design industry post, you need to have that unique quality in your designs to be successful in the industry and that can only come from creativity.

However, being creative doesn’t always mean being the most artistic or greatest at making designs. It means being able to find inspiration from anywhere and being able to turn your inspiration into a design that conveys it well and in a unique way.

Always remember that creativity comes from within you. It’s not something you can pay to learn. Try using the inspiration all around you to evoke the inner creativity from inside of you. It may just be easier than you think!


You’re a freelance designer. That means you don’t work a 9-5 job in an office where your boss tells you what to do and what not to do. Although this comes with a lot of freedom, it also comes with a  lot of responsibility. You have to be independent and self-reliant so you can get work done on time.

Successful freelance designers value being independent and self-reliant so they are more likely to exhibit these characteristics themselves. You are accountable for yourself and you know what you have to get done and in what time frame.

In order to be successful, treat your independence as a privilege and stay on top of it. Make schedules, plans, and divide up the work so you don’t fall behind. Be your own boss and really make the most out of your independence and privileges.

7 characteristics of a successful freelance designer
Credits: unsplash.com


Going along with the previous characteristic, good time-management skills are essential to a successful career as a freelance designer. You need to be able to manage your time well because you won’t have preset times to work and break for like in a traditional office setting.

Don’t procrastinate but also don’t overwork yourself. Find a schedule that serves as a happy medium which gives you the benefits of avoiding a 9-5 job and lets you finish work in a timely manner.


Successful people are always committed to their work. It’s because when you love and take pleasure in what you do, you are automatically committed to do your best. Don’t leave a project midway or give up on a task. Stay committed to your work as a freelancer; your clients will appreciate it and so will you!

7 characteristics of a successful freelance designer
Credits: unsplash.com


Have good organization skills. Keep your workspace organized and know where all your materials are located. This will help you in the long term by keeping your work process smooth. Having a clean workspace will simulate an environment of “work” and keep you away from the distractions of your home.

Keep your ideas, design sketches, and notes in organized notebooks or folders. Don’t have a bunch of paper lying around because it’ll be easy to get confused. Whenever you have an idea or want to sketch a design, you can open the designated notebook and keep everything in one place.

Social and Communicative Skills

Since you’re a freelance designer, you need to be sociable and open to reaching out to others in your community. Opportunities, clients, and like-minded peers won’t just come to you. You’ll have to reach out to them and really put yourself out there. 

This doesn’t mean you have to be a bubbly, outgoing, extrovert who gets along with everyone. Just be friendly and confident enough to reach out and talk to people and share your talents with the world (The Desircle Community Slack is great for this). It’s how you’ll build your presence and profile as a freelance designer.

Unsure of how to network with others as a freelancer? Read our blog post about networking as a freelance designer.

7 characteristics of a successful freelance designer
Credits: unsplash.com


Be passionate about your work! You chose this career because you were passionate about design, but didn’t want a regular 9-5 job. Channel your inner passion into your work and it will show. Clients will be more than happy to work with a freelance designer who is passionate, than a company designer who is just pushing through.

Successful people are passionate about what they do, which is exactly why they are successful. You can’t be successful at something you don’t completely enjoy, so make sure you find that passion and really dive deep into it.


  • Be creative and find your inspiration
  • Be independent/self-reliant and accountable for yourself
  • Have good time-management
  • Be committed to your work and don’t give up so easily
  • Be organized and neat
  • Have good social skills and be able to communicate with others
  • Be passionate about your work


Check yourself to make sure you exhibit all these characteristics and then you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful freelance designer!

Do you have any other characteristics you think are essential to being a successful freelance designer? Comment down below!

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