Freelancing can be a dream come true. It means that you work your own hours, pick your own clients and work, and get to work in a field you have skills and passion for. However, any freelancer knows that this doesn’t all come immediately. Building your brand as a freelancer is something you have to do over time, and with a lot of effort. Nonetheless, freelancers now make up over a third of the global workforce at the time of writing. But this cuts both ways: it means that freelancing is simultaneously more accessible and more competitive than ever.
So, if you’re hoping to jump into freelancing, you need to know how to sharpen your skills and stand out among the crowd. Luckily, freelance web design offers some convenient avenues for doing so. With this step-by-step process, you can set your expectations and have a good baseline for what kind of work- and opportunities- to expect. Click through the table of contents to jump ahead to any part of the process.
Table of Contents
1. Familiarize Yourself with Freelance Graphic Design: Learn How to Make a Website
If you’re just starting out with web design, there are resources out there for you.
While most people might not think of web design as an easy skill to pick up, it’s actually quite easy to learn with the right systems. Plus, plenty of web design systems are free and open source. As such, you won’t have to worry about budget or accessibility on top of learning a new skill. In fact, WordPress is one of the best- and most popular- systems on the market because it is free, open-source, and easy to use.
Pretty much anyone can create a site with WordPress, but web design can get a bit more in-depth. Most people opt to utilize premade themes with WordPress, with very limited visual customization options. If they want something more unique, they hire web designers- which is where you come in.
While the principles of graphic design are too complex to get into here, you can check out our other blog post on the other advantages WordPress offers to designers. If you’re truly a novice, taking a paid course for WordPress development might not be a bad idea. That, or you can jump right in and attempt to teach yourself. There’s no better way to do that than to start building a site.
2. Freelance Web Design Portfolios: How to Make Yours Stand Out
A web design portfolio can show off your abilities and improve your design skills
Setting up an e-portfolio for web design serves more than one function for you as a web designer. Any other profession just needs an e-portfolio that showcases their previous work. But, as a web designer, your website IS your work! So yes, you’ll put together a site where potential clients can see your previous assignments, but the site itself will also be a testament to your skills. This is why it’s best to use a system like WordPress.
For other professions, a quick Wix site will serve the function of an e-portfolio fine. However, if you try to pull that as a web designer, clients might question your skills or dedication to your profession. If you can’t even put in the work to your own website, how can they expect you to do so for theirs? So long story short: learn WordPress, practice making custom themes, and brush up on user experience design and other principles of effective site design.
But what if you haven’t had any clients yet? How can you be expected to create a web design portfolio with no job experience? Again, it comes down to passion for the work. If you have an interest in web design, you probably already have some non-professional work to show. If not, then focus on your site’s branding and layout. Like you saw, your site can be a better testament to your skills than a traditional work portfolio. Either way, if you don’t have the dedication or the passion, you aren’t going to make it far as a freelancer.
3. Find the Best Freelance Web Hosting
WordPress web hosting is another key advantage of the system.
If you want to make any site, you need to make sure it’s reliable–and you can also bring that expertise and know-how to your clients. They’ll certainly appreciate that you understand site security, speed This goes doubly for someone who is trying to showcase their web design skills. The worst thing that could happen is for all of your hard work to be undercut by an outdated server, or become inaccessible due to consistent downtime. You want potential clients to see your work in the best possible environment it can be in.
This isn’t just a matter of your web design skills when creating a portfolio, it’s also a matter of the right technical support. This is where web hosting comes in. A web host is essentially in charge of all of the server-side responsibilities for your site. WP Super Host offers flexible plans and custom pricing options along with great support and reliable servers. This makes it a perfect choice for any freelancer on a budget. Just because you’re independent as a freelancer doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. So visit the WP Super Host pricing page today to see why it’s the best hosting option for you and for your potential clients.
4. How to Make Money with Freelance Web Design
Making money with freelancing takes time and dedication.
Although your driving force should be a love of the work, there is still a practical concern of how to get freelancing web design work. More importantly, you’re concerned with how to make good money with said work. Making money off of your passions is the dream for many people and freelancing allows you to do so. However, it will be slow-going at first. Even if you’ve put together a killer portfolio or brand site, you’ll need to put in the effort to get it out there. Make sure your site has the best SEO it can (WordPress plugins help immensely with this), share it around on social media, and even reach out to clients directly. We’ll cover that last tip more in the next section.
You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the paperwork involved with self-employment and freelancing. Namely, you’ll want to research some basic freelance contract templates and find the one which best suits your needs. When you’re just starting out, some freelance positions may have contracts written for you. You might have to take some jobs at someone else’s price point when you’re just starting out. As you establish your business, however, you’ll have more say in your own pricing. So stay flexible, but know your worth. You’ll also want to research local taxes and insurance policies regarding self-employment to save you time and money in the long-run.
5. Maximize Your Business: How to Get More Web Design Clients
Expanding your web design business is all dependent on getting more clients.
The last step for freelancing is how to start growing a freelance web design business. This means growing your brand over time. Ultimately it’s all about finding more clients. There is no one method for how to get more web design clients, but this is actually a good thing. This means that you can reach out and boost responses with multiple methods. Some of these methods can even be done by simply updating your site. Let’s take a look at each approach:
Form fields and contact pages
Most WordPress themes will integrate email form fields to your site by default. But these aren’t just for blogs or marketing campaigns, you can take advantage of them as well! You can use mailing lists to set up an initial line of communication between you and potential clients. In addition, you should also create a dedicated, easy-to-find contact page on your site. This way, interested clients can also reach out to you directly.
An extension of the mailing list form field, a landing page is a page that puts your email subscription field at the forefront. It’s meant to be the first thing that new visitors see and sets up a line of communication immediately. There are plenty of options for landing page builders on WordPress that will keep your clients coming back to your site.
Email and local outreach
Should you decide against a mailing list, you can also reach out to clients directly by email. This may require a bit more effort and less automation, but clients often appreciate this personal touch.
Plenty of local businesses are also in need of new sites or updates for their current ones. Many are even going without them! These are the best opportunities for you to take advantage of for building a portfolio and a list of clients. Local clients tend to be much more responsive, appreciative, and eager to work.
To Sum Up
Freelancing web design can be liberating and rewarding, so long as you’re willing to put in the work. Not only will your talents prevail as a truly marketable skill to clients, but you can also incorporate web design into your own projects. There’s a high demand, room to grow, and limitless possibilities. So keep building your skills, keep your portfolio looking great, and make sure you build a healthy network of clients. Your dream freelancing job is just a few steps away.