Web design is an increasingly competitive area. The good news is that businesses and brands need website adjustments or even a brand new one. Years ago, the barrier for entering the world of web design was much lower, but now, many agencies offer cutting edge designs and innovative solutions. This means you must keep up-to-date with your web designing and show clients just how brilliant your websites are.
With the number of great resources available, including tutorials and specialist software, becoming a web designer is within the realms of possibility for many. As long as you have fresh ideas, an eye for design, and a passion for breaking into the industry, you have what it takes to be successful.
Build, Build, Build
First of all, you need a portfolio. If you already have experience in web design, then this part should be easy. If not, then you must choose an area you’re passionate about a build a website around that. Over time, you should have enough websites to show clients that you know what you’re doing. Explore your styles – a dental practice won’t want the same appearance as a rock band! Cherry-pick your best work, and always keep your portfolio up to date with your latest work.
Check Out the Competition
If you want to get ahead, you must first know what is already out there. Some questions you should answer about your competition include:
- How do they do business?
- Who are their clients, and how do they get them?
- What do they do well?
- Where do they miss the mark?
- Can you see anything that you could do better?
- Is there something they don’t offer that you could?
By researching these answers, you will gain a full picture of what you need to do to succeed.
Design for Your Passions
While you can’t always rely on passion for your work ethic, ensuring that you tailor your niche to areas you’re interested in will increase your chances of doing well. If you have any specialist knowledge, for example, in medicine or law, it will give you an edge when designing for clients in those fields. While web design, development, and SEO skills will be common in your competition, in-depth knowledge of a particular area can lead to you getting your foot in the door of your niche. This way, you can build a reputation for that area, and more clients will come to you.
Know Where Your Skills Lie
Not every web designer is an expert in each area of web design. Are you a developer, designer, or digital marketer? Of course, you must have at least a basic knowledge of all three, but that doesn’t mean you can’t specialize in one.
Clients usually like their web designer to handle all areas, so if there are areas that you don’t do, then you should consider outsourcing. For example, if you are a great developer, but many of your clients also want content written, then find a company that offers white label SEO to take care of the areas you cannot. This is more cost-effective than hiring in-house, and your clients will appreciate only needing to go to one company for all their website and SEO needs.
Plan, Plan, Plan
If a client comes to you for help with their website, you must make sure you know as much about their business as possible. Get to know the client, along with their needs and expectations. What is the goal of their site? Who are they targeting? These are questions you’ll need answering to design the website accordingly. Make a plan of what you intend to do and keep the client informed along the way. This way, there won’t be any misunderstanding of expectations, and the client will know when their site will be ready to use.
Don’t Undersell Your Skills
Even if you are just starting web design, you must avoid the mistake of underselling yourself. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have a lot of experience – what matters is the quality of your work. Research what the average going rates are, and charge accordingly. It’s fine to be competitive, but don’t undersell. Make sure all your costs are covered; otherwise you’ll never turn a profit!
Never Stop Learning
Web technologies and trends are constantly evolving. Even if you don’t use every new trend, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of them. There might come a time when a new trend is exactly what you are looking for, and implementing it into your work will save you a lot of time. This is just as true for SEO and digital marketing; the best companies are open to change according to search engine algorithms.
Be Wary of “Can We Just…” Requests
This is also known as ‘scope creep,’ and it really can creep up on you! From time to time, every client will need a little adjusting here and there, and that’s OK. If it happens too often, however, it will eat into your time and ultimately your money. If you are working on a long project, then constant additions from your client can easily add a couple of days of work to your project, but because they’re small, you might miss billing them for it. This must be avoided. Unless it is something critical, or you are mending an error of your own, then you must add it to what your client pays you.
Get to Grips with Project Management
This might be less of an issue when starting, but as your web design company begins to expand, you must have excellent project management skills. This means being able to successfully lead a team of web developers and sticking to a schedule. By doing this, you will waste less time and end up doing a better design job overall.
The world of web design is constantly expanding. With the number of websites out there, there is always room for another talent in the pool of web designing.