Finding Success on Reddit
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 can find and apply for jobs.
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 those subreddits, know 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 anyone can create a Reddit account, you are more than likely to run into scammers trying to exploit your services. As such, make sure you take steps to protect yourself as a freelancer. First, check the client’s post history. Be wary of someone who just created an account, or has been making vulgar posts and comments. You can also search a username on r/testimonials to see if he or she has bad reviews from other freelancers.
Avoid spec work, which is when a client asks you to come up with concepts before they decide whether to hire you. In other words, they will only pay you if they like what you come up with. Such practice is frowned upon by designers, since it usually results in you getting ghosted by the client. Remember, you should always be hired on the strength of your portfolio.
Unlike freelance marketplaces, Reddit doesn’t have an escrow service, where funds are held by a third party and you are guaranteed to get paid after finishing a project. As such, it’s important to protect yourself with a contract, and always collect a deposit before starting any 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 include a few testimonials from Redditors whom you have worked with to establish more credibility. And of course, don’t forget to add a link to your portfolio.
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 what other graphic designers are posting. 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
Since information moves fast on Reddit, your posts will likely get drowned out within hours. And with only 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 are located on the other side of the world.
BE AN ACTIVE REDDITOR
Design is multifaceted and ever changing; it’s important to connect with other graphic designers to learn and share design knowledge — and what better way than on Reddit. Be active in subreddits such as r/graphic_design. Since anyone can check your post history, by contributing regularly and diligently, you establish yourself as a professional in the field, thereby increasing your reputation on Reddit.
In short, you have to be a Redditor to understand Reddit.
SUBREDDITS TO PROMOTE YOUR SERVICES
Now that you are 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 one of the more popular subreddits, so your posts will reach a lot of eyes.
Next, we have r/designjobs. It’s catered to graphic designers, so expect much more competition. At the same time, your posts will generate more interest since clients are looking specifically for candidates to fulfill their design projects.
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 promoting your services, these subreddits allow clients to post job listings, with some of them looking to hire designers. Listings usually move fast, so it’s a good idea to check those subreddits regularly to stay ahead of the competition. As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm.
On that note, be proactive and seek out other subreddits frequented by your target market. For example, if you are looking to work with startups, consider promoting your services on subreddits such as 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 and connect with prospects. If you play your cards right, you are guaranteed to attract the right clients and level up your freelancing game.