How to Start Your Freelance Web Design Business

The best way to start a web design business is to write a business plan. The actionable plan should focus on service, skill development and marketing.
An actionable plan should guide your present and future endeavors. Web design business is very lucrative and competitive.
To succeed you need regular clients and a good marketing strategy. You need to build a brand name, apply proper pricing and use tracking tools. Proper time management is crucial to the success or failure of the enterprise.
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Steps to Starting a Freelance Web Design Business
1. Write a business plan
2. Calculate startup costs
3. Branding
4. Build a Portfolio website
5. Create a Routine
6. Network
7. Get Social
8. Pricing
9. Use Tools
10. Marketing
Challenges
Despite the juicy aspects of freelancing there are also many challenges. A freelancer works a thin line between work and home life. You need to earn irregular pay and apply serious marketing to get clients. The business is very competitive and trends change overnight.
  • thin line between work and home life
  • irregular pay
  • serious marketing to get clients
  • business is very competitive
  • fast changing trends
web design
Starting a Freelance Web Design Business
Write a Business Plan
A business plan describes your business future. The document would highlight your strategy, resources and abilities.
The plan offers an insight on present and future goals including growth. The plan provides different set of resources including increased assets and greater profitability.
Startup Cost
The first thing to do is to calculate your startup cost. Costs include equipment such as laptop, modem, office space and furniture. Others are utility bills, rent and marketing.
You need stationeries, software, scanner, phone line and a laser jet printer. Other considerations are personal liability insurance and tax issues. To save costs on rent you could work from home and create a dedicated workspace.
Branding
Freelance work is very competitive so you need to establish your brand. The brand name could be an agency or an individual.
Branding as an individual puts a face to the brand. The client can easily relate to the person and follow his antecedents.
Registering a business name is also an effective branding strategy. The client identifies with the name and offers the freelance an avenue for growth and expansion. The perception of your brand name is a very important in web design business.
Build a Portfolio Website
A web designer without a website is like a sailor without a boat. The website should showcase your skill to prospective clients. Prospective clients want a visual representation of your skill.
A website is the perfect opportunity and great marketing tool. You can use the site to create a portfolio of your work by adding websites images and URL.
Include recommendations, customer reviews and prices. If you don’t have any websites offer to build a few for charity organizations or people in your locality. This will help increase your inventory and portfolio.
Why Build a Portfolio Website
  • showcase your skill to prospective clients
  • visual representation of your skill
  • great marketing tool
  • adding websites images
  • add recommendations and customer reviews
  • add prices
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Create a Routine
As a freelancer you need to build a routine. You could specify working periods from 5AM to 4 PM.
The daily routine would put your job into perspective and you become more productive.  You could decide to work only night if you are so inclined.
Building a regular routine is what separates the successful freelancer from others. Time management is very important in freelancing including proper tracking
Network
Freelancers build formidable network of professionals in related fields. They work in tight communities and offer a good support system.
You need to join and find such communities to make your job easier. They offer advice on changing trends, new software and troubleshooting answers.
There are many learning sites to help improve your skill. They provide a wealth of information on web designs, templates and job opportunities.
  • They offer a good support system
  • Makes your job easier
  • They offer advice
  • Follow changing trends
  • New software
  • Troubleshooting answers
  • Help improve your skill
  • They provide a wealth of information
  • Find new  templates
  • Job opportunities.
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Get Social
It is important you have a social presence. Social platforms build relationships between professionals and clients.
It is also an effective marketing tool or informal job board. Top social sites to consider are twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Linkedin is a good place to establish your brand and showcase your professional qualifications.
Pricing
The amount you charge your clients is very important. Make sure the price is competitive and reasonable.
You need to fashion a price framework by establishing your fixed and working capital. The question is what it takes to create websites.
You need to figure out a pricing system based on your client’s requirements. Other parameters to consider is duration of the project, utility bills, software and host plan. Another pricing strategy is to work according to talent and skill.
Tools
Web designers rely on many tools to effectively deliver quality work. The tools are used to track time, send invoices, and integrate bank accounts or online financial management.
Others are used for project management and task management. Web designers need powerful pro themes and web templates for proper SEO and responsive themes.
Marketing
To reach clients you need to device a few marketing tactics. Advertise in newspapers, web magazines and use Adwords.
Other strategies include social media advertisement and classified ads. List your portfolio site on directories and yellow pages. Use freelance sites like fiverr to showcase your work.

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