Web design is a rapidly developing profession. Without a doubt, a good web designer should have excellent artistic taste and outstanding creativity. But this is not enough if you want to turn the hobby into a reliable source of income. If your goal is to become not just a designer but also an entrepreneur, you have to know how to promote businesses (including your own) and to become a skillful marketologist, who’s able to use different marketing techniques successfully.
Web designers have a distinct advantage in working in marketing sphere: most of them are already familiar with the concept of marketing brief and have worked on projects related to branding and Internet promotion.
However, when it comes to the brand development, it often turns out that designer cannot succeed independently even with the existing experience. While some designers can boost their own career without any serious efforts, the others require advices and tips in order to succeed. In this article I’m going to share the essentials you should know to success in web-design industry. Hope these advices will help you to start and boost your own business!
1. Demonstrate Your Skills With The Help Of A Portfolio
A well-thought portfolio is one of the best ways to promote a designer online. Try to fill it with your best works only and to arrange it nicely: your potential clients have to see your best designs first. Do not hurry: remember that a portfolio is really important for your career.
It is also important for your portfolio to be filled with different works. You have to present yourself as a designer, who’s not only good and experienced, but able to work in different styles and design fields too. Therefore, choose the projects that can demonstrate the whole spectrum of your abilities and differ in style and technique.
For example, if you publish works that are related solely to musicians and music industry, you are positioning yourself as a niche designer (even if it’s not your intent). It’s a good idea if you are experienced and well-acquainted with this niche, but if you are a novice, this could be quite risky. Novice designers have to avoid narrowing their specialization and should demonstrate all their skills and abilities instead.
2. Use Social Networks To The Fullest
This may seem obvious: if you want to promote yourself in the modern world, you have to use social networks, both popular and narrowly-focused like these. But many web designers actually have no idea about how to promote and present themselves correctly. Yes, this can be quite challenging, but you still have to try.
- Be active in as many social medias as possible (of course this doesn’t mean that you have to spend all your time there: this would harm your career rather than improve it).
- Add users who send you friend requests, not just leave them as your subscribers (in this case you may lose them). You have to value every contact as long as you’re not very popular.
- Don’t be intrusive in presenting and promoting your services, and don’t lose the connection with your potential customers. You have to be fairly quiet and persistent at the same time,
3. Attach Feedback And Show Recommendations
Collect all feedback and recommendations that clients give you and publish them in a special section on your website or in online portfolio, along with links and screenshots of a project you’ve made for a certain client. It is important to demonstrate honest reviews to potential clients as they can greatly increase your credibility. Remember that your feedback is very valuable: most clients look at it while considering you as a potential performer.
4. Write Posts For Popular Designer Blogs
There are thousands of people online, who would like to become web designers. If you are an experienced designer, who’s willing to share his knowledge with the others, do so! Share your experience by writing informative posts for the most credible niche resources (of course you have to write to them first and ask whether it is possible or not). Believe me, it’s one of the best ways to promote yourself and to demonstrate your competence both to other designers and to potential clients. Posts published in respected web sources boost your reputation and improve your website’s position in SERPs.
5. Work With Respected Company Or Client For Free
It can be hard for beginners to get their first clients: to do so, one has to have a notable portfolio filled with interesting projects. Don’t be afraid to work for free to create such portfolio: this can benefit you in the future.
Work with well-known companies or clients will give you valuable experience and will allow to fill your portfolio with high quality projects and to receive recommendations. Moreover, this experience will be highly valued by your potential clients.
6. Participate In Offline Events (Especially If You’re A Freelancer)
Try to attend conferences, workshops, meetings and other professional get-togethers, where you can meet different people. Do not forget to take your business cards with you.
7. Take Care Of Your Clients
If you want your client to recommend you to his friends, colleagues and relatives, then you have to put all your soul into his project. Be polite to your client and help him to solve all the problems regarding the project even after it’s finished. A bit of informal conversation won’t hurt as well: give useful advices, share information about client’s business in your social media, etc. Demonstrate that you care about your clients: this will definitely benefit you.
8. Constantly Search For Clients
Even if you promote yourself successfully and have enough clients at the moment, don’t stop searching for new ones. Offer your services to web-developers, branding or PR agencies, etc. If you cooperate with them, you’ll be able to receive a lot of new interesting projects (and gain confidence in your future, of course).
Brian's Bio: Brian Jens is a designer with strong writing skills and passion for research. He never stops investigating the most interesting and controversial design areas, and provides the readers with valuable information about design trends and tips. Feel free to share your ideas and thoughts with Brian if you want him to write something for you.