17 Tips For Freelance Web Designers – How To Survive In The Industry

You’re a freelance web designer, or you’re looking to become one. And as a freelancer, there are many things that you’ll have to consider when it comes to your career – from how much money you make per project, how many projects you get on average per month, and what kind of clients will be hiring you (or not).

This article will cover 17 tips on how to survive in the industry as a freelance web designer.

Freelancing As A Web Developer in 2018 – YouTube
1. Focus on niche expertise.
2. Build a strong online presence.
3. Set clear pricing and contracts.
4. Prioritize effective time management.
5. Continuously update skills and knowledge.
6. Communicate clearly with clients.
7. Develop a robust portfolio.
8. Network within the industry.
9. Provide exceptional customer service.
10. Balance client work and personal time.

1. Provide A Good Service

You should always be providing a good service to your clients. If you are not, then why are they hiring you? When providing your service you must understand what is going on with your client and their business as this will help you provide better services for them. 

Don’t be afraid of technology; this is something that has been around for many years, so get over it! Learn as much as possible about your craft – if there is any advice I can give anyone it would be to learn everything about your field of work. 

Don’t bite off more than you can chew – don’t take too much on in one go; this way there won’t be any delays in delivery time which could lead to losing out on future work opportunities because other companies could have taken over the project by this point too! 

Nothing comes easy in life so don’t expect anything different when starting in freelance design either!. Work out what works best for yourself and stick with it!

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2. Get Involved In The Web Design Community

Meeting other designers is a great way to learn from their experiences and mistakes. You can get feedback from them on your designs, and they can provide insight into new trends or techniques that you may not have considered.

While there are many web design communities online, the best place to start is with local meetups in your area. Most cities have at least one monthly event where designers gather together for coffee, drinks, and a good conversation about all things web design. 

These events can be a great way to meet other designers who may be working on similar projects like yours or even those who are farther along in their careers than you are at this point!

3. Don’t Be Afraid Of Technology

Technology is a tool, not a crutch. You can use technology to make your life easier, but if you rely on it too much, you end up losing touch with reality.

This is especially true for web designers. You need to know how websites work and how the Internet works to build your sites effectively and efficiently.

You should understand all of this so that you don’t get left behind when new technologies come out (which happens all the time). If you don’t understand these things, then who will be there for you as a resource?

4. Learn As Much As You Can About Your Craft

One of the most important things you can do to improve your design skills is to learn as much as you can about web design.

There are many ways in which this can be achieved, and you must choose a method that suits your style and learning preferences. You may want to learn from experience and make mistakes on projects, or perhaps read books about web design techniques. Maybe you prefer to study tutorials for inspiration, or maybe even look at other people’s code online!

No matter what method works best for you, the key message here is that learning should never stop!

5. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

In this industry, it’s always a good idea to be careful about not taking on more than you can handle. You don’t want to overcommit yourself and end up underperforming or letting your clients down. Here are some things to consider:

  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. While this may seem obvious and intuitive, many web designers find themselves overwhelmed with work because they have taken on too much at once or accepted projects without researching them first. Before accepting any project, determine whether the budget and timeline are realistic for your abilities and resources.
  • Don’t take on more than you can afford. Although freelancing has its benefits (such as flexibility), there is still an ongoing cost associated with running a business from equipment purchases and software licenses to marketing efforts like website hosting fees and advertising expenses (if applicable). 

Be sure that all of these costs are factored into every job estimate so that there aren’t any surprises when it comes time for payment!

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6. Have Patience

Patience is a virtue. It’s also a skill. If you don’t have patience, you’ll never make it in this industry. I’d say that patience is one of the most important skills required for those who want to succeed as freelance web designers.

Patience isn’t just about waiting for something to happen. It’s also about being able to recognize when things are taking longer than they should and knowing what steps can be taken to fix them instead of letting frustration get the best of us and killing our productivity altogether.

7. Work Out What Works For You, And Stick With It

The final tip for freelance web designers is to be consistent. You need to be organized, prepared, and professional in your approach. You also need to be honest and reliable, because if you’re not those things then you will have difficulty getting clients. The most important thing of all though is that you figure out what works for you, and stick with it!

8. Have Fun

Having fun is not only important for your mental health, but it also helps you to be more creative, productive, and successful. Studies have shown that happy employees are 25% more productive than their sad counterparts. So go out there and have some fun!

9. Make Use Of Available Resources And Tools

There are lots of free tools available to use to help you manage your workload. Here are a few of my favorites:

Google Analytics – Use this tool to track the performance of your website, find out which pages visitors spend the most time on, and analyze traffic sources.

Google Keyword Planner – Use this tool to help you determine which keywords will drive more traffic to your site. It also provides data on search volume and estimated ad spending.

Canva – Create graphics using templates or by uploading images from Facebook or Instagram with pre-made design elements like fonts, shapes, frames, and filters that can be applied quickly and easily in one click!

PicMonkey – Edit photos online with built-in editing tools such as filters (black & white photo effects), lighting effects (adjust shadows/highlights), face enhancements (smile), etc., as well as add text overlays or watermarks for copyright protection purposes so no one steals them from you!

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10. Do Your Research

Know your target audience; How old are they? What gender are they? What’s their income level? Where do they live in the world? What language do they speak, if any? Are they more likely to be using a desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet when browsing the internet? All of this will affect how you design and build websites for them.

Know your competition; Who are some of the other businesses out there providing similar products or services to what you’re offering? If someone is working in the same industry as you, would their website be able to offer better value than yours to potential customers (for example: if someone offers cheaper prices on a service that competes with yours)?

If so, then how can you better position yourself against them by changing certain elements of what you offer (such as price).

Know your limitations and strengths as a freelancer; we must know where our skillsets lie so we can make sure we’re not wasting time trying things outside our comfort zones…or worse yet…not realizing it until after completing a project! 

This also includes knowing what kinds of projects may take longer than others because those require different skill sets which might require learning new ones first before moving forward with them successfully later down the road.”

11. Know Your Stuff

This goes without saying, but being able to answer questions confidently is a must. It’s important that you not only know what you’re talking about but also be able to confidently explain it in detail as well. You should also be able to answer questions with confidence. For example, if someone asks you what the best practices are for responsive design, don’t hem and haw or try to avoid answering them.

Instead, explain immediately! If someone wants to know how long your portfolio site took from start to finish or why certain design choices were made on particular projects (and especially if those choices resulted in positive feedback), don’t hesitate to answer fully and completely!

12. Keep On Top Of Your Finances

When you’re self-employed, it’s important to keep track of your finances. As a freelance web designer, you’ll be responsible for paying for all of your expenses and also paying taxes on the income that comes from your work. This means that it’s essential to make sure that all of these things are covered.

If you want to know exactly how much money is coming into and going out of your bank account, there are some services available online that can help: ) is one example; another is Banktivity

These apps will let you see exactly what’s happening with all of your accounts at any given time so that if something unexpected happens like an emergency trip across town or an unexpected drop in income due to illness or loss of clients, then

You’ll know whether or not it will affect other aspects of life such as bills or taxes. If something does happen unexpectedly then the app will most likely have a way around it through different methods such as transferring funds between accounts quickly so they don’t get lost while waiting days for banks’ regular processing times – saving both time and money!

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13. Brand Yourself, Network, And Follow Up Quickly

  • What is a brand?

A brand is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a particular website or business. It’s how you want people to see you and what your company represents. A good brand will be memorable, unique, and consistent across all platforms (website, social media, etc.). If done correctly, this will help people remember you as they’re searching for similar services online.

  • How do I brand myself?

There are many ways to make sure your content is branded properly:

  • Make sure all social media accounts have similar themes/images/etc., so everything ties together nicely in one place instead of blending into each other haphazardly like some social sites do when they have different profile pictures for each account
  • Make sure each piece of work has something familiar about it like colors or fonts used throughout the rest of your portfolio site; if not then it might look more like spam than an actual website designed by someone who cares about their craftsmanship!

14. Deliver The Goods On Time And To A High Standard

You will not be able to deliver the goods on time and to a high standard if you are not organized. If you are not organized, then you will lose track of your tasks and get overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done. This is why freelancers in this industry need to organize themselves well so that they can keep track of what needs doing and when it needs doing.

This also goes for being on a budget! If you are working at home or out of your house, then there may be some costs associated with running a small business such as utilities (electricity/gas), heat during wintertime, etc., but remember: these should never exceed the total amount that has been quoted in your quote!

15. Be Persistent But Not Pushy Or Overbearing

You may be persistent, but don’t be pushy or overbearing. Remember that a prospective client is not likely to want to hear your sales pitch every day for two months straight. If you’re constantly pushing them for information about the project and how they feel about it, they’ll get annoyed. 

Also, if you’ve been rejected and are asking for another chance, don’t do it more than once. You should also ask for help when needed – whether from friends or other designers at the office (but not necessarily your boss). 

If someone asks you how things are going with the client or whether anything is going on with them that could be causing problems in their relationship with their current designer (or whatever). They would appreciate knowing so they can help out as necessary and not just assume everything is fine when something isn’t working out quite right.

Finally: never underestimate referrals! Seasoned freelancers know this well – success often comes down to who knows whom to bring work into one’s business; therefore knowing people who are great at what we do gives us an advantage over those who don’t have such connections yet.”

16. Charge What You Think You’re Worth And Don’t Work For Free

Understand the market value of your work. Know what your time is worth, and don’t be afraid to ask for that amount in exchange for your services.

Be prepared to negotiate with clients who want you to do something that’s out of line with what’s fair or reasonable in the industry. You may need to walk away from a project if a client doesn’t understand the value of your service, or if they’re asking too much from you (e.g., requiring 50% upfront payment).

Get a contract in place before working with any client, so they know exactly what they’re getting and won’t try anything funny after receiving their deposit/initial payment (which should also serve as an agreement between both parties).

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17. Enjoy Every Single Minute Of It

If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, then stop and do something else. The world is full of people who will love the work that doesn’t fit your style and vice versa. You are not alone. There are so many different types of personalities in this world, everyone has a little niche that fits them perfectly and if you don’t like what’s out there then look for it yourself!

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been struggling to make ends meet in the web design industry, take heart. There are many ways to improve your situation, and this list is a great place to start. You may not be able to fix everything overnight, but if you can identify where your weaknesses lie and work on them consistently over time, I’m confident that you’ll see results.

Good luck!

Further Reading

Tips to Stand Out as a Freelance Web Developer: Discover 7 practical tips to make your mark as a freelance web developer and differentiate yourself in a competitive market.

Becoming a Freelance Web Developer: Explore a comprehensive guide on how to transition into freelancing as a web developer, including essential skills and strategies.

Getting Started as a Freelance Web Designer: Follow a 10-step guide to kickstart your career as a freelance web designer and establish a strong foundation for success.

People Also Ask

Do I Need A Degree?

It’s not necessary to have a degree in web design or anything else to be successful as a freelancer. You might want to consider taking some classes, as it can give you an edge over other designers who don’t have any formal training.

Do I Need To Be A Designer To Be A Web Designer?

No! A lot of people believe that this is the case because they associate the term “web designer” with creating user-friendly interfaces and layouts for websites. 

While this is certainly part of what most freelance web designers do daily, many other things go into being successful at this job that doesn’t require any artistic skill whatsoever (such as creating wireframes and mockups). 

So if you aren’t already good at drawing out ideas before turning them into reality then don’t worry about it! That’s where software comes in handy 😉

How Much Should I Charge?

The amount you charge is up to you, but there are some things to keep in mind: The more experienced you are, the more you can charge. Your hourly rate should be based on your experience level. 

So if someone with 10 years of experience charges $100/hour and someone with 5 years charges $50/hour, it’s likely that the person with 5 years will also have a higher number of clients than the person with 10 years. The point is not so much how many clients they have as it is how hard it would be for them to find new ones if they lost their current ones. 

If this were true for web designers too and we had a freelancer who charged $50/hour but only had one client and another freelancer who charged $100/hour and had ten clients (but was less experienced), then we’d probably want our business going through the second designer because she has more people willing to pay her than he does.

What’s The Best Way To Market Myself?

It depends on what kind of work you’re doing and who you are marketing to. If you have a portfolio with examples of your work, then it might be enough for potential clients to see that and contact you directly. 

If not, then it may make sense to create a website and post some of your best work there so potential clients can see what kind of work you do firsthand before contacting you directly about their project needs.

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