Well you’ve got your qualifications and experience, and you feel it’s time to go it alone and get out there, make your mark, and make some cash along the way, though it is all a bit daunting when you look at it. Web design, like most industries can be a competitive place, so here are a few pointers, if you’re thinking about making the break and going freelance.
It is important to realise the market. Most business do not want a Flash built site with incredible graphics, and fancy buttons to navigate. Many just want text driven, nicely laid out sites that do the job. It is as simple as that. So keep the fonts down to enhance neatness, and concentrate more on presenting concise information, rather than inventing graphics that come from a science fiction movie.
This also applies if you are not too confident with Illustrator or Photoshop. Just keep it simple. The kind of comments to strive for are, “that’s really easy to use”, or “wow, that works well.” Do not try and reinvent the wheel unless you have to, it wastes time, and the wheel was not invented twice for a reason. Let common sense be your guide.
It is essential to be able to use a CMS effectively. CMS is a big leap from static HTML and giving your client the ability to create, edit, manage, and delete content from any computer with an internet connection, is simply a must have in any web design.
Though this can be a little scary from the outset, using a CMS will set you apart as a designer to a potential client, and save them lots of money. This can only enhance your reputation. WordPress, Joomla, and Shopify, are good ones to have under your belt.
It is good practice to get a reseller account, and not just to host your own site or other projects that you bring online. To include the hosting price as well as your own services in a price may sway the deal, especially to the smaller business who could be put off by paying two fees.
It is a good idea to get as many industry contacts as possible, as you never know what you will be asked to do as a freelance web designer. If you have contacts in many aspects of the industry, you can then use their knowledge to complete projects, and to answer potential questions from a client.
Try and obtain contacts in as many fields as possible, and try and keep tabs on how busy they are. Remember they will pick your brain about projects too, so the arrangement works both ways.
Clients can be fair, nice, and good to do business with, and these are ones that you should try to please and keep. The ones that are rude, overly demanding, wont pay a deposit, or indecisive should be dropped. It is as simple as that. Do not be afraid to do this as their projects wont be worth the effort you put in given the hassle factor.
In your career as a freelance web designer, you will probably work on your own projects that will not lead anywhere. Do not be afraid to drop these either, as they will hold you back, and new ideas for a project are just round the corner. Go with your instincts.
We hope that these tips for new freelance web designers will help you launch a new chapter in your careers. The great thing about web design, is that it is by and large a growth industry, with new websites being needed all the time. If you make the effort, you will get the reward.