How to Start a Graphic Design Business with NO Experience



Are you an aspiring graphic designer? Do you want to start your own design business but aren’t sure how to get started? If this is the case, then this article is for you! Here we will show you how to create a graphic design business without experience. So let’s get started!

Find a Mentor

Finding a mentor is one of the best ways to learn graphic design. A mentor can help you with everything from business planning and finding clients to marketing, branding, and building your portfolio.

Find An Influencer In Your Niche

Mentors can be someone in the industry who has been successful. Like many graphic designers on YouTube or Instagram, you can also look for someone successful as an online personality.

These designers can offer invaluable advice on their early career mistakes and how they overcame them. This information is vital to get a great start on your graphic design business.

Local or Internet Groups

You can also use social media to reach out—Facebook or LinkedIn groups are excellent places to start looking. You could even reach out directly via DM if someone seems like they might be interested in helping out!

Pick a course that suits your learning style.

You may find an online course that looks good, but you get stuck or are not learning as fast as you would like. Failing to learn from a class is not always your fault. Try a few different courses out. The procedure may not align with your learning style.

Everyone Teaches Differently

Everyone has a different teaching style. You need to find someone who presents the course in a way you can easily understand and enjoy the process. Learning about graphic design should be fun, creative and enjoyable.

Keep Trying Different Courses

If you took a course and didn’t get anywhere, keep trying new ways of learning. You will likely find someone you love to listen to, and learning becomes effortless.

Choose a Specialty

It might make sense to focus on freelance illustration if you’re an artist. If you’re more technical, maybe web design, app design or branding design suits your skill set.

If you’re good at both, maybe it’s time to find an intersection between the two—the world of digital art is growing every day!

Once you’ve chosen your specialty, it’s time to consider the kind of businesses willing to pay for your services.

  1. What kind of person would hire a graphic designer?
  2. What types of businesses need branding and websites?
  3. Do they have any particular needs that someone could meet with your skill set?
  4. Are there any other services they might need?

Try not to overthink it too much, though— Go with what feels suitable for you and don’t worry too much about whether or not it’s the “right” thing; that will come later when you’ve built up more experience and confidence in yourself as an artist!

Create a Business Plan

While learning to design, creating a business plan is essential, giving you a blueprint for success. A good business plan should include the following:

  • What services are you offering?
  • What is your minimum project size?
  • Who is your ideal client?
  • What problems are you solving for your clients?
  • How much money does it cost to run your business?
  • Do you have start-up funding?
  • How are your work days structured?
  • How much time per week can you put aside for this business?

The above list is a good starting point for a business plan. Your plans will always grow and change as you scale. Try to be flexible and creative with new business ideas. Failure is on the path to success.

Build a Portfolio

When you’re just starting, it can be challenging to convince clients to hire you for the job. What if you don’t have enough experience? What if they don’t like your work? 

Well, here’s the thing: most people don’t know what they’re doing when they first start. That’s why you need to build a portfolio and get some experience under your belt before trying to get paid work!

The best way to do this is by joining as many design communities as possible—forums, social networks, etc.—and post your work there. You’ll never know who will see it or what opportunities might come out of it until you put yourself out there and try!

Work on Fictitious Company Briefs

If you don’t have any real clients, try working with fake ones! You could create some fictitious companies. You can also find briefs on Instagram or other social networks. Some examples are:




These accounts have weekly or monthly challenges for designers, and you could win prizes. The best part of these challenges is the network effects.

Other community members will boost your post’s engagements. The hashtags will help you because you are all working on the same briefs and networking.

Find Clientele

There are many ways to build your clientele, but it can take time and effort. It’s not easy! In the next post, we will discuss how to find clientele for your new graphic design business.

I hope the above has given you some ideas for starting a graphic design business.

Of course, this is by no means exhaustive; if you’d like more information, plenty of other articles and books are available on starting a graphic design business. Don’t be afraid of being a beginner; embrace it, learn from it, and most of all, have fun!


Cameron Ashley

Cameron Ashley

Cameron is the co-founder of Ashbi Creative Studio. He helps companies grow their business with branding design and marketing strategy. Cameron is a digital marketing expert specializing in WordPress design and development, search engine optimization and content writing.

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