Being your own boss sounds like everyone’s dream job. However, the work involved to get to a position where you’re earning a steady income and having a solid client base takes time.
Below are seven steps to setting yourself up as a freelance web designer.
Everything that is associated with your freelance web design business will have a cost. From your mobile phone to the computer you work on. You’ll also need to account for any domain hosting for your website. Business cards and stationery supplies should also be factored in. The best thing to do is keep a spreadsheet and add to it as and when you make any purchases which are relevant to your business.
This one might take a little more time and a bit of creativity. Your brand should be representative of who you are. You might consider using just your name, which adds a personal touch. If you plan to grow the business, with employees, then consider a more formal name. Make sure the name is easy to remember and that it fits with any domain you select.
Promoting yourself is important so you’ll need a professional looking website to drive traffic to. It doesn’t have to be too complicated so keep it simple, concise and to the point. Having a visible contact form and phone number is key to generating enquiries. A page which showcases all your work is also a valuable asset.
In order to make life as easy as possible for yourself it’s a good idea to use as many tools as possible when undertaking a job or task. Building a professional website doesn’t need to involve endless hours of coding. Using Blockety HTML Templates will be more than sufficient and it’s a fast and cost effective way to get the job done.
Your working day has to be structured. If you have the luxury of working from home you still need to be disciplined. Plan your day into sizeable chunks with the most important jobs at the top of the list. Working through a task list will make your working week a lot easier and you’ll be surprised at how much can be accomplished. Don’t forget to take a regular break from time to time.
There will be plenty of other like minded freelance web designers out there to help and support you. They can also act as a good source of referrals for drumming up new business. The best place to start is LinkedIn as you can connect quickly with similar people in your industry.
Charging too much will put off prospective clients, but if don’t charge enough you’ll risk doing a lot of work for no reward. You can charge in one of two ways, by project or by hourly rate.
Start by working out your monthly costs. This will include things like your phone bill, rent and heating, etc. Then multiply it over a year and work out what you need to earn as a yearly salary. Breaking that down will then produce a suitable hourly rate.
Jack O’Donoghue is a web designer and the creator of Blockety HTML website templates. He’s designed styleguides and websites for well known brands including HSBC, Vodafone, Samsung, IBM and Aviva.