Tips for freelance web designers

image: pexels.com

According to an article on creativebloq.com, it’s important to “be amazing at something.” I guess that’s an interesting way to put it, but she’s right. She explains that “You need to be a specialist…Don’t just settle for being one of several thousand fair-to-middling freelancers who never get picked to do great work and will just only be recommended by a smaller group of connections.” Clearly, it’s a good idea to know what your strengths and weaknesses are as a freelance web designer. The next tip is also self-explanatory, “Take some risks.” We’ve pretty much been taking risks as a class together, trying out each framework on Dreamweaver. Basically, if you’re on the way to being a freelancer, do something that scares you, because it could end up paying off. “If you don’t think you’re experienced enough to win a job, try anyway. Putting yourself out there can be difficult, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Stop being afraid and just do it.” Something that I’m not surprised to see on this list is to “have your own website.” This is what I plan to have at the end of the semester. My own website that is also a portfolio of my projects. The author states that it’s necessary to build a web presence, one that stands out. “Your work [is] being hosted among competitors…a unique personal URL that showcases your talent, skill, personality and creative vision. It’s your ‘business card’ for prospective clients.”

An article on shopify was written by freelance web designers for freelance web designers. It features advice that they would have given themselves if they were beginners like me. “I wish I knew more about how the industry worked. Too many freelancers start out with insufficient industry experience. As much as you may hate it, go and do some time in an agency or a development house so you know what to expect with clients. That way, clients can rely on your knowledge of the ins and outs of client work.” – This is a huge source of information that I didn’t consider. Maybe I’ll look for internships where I can pick up this knowledge. Another post explains that we should go where customers are looking, “In the beginning, I was cold calling websites that I knew didn’t have a great experience. As you might guess, the results weren’t great — it was too much work for them and they didn’t know or entirely trust me yet. Eventually, I started promoting myself where potential customers already were, and that’s when things really started to take off. Websites like eLance, oDesk, and eventually the Shopify Experts Portal proved to be extremely useful at the start of my career. Customers on these sites have money to spend and are already looking to hire a developer.” Finally, a post I really appreciate is to stick to your gut and focus on your strength as a freelancer or web designer. “Identify what you do really well and focus on it. You may not have that luxury if you are just trying to keep food on the table initially. It may take a few months of trial and error to figure out what really works and where your sweet spot is. Trying to be all things to all people means you are nothing to anybody.”

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