Get the Ball Rolling: Preparing Your Freelance Web Design Business
Nowadays, the internet has created a plethora of opportunities for individuals to make a living based on their passions, skills, and abilities. What was once a trying concept of developing a business, marketing locally, and making a living can now all be done from the comfort of your own home. If you just so happen to love the art and technology of website design and/or development, then it might be lucrative to become a freelance web designer. Working solely for yourself, you have the opportunity to create trending websites that millions of users visit on the daily basis.
However, you can’t just put up an open for business sign and hope the clients start rolling in; it’ll take a bit of planning. Below are a few tidbits of advice on how to get started:
Develop a Iron Clad Contract
Before you ever get your first customer, it is extremely important that you have a contract in place that protects you and your work to the fullest extent. There are plenty of tools that you can invest in that will allow you to create your own business forms with ease. While you hope that every customer you come across will be an honest and reliable one, this is not always the case. As such, you want to protect yourself against potential lawsuits.
Create a contract that clearly defines what your assignment is, how long it may take, and how much you should be compensated for the work you’ve completed. Also, ensure that before completing any work that your client has completely read, understood and signed the agreement.
Don’t Be Afraid to Invest
As a freelancer, you won’t have the financial cushion of a boss to invest in the company needs. This responsibility now falls solely in your lap. While you might be anxious to begin making a profit from your services, it is important to always remember to invest in the betterment of your business. After all, the world of website design is constantly evolving, and if you can’t keep up with the latest trends, you run the risk of losing customers left and right. Ask yourself a few questions to make sure that you’re ready to get up and running:
- Do I have the right equipment?
- Do I have the appropriate business contact information (i.e. fax, phone, email address)?
- Do I have reliable internet services to effectively market and communicate with clients? (This step also requires that you have the right internet service provider. To gain the attention and respect of potential clients you must first showcase your skills and abilities. Having adequate internet service to effectively communicate with your clients is essential. Click here for more info on internet service providers and the various options you have for your home based business.)
- Am I up to speed on the latest trends so that I can give my customers the best services possible?
Create a Comfortable Working Space
As a freelancer, finding the appropriate space to work will be completely up to you. While it can be fun having the means to work wherever you want, you do need a place in which you can work without distractions from the outside world. Find a space in your room that you can designate as your home office space and begin creating an environment that is fun to work in on the regular basis, but also free from the many distractions in your home (television, young children, or even the fridge).
Network Every Chance You Get
The key to getting the word out about your business is effectively networking. You will need to make your presence known both online and in person. You can start by creating an effective website which will act as your business card. You will also need to develop professional social media pages on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Marketing and networking online is an ongoing process that will require several different strategies. Lastly, you will need to get out and greet people. Find out about local business conferences and attend, and just stay relevant within your community. Word of mouth is still the biggest form of marketing and you want to make sure that what’s being said about you is positive.
The life of a freelancer is certainly one that is filled with peaks and valleys. However, if you’re really passionate about web design and/or development and want to earn a sizable living, working on your own is certainly a choice worth considering. By creating a contract, investing in your business’s startup needs, designating a space to work in, and networking on the regular basis, you will soon start to see your hard work pay off.