It seems that as we head into 2023, there’s talk of side hustles, entrepreneurship and starting your own business everywhere. With turmoil in the economy, employees forced to work from home, and uncertainty for the future, side hustles can be a great way to make extra money or even passive income on the side.
But there’s no reason you can’t turn your creative side project into a lucrative business. Here’s how you can get started with a creative design business today, even if you don’t have experience as a graphic designer or you're a self taught graphic designer.
Let's look at the tools and methods that will help you start a business today. Get some ideas about the kinds of work you'd like to do. Then learn about how to scale the side hustle and market it.
Tools for Your Graphic Design Business
Yep, it's a business. Think of it as a real business and you'll make more money and have more success than if you always consider it to be a hobby or a supplementary income source. So what kind of software do you need to get your graphic design business off the ground?
Luckily, in 2022, there are many different free and premium software products and apps that offer high-quality tools that graphic designers could only dream of 10 years ago. The power of online web design and graphic design tools for freelance graphic design hustlers is comparable to the most high-end products of a decade ago.
Expensive Graphic Design Software Not Required
Graphic design jobs were once the realm of people with highly-specialized Photoshop and Illustrator skills. Years of college and post-college study was generally required to make money from a career as a graphic designer. And to some extent, that’s still true.
High-end graphics and image production requires a professional with a powerful toolset of software. But not every client is Saatchi and Saatchi. Many small businesses need help with social media images, website graphics, simple custom illustrations, infographics, and other marketing materials. They want fast results at a price they can afford. They do not need a team of people working on a website banner or a Facebook ad.
And that’s where the opportunity lies for people willing to create a graphic designer side hustle serving small business owners who don’t have the time or patience to do the work themselves.
This list wouldn't be complete without mentioning the company that helped bring easy-to-use design tools to the masses.
I used to dismiss Canva as too basic and too popular (it's used to be easy to spot Canva graphics everywhere from Pinterest to Facebook). The same-same graphics were ubiquitous on the internet. But things have changed.
Canva received millions of dollars in investment, upped their game (in the face of stiff competition) and has released some really cool features. In 2022, I'd expect Canva to maintain its position as the most popular design and publishing tool for small businesses, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and freelancers.
The new features that have really caught our eye are the background removal tool, the social media scheduling feature, the desktop computer app, and the design marketplace. If you're getting in to
Canva lets you create Instagram Stories, YouTube videos and YouTube Ads, Facebook Ads and Profile covers, and a lot more besides.
If your side hustle has reached the level where you begin to hire a team, Canva's special offer of 5 accounts for the price of 1 will surely be of interest. Buy one account and get 4 more. Give everyone on your team an account and collaborate to build a solid business or full-time job for you or your employees.