Resources » 6 Profitable Design Niches for Freelancers in 2021

6 Profitable Design Niches for Freelancers in 2021

It’s 2021! A brand new year filled with plenty of opportunities for young freelance graphic designers and web developers to earn a living. Whether it is working as a remote graphic designer for a small start-up or a multi-national corporation, the possibilities are endless.

One of the biggest issues young freelancers face is not having a clear idea on what design niche to focus on and instead try to do everything at once. This jack-of-all-trades route may work for some but it leaves the majority of freelancers exhausted, frustrated and unfulfilled.

Niching down was one of the best decisions I ever made as a freelancer; It has made my a job a lot more enjoyable and it gave me the chance to really hone my skills in the areas of branding and visual identity design.

Niching down was one of the best decisions I ever made as a freelancer

Today, I want to provide a list of 10 profitable design niches for freelance designers that you can start right now!

Churches & Religious Institutions

Altar in a church. A popular design niche

With the recent global pandemic effectively crippling physical relationships, religious institutions have to find creative ways to worship over the internet. Some churches were prepared for the digital age and are striving right now, however, there are many who haven’t made the switch.

This is where you come in, as a freelancer, you can provide churches with websites, social media management, live stream setup, online offering systems and more.

I rarely see creatives work with religious institutions so this could be a great opportunity for you to capitalise on a non-competitive industry.

Examples of services you can offer in the religious design niche

  • Social media content (bible verses, daily reading, clips and livestreams)
  • Digital offering
  • Training and support for congregation
  • Infographics
  • Weekly newsletters
  • Website development
  • Advertising
  • Branding
  • Email campaigns

Restaurants & Delivery Services

Burger and fries on table. A popular design niche

The pandemic strikes again! And this time it’s restaurants and cook shops. Luckily, the lockdowns have also boosted the demand for delivery services like Cut-D-line and Uber Eats which take the hassle out of masking up and waiting in line for a meal.

As a freelance designer, you can help restaurants advertise on social media, launch interactive websites and developing a consistent visual identity for all platforms. Delivery apps and services can also benefit from redesigns, an effective ad campaign to build recognition and an engaging social media feed.

Pro tip: team up with a freelance social media manager and offer monthly subscriptions that can secure a steady flow of income while you wait for a new client.

Examples of services you can offer in the restaurant and delivery design niche

  • Social media content
  • Illustrations
  • Copywriting
  • Social media management
  • Website development
  • App design
  • Advertising
  • Branding
  • Menu designs

eSports and Streaming

Gamer playing on PC. A popular design niche

Electronic sports or eSports is a fairly new sub-category of the general videogames industry but is already on its way of becoming a multi-billion dollar industry by 2022. Because of the lockdown, most traditional contact sports are taking a beating in ratings and overall viewership, however, the eSports industry is bigger than ever.

The greatest benefit to esports is that the players can compete against each other from anywhere in the world and viewers can enjoy the show from the comfort of their homes via forums and streaming platforms like Twitch.tv.

Related: “Push Start” eSports campaign case study

So, I’m sure you’re wondering how you can make money working in the esports niche. Well, it’s actually quite simple — eSports teams. Since the world of eSports is so accessible, every Tom, Dick and Harry are forming their own eSports teams to try and make it big like FaZe Clan or Fnatic. Your job is making them look good while doing it.

Examples of services you can offer in the eSports design niche

  • Social media content
  • Illustrations
  • Merch designs
  • Highlight reels
  • Logo designs
  • Website development
  • Advertising
  • Banner designs
  • Player stat cards

Banking and Investments

Different paper dollar notes on table with silver coins. A profitable design niche

C’mon, do I gotta spell this one out for you? Banks have money. It’s literally their business model. Luckily, many of these banks are VERY old fashioned, like, no social media whatsoever old fashioned.

This is where you come in. You’re young, fresh and full of ideas just waiting for the right lump of clay to shape into a beautiful piece of art. You know what it takes to make it big on social media, you know what the kids are thinking and these suits don’t.

Your job is to help these ancient brick and mortar banks and investment companies appeal to the digital community by showing the value of banking and investing in their futures. Whether through social media, advertising or influencer marketing, there is a lot of opportunity in this industry for you.

Examples of services you can offer in the financial design niche

  • Social media content
  • Illustrations
  • Infographics
  • Logo designs
  • Advertising
  • Banner designs
  • Player stat cards

Agriculture

A row of plants on a farm. A popular design niche

Agriculture feels like a odd industry for freelance designers but that’s exactly why it is profitable. Unlike the other industries I mentioned before, Agriculture is a primarily offline business in terms of marketing and communication with their customers.

Normally, if you wanted to buy produce or animal products you would buy it through a middle-man like the Butcher or the Vendor at the local market, however, the pandemic has made this increasingly difficult. Some farmers are already taking the initiative by building their digital presence but there are some who haven’t made the jump yet.

If you know any local Farmers without a digital presence or even Farmers with digital presence, you can offer product label designs and other services for a monthly subscription or one-off-fee. Agriculture is going digital and this is the perfect time to capitalise on it.

Examples of services you can offer in the agriculture design niche

  • Social media content
  • Illustrations
  • Newsletter designs
  • Invoice and receipt designs
  • Logo designs
  • Website development
  • Advertising
  • Banner designs
  • Product labels

Podcasts

Bald black guy putting on headphones. A popular design niche.

With the recent announcement of Joe Rogan’s 100 million dollar exclusivity contract with Spotify, a lot of eyes are now on the podcasting industry.

Podcasts are a series of digital media files (video or audio) distributed over the internet which users can subscribe to via apps or websites. Some podcasts cover topics relating to current issues, some talk about niche areas and some podcasts are just a dude in a basement talking about Star Wars.

There are a lot of podcasts and because of this huge library of content, your podcast not only has to be engaging but the cover art must be just as attention grabbing. A picture is worth a thousand words and this is especially so in the podcast industry where creators are cranking out new series every day.

As a freelance graphic designer, you can offer your services to the podcast industry in areas such as cover art design, merch, social media and advertising. If the podcast’s content is good, your artwork will help them reach the same level of success as a Joe Rogan or NPR.

Examples of services you can offer in the Podcast design niche

  • Social media content
  • Podcast cover designs
  • Merch designs
  • Logo designs
  • Website development
  • Advertising

Which one of these niche areas appealed to you? Do you think niching down is the way to go as a freelancer or do you think being a jack-of-all-trades is better? Let me know in the comments below.

Follow me on Instagram at @manedesignja and on Facebook at manedesignja to keep in the know about my latest blog posts or offers.

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