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Web Designers Success Guide

Web Designers Success Guide

     After doing a little market research, it became very apparent that there were no ebooks that really taught people the ins-and-outs of running a successful freelance Web design business. Yes, there are other small-business books that try to cover everything from creating a business plan to do- ing your taxes, but these are rarely industry specific. They are nifty if you want to be a jack-of- all-trades and master of none. This book is aimed specifically at creative individuals, and it will teach you how to maximize your creative talent in order to make money. Nonetheless, there are some books that offer valuable insights on how to run the accounting and legal side of your new business venture. I list a few I highly recommend at the end of this book To keep you focused and on task, I decided it was better if we did not cover those subjects in depth.

     By acquiring a list of clients and potential clients before you go freelance full-time, you can achieve the following:

  • Build your project management and creative management skills. 
  • Give yourself the confidence and experience necessary to be successful. 
  • Build a network of client connections. 
  • Decide if you can handle the headaches of freelancing full-time. 
  • Learn how to better manage your finances. 

     One of the most important parts of your advertising arsenal is your Web site. Your Web site is the place where you display your product to potential customers. Your product is design and interactive media, and it is important that these potential customers can view a wide range of projects. Often interactive designers will post what they feel is their best work to their Web site. While this is a good idea, I have learned that it is better to have a wide range of styles and types of projects posted online. Even if some of the work is not your best, it is better to post projects that represent a wide range of work. For instance, I have work posted in my portfolio from when I helped design the 1999 refresh of the Chevrolet.com Web site. The designs look old and dated, but the brand name recognition helps build my credibility with new clients. As designers we are often very critical of our own work. I have been pleasantly surprised by how much a new client likes a past project of mine that I consider old and inferior to my more modern work.

     When you design your freelance Web site you need to think about your target audience. Every designer has their own style and market niche. You need to decide if you want to do work for any or all of the following: advertis- ing agencies, B2B organizations, B2C organi- zations, non-profits and mom-and-pop shops. It is a good idea to do a little research before you begin sketching out the design. Try to learn about what your target audience looks for when they select a freelance Web site designer. In the case of my site, Airgid.com, I have gone through many iterations over the years. One of those iterations consisted of a heavy Flash interface that infused aliens and robots throughout the Web site. The theme was a 1950’s horror movie.

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