Running a freelance successful graphic design business from your home requires a lot of work and attention to detail. You need a streamlined process in place for tracking projects, client information, and any other information necessary to keep your projects going smoothly. Fortunately, there are plenty of online tools you can use to help you succeed.
⇒ Cloud Storage and Organization:
When you run an online business, cloud-hosted storage options are a must because they offer a seamless transition when working from multiple devices. With cloud storage, you can create designs from your iPad or tablet and easily pull them up on your laptop to add them to your design.
You can also use an online note-taking app with cloud storage to save design ideas and code sequences where they are easily accessible. To stay as organized as possible, create separate notebooks for each type of file that you’re saving. For example, you might have a notebook that holds screenshots of website designs you like and ideas you might want to incorporate into future website creations and a separate notebook to hold random strings of CSS coding you need to alter templates.
⇒ Graphic Design Application:
If you’re creating logos from scratch or images for your clients to use across social media platforms, then it’s a good idea to have a basic cloud-hosted graphic design tool to use. Of course, you can use Photoshop or another more elaborate program for large projects, but for small one-off jobs, having a simple tool like Picmonkey or Canva to use makes things easier.
In addition to creating simple designs, you can use cloud-hosted graphics software to create wireframes for clients to approve before you spend hours creating the website. It’s also going to be easier to find an affordable assistant who’s well-versed in using Canva than someone who knows everything there is to know about Photoshop.
⇒ Mapping Tools:
When you’re designing a website, user experience is extremely important. Online mapping tools such as Mind Meister or Coggle make it easy to trace out the steps that each website visitor has to take to complete the action you want them to complete (make a purchase, sign up for an email list, etc.).
You can also use a mapping tool to help you complete an audit on a potential client’s website design or a new client’s site before you start working on it. When you map out the current process that visitors take to complete the action needed, it’s easier to spot gaps and places to improve.
If you decide to expand your graphic design business, then you can use your mapping tool to brainstorm different ideas and see how they connect. For example, you might consider selling premade branding kits or online courses that teach others how to create simple websites for their own businesses. When you use a mapping tool for effective brainstorming, it’s easy to come up with several ideas to help you expand your business.
⇒ Project Management Software:
It’s important to keep track of each project’s progress, especially if you have multiple project deadlines and approval dates that you and your client need to adhere to. Project management software like Trello or Asana makes the process a lot easier. Both options let you create multiple boards or lists for each project, meaning that you can choose what information your clients see and what information you keep for internal use only.
When comparing and adding online tools to your business’ operations, it’s important to do so slowly. This way, you have time to experiment with each new tool and can better understand how well it fits with your business.