5 Unconventional Ways to Stand Out as a Freelance Designer

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5 Unconventional Ways to Stand Out as a Freelance Designer


The freelance design market is bustling with opportunities but equally packed with competition. So how do you make sure you’re the needle in the haystack that clients find and choose? Let’s dive into five unconventional yet highly actionable ways to stand out as a freelance designer, complete with detailed explanations and relevant links for further information.

1. Offer Design Audits to Prospective Clients

Instead of waiting for clients to find you, why not proactively offer something of value upfront? A design audit is a review of a prospective client’s existing design elements, followed by a detailed report. It shows your expertise while providing actionable insights to the client.

A design audit typically includes an evaluation of UI/UX, branding, and other visual elements. You can offer this service either for free as an initial engagement or as a low-cost entry point. The goal is to demonstrate your skills and provide immediate value.

Learn how to conduct an effective design audit from Smashing Magazine’s detailed guide.

2. Develop Niche-Specific Design Expertise

By becoming an expert in a specific design niche like healthcare UI or e-commerce UX, you set yourself apart from generalist designers. Your specialized knowledge can be your unique selling point.

Research industries that interest you and are in demand. Develop a portfolio that demonstrates your niche-specific designs and seek out clients within that industry. Over time, your specialized expertise will make you the go-to person in that niche.

Here’s an in-depth article from Creative Bloq discussing the benefits of choosing a niche.

3. Leverage Virtual Reality (VR) for Portfolio Presentations

Imagine walking your client through a virtual gallery of your designs. Utilizing VR technology for your portfolio presentation can make you unforgettable.

You can use platforms like Sketchfab to create a virtual environment showcasing your work. This immersive experience allows clients to interact with your designs in a unique and engaging way.

Learn how to get started with VR design portfolios using this VRScout guide.

4. Provide Educational Content Alongside Services

Position yourself not just as a designer, but as an educator in the design field. Create content like e-books, webinars, or video tutorials that you can offer as an added value to your design services.

Educational content builds trust and showcases your expertise. You can offer this content for free on platforms like Medium or YouTube, or as a paid add-on to your services.

Check out HubSpot Academy for tips on creating educational content.

5. Gamify Client Interactions

Gamification involves adding game-like elements to non-game situations. By gamifying your design process or client interactions, you make the experience enjoyable and engaging.

You can offer rewards or badges to clients for timely feedback, or use platforms that gamify project management. It adds an element of fun to the project and keeps clients involved and engaged.

Learn more about the principles of gamification and how to apply them in business settings in this Gamification Course by Coursera.


Standing out as a freelance designer requires more than just a solid portfolio and design skills. It takes unique approaches and strategies that set you apart from the crowd. The above five strategies are not just actionable but also differentiated enough to make you memorable in the eyes of prospective clients.

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