Building a Freelance Career in Web Design
The field of freelance web design can be a lucrative option for the tech-savvy entrepreneur, but it can be challenging to get your foot in the door.
There are several ways that you can set yourself apart from the competition as you start your freelance business, helping you to build strong relationships with both new and existing clienteles.
1. Create a Brand
When starting a freelance career, you want to make yourself stand out from the crowd, and building a unique image for yourself can help you to do just that.
Your brand name represents your identity, so pay careful attention to the label you wish to use for your business. Many freelancers choose their own name as the business name which gives the impression that you offer a highly-personalized service. This is an attractive prospect for customers.
It is always worth checking whether the .com name of your business is available, as that is the most popular domain extension that customers will think of when searching for your website. Read Suggestions for that perfect domain name for more.
Your brand must also be appealing on a visual level. Creating an eye-catching logo helps to give an air of professionalism to your business, and it also makes you more memorable to your customers.
An appealing brand image can carry through multiple platforms, from websites to business cards, allowing you to take a consolidated approach as you promote your web design resources and services to potential clients.
2. Identify Your Brand Message
It is vital that you think about the brand message you want to convey to your niche market. Whether you are offering affordable web design for startups, or are targeting a high-end corporate base, you need to think about what your potential customers want and the message you can use to attract them to your business.
3. Build a Portfolio
When starting a freelance web design career, you might not have much professional experience under your belt. The best way to show off your technical talents to clients is by creating your own website, and perhaps writing a blog.
Building an online presence is the first step to making a professional portfolio, and it also makes it easier for new clients to find and connect with you. Your portfolio is your most valuable tool in wooing new clientele, as it shows them what you’re capable of when it comes to stellar web design.
4. Gather Positive Feedback
Testimonials are an extremely important addition to your website or portfolio, as potential customers will want to see who you have worked with previously and what impression you left them with. Where possible, include personal reviews from successful projects that you’ve completed in the past, even if you worked on a voluntary basis before becoming a professional freelancer.
5. Market Yourself on the Web
Your website needs to be found in the search engines if you want to attract customers on a large scale. Your site should be optimized for the web by applying SEO techniques to it and ensuring that it is mobile-friendly, as the majority of searches are now conducted from mobile devices rather than desktops.
6. Update Your Skills
The world of web design changes on a regular basis, and it is crucial that the work in your portfolio reflects the current trends. Keep acquainted with industry news and make sure you keep your skills updated frequently. You can do this by taking courses or acquiring certifications where necessary, which will help prove to customers that you excel at what you do.
7. Use Social Media
These days, you won’t get far in the web design world without a strong social media presence. Using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more can help you to reach new clients, and also to build a professional network of your peers. Your freelancing friends may be able to send new work your way when they’re overloaded or unable to take on new clientele.
8. Business Networking
However, social media isn’t the only way to network with fellow industry professionals and potential customers. Make sure that you attend design business networking events where you will be able to extend your list of contacts and meet people that might require your services. Being a successful freelancer requires you to be proactive in getting out there and finding work.
Read How to network online as a freelancer for more.
9. Communicate Well with Your Clients
It’s important to keep in touch with your clients in order to strengthen your professional relationship. Always remember to be polite and friendly, and if you’re meeting in person, to look presentable.
You can also contact clients after the completion of a project to ask for feedback. Not only will this give you the opportunity to improve your services, but it will also help you to build trust with your client base. If you want to improve customer loyalty, you can offer rewards and incentives for repeat customers such as a discount on their next project.
Read How to build long-term client relationships as a freelancer for more.
Building a Freelance Career in Web Design is a guest post from Jess Walter, a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.