Reddit is one of the biggest and busiest websites. As of 2015, it had 542 million monthly visitors — a vast market for a freelance graphic designer. The site is organized by area of interest called subreddits. There are subreddits for everything, including ones where designers and clients can come together.
You should be familiar with /r/freedesign if you have provided clients with free services to expand your portfolio. Now, we will be looking at subreddits where you can actually sell your services, as well as strategies to maximize your reach on these subreddits.
See also: Building Your Portfolio
Some things to take note
Before we move on to the subreddits, do note that spam posts are a big no-no. No one likes spam, and doing so will likely get you banned on the subreddits. A good rule of thumb is to post once every week on each of the subreddits. In fact, one of my posts was just removed a few days ago because I posted six days ago instead of seven. When in doubt, message the moderators.
Clients from all walks from life seek freelance graphic designers on reddit, and their budgets vary greatly. As such, it’s a good idea to have a plan (or several plans) ready before negotiating prices with redditors.
See also: Pricing Your Services
Since it’s so easy to create a reddit account, you’re likely to run into scammers who will exploit your services. As such, you should take steps to protect yourself as a freelancer. First off, check the client’s post history. Be wary of someone who just signed up for an account, or has been posting vulgar comments. You can also search a username on /r/testimonials to see if he or she has bad reviews from other freelancers.
Next, try to avoid spec work, which is when a client ask a designer to come up with concepts for a project before he or she is officially hired. Only if the client likes the submissions would the designer be hired and compensated. Such practice is frowned upon by designers, since it usually results in the client ghosting you and you not getting paid in the end. Clients should always hire designers based on the quality of their portfolios.
Unlike freelance marketplaces, reddit doesn’t have an escrow service, where funds are held by a third party and you’re guaranteed to get paid after finishing a project. To better protect yourself, be sure to incorporate the terms and conditions into a contract, and always collect a deposit before starting work.
Writing your post
Before promoting on reddit, take time to review your text post, which consists of a headline and description. The headline is what draws prospects in, and decides whether they will be interested enough to read your post. Having a good headline is key to promoting your services. It should not only be simple and to the point, but also have a ‘hook’ — something to draw a prospect’s attention. For example, instead of Logo Designer Looking for Work, try High Quality Logos by an Experienced Designer.
For the description, include as many details as possible so clients have a better understanding on how you work. Be sure to describe your design process, and discuss specifics such as pricing, revisions and delivery. It’s also a good idea to have a few testimonials from redditors whom you have worked with previously to establish credibility. And of course, don’t forget to add a link to your portfolio.
One tip is to make use of reddit’s formatting so your description is neatly organized and easy to read. If you need more help, you can always check out the posts from other graphic designers. In fact, here’s a well-written copy by SanRedStudios:
A little bio about the designer called me
My name is San Red and I’m a 23 year old guy from Sweden. I am the co-founder of a web agency but on the side I freelance doing mostly logo work (check out my portfolio here). I also study on the side for a Masters in Science and Engineering (majoring in computer science) at the Royal Institute of Technology.
I also have a pet bird because someone told me designers have to be eccentric.
I work completely after my clients’ needs. I will do my research on your company/brand and adapt after it. You can be as involved as you like, if you have a specific idea in mind, great! I will do everything I can to make it a reality. And if you should not have any ideas and would like to grant me free hands, that’s ok too! I love being creative.
I know most designers have a set amount of revisions but I don’t do that. I will keep working until you are satisfied.
The price isn’t set in stone. I mostly freelance to keep my creative juices flowing so it won’t be terribly expensive. I can tell you that it will not go above $250, and rarely has it ever gone above $200.
EXPERIENCE ON REDDIT
I have had quite a few clients from Reddit and it has all gone smoothly!
Here is a testimonial by a previous client […]
All my logos are of course created in vector format. When the designing process is done and it’s time to deliver, I’ll send it to you in any file type you’d like. I’ll also help you out with cropping, resizing or whatever else you’d like help with afterwards. The standard files I send to my clients are these: .eps .ai .png. svg. And if you should want some other type, simply ask!
I also do a lot of other work, pretty much any web dev and graphic design work. Including business cards, letterheads, merchandise, packaging, smartphone applications, UI/UX design consultation, website development and anything else you can think of. If you need anything, just ask!
Feel free to inquire about anything you might be wondering about. Just send me a PM or you can find my email on my website. I don’t bite!
And again, you can find my portfolio here.
Timing your posts
Because information moves so fast on reddit, it’s easy for your post to get drowned out within hours. Since you only get one chance a week to post on each subreddit, it’s important to choose your timing well.
Do your research and find out when a subreddit is most active. Subreddits that cater to businesses, such as /r/forhire, usually have the most active users in the mornings and afternoons — typical office hours. Also, almost half of all redditors are from the United States, so you should take time zones into consideration, especially if you’re located on the other side of the world.
Be an active redditor
Design is a life-long learning process, so what better way to connect and learn from other graphic designers than on reddit. You should definitely participate actively in subreddits such as /r/graphic_design. Doing so not only improves your knowledge in graphic design, but also establishes you as a professional in the field. Because clients can easily check your post history, you will increase your visibility and reputation as you continue to showcase great projects.
In short, you have to be a redditor to best understand reddit.
Subreddits to promote your services
Now that you’re more familiar with reddit, let’s take a look at the subreddits where you can promote your services. The first subreddit is /r/forhire, a place for businesses looking to hire freelancers. It’s very popular, so you’re guaranteed to find job listings for graphic designers every day.
Next up, we have /r/designjobs. It’s catered to graphic designers, so expect much more competition. On the other hand, your post will generate more interest since clients are more specific in their search.
We also have /r/freelance_forhire, another job bulletin for freelancers. It’s relatively new, and not as popular as the previous two subreddits, but more promotion is always great.
Apart from promotion listings, these subreddits also have clients posting job listings and looking to hire designers. Listings usually move fast, so it’s a good idea to check the subreddits regularly to stay ahead of the competition. As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm.
On that note, you should be proactive and seek out subreddits frequented by your target market. For example, if you’re looking to work with startups, then consider promoting your services on /r/startups. Similarly, to connect with women entrepreneurs, try /r/ladybusiness.
See also: Defining Your Target Market
As a freelance graphic designer, reddit can be a great place for you to promote your services. If you play your cards right, you’re guaranteed to attract the right clients and boost your freelancing to the next level.