Web Design Freelancing: A For Dummies Guide For New Freelancers

An increasing number of people are seeing web design as an opportunity to move away from the 9-5 rat race and start working from home. The temptation of a more flexible work environment, the possibility of higher earnings, and the freedom to wear your pajamas all day can be pretty strong. However, many who explore this path are faced with tough challenges such as how to find clients for their business.

This article will provide you with 12 strategies you can use to find clients for your freelance web design business. These strategies have been tested by successful freelancers and they work even if you’re new in the field or not sure where to get started.

Freelance Web Design in 7 Steps
Key Takeaways
Freelancing can be a rewarding career choice for web designers
Building a strong portfolio and website is crucial for attracting clients
Networking and marketing are essential for finding and retaining clients
Pricing your services appropriately and setting clear expectations is important for successful projects
Continual learning and skill development can help you stay competitive in the industry

1. Figure Out Your Web Design Specialty

Now that you know what questions to ask yourself, you’re ready to figure out which type of web design work is best for you.

First, consider your goals. Do you want to be a one-­person shop or do you want to build a team? If you don’t mind working alone, freelancing as an individual might be a better fit than starting an agency. Remember that being in business for yourself means that all the work, including client acquisition and all the stuff behind the scenes like filing taxes and accounting, is on your shoulders. If this sounds appealing and manageable, then choose one (or two) specialties.

Next, think about how much time you have available for projects each week or month. This will help determine how many clients and how large projects are appropriate for your schedule.

Then take into account your skillset both technical skills as well as soft skills like project management and learning style. What areas do you think will give you the most satisfaction? Which areas need improvement? How can you improve? You may want to list out some general ideas now so that later on when it comes time to market yourself as a designer (we’ll cover marketing in Chapter 3), everything will be fresh in your mind and easy enough to organize into categories based on skillset and preferred methodologies

Starting a successful freelance web development business takes more than just technical skills. As our guide on building a freelance web development business explains, you need to have a solid understanding of business and marketing as well.

2. Set A Realistic Rate

How much should you charge? The answer to this question varies widely depending on your location and the skills you bring to the table. Do some research where other people are charging for the same services, then calculate what you think is fair for your abilities.

Can you do it? It’s easy to get caught up in how much money you can make from a freelance web design job, but before applying, make sure that you have both the time and technical expertise to deliver on your promise.

What will it take? Be honest with yourself about how long it will take to complete a project. If you find that you’re constantly going over budget and past deadlines, adjust what you charge accordingly so that it makes sense for your time and expertise.

3. Identify Which Clients You Want To Work With And Why

The level of service that you provide to your clients will depend on the type of client you choose. If you want to work with larger companies, then expect them to have a budget in the $20K-$40K range, and expect them to have a less-than-stellar web presence (they may even be launching their first site ever).

When working with this type of client, it’s important to remember that they are not technical people. They likely won’t know what they need in terms of features and functionality. They just know that their customers/stakeholders/boss wants a more professional-looking website that is easy for them to update.

4. Know Your Competition

It’s important to understand your competition. This will help you stay competitive and know where your services fit in with other freelancers. Make a list of competitors and check out their websites, social media accounts, reviews, and content. 

What services do they offer? How are they different from you? Look for ways you can stand out from the crowd. For example, if many freelancers are offering similar services to yours, set yourself apart by finding something unique about your skills and marketing those skills specifically.

The life of a freelance web developer can be challenging, but with the right guidance, you can avoid common pitfalls. In our article on things I wish someone had told me, you can learn from the experiences of a seasoned freelancer.

Talk To Other Web Design Professionals About Their Pricing

The next step to establishing your pricing is to talk to other web designers about what they charge for their work. This can be a huge help in getting an accurate sense of the market you’re working with and how much your own skills and experience are worth.

Try asking questions such as these:

  • How long does it usually take you to make a website?
  • How much do you charge per hour? Per project? How do you structure your rates?
  • What factors affect the time or cost of a project, and how do they play into your decision-making process when setting prices?

This will give you an idea of how different web designers price their work—and remember, there’s no right or wrong way! It all depends on what the market will bear and what feels right to you. Asking these questions can help clarify your own ideas (or inspire new ones!) about how best to set up your business.

5. How Long Should I Take To Deliver A Project?

I always know when I am running behind. It happens every time. There’s a constant looming sense of panic, and it gets worse as the day goes on. I find myself getting into this cycle of thinking, “Oh no! I’m going to be late! I should really get started on this project right now!” Sure enough, though the minute I sit down in front of my computer, hours have passed and it turns out that nothing was due yet. 

Always do your best to estimate how much time you’ll need for a project accurately so you can plan ahead but not stress about being overzealous and missing deadlines from the get-go.

It’s also very important to communicate with your client early in the process of designing a website or app before the timeframe is far too tight to complete everything at once! They will appreciate having an accurate picture of exactly what they can expect from you in terms of deliverables at any given stage. 

Even more importantly, you’ll build a strong working relationship with them so that you can continue delivering great work throughout your long-term working relationship which will make it easier for them to continue using your services in order to save themselves money while they still enjoy your work.

6. Testing And Debugging Are Not Going To Happen In One Day

You can do all the testing and debugging you want on your own, but you can’t test every possible thing that might happen to a website. The user experience is usually unpredictable. Even if two people have the same device, same browser, and same OS version, they may not use a website in exactly the same way.

This unpredictability means that it’s important for you to be able to respond quickly to issues reported by clients or users. This is where having a friendly relationship with clients comes in handy. A client who trusts you will understand when there are snags or bugs and will work with you to set things right as soon as possible.

If you’re interested in becoming a freelance web developer but don’t know where to start, our step-by-step guide has everything you need to know. From building your skills to finding clients, we’ve got you covered.

7. Setting Up Your Own Website

Setting up your own website should definitely be a priority, but you don’t need to spend a fortune on doing it. There are plenty of options available that will fit any budget.

You can start with a free or low-cost template and customize it for your needs. You can even have the site built for you by professionals and then use it to showcase your skills.

If you do decide to create your own website from scratch, keep in mind that there are many ways to do so. You can use simple HTML editors like FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver (both of which come with their own templates), or go the other extreme and build everything from the ground up using PHP or ASP programming languages (which is not for the faint of heart). 

It all depends on what level of experience you have in building websites, how much time/money you want to spend upfront versus later on maintenance work as well as how much functionality/control over every detail is important to you before deciding which route would suit this purpose best.

Why Do You Need A Website?

In today’s day and age, having an online presence is crucial if you want your business (and yourself) out there in front of potential clients. Imagine how many times we Google something before making any purchase! The same goes for freelancers who don’t just rely solely on referrals anymore – they need something tangible they can point people at when they want proof that they know what they’re talking about when it comes down

8. Building Your Portfolio And Showcasing Your Work

The first thing you will have to do is showcase your work. You can use social media platforms like Dribble, Behance, and Codepen to show off your work. You can create a website for yourself and create a portfolio page where you can add all the links to your live websites.

If you want to be more proactive in sharing your ideas and knowledge with the world, you can start blogging as well. It will help you connect with other people in the industry who might be looking for freelancers just like you.”

9. Create An Online Presence And Get People Talking About You

Creating a website is an excellent way to start building your online network. A strong, consistent presence on sites like LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook (just to name a few) is vital for success as a freelance web designer or developer. You can also use these sites to keep clients and customers up to date on the progress of their projects.

Creating a website isn’t difficult, but the more you know about how the process works, the better off you’ll be. To get started, check out “How to make a website”. It’s chock-full of hands-on advice that describes how to create compelling websites through step-by-step instructions (without being condescending).

Making mistakes is a natural part of learning, but it helps to know what to watch out for. Our guide on common mistakes new web developer freelancers make provides practical tips on how to avoid the most common pitfalls.

10. The Role Of Quality Customer Service In Attracting More Clients

Any customer service professional knows that if you want to get new business, it’s always a good idea to treat them like royalty. That’s why we make sure to take the time necessary to communicate with new clients in a way that makes them feel welcome and valued.

Communicating in a professional manner is important for both getting new clients and maintaining existing ones. As consumers have become better informed about what constitutes quality customer service, they have become more critical of businesses’ ability to provide it. 

The days when companies could get away with treating customers poorly are gone; these days, companies must work hard at providing exceptional customer service or risk losing potential customers because of their poor reputation. When working with clients, the first thing we do is take the time necessary to make sure they’re comfortable with how their project will be handled by our team. Doing this allows us to not only meet their expectations but also let them know that we appreciate their business!

11. Signing A Freelancing Contract. What To Look Out For?

After you’ve finalized the proposal, it’s time to draft a contract. This can be a big step because some clients don’t like signing contracts.

Here’s what to include in the contract:

Pricing information – Make sure that the amount you charge for your services is stated plainly in your contract. It also helps to explicitly state if there are any extra fees for edits or additional services outside of what is included in the project scope.

Payment schedule – Clearly outline how and when you will get paid for each milestone. Some freelancers ask for a certain percentage up front as a deposit; others don’t accept payments until after their work is complete. It all depends on what works best for both parties involved in the transaction and what type of project you are working on.

Project deadlines – If there are specific dates by which different tasks must be completed, make sure this information is included in your contract so that both parties understand when things need to be done and who will be responsible if they are not finished on time. 

The more detailed this part of your agreement becomes, the less likely either party will be left with unanswered questions about how long things should take or how much money they owe one another at any given point during their relationship together.”

12. Be Smart About Your Web Design Freelance Career

For new freelancers, this will also be your first foray into creating and growing your own business. You’ll be responsible for finding clients, getting paid, and staying on top of the administrative aspects of running a business.

There are a lot of moving parts to being a freelancer, so it may be difficult to navigate at times. But don’t get discouraged! To help guide you through the initial stages of freelance web design, we’ve compiled some tips that should make your transition go smoothly. We have broken our advice down into two main sections: tips for building your freelance career, and tips for starting out as a freelancer while working another job.

You don’t have to quit your day job to start a successful freelance web development business. In fact, our article on starting a freelance web development business while working full-time explains how you can make the transition without sacrificing your financial stability

Final Thought

Overall, the scope of web design is immense. However, with the right understanding of the industry, you can make it your career. In this guide, we discussed what to look for in a client, where to find them, how to convince them that you are worth their time and money, and what material to send in your portfolio. 

We covered topics such as online portfolio sites, content management systems, and exactly what kind of equipment you need as a freelancer. This is a great start-up manual for new designers attempting to break into the field and make freelancing their full-time profession.

Further Reading

Freelancing For Dummies: A comprehensive guide on freelancing that covers everything from getting started to managing your business finances.

A 10-Step Guide to Getting Started as a Freelance Web Designer: A practical guide that provides step-by-step instructions on how to start your freelance web design career.

The Ultimate Guide to Freelance Web Design for Beginners: A comprehensive guide that covers all aspects of freelancing as a web designer, from building your portfolio to finding clients and pricing your services.


How do I get started as a freelance web designer?

Getting started as a freelance web designer involves building your skills, building a portfolio, and finding clients. It’s important to have a solid understanding of web design principles, as well as business and marketing skills. Consider taking online courses or working on projects to build your skills and create a portfolio that showcases your work. Once you have a portfolio, you can start reaching out to potential clients and promoting your services.

How do I price my freelance web design services?

Pricing your freelance web design services can be challenging, but there are several factors to consider, such as your experience level, the complexity of the project, and the amount of time and effort required. It’s important to research industry standards and understand what your clients are willing to pay. Consider offering packages or tiered pricing options to give clients more flexibility.

How do I manage my finances as a freelance web designer?

Managing your finances as a freelance web designer involves keeping track of your income and expenses, setting a budget, and planning for taxes. Consider using accounting software or hiring an accountant to help you manage your finances. It’s also important to set aside a portion of your income for taxes and to plan for irregular income.

How do I find clients as a freelance web designer?

Finding clients as a freelance web designer involves networking, promoting your services, and building a strong online presence. Consider attending industry events, reaching out to potential clients through social media or email, and creating a website or blog that showcases your work. It’s also important to provide excellent customer service and deliver high-quality work to build a positive reputation.

How do I manage my time as a freelance web designer?

Managing your time as a freelance web designer involves setting clear boundaries, prioritizing tasks, and using time-tracking tools. Consider setting a schedule and sticking to it, using productivity techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, and using tools like Trello or Asana to track your tasks and deadlines. It’s also important to take breaks and avoid burnout.

How Do I Get A Web Design Client?

You can find web design clients by visiting your local coffee shop and asking the owner if they need/want a new website. You can also ask your friends if they know anyone who needs a website. If you’re looking to go big, consider creating a portfolio of your work and getting it out there you can send it to potential clients, post it on social media, or use it in conjunction with an online freelance platform.

How Do I Get My First Freelance Web Design Job?

Asking around is one way to get your first freelance job, but another good way is by creating a portfolio of your work and showing it off. Your portfolio should be clear, organized, and easy for potential clients to navigate so that they can see what you’re capable of at a glance.

How Do I Find Work As A Web Designer?

The best way to find work as a web designer is often to just start by asking people if they know someone who needs a website designed. You’d be surprised how many times this simple question can help you land your first job! If you don’t have any luck with this approach though or if you’re looking for more opportunities try posting about yourself.

 How Do I Get Clients For Web Design?

First, make sure you have a fully-fleshed-out portfolio website. Next, build a presence on platforms like Dribbble and Behance and update your profiles with the best of your work. When you’re ready to get in front of real people, start attending meetups, conferences, and other events where you can meet potential clients. You could also try cold emailing it works surprisingly well!

 How Do I Get Web Design Clients?

First, make sure you have a fully-fleshed-out portfolio website. Next, build a presence on platforms like Dribbble and Behance and update your profiles with the best of your work. When you’re ready to get in front of real people, start attending meetups, conferences, and other events where you can meet potential clients. You could also try cold emailing it works surprisingly well!

Leave a Comment