Do you dream of being your own boss and working to your own schedule? Would you like to know how to make a little extra money on the side? If you know all there is to know about website design, becoming a freelancer might well be the answer.
There are many benefits to having a freelance careereven if you start by working alongside your current job. Your working hours are flexible, and you get to choose the clients that you work for. How much you charge for your services is up to you and you’re in control of your workload. This might sound pretty idyllic but there are a few downsides. One of which is that you need to know all there is to know about running a business, otherwise you’ll have little success.
If you like the sound of a freelance career, here are the steps you need to work through in order to make a success of your new business.
What is it Going to Cost?
Working for yourself sounds very appealing, but to begin with, you’re going to have much less money to work with. It’s OK if you’re starting out at the same time as working for an employer, however, if you want to throw in the towel and start out on your own, there’s a long list of expenses you need to cover. These include desk space and supplies, domain name and hosting services, marketing material, necessary software and subscriptions to various stock photo sites and other resources. You’ll also need to be able to cover your ownbasic living expenses.
You should also do some research about local laws with regards self-employment. Look into taxing information, insurance and whether you can run your freelancing business from your own home.
Think About How You’re Going to Finance Your New Career
If you’ve got some savingsthen this shouldn’t be an issue, but if your bank balance is a little low,you’re going to have to look at ways to finance your enterprise. You might be lucky enough to have family or friends who can lend you some money, otherwise you’re going to need to look into the possibility of personal loans. There are several different organizations you can approach if you want to borrow money, many of which offer very reasonable rates.
Find Your Niche Market
When it comes to being a freelance website designer you really do need to stand out from the crowd. There are thousands of other people doing just the same as you, so you need to be able to provide something different. You might also want to upgrade your skills and maybe concentrate on a specific area of the market. It’s all very well and good being a great programmer who can do a little bit of everything, however, you’ll find far more success if you hone just a few of your skills. If you can say you’re the best in a particular area,you’ll find it much easier to market your service.
Start with a Portfolio Website
This is where you get to showcase what you can do. You’ll also need to update it regularly, edit and develop it throughout your career. If there are potential clients out there looking for an expert in your area,your website is going to be their first port of call. Include in your website not just examples of your work, but your resume and a contact form.
A great way to improve your online presence is to include a blog. When writing content for your blog, you can talk about your services and answer clients’ questions. You’ll also be able to provide useful and entertaining information that engages your audience, helping you be seen as an industry leader.
How to Get Your Name Out There
There’s far more to being a successful freelance website designer than simply having a website and waiting for customers to come to you. There’s so much competition nowadays that you have to be prepared to hustle.
If you want to promote your business,there are many ways to do it, most of which cost nothing at all. The internet is an amazing tool for anyone who wants to market their business, youjust have to know how to do it.
Twitter is a valuable resource because you can create a following by tweeting about the latest news in your niche. It’s also a great networking tool, where you get to connect with like-minded people around the world.
Do you know anything about Quora? It’s a resource that connects you with other professionals in your niche as well as allowing you to answer relevant questions.
YouTube has come on immensely in recent years and is now a tool used by many businesses who want to promote their business. Take the opportunity to create online tutorials and upload them. If you make them entertaining, more people are going to watch.
Finding New Clients
To begin with,you’re better off starting close to home. Talk to family and friends about your new business venture and see if they need your services or are willing to recommend you to others. After that, you need to promote your business on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram,andLinkedIn.
There are a number of freelance sites where you can also look for work. See what’s available on platforms like Freelancer, Upwork, and Indeed.
To begin with, finding new clients is going to be difficult, and you may need to consider a few “portfolio building” clients. One way to do this is to offer your services for free. Ask around your neighborhood to see if there’s an organization that could use a website and volunteer your services. Make a good job of the design and it’ll look good in your portfolio. With your first few projects is of often more than just the money that makes a difference.
Starting a freelance career isn’t going to be easy, but there are great rewards waiting for those who can make a success of their business.