One of the most common challenges almost every person faces at one point in their lives is how to turn the skills they have gained into money. And as more people turn to freelance 3D designing to make a livelihood and to fulfill their passions, the competition is becoming more intensive each day. Hence as a freelance 3D designer, you need to devise ways to be unique and stand out from the crowd.
To ensure that you are a successful freelance 3D artist in 2021 and be someone who is sort after, you need to start by creating a top-notch portfolio, set up social media profiles, sell your designs on 3D modelling databases, and you can also sign up on various freelance websites. Each of these points is explained below.
How to Market Yourself As a Freelance 3D Designer in 2021
Create a Topnotch Portfolio
Creating a portfolio or a curated collection of the previous projects you have worked on is of utmost importance if you're to succeed as a freelance 3D artist. A portfolio showcases your talents and your ability to handle different projects in size and scope.
Before hiring a freelancer, most clients will usually go through the work of several potential artists side by side before deciding on whom to hire. So you have to ensure that your work stands out enough that the client won't help but shoot you an email or dial your number.
You can build a website or blog showcasing your work. And in that website/blog, always make sure to:
Tell Your Story
There are benefits of presenting your story. Not only does it present your journey as an artist and how talented you are, but it also shows that you are easy to work with. Your personality is very important and because, as a freelancer, you will be working online, and you won’t be meeting clients physically. The only way to do that is by writing your story in a way that will connect with your clients on a deeper level and ensure that your website/blog is unique and straightforward.
Present projects of the highest quality:
Always consider quality over quantity. Even if you have few projects you have done, you should be very careful about which ones appear on top of your website, because even a single substandard project can turn off even a potential client.
It’s no good having a beautiful and professional website when no one will ever see it. Visibility is key. You can learn the basics of SEO to optimize your website to appear on search engines. You can publish blogs every week to help boost your rankings. You can be contacting other well-established blogs on design and request them to feature your work.
Present a variety of projects:
If you have enough experience to have worked on different projects, you should showcase projects from different fields of design and visualization. It will help you organize and categorize your portfolio based on the type of work and even the process of designing the product, but more importantly, it will show you in a more favorable light as someone with a flexible approach to the design.
Set up your Social Media Profiles
Ensure that you build a good Linkedin profile. Add a professional profile and cover photo. Ensure that your headlines are more than a job title and ensure that you list your relevant skills. Include your experience and even links to your projects. Though you may not get jobs here directly, it’s good for professionalism as a client can sometimes check on it.
Set up a Twitter account.
Join Social Media Groups:
You can join Facebook groups for 3D designers and start posting your projects there. You can also join and follow subreddits for 3D digital artists and 3D modeling. When you post them there you can get clients who might be interested in your services.
3D modeling Databases
You can share your 3D designs in 3D Modeling databases like Thingiverse, Myminifactory, GrabCAD, Cults3D, YouImagine, and 3D Warehouse, and many others.
SelfCAD Interactive Tutorials:
SelfCAD has an Interactive Tutorial feature that allows you to record your steps as you design your model. This is helpful as you can gain recognition as an expert in your field by teaching others how to design models. It will increase your chances of getting projects, be it for 3D design or creating tutorials. You can watch this video tutorial on Youtube to learn more about the tutorial feature.
Once you have enough knowledge of 3D design, you can launch a blog and start publishing content on design to influence other 3D designers. Some of the blogs you can follow to get inspiration includes:
- Behance network
- Design assembly
- Design-milk and many others
When you blog, you have to present yourself as an expert 3D designer, as it will also increase your chances of getting projects. Additionally, you can earn money through sponsored posts on your website when you start getting good traffic. You can also earn through Google Adsense.
Guest posting is where you reach out to the owners of 3D design websites and request them to allow you to contribute articles on their website. When they accept and give you the guidelines, you will be, in most cases, allowed to include your Bio. That’s where you can describe yourself as a 3D designer and include links for your website and social media. There are many websites that accept guest posts. SelfCAD is one of them. You can check out the writing guidelines to learn more.
Design and Sell 3D Models:
There are many platforms that you can upload and see your designs. These includes:
Best Places to Sell Your 3D Models
This is one of the best marketplaces for 3D models. Currently, it has more than half a million models already available in its database. It has monthly traffic of more than 4 million, which makes it a perfect place to start getting sales and visibility. They offer up to 80% royalty for your sales, and depending on your success, they will feature you on their site pages and newsletters. They have different payment options like Paypal, Payoneer, Check, and even Wire transfer.
It's another great 3D model marketplace dedicated to gaming, VR, and Computer Graphics. Individual 3D designers, businesses, and design studios all sell their models on this platform. Many top-notch companies and businesses come on this site to look for 3D designs to use their projects, and if they can’t find the model they need, they hire 3d designers to help design them. There is a high royalty rate of sales, that is, up to 90%.
If you specialize in designing 3D models for decorations, jewelry, toys, or tech accessories, this is an attractive platform for you. You can upload 3D designs and even showcase their physical copies. Prices are set based on the 3D printing cost of the model. 3D designers also have the option to open their shop on the website and share stories and pictures for the better advertisement of their products. So as you upload your 3D designs, you should also add high-quality pictures to increase your chances of getting more sales.
Once you sign up and upload your model, you become a seller automatically. When uploading your designs, you choose whether they are paid or free. Cults3d covers many categories like furniture, jewelry, fashion accessories, games, gadgets, etc. In addition to being a marketplace, Cults3D is also a social network between 3D designers and those who want 3D printable models. You get paid monthly through Paypal.
Whether you design furniture pieces, smartphone cases, 3D printed clothing, jewelry, etc., Etsy is a great marketplace where you can sell your designs. It has a huge number of members, that is, almost more than 432 million and hence it’s a great opportunity for selling your designs.
A 2D and 3D online marketplace for sharing and selling digital content, and when you join, you will be offered free advertising for your designs.
Sketchfab has a community of around 1.3 million members. If you would like to start selling your models on this platform, you have to apply to become a seller. They have a “paid download” for all the 3D designs published on the website to help 3D modelers earn more.
There are other sites where clients and freelancers can meet. As a freelancer, you sign up, set up your profile, and include the services you offer as well as your rates. Many freelancers have built brands on these platforms, and many are earning a good amount of money. Let’s have a look at them.
Platforms Where you can Get Freelance 3D design jobs in 2021
Image source: Millo
Upwork is one of the world’s biggest workplaces that connects millions of freelancers and businesses all around the world. The website helps professionals from different backgrounds to find work, communicate with their clients, and get paid.
To make it on upwork, you need to set up a robust and honest profile. Your profile serves as your resume to the employers as you can’t get hired without having one. After you have set up your profile, you can then choose a membership plan. Upwork offers two membership options: basic and plus. Basic and Plus.
The basic plan is free but one has to pay to send proposals to potential clients. Your payment is also protected. In the plus membership plan, you pay $14.99/m and this includes everything in the basic plan, 70 connects every month, you are also able to see the price the competitors have set, you can customize your profile and also your profile won’t be hidden due to inactivity.
Upwork takes a cut of 20% of every earning for the first $500 billed on a client and thereafter it’s reduced to 10% up to $10000 and 5% if you bill more than that.
Upwork also has an option for interviews where a client can interview the freelancers before hiring them. Hence it’s good to have good skills in presenting your skills to increase your chances of being hired. The hourly jobs you do on upwork are billed weekly
This is a niche-based platform where freelancers sign up and set up Gigs. Gigs are the lists of the services that you offer to the clients. A Gig showcases your talents to the buyers and it provides all the details they need to help them decide either to hire you or not.
Fiverr is a bit different from other platforms for freelancing in that freelancers post the services they offer and then the buyers or clients browse and buy them. The Freelancers do Once you sign up, ensure that you set up your profile well because that’s what the clients see first even before checking your gigs
Joining and posting your gigs on Fiverr is free hence if you are a talented 3D designer, this is a great platform worth joining. Businesses and companies outsource some of their projects which can take their team more days to accomplish.
99Designs is a niche-based platform focused on design. That is graphic design, web design, book covers, clothing, and merchandise, etc. Since 2018, this site has managed to bring together clients and talented designers to work together online. Freelance designers have managed to deliver more than one million projects for entrepreneurs, brands, and business owners.
99Designs is a contest-based platform. It works in that a client or customer joins the site and wants to pay for example for a 3D designer and they are willing to pay more than the normal pricing. A contest is started and different designers submit their tasks and the one who wins is paid. Previous experience isn’t required.
As the name suggests, Microworkers is a site where employers outsource their micro jobs like 3d design, data extraction, data analysis, video tagging, and many others. Freelancers too are guaranteed payment for any micro job they do on the platform.
CAD Crowd is almost similar to 99 Designs but the difference is that it’s much focused on CAD design, 3D modeling, and CAD drafting. This is a great site for talented freelance 3D designers who have a demonstrated history of design. If your skills are outstanding, the in-house control team of CAD Crowd can give you projects. You can also join the design contests and be rewarded when you win.
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