Whether you’ve just graduated with your bachelors degree, or you’ve been working in the design industry for several years, and you’ve just decided to become self-employed, suddenly being plunged into the freelance world can seem overwhelming.
If you’re not sure where to start, then read on - we’ve got some great tips to help you get the ball rolling with your web design business.
The key to any successful business is to be organized; from deadlines and client details to working on the content for your own website, planning ahead is paramount. You can start with good, old-fashioned paper planners, but ultimately, going digital will give better results; Asana is a great tool for setting daily, weekly and monthly tasks, and also includes the option to store and sort client details, while Todoist manages tasks via a plugin installed into your web browser - handily, it also integrates with Gmail and Outlook. If you’re working for several different clients, Memory AI is the solution to tracking your time - so you can stop worrying about logging hours and concentrate on your beautiful design work.
Set Regular Working Hours
Any freelancer will know the temptation of skipping lunch, working during dinner, or never really logging off - working from home means you can easily end up always ‘on’, and this is definitely something you need to avoid; not scheduling proper breaks or keeping up a good work-life balance can result in stress and burnout - which are no good for your business! Try to set regular business hours, and stick to them - and avoid arranging work calls over lunchtimes to make sure you take a proper break. Also, make the bedroom a technology-free zone so you’re not replying to emails when you should be sleeping!
Think About Business Costs
If you’re working from home, you’re ultimately going to see a rise in your energy usage and costs, particularly during the winter and any cold spells. This can eat away at your business profits, so it’s worth investigating how you can reduce your spending; one way to do this is to look into what expenses you can claim back on the amount of tax you owe - energy, water, and internet are all often deductible expenses, so make sure you check before you file your first tax return. Another good way to reduce energy costs is to find out whether you’re eligible for a business electricity account, and then compare business electricity and domestic electricity rates - you could end up far better off.
Utilize Social Media
Without a steady stream of clients, your web design business is never going to survive - and the best way to reach new customers is obviously via the internet. Setting up and maintaining a social media presence is the best way to reach as many people as possible in one go; Twitter and Facebook are great for chatting and posting business updates, while Instagram and Pinterest are absolutely vital for web-designers, as they’re the most visual of all social media platforms. Make sure you do your research and optimize your content though, use hashtags to further your reach and investigate into optimal posting times to make sure your audience gets to see your brilliant content.
Make The Most Of Your Portfolio
If you’re a web designer, your portfolio needs to be the absolute best it can be; you can have a huge social media presence, but followers will never translate into clients if they can’t see examples of your brilliant work. Your portfolio is your chance to show what you can do; so make sure you think about brand colors and themes, show off extra skills such as video and image editing, coding tricks and animations, and make sure you upload a record of all your previous work - if you can add testimonials from satisfied clients, then even better.