More individuals and businesses are launching websites and web design is increasingly in demand. As a result, it is becoming a more popular career choice for people who see there is potential to provide great services and enjoy lucrative earnings. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve started your own business or are simply freelancing. If you can’t advertise your services, the potentially lucrative earnings are sure to find their way into someone else’s pocket.
What do you need to do to get it right?
Make Your Own Site Great
Ever heard the joke about the web designer who tried to make a living even though his or her own website looked awful? Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? The reality is that it happens more than you probably think. If your own website doesn’t look like an identikit of the latest web design trends, then you won’t have any credibility as a designer yourself. Obviously, what the site itself looks like is up to you, but you should be aiming for something inspirational that represents what you’re able to create for your clients.
Using Online Advertising
You have a range of options available for advertising your services online.
Freelancer or Collaboration Sites
If you’re looking to get started quickly and have exposure to an audience seeking your services, then using sites like Elance or Blur is likely to prove useful; all you need to do here is set up your profile, direct people to your site or portfolio, and start pitching for projects.
Paid Advertising Avenues
SEO and PPC advertising can be a great way to increase awareness of your business, although you might need to consider the likely numbers of designers already using these techniques. As a designer, you’ll likely have some top-line SEO knowledge yourself, so can always harness that towards putting your own campaign together.
It might also be beneficial putting together a local SEO campaign; even though most design work is done through online collaboration, people still prefer meeting face to face where possible, and being available to meet people will make you a much more attractive proposition.
This is likely to be your biggest opportunity, but again you’ll need to come up with a strong strategy to cut through the noise created by the thousands of designers and companies already out there, and make yourself stand out.
Offline Advertising Opportunities
There isn’t any real value in using offline advertising given the cost and return on investment you get in comparison to online advertising. What you can do, however, is approach small local businesses yourself and offer design and development services, and also make a point of attending web design expos and other networking events where you’ll be able to make connections, gain custom, and potentially build some mutually beneficial relationships.
One final step is to have a referral program that rewards a percentage payment or fee reduction for each new client an existing one introduces to you. All you need to do is ensure that the financial side of things is sustainable in this regard, and that you’ll continue to be profitable even through periods where all of your business is from referrals.