Freelance web design can be a profitable way to earn money around the clock. You can accomplish your goals and make an honest living. No boss telling you what to do and how to do it.
No office politics and snickering from co-workers on your lunch break. For many people, earning income without getting their hands dirty is both tempting and terrifying, but freelance web designers have discovered this type of work rewarding.
Before you decide to take the leap into freelancing, there are a few things you should do:
First, determine if this is even something you want to do. Freelance web design isn’t for everyone; that’s all there is to it. If your dream job is being part of a team and working with other developers every day, then chances are freelance work won’t be right for you.
1. Consider Your Skill Set
Do you have the background necessary to complete projects on time? Are you familiar with industry-standard tools such as Adobe Creative Cloud? If the answer is no, can you get that training?
2. Can You Handle Working Alone All Day?
If not, perhaps an office setting would be better for your personality. But if working alone doesn’t intimidate or bother you in any way, then freelancing could be for you!
3. Are Self-Disciplined Enough To Manage Your Own Schedule?
When it comes down to it, clients pay freelancers for their time—and if time management isn’t one of your strong suits, it can really hurt your prospects in this line of work.
4. Can You Deal With The Stress Of Deadlines?
The key word here is “deal”; we’re not asking whether or not they’ll stress you out they will but rather whether or not that stress will drive and motivate or hinder and stifle your work. Make sure that answer is the former!
5. You Can’t Do It All On Your Own
You can’t do it all on your own. At least not at first.
In the early stages of your freelance web design career, you’re going to need help and advice from other designers. Hopefully, you already have someone in your life who can support you during this transition. But if not, there are plenty of ways to find help online.
You should be learning something new every day as a web designer because the field is always changing and evolving. Seek out free or paid online courses to learn new skills and check out design blogs, sign up for newsletters, and follow designers on social media to stay up-to-date on industry news and trends.
Collaborate with other designers whenever possible because working together is one of the best ways to learn from each other’s experiences and improve your designs (and get some inspiration). Don’t be afraid of making mistakes—you’ll make them eventually—just use them as opportunities for growth!
6. Don’t Let Mistakes Hold You Back
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
It’s easy to get discouraged after making a mistake. It’s also human nature, and it happens to every web designer at some point in their career. However, if you let your mistakes hold you back, you’ll never be able to push yourself forward.
The important thing is that you learn from your mistakes so that you don’t make them again in the future. Try to look at failure as a learning experience rather than a sign that you’re not capable of doing something well.
In fact, many successful people will tell you that failure is an integral part of their success—it’s what helped them learn and grow with each project they worked on, rather than staying stuck in their comfort zones forever.
When it comes time to review your first project (or even an old one), try looking at it objectively rather than criticizing every small thing about yourself or beating yourself up over what could have been done better.
You’ll find it easier to pick out things like typography errors or spelling mistakes when you’re not focusing on the big picture too much – just take note of them and then continue moving on to something else while reminding yourself that there are no “perfect” projects! You can always fix these later!
7. It’s Ok To Say No
It’s also important to know that it’s okay to say no. There are many reasons you may want to say no—you don’t feel comfortable with the project, you don’t have time for it, or you’re too busy with other clients. You shouldn’t feel obligated to take on a project because a client wants you to.
You should also not be afraid to say no when your workload is too heavy and there’s no way you can work on someone else’s website right now. The last thing you want is a bad reputation because of shoddy work.
And if the client gets upset, your response should be short and simple: “I’m sorry, but I’m unable to take this project on.” That’s it; nothing more needs said. Remember: You are running a business here, so when people come knocking at your door wanting work done, consider all of these factors before jumping ahead and accepting their offer!
8. Know Your Limits And Work Within Them
Know yourself. The first step in keeping your project on time and within budget is assessing what you can handle. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Are you a strong designer? Are you great at organizing and delegating tasks, but not so hot when it comes to the design aspect of things? Be honest with yourself about this.
Work within your limits. If you’re not so confident in your coding skills, consider hiring a developer or outsourcing that part of the job. If you’re at a loss as far as graphics are concerned, think about hiring a graphics designer to create templates for your clientele to use (these can be easily modified).
9. You Don’t Always Have To Know What You’re Doing
As long as you can manage and complete the project by staying organized, delegating tasks appropriately, and managing client expectations, then these few gaps in knowledge probably won’t affect it much at all—especially if they are few and far between.
10. Know Your Worth And Charge Accordingly
After all, you should know your worth and be able to charge accordingly. But how do you determine what to charge?
Well, you need to consider the following:
- Your skill level and experience.
- The market rates for web design services.
- The extent of your operating expenses (equipment, financing, office space, etc.).
- The going rates in the freelance community that offer similar services as you.
11. Your Value Proposition—What Makes Your Service Special?
What distinguishes it from others? How can you add a little something extra that makes someone want to pay more for you than another freelancer? If a client is paying $30/hour for an Indian freelancer’s web design services distributed across three different individuals or teams (project manager, designer, and developer), how can he justify paying $100/hour for just one person with similar skills who are based in New Jersey?
12. Your Client’s Budget—How Much Are They Willing To Pay For Your Work?
You may also want to ask about their budget before quoting a price or sending them an estimate because this will help ensure that there won’t be any unpleasant surprises later on once they see the bill!
13. The Scope Of The Project—What Does It Entail Exactly?
Will, there be only one page or several pages with varying degrees of complexity depending on what they need to do more than anything else
14. Adapt And Adjust Your Approach As Needed
As a freelancer, it’s important to focus on your goals and be flexible enough to adjust your approach as needed. Here are some tips and ideas to help you adapt.
15. Be Prepared For Changes In Direction
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback early on in the process (and throughout).
Don’t hesitate to get expert help if you need it just don’t let them do all of the work for you!
If possible, find a mentor with whom you can share ideas over coffee or lunch every now and then; this is especially helpful if he/she has experience in this field as well.
16. Focus On The Positives
One of the most important things to remember when doing freelance work is that you’re 100% responsible for it.
No one will tell you what to do, give you leads or make sure you’re working at least 8 hours a day. You’ll have to be the one who takes care of everything, from finding clients and doing your best on their projects to keeping up with your finances and taxes.
17. Don’t Focus On The Negatives
It may sound cliché, but it really helps if you keep in mind all of the great benefits that come with being a freelancer (instead of worrying about all the bad things).
This can also help keep negative thoughts away because “negativity breeds negativity.” Once we get into this negative frame of mind it becomes difficult to think otherwise.
18. Get Inspired And Stay Inspired
You can find inspiration from a variety of places. One that I like to use is HubSpot’s Design Gallery. Not only does it have beautiful websites to look at, but you can find inspiration from the visual elements of the designs as well.
When you’re designing, listen to music that inspires you or watch a movie for creative inspiration. Spend time with family and friends who inspire you, too! Do things that make you feel good and get your mind off other things so that when it comes time to design again, your brain is ready to be creative.
18. Create A Schedule And Stick To It
Everyone works better when they have a schedule. You can manage this by scheduling your work time and making sure you stick to it, every day.
When you’re starting out, it’s very easy to overbook yourself. It’s natural to want to take on as much as you can in the beginning, but remember that your clients are paying for a quality product.
If you overbook yourself with too many clients, then you won’t be able to dedicate the time needed for each project (not if you want the finished product to look good). Instead of spreading yourself too thin, I recommend just choosing one or two projects per month, depending on how long each project takes.
19. Set Project Deadlines
Deadlines keep you focused. It’s easy to get distracted by the pull of social media and emails, or even just by the sight of your kitchen, beckoning you to go make a cup of tea or snack on something.
Deadlines help you work more effectively and efficiently. When you have a deadline, it forces you to focus on delivering results for your client without any unnecessary detours.
Deadlines are important for clients too. Most business owners understand the importance of deadlines and will expect them from their freelancers or contractors as much as from anyone else they hire.
In fact, some businesses will actually include a clause in their contracts that specifies how much they’ll pay if a contractor misses a deadline (and often it’s not very much).
Deadlines help build a reputation. Being able to meet deadlines is one key way that freelancers can stand out from competitors, so if you don’t already set deadlines for yourself, this is one good reason to start doing so.
Deadlines help keep you motivated. When you have an end goal in sight that is, a deadline—you feel more motivated to complete your project than if there’s no particular end in sight at all (and therefore no real urgency).
For example, You might be working on an ongoing project like an SEO campaign that doesn’t necessarily have an exact end date built into it, but still, it’s important to establish goals for yourself along the way and give yourself reasonable timelines for achieving those goals.
If freelance web design is something that you want to pursue, be open to learning new things or updating your skillset along the way.
If you’re interested in pursuing web design as a freelancer, you’ll need to be prepared to keep learning. This includes making mistakes and being okay with that. You have to be able to learn from your mistakes, adapt, and make changes where necessary.
One of the most important parts of freelance web design is having a strong portfolio. This can be difficult when you are first starting out, but there are ways to build up your portfolio without having any clients yet (more on this later).
Your portfolio is what will sell potential clients using your services, so it’s very important that you put in the time and effort needed to create a professional-looking site. It also needs regular updates with new projects that showcase your skillset and ability as a designer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Experience Do I Need To Start Freelancing?
The amount of experience required to start freelancing depends on the particular industry you’re working in. Some clients, for example, may require you to have a few years’ worths of experience with a specific platform before they hire you. Other clients may want you to have a full portfolio of work that’s related to their needs.
In general, if your clients are looking for someone with a specific skill set that’s not easily learned or taught, then the more experience you have, the better it will be for them and for you too.
Is Freelance Web Design Worth It?
Yes. It’s a highly beneficial way to make money and is well worth the investment in your time and effort. Here are some of the benefits that you can enjoy from getting into freelance web design:
- High Demand
- Competitive Pay
What Are Pros Of Freelance Web Design?
There are several advantages to working as a freelance web designer:
You get to work from anywhere. As a freelance web designer, you can work from anywhere with an internet connection—including your home office or your favorite local coffee shop. You can even take your laptop on vacation with you and get some work done during your stay.
You get to choose your own projects. Working as a freelance web designer means you get to choose which projects you take on and which ones you turn down which means you get to pick the ones that interest you most.
What Is Freelance Web Design?
Freelance web design is a process where an individual or company contracts with a designer to create a website, app, or other digital product. The client provides the designer with their vision and the designer creates a design that meets those expectations.