Taking Your Web Design Skills to Your Own Freelance Business
According to recent research on freelancing, “There are an estimated 1.2 billion freelancers around the world (nearly 1/3 of the total global workforce).” This number is only expected to grow, especially with the recent shift toward remote work amid the pandemic.
But as much as people are pining for fully remote or hybrid work schedules with companies, they’re also exploring the very viable option of taking their skills to their own freelance business.
Web designers, in particular, can make a good living freelancing. There are various benefits to becoming a freelance web designer, including having more control over your time and how much you make.
However, using your skills as a web designer to start your own freelance business requires a lot of preparation, dedication, and consistent work to be successful. Luckily, we’re here to help guide you through all that comes with becoming a freelance web designer.
Before we help you navigate through the steps of starting your own freelance web design business, let’s explore the benefits that come with freelancing.
The Advantages of Starting Your Own Freelance Web Design Business
Becoming a freelance web designer is quite enticing for many reasons. Some of the most significant advantages of starting your own freelance web design business are:
- You get more control over your time
- There’s no cap on how much you can make
- You can work when you want
- You can explore other avenues of web design
- You can work for multiple clients at a time
- You can take on other creative projects
- You can spend more time with family and friends
- You can make a name for yourself in the industry
- You can develop your personal and professional networks
- You can open up more opportunities
Even with all of these advantages, freelancing and entrepreneurship aren’t for everybody. You may find that working for someone else is better for you, and that’s okay. There is a lot of up and down when it comes to freelancing. So, if you aren’t prepared to ride the rollercoaster, it’s best not to get on it until you are.
Ready to start your own freelance web design business? Read on for how to do so strategically and confidently.
How to Take Your Web Design Skills to Your Own Freelance Business
As stated above, starting a freelance business requires a lot of preparation, dedication, and consistent work. You can better the chances of your freelance business being successful by implementing the following recommendations:
#1. Determine if freelancing is for you
First, before you do anything, you must determine if freelancing is for you. Even if you do everything right, there are just as many downtimes as there are up times in freelancing, and you must be okay with navigating both to be successful.
Answering the following questions can help you determine if freelancing is for you:
- Why do I want to freelance?
- Am I prepared to network and market myself as a freelance web designer?
- Am I ready to work from home and in isolation at times?
- What web design skills can I leverage for my freelance business?
- Am I prepared to run a business and build a brand?
- Do I have any resources to lean on as I build my business?
- How difficult will it be to shift from working for a company to freelancing?
- Can I stay motivated and disciplined in running my freelance business?
You’ll also want to take an in-depth look at the rest of your personal life to see if you’re fully prepared for freelancing.
#2. Be sure your personal life is prepared for freelancing
Transitioning from working for a company to freelancing full-time is a massive shift, both professionally and personally. That’s why you must ensure your personal life is in a place to sustain such a transition.
You can prepare your personal life for freelancing full-time by:
- Taking an in-depth look at your financial situation to determine if you’re financially ready to make the switch
- Preparing yourself to work effectively and efficiently from home
- Having conversations with your loved ones to see how the change would affect them and how you can support them through the transition and vice versa
- Talking with friends about how your relationship will change
- Making a plan for maintaining a healthy work-life balance
If you decide to start your own freelance business, the next step is deciding what you want to offer potential clients.
#3. Decide what you want to offer potential clients
Web designers have many skills to choose from to offer potential clients.
You can absolutely offer the complete package regarding web design, meaning all that’s involved with making a website visually pleasing, functional, and user-friendly. You can also focus on a particular web design niche.
Creating a business plan is crucial when starting a business and can be especially helpful when deciding what to offer clients. As you make your business plan, you’ll further define the direction of your freelancing business, what services you want to provide, and to who.
A business plan will also help you outline what to do in certain legal situations, business goals, development plans, and short-term and long-term financial goals.
After deciding what you want to offer potential clients, define your ideal clients.
#4. Define your ideal clients
Your freelance web design business won’t be nearly as successful as you want it to be if you don’t define your ideal clients. Likewise, your marketing efforts will suffer tremendously without a definitive clientele, and you won’t land high-paying gigs.
Find out who is in the market for your services. Take your research further, find out what people are paying for those services, and determine who the high-paying clients are.
Then, dig into all the details about your ideal clients. Finally, piece together buyer personas that you can reference in your marketing strategy to ensure you’re focused on attracting quality leads.
Once you know your ideal clients and what you want to offer them, start developing your brand.
#5. Develop your brand
If you’re going to start a freelance web design business, you must develop your brand right along with it. It’s difficult for many beginner freelancers to look at themselves as a business and a brand. But if you want to be successful, you must get used to treating this as a business.
A significant part of developing your brand is growing your online presence, starting with a portfolio website. Be sure that you also have brand elements in place, like a logo, color scheme, typography, brand voice, and identity, to help yourself and your portfolio website stand out.
Once your portfolio website is up and running and your brand is coming together, work on creating a marketing strategy.
#6. Create a marketing strategy
How are you going to market yourself as a freelance web designer? In other words, how are you going to promote your services and establish lasting client relationships?
Your marketing strategy should include:
- Marketing goals
- Data on your ideal clients
- Details on the marketing channels and types you’ll use
- Plans for tracking the performance of tactics and techniques
- What content you’ll create
- What resources are available to you to carry out your marketing strategy
In addition, you must continually develop your skills and grow your authority.
#7. Develop your skills and grow your authority
A considerable part of scaling your freelance web design business is continually developing your skills and growing your authority. Skill-wise, stopping where you’re at today doesn’t do you any good if you’re hoping for business longevity.
You must continually grow your skills to ensure you remain top of mind when your ideal clients need you. It’s also essential to make a name for yourself in your industry to open up business and personal growth opportunities in the future.
Consider taking web design certification courses to ensure you’ve mastered all the modern-day web design skills that help you create, launch, and maintain aesthetically pleasing and functional websites for all of your clients. You can also explore traditional or self-education opportunities that boost your web design skills.
Lastly, give it time.
#8. Give it time
Ultimately, it will take time to develop a successful freelance business. So, practice patience and continue to put in the work so that you’re prepared when you hit a pocket of profitability and business growth.
Taking your web design skills to your own freelance business is a wonderful idea. However, if you want it to go from an idea to an actual thriving business, you must be prepared for the ups and downs of freelancing first and foremost.
Then, be sure that freelancing is for you, define your ideal work and clientele, put together a strong portfolio, and create a solid marketing strategy. You’ll also want to ensure you’re continually developing your web design skills.
Lastly, don’t rush your success. Instead, give yourself time to scale your business and grow as a new business owner.