Wouldn’t we all like to give up our day jobs and become a freelancer? Working our own hours, charging our own prices and receiving all the profits for the projects we take on.
What designer wouldn’t want this?
Lets face it, becoming a freelancer is no walk in the park. It is actually very difficult to become a successful freelance web designer, but it is possible. It requires a lot of hard work and determination and a few other essentials..
Lets way out a couple of pros and cons of becoming a freelance web designer.
- You will most likely be working more hours than your full-time job
- You won’t always be making as much money as you would like to be
- Freedom!! Ah yes, the freedom of being a freelancer definitely has its perks, no more controlling bosses and managers telling you what to do and how to do it
- Money – absolutely no limit to how much money you can make. You can make $100 or $10,000, depends on how much work you put in and how much ambition you have
Reality is if you work hard and market your services like crazy then you can become a successful freelancer and start earning some serious income. Here are a few things I think you need in order to become a freelancer.
Web Development and Design Background
Surely to become a freelancer you need to have a web development and web design background. It sounds kind of obvious right? Yes it is very obvious, but you will be in shock at the amount of people who claim to be freelancers and frankly don’t have a clue.
Because of the simplicity that comes with building a WordPress website (I am not saying that this is a bad thing). Many people think that because they have made a WordPress website using a Quick Install, they are now expert web developers.
Don’t get me wrong, I think its great that people are trying to learn how to develop websites and WordPress makes it easy for them. However, I don’t like it when people claim their experts after they have made one WordPress website.
There will come a time when a customer will approach you to build something and it will not be within WordPress. If you take on the project and fail then you’re going to look bad. One upset client could potentially ruin your freelancing days, you could outsource the work, but then you lose money so whats the point in freelancing?
It all leads to a big problem, I would definitely suggest brushing up on your skills if you have only made one WordPress website.
If you have developed anything other than a WordPress website using QuickInstall then you have nothing to worry about.
Yes you need a portfolio, nothing is more important than showcasing your work. If you receive any inquiries there is no doubt that your clients will ask to see your recent work or your portfolio.
If you’re a designer, than you need to build a mind-blowing portfolio. You want the clients and the business, so work for it!
I am a new freelance web designer, I don’t have any clients for a portfolio yet!
Nobody said that your portfolio has to have previous clients. Yes, it would be great if they were old clients, but it’s easier said than done.
Make non-existent clients! Design a logo for a made up business, design a website for a company that doesn’t exist, and setup a live demo for one of your fake businesses. Your still showcasing your work by doing this, just be sure to tell the client that it’s a fake business and your just demonstrating what you can do.
A Web Presence.
Get your portfolio and freelancing website up and running right away. I would also recommend you starting your own blog to help build yourself an audience. Here is an article with 10 portfolio WordPress themes that might be a fit for you.
Yes you’re going to need clients and as many as you can get. There are many ways of attracting new customers to your business. Here is a brief list of ways and places to find clients.
- Social Media – Twitter, Facebook.
- Local businesses
- Local Phone book
- Search engines
- Local business shows and meetings
- Distributing flyers
- Handing out business cards
Manage Your Time
Once you have your web presence, portfolio and a few potential clients. You need to learn how to manage your time correctly. There is nothing worse than being unorganized and if you don’t manage your time correctly you will start to fall behind.
Yes it’s great that you are now working from home and you are able to spend more time with the family.
But I wouldn’t take advantage of it just yet, remember you have no job and you’re a full-time freelancer! If you want to earn the big bucks then you are going to have to put in the hours.
Don’t overwhelm yourself and take on too many projects. If you become extremely busy, outsource the work and take a cut from it. As long as your websites are on schedule and you set out enough time to market your business you can’t go wrong.
Thanks for reading!