Working in the network technology industry is becoming increasingly more competitive. With a growing number of start -ups launching in the area in the search of new business opportunities means competition is fierce, and making it more difficult for those who are just starting to get their foot in the door. Those working in web-design will most certainly have met a few dilemmas along the way when it comes to offering their services while keeping in line with the needs of the potential customer. Here we’d like to suggest 10 helpful tips that might help you along the way in to becoming a successful freelance web designer. It’s not all about a high level of expertise and years of experience behind you, so let’s take a look at some of the other important aspects to consider.
- Create a Bond with the Client
Often overlooked by many freelance web designers, putting as much time, effort and hard work into creating a trustworthy relationship with your customer is just as vital as the amount of time spent on actually creating the project for the customer itself. Maintain a steady level of communication, light-heartedness and professionalism throughout the course of the creative process, and you might even gain yourself a regular customer!
- Plan before you Act
Communicating with the customer not only before but during the process will allow the client to give you space to make small modifications to the project before they see the final product. It’s important to keep an eye out for competitors too, so you can give your creative professional input into the process before making a start.
- Brand Reputation
An essential element of going freelance: reputation. Word of mouth spreads much quicker than it used to thanks to the internet, so building a steady reputation for yourself is vital. Go one step further and make yourself a brand, by making the most out of your resources, from Blogging, Tweeting and even creating a professional Facebook page.
- Passion for Freelance Web Design
We’re presuming you’ve become a freelance web designer because that’s what you love doing. Working in such a competitive industry with only dollar signs in front of your eyes is never going to lead to a decent result, especially in an industry which can feel quite solitary at times, spending hours alone in front of a computer screen. Motivation, creativity and passion are the three essential ingredients to being success in any area of life.
- Set a Price
Setting a price for yourself is one of the most difficult tasks for a freelancer, as it involves a fairly honest self-assessment of oneself. Having a fixed price as a starting point helps, especially if you need to purchase other materials. Consider the amount of time it will take up and what other competitors in the industry are asking.
- Keep a Production Diary
Invest in a new notebook, and create a production diary. Here you can keep a record of time and date, what you’ve worked on and how much time you’ve invested. It can come in surprisingly useful and protects you against any misconduct against the customer.
- Evaluation and Experience
Take time at the end of a project to refer to that production diary you have. Here you can take note of any mistakes you made that could be avoided in the future, how you could manage your time more efficiently for next time and generally learn from experience to better yourself for the next project.
- Invest and Reinvest
In the freelance industry, money can bring more money if it’s invested appropriately. Always leave a sum of money to one side to reinvest in your work, whether you’re purchasing new programmes, hardware updates etc. This will make life easier for both you and your customer and meeting their expectations in the future.
- Time Management
You’re your own manager, so although not having a boss to breathe down your neck all day is always a bonus, not having someone to nag you for deadlines and motivate you during the day can be difficult. Create a typical daily routine, so you put in the hours and stay motivated without being distracted and wasting time.
- Education, Education, Education!
An aspiring freelance web designer must at all costs stay updated in the industry. Take time out now and again to attend workshops which can help you advance yourself. Check out Journalism.co.uk on Twitter, as they regularly post links which point you to the latest online freelance workshops in the UK and Europe.