One of the first things that a freelance web designer learns from his career is that it doesn’t matter how good you are if nobody knows about it. You could be Einstein of the web design world, if nobody’s ever heard of you, you are going to have a hard time finding clients.
Therefore as well as getting your head around the latest web design tools, theories and best practices, you are going to have to learn how to promote yourself. The good news is that effectively promoting oneself as a freelance web designer isn’t all that difficult. Here are a few simple tips for getting your name out there.
Set Up An Online Portfolio
If you don’t already have an online portfolio, stop reading right now and set one up. Considering the nature of the service that they provide, it always amazes me how many freelance web designers don’t have their own online space. Most clients will want to see examples of your work before they hire you and an email containing a few links to past accomplishments simply isn’t going to cut it.
Blog About What You Do
Although a blog is not a necessity, a successful web design blog can do wonders for your career. Here are three reasons why a blog that includes your portfolio is superior to an online portfolio alone.
- Unlike an online portfolio, a regularly updated blog can get a lot of traffic. And as those visiting a web design blog are obviously interested in web design, some of them can be turned into clients.
- A web design blog illustrates that you are both knowledgeable and passionate about your field.
- If your blog is successful, you can look forward to an additional income stream.
Regardless of who you are talking to or how you are talking to them, if it’s online, everything you say should be followed by a link to your portfolio or blog. You never know where your next client will come from, you should therefore include a promotional signature at the end of all of your emails, blog comments and forum posts.
Business cards are essential when it comes to just about any type of freelancing and web design is no exception. Due to the nature of the service that you provide however, you need to make sure that the business cards that you are handing out are somewhat special. Nobody is going to hire a freelance web designer that hands out business cards with ugly designs.
Keep in Contact With Fellow Web Designers
Many web designers view others in their field as competition. While this is obviously true, it doesn’t mean that they cannot help you. If you have been a web designer for some time, you are likely to have turned down your fair share of projects. Perhaps you were too busy, or you simply didn’t like the specific project. When turning down a project, it’s incredibly simple to recommend somebody else for the job. And the more friends you have in the field, the more recommendations you are going to get.
Put Your Name on It
One of the easiest ways of getting potential clients to find you rather than vice versa is to include a link to your online space at the bottom of any site that you design. While some clients won’t allow you to do so and some sites receive such little traffic that it doesn’t matter either way, if you can get your name at the bottom of the right site, you can expect to receive quite a lot of new business.
Look Outside of the Box
Finally, many web designers focus their search for clients entirely online. While doing so does make sense considering the nature of the service, finding offline clients and bringing them into the twenty first century can be incredibly lucrative. It’s therefore well worth expanding your search for clients to include those that are currently offline.
Patrick works with YarraWeb, a leading web design and development company. He enjoys writing tips to help freelance web developers and designers make more money from their work. He has also written many articles to help web designers improve their designs.