Being a freelancer is an exciting path to go down, especially as a product designer.
Product designers are some of the most creative (and ambitious) individuals on the planet. Each product designer is different from the next; some specialize in household appliances, some are gifted at creating smartphone accessories, whilst others are talented at making industrial tools and machinery. Some freelance designers don’t even have specialty areas, as their skill sets cover a wide range of different industry needs!
Because you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume you’re a freelance product designer looking for some tech tips. If that’s true, you can relax – you’re in good hands. In fact, let’s hop right into some tips now!
Organize your home office
Most freelancers – from product designers to copywriters – work from home offices.
This means that your home office needs to be expertly designed and organized to suit your profession: designing.
You’ll need adequate space for planning and prototyping your products, as well as a nifty storage space for all your tools and transistor parts.
Being organized will enable you to perform to the best of your ability, whilst also ensuring that your day-to-day operations run efficiently. After all, if your home office and workspace is a mess, your products will reflect it!
As a freelance product designer, it’s essential that you let your creative juices run when it comes to prototyping. From the initial storyboarding process to the physical assembly of your prototype, don’t be afraid to let creativity guide you – and if you make a mistake (or several mistakes) it’s no big deal.
Ideally, your prototype should be focused on user-friendliness, as modern consumers don’t like to be overwhelmed by complex and difficult-to-use products. Also, make sure to test your prototypes with friends, family, or volunteers to get a grasp of what’s good and what’s not. You can even post videos of your prototypes online, be it through YouTube or forum spaces where you can receive detailed feedback from fellow users.
Another pro tip: 3D printers (if you can afford to access one) are excellent for prototyping and are very much a modern solution.
Settle on a brand image
If you’re selling your own products, you need to create a long-term brand image for yourself. Here are some nifty little branding tips for you to put into action:
- Decide your brand values and market them efficiently
- Pay for professional headshots that you can use on your marketing platforms (website, social media pages)
- Craft your individual aesthetic (color schemes, fonts, writing style)
- Settle on a logo that is marketable and memorable
Marketing. Marketing. Marketing.
For any freelancer, marketing is the key. You need to market yourself like crazy so that you can get your name out there and gain leverage over competitors.
If you don’t want to do all the marketing work yourself, you don’t have to. You can hire marketing agencies (or freelance marketers) to take care of it for you. Of course, you’ll have to pay for their services, but it could be the key to getting your products off the ground.
Get a self-employed loan
Many freelancers operate using self-employed loans, which are worth considering if you need financial assistance. In the early stages, loans can be particularly useful for getting footholds in industries.