Becoming a freelance web designer is no easy task. Freelancing requires that you be able to weather tough times because it is very rare to have a consistent flow of income unless you have clients on retainer. However if you follow these 5 tips for becoming a freelance web designer you will have a head start on your competition.
1. You are your worst client. As designers we tend to re-design our own websites and portfolios again and again, usually because we are not satisfied with our work. Pretty much anyone with creative drive and artistic ability feels this way about their work but that is a good trait to have, just not with yourself. Build a compelling website that engages your client, shows your work, and offers knowledge about what it is you do.
Educate your client through a blog or article postings that explain your process and how working with a freelance web designer works. Then market yourself. Spend the time you were going to re-design for the 40th time and get your name out there as a freelance web designer instead.
2. Market yourself offline. It’s great to have high web rankings on your website but how helpful is that for your business? Most working in freelance web design are not out marketing themselves offline, take advantage of this and talk to business owners that do not have websites already.
This can be two fold though as those business owners probably do not value an online presences as much as someone who may already have a website but it needs work or a re-design.
Another suggestion is to grab your local Yellow Pages and see who is advertising. Call them and tell them you are a local small business owner or entrepreneur and would like to schedule an appointment to talk about how a web presence can benefit their business.
3. Know what you are talking about. This should go unsaid but not all web designers are created equal, some are better than others. Before you start taking projects and building web sites as a freelance web designer, make sure you know what you are doing. Learn HTML, CSS, Java, and master a CMS like WordPress.
Speaking of knowing what you are talking about. Make sure when you talk with potential clients you can explain the benefits and perks to having an online web presence built by a long island freelance web designer.
4. Learn Search Engine Optimization. Too often I see web designers that do not offer SEO or online marketing services as an upsell for their clients. Once you create a web presence for your client you are primarily done with the project. You can sell them on retainer services for changes and edits or training for their staff to update and change the website, but the big money is done.
If you know search engine optimization and know it well you can offer this as a monthly service. Be sure to know and understand SEO practices though, because it can be tough to get a site ranked high on Google. You should be able to deliver real results for your client.
5. Get outside. Unless you are coworking or can afford an office you will be at home a lot. Yes, even when it takes off you will be at home doing work often. Take time everyday to get outside and get some sun on your face. Go for a walk or an early morning bike ride.
Not taking time for yourself will end up creating a big ball of stress and anxiousness from being stuck in your home all day. Be social and get out, it’s proven to help relieve stress and increase your creative juices.
Good luck and stay diligent, rough waters may be ahead until you can market yourself strongly enough that freelance web design work comes to you.