You may be well-versed in web design and UX best practices, but when it comes to marketing yourself, are you playing to win?
If you’re not actively promoting your services as a freelance web designer, you could miss out on potential business. Marketing is often the last thing freelancers think about if they think about it at all. It can be challenging to market yourself as a web designer when you don’t have a team of professionals behind you.
In this blog post, we’ll introduce 12 marketing tips specifically for freelance web designers. By implementing these strategies in your web design business, you can boost your earning potential and make more money than ever before.
1. Get A Website
You wouldn’t go to a job interview without a tie, so why would you start doing freelance web design without a website?
Get a mobile-friendly website. A growing number of people use their phones to browse the web, so it’s important that your site is easy to navigate on their device. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on new clients. It also helps if you’re able to do this on a budget since you’re just starting out as a freelancer.
Put your contact information front and center. You’ll want potential clients to be able to easily get in touch with you, so make sure your email address or phone number is clearly visible somewhere on the homepage of your website.
Make sure it loads fast. People will get frustrated if your page takes too long to load, especially because there are so many other websites competing for their attention when they’re browsing the web. A good rule of thumb is that each page should load within two seconds or less. You can check how quickly yours does with an online speed test like Pingdom Tools (Pingdom tools dot com). They also have an analysis tool that gives recommendations for improving loading times – which can be extremely helpful!
Use clean and readable fonts. Don’t use more than three different types of fonts on any given page – they can get distracting! While fancy cursive fonts might look cool at first glance, they usually end up being harder for people who visit your site to read: stick with clear sans serifs such as Helvetica instead.”
2. Create A Portfolio
Follow client standards. Any client who requests a proposal will have rules about how to submit and format it. If there are many pages and a lot of reading involved, create a cover page that has the most important information and highlights any deadlines or special instructions. The business world can be filled with red-tape, but in the end, they want clients to receive the best possible service, so don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re not sure how to proceed with a project.
Use an appropriate tone. While it may seem counterintuitive, your proposal shouldn’t sound like you’re advertising or selling something. Sure, you want your content to come across as exciting and engaging, but it should also be informative. You’ll probably need some element of passion if you want to convince someone that your work is worth their time and money, but don’t fall into the trap of using hyperbole or exaggerated claims.”
3. Make Sure Your Contact Information Is Available And Easy To Find
What good is all of this marketing if you’re not collecting leads? Make sure to include your email address, phone number, and physical location on your site (if applicable).
For those who want a bit of privacy, a contact form is sufficient. However, including an actual email address can help build trust and credibility with prospects. This isn’t always necessary, but we highly recommend it if you have the bandwidth to check every day.
4. Build An Email List For Marketing Purposes
One of the best ways to market your business is to create and utilize an email list. Email lists allow you to contact potential clients with targeted messaging. For example, if one of your prospects downloaded a lead magnet about website design for restaurants, you could send them more information about how your website design services can help restaurants specifically.
The whole process takes a little bit of time in the beginning but pays off in the long run by automating your marketing efforts and increasing conversion rates while decreasing the cost per acquisition. There are many different email marketing tools out there that make it easy to build email lists and send targeted messages depending on where people are at in their buyer’s journey.
5. Keep Up With Industry News
You should keep up with industry news to stay informed about what your competitors are doing and to understand new trends in web design. Trends in web design change quickly, which means that you need to ensure that you are frequently checking the latest articles. Industry news is also a great way to learn new skills that will help you produce better work for your clients.
6. Use Social Media To Market Yourself
Social media marketing works for freelancers because it allows you to build brand awareness, become known as an expert in your industry, and grow your audience.
It’s important to choose social media platforms that are suited to your business. Popular choice among freelancers is Twitter and Instagram.
If you want to get started with social media marketing, use a social media scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule all of the posts in advance. Next, determine which times of day you should post on each platform. And finally, create a posting schedule that works for you and stick with it!
7. Build Online Authority Through Guest Blog Posts And Online Community Involvement
If you have any expertise in your field, leverage it by contributing articles to other blogs. Your insightful and valuable content will position you as an expert, while also generating quality traffic and links to your portfolio. Keep in mind that links embedded in your article must lead back to your website or blog.
Additionally, seek out industry forums and Q&A sites like Quora where you can contribute answers and demonstrate your knowledge of web design. This is a great way to build up authority and referrals without having to do much at all.
8. Be Active In Forums, Online Groups, And Community Organizations In Your Area
In addition to the services mentioned above, you can also find people to work with and get feedback on your work in forums, online groups, and community organizations. Being active in community organizations is also a great way to build strong relationships with local companies.
It establishes you as part of the community and helps you stand out from other freelancers who aren’t involved locally which means that when someone or a company needs help with something you offer, they’ll think of you first.
- Spend time where your target market spends their time. You don’t want to waste your time promoting yourself somewhere where no one will be able to hire you.
- Let people know what it is that you do and what services/products you offer (especially if it’s not apparent from your name or website URL).
- Be helpful with advice don’t just promote yourself constantly
9. Use Paid Advertising On Relevant Sites Where Possible
One of the best ways to get your name out there and reach your target market is to invest in paid advertising. This has been a proven strategy for companies all over the world, from movie producers to restaurants.
To make sure this marketing method is as effective as possible, take some time to think about who you want to reach and where they might hang out online. For example, if you’re offering custom WordPress themes for men’s fashion websites, instead of advertising on a generic web design website (which will likely be filled with competitors), look into relevant sites where you can carefully target your audience. In this case, that might mean getting listed on a site like Shopify or WooCommerce (which powers fashion e-commerce sites).
Likewise, avoid spending money on advertising that doesn’t work. Set a budget and stick to it until you find what works for you then slowly increase your investment as needed.
10. Network With Other Freelancers, Agencies, And Companies In The Field
Use social media to meet other freelancers and then meet up with them in person. It’s easy to think of social media as a substitute for real-life encounters, but the truth is that you can use it to get online and offline with people who will help your business grow.
Join a co-working space. This could be an excellent way to stay on top of trends and make some valuable connections.
Attend networking events, both online and off; even though you’re a freelancer, this type of event can be helpful if it’s in your field or one that overlaps with it.
Ask clients for referrals. If a client works with someone who might need your services, ask them to refer him or her to you; you could offer a discount or some other incentive for doing so!
Build up a network of subcontractors for projects that are outside your area of expertise (for example graphic design). This allows you to take on larger projects without having the time constraints or financial risk associated with hiring full-time employees; instead, just pay your subcontractor’s per-project basis when needed.
11. Find Ways To Add Value To Your Customers’ Businesses
When you’re marketing your web design services to new or prospective clients, it’s important to demonstrate how your skills can benefit their businesses and projects beyond the scope of just web design.
One way you can do this is by providing them with a list of valuable resources that could help them during the process. For example, you can give them access to free tools, templates, and checklists that will make their lives easier.
You don’t have to create these things yourself (although if you do offer them on your website anyway). There are plenty of fantastic, free websites out there that curate helpful content for freelancers like yourself.
There are no shortcuts to marketing and branding yourself as a freelancer. Follow these tips and create a plan of your own. Each of the tips I shared above are very important and should be considered when creating your web design marketing strategy. While there is no magic bullet, the most successful freelancers have their own individual strategies for attracting new business and I hope that your strategies will be more successful than mine.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Get Started With Web Design?
Ask yourself, “Do I want a job or do I want to be a freelancer?” If you want a job, you can seek out companies in your area that work on web development and applications. If you are looking to freelance, find clients through friends or family who have the need for one-time websites. You may also use Craigslist (try looking at their “gigs” section in the Services offered) or other places to advertise your services.
How Do I Learn Basic Html?
There are lots of great resources out there! Start by reading through this page’s reference section and bookmarking it as your personal resource. The internet has many free resources available; when learning HTML and CSS it’s best not to pay for anything until you’re sure the skills will be useful to you long term.
If you decide you really enjoy making websites, then move on to paid resources like books from your local library, online classes through sites like Udemy, or boot camps like General Assembly if you’re able to attend them locally.
What Are The Best Resources For Learning Web Design?
This is a tough question because “best” is so subjective. For instance, if you’re looking for something that’s super-easy to get started with, then I’d recommend W3Schools. It’s an online website that teaches you the basics of web development without any prior knowledge. This can be especially helpful if you’re just starting out in web design and don’t know what you’re looking for yet.