So, how to become a freelance web designer. This isn’t an easy one.
The web design industry is a tough industry to crack, meaning it’s a tough post to write but I can only tell you from my own freelancing experience what works and what doesn’t.
I started freelancing many years back, I didn’t follow the same route as other freelancers do. I didn’t start at university and progress to a web design agency, I was brought up in web design by my father, who was a freelance web designer.
I was seriously put off the web design industry as I was worried the lack of university or agency experience would make it impossible to find a job so I pursued a different career in management, which I hated. It didn’t give me the same creative freedom that web design did.
I started off by making local band websites, as I was too in quite a few bands and had made contacts along the way. It didn’t necessarily give me any contacts or help me get in to the industry but it did give me some practice and confidence to take it to the next level.
I teamed up with my brother. He was the salesman, I was the web designer. We took an old school approach by going door to door to businesses and ringing up asking for managing directors. We soon realised this isn’t the way to approach web design.
I decided to work as a freelancer and contact agencies in my local area and I was surprised at the results. A well written email that doesn’t sound sales-like or too formal seemed to work. “Hey, I’m Tommy. I’m a freelancer based in Manchester and I am just wondering if you’re looking for any freelancers to outsource to or help out with some projects. [insert quick bio here]. Thanks for your time and let me know if you have any briefs you would like me to look over.”
That was my in. I got a few responses because for some reason, a good freelance web designer is hard to come by.
Bit by bit I took on some projects and worked on relationships with these agencies, and I learned a lot the hard way. I won’t go on about ‘time keeping’ and ‘working the right way’ as you need to learn this the hard way too and everyone works differently. I mean look at me, it’s half 7 in the evening whilst I type this and my work should have ended hours ago.
You need to keep these relationships, not push back deadlines because you can now “do what you want” and because “I’m my own boss”. You keep the client updated every step of the way and when you say a deadline, you stick to it.
Keep going, keep working and always let your work speak for yourself. It’s not rocket science, it’s just being a great freelance web designer.
I’ve been a freelance web designer since the age of 10 and I’ve learnt a few things along the way. I’ve been brought up with the internet and how to create with it. From this, I’ve got over 12 years experience in the web design industry which is unique.
Now I specialise in WordPress and responsive web design. I chose WordPress as it is the most user friendly and diverse CMS system out there and everything I make is responsive as standard. As a freelance web designer, I’m always looking at staying ahead of the game.