If you are the very beginner in websites design, this post will help you make first successful steps towards clients. There is no magic – just simple actions to follow (don’t tell me you can’t or you’re too busy).
These hints are for you if:
- You’ve just graduated from the collage with a diploma in computer science. Yeah, there are a lot of talks about youth employment, but in practice people are concerned about trusting their websites to yesterday’s students.
- You’re just a beginner. You have a lack of experience, no or a few testimonials from previous clients, no portfolio.
- You are too shy to address potential customers. Think twice on it – perhaps, you just don’t know how to do it right.
- You are an accomplished designer/developer and want to spice up your routine.
You know, even the biggest companies and the coolest artists can be in search of new customers and partners. For sure they have more opportunities than an average freelancer, but keep your chin up – your troubles will soon be over. After reading this article you’ll be able to solve them in no time.
Now let’s determine what should you do to get web design clients.
Don’t Promise More Than You Can Do
Let’s be honest, perfect designs are not something you can boast with at the moment. However, it’s a temporary fact. Very soon the situation will be changed for your benefits. You know, one of the coolest business and leadership lecturers of all times – Dale Carnegie – said “If you have a lemon, make a lemonade.” .So if a lack of experience is your disadvantage, impart some sense of positivity and it will help you make good deals.
Don’t say that there is nothing to do with your pure web designing experience! Stand still or sit comfortable in front of a potential client, take a breath (you can even close your eyes before you proceed) and frankly confess to a customer that you are a beginner web developer. Trust me, it’s a simple and sure way to improve the situation.
People (especially businessmen) feel when somebody lies to them. So if you are caught in a lie in the early beginning you will never get this client. It means when you are a beginner don’t even try to play a black hat.
It seems that a small exaggeration of your skills is not a lie. Don’t flatter yourself with this illusion! First business meeting is like a first date. You like the potential customer and want to get him at any cost. You will promise the moon to get a signed contract! But what will you do if you can’t satisfy the customer’s requirements? Would you like to get his money back? I don’t think so.
Think twice before promising to create the coolest website ever! Your desire to be hired can hurt you.
Don’t Seek Money
When you are a beginner you shouldn’t worry about money even if you need them a lot. On this stage your best reward is the website that you’ll be able to add to your portfolio. Do your best to make your first portfolio item look good.
Have you seen “The Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith? If somehow you’ve missed it drop everything and find this movie. It’s a fantastic motivational film for all the beginners and those who want to change their lives for better! The main character of the movie wants to become a broker, but he has no money and no knowledge to make the dream come true. Frankly speaking, he has nothing at all except a little son who he needs to take care about. Bad situation, yeah? It’s not a fairy tail about the American dream – the movie is based on reality, so after watching it you won’t complain and you’ll find hundreds of ways to become a pro.
And also when you permit yourself to work for free a lot of doors will be opened in front of you. Thus you can create a website for your friend or neighbor. You’ll be surprised to see how many people need a website. Perhaps they haven’t even thought about having a personal or business site earlier, but they will appreciate and accept the opportunity you give them.
Don’t Be Shy
If you considered to be a good web designer, there is no place for doubts in your soul. Get involved with local businessmen – you can communicate with them in person that is always better than bare emails.
If you don’t know how to find a business to deal with you can start with going to offices in your neighborhood and leaving your business cards (don’t forget to design them well). Perhaps it won’t bring you clients immediately, but a lot of people will see your business cards and remember your name in case of a need in future. This method is also good because you don’t have to be an expert to order business cards and to distribute them – it’s just the way you want potential clients see you.
Don’t be afraid to show examples of your works to people. Start with your friends – they like you and won’t criticize you too much (if you are afraid of this). After a few attempts you’ll be eager to share your works wider. There are a lot of freelance communities and portfolio galleries where young talented people can communicate, showcase their works and find clients. These platforms have a huge community of job seekers and those who have tasks to be done. There are just some of them:
Exceed the Expectations
Sometimes it seems that almost all people know how you should act and what to expect from you. And you know, it’s great, because it becomes easier to surprise them and to make them say “Wow!”.
Are you hacked?
When you deal with a client you discuss the future project in details. And when the work on the project is coming to its end both parties clients and designers approximately know what they will get and perform. There is no need to say that a contractor must meet customers’ expectations, but it’s also important to surpass them. You can provide a free site maintenance, present an unexpected additional Facebook fan page design or business cards design. If you don’t want to do extra job you can make a website be completed before the deadline. Choose something that will emphasis you in client’s eyes among other professionals. Build long-lasting relationships with all the clients – it is the guarantee of success!
Don’t Be Lazy
If you’re going to become a web designer you should be ready to learn all the time. There will be no end to learning. You will learn from your clients and from your competitors and from the web and even from your children as well. You never know which of these knowledge sources is the crucial one. All of them are important, especially when you are the very beginner.
Earlier in this post we talked about an unpaid work, so let me bring it up once again.
There are a lot of celebrities and public influences. More likely they already have a website. But they have never seen your works. So why not to use this situation to your good? Read about the personality whose heart you are going to win. Come to know his/her style. After that you just need to create a website for and about him/her and to send its link with FTP details and all source files to the celebrity. Yes, it means you have to give up the website for free. But in case he/she appreciates your work you’ll be given a fantastic push in business circles. Authoritative people will talk about you and some of them may want to deal with you. By the way if the website you worked on is accepted you’ll be able to proudly add it to your portfolio as a starry project.
As long as you set up a web design business it requires constant attention, strong time management skills and the feeling of optimism. Don’t put yourself into sadness if something goes wrong – it’s just another opportunity to learn new things and to grow! All skills and knowledge will come from your experience. Nobody was born a super-duper designer, they turned themselves into ones!