One of the things about learning new software is that you want to make sure there is a return on your investment. That might be an investment of money, time, or energy, but those investments matter!
So I wanted to go through some financial gains that are possible when you learn Sketchup.
- Work freelance as a modeler for other interior designers and architects
- Work freelance for renderings for other interior designers and architects
- Charge more for your own design services
- Sell your own Sketchup models
- Get promoted or a new job
Work freelance as a modeler for other interior designers and architects
Firstly, you can always work freelance for other designers who need help making their Sketchup models. Smaller practices or even solo designers might not have the bandwidth to take on all of the 3D modelling on their own, so they look for a freelancer to help them pick up the slack.
This might mean reaching out directly to likely interior designers or architects to offer your services. Or if you’re a part of any Facebook groups or communities of designers, you may find requests or make contact there. You can take it a step further and offer your services on freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.
Importantly, you’ll want to make sure you have a solid portfolio to help demonstrate that you know what you’re doing when it comes to this software.
Work freelance for renderings for other interior designers, architects, developers, real estate professionals, etc.
Now if you take your Sketchup skills a bit further and learn how to create renderings with Sketchup and an extension like Enscape, Lumion, or V-Ray, you can expand your freelancer market. So many professionals feel the benefit of providing rendering as part of their work, but not everyone has the time or skill set to provide these. That’s why they seek out freelancers to produce renderings for their work. You can start offering your services in the same way as just general modelling, but your portfolio is especially important when it comes to rendering.
Renderings come in a variety of styles! It might be you’re good at hyper-realistic renderings or can create more watercolor-esque renderings. Showing off what you’re capable of will mean a client will know what you can provide them specifically.
Charge more for your own design services
Now it goes without saying, that if you can suddenly provide 3D views, virtual tours, and related 2D drawings of your design ideas, you’re in a position to charge more for your own design services. Not only are you able to provide more illustrative communications of your ideas, using Sketchup within your own design services:
- Your client will have a clearer understanding of what you’re proposing. Not everyone can see how an idea comes together with a plan drawing and a sample board. A 3D view is worth a thousand words so-to-speak. This means their approval or rejection of an idea is grounded more in reality. Plus you’ll have a more direct means of discussing the proposal with them to better understand what they like or don’t like about the design.
- You will also have a clearer understanding of your ideas. Fully testing an idea in 3D means you understand the full implications of your idea. This means you’re providing a higher quality service. Therefore, you can and should charge more.
Sell your own Sketchup models
Now this might not be one you’re familiar with but there is a market out there for Sketchup models. 3D models are becoming more and more useful across industries. So much so that there are websites that are devoted to selling 3D models. For example, Turbosquid is Shutterstock’s answer to the need for 3D models. So the company that sells all those stock photos has the same kind of platform for Sketchup models.
Get promoted or a new job
Last but certainly not least, I like to reiterate that learning Sketchup can lead to a promotion or even a new job that earns you more money.
In fact, I can credit a lot (most) of my own professional advancement to learning software – even when it was something that didn’t at all come naturally to me. Both working on projects and working in education, I have seen the mere fact that I have an extra software or two on my resume give me that extra edge over competitors when it comes to a job.
Even as a beginner, knowing a software that my peers didn’t, meant I got to take on some bigger and better projects, and get paid more as a result. Like all designers, I like to think of myself as creative and full of ideas, but that’s not nearly as quantifiable as knowing a valuable software (like Sketchup!) when it comes to those hiring designers to work.
Sketchup is particularly valuable in how widely it’s used. Yes, there are of course other softwares that you’ll see on job ads, but Sketchup remains one of the most popular just because of how versatile it is for a wide range of practices.
There is significant return on investment when it comes to learning Sketchup. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not really a software that you might only use once or twice year. No, for a lot of designers, Sketchup could be the kind of software you use every day because it’s so valuable in the work and communications we need. So if you’re on the fence? Dive on in.