There is a lot that goes into the process of designing and developing a website successfully for a client. In order for the project to be truly successful, it must accomplish much more than simply an attractive design. In this article we’ll take a look at 7 keys that must be present for the designer and client to create a site that achieves the desired results for the business.
1. A Realistic Timeline
Designing and developing an effective website takes time. Most designers understand this, but some clients assume that the process can easily be done faster without considering the impact.
It’s not uncommon for a designer to be contacted by a potential client who has an unrealistic deadline. At this time the designer can either make promises that they may not be able to live up to in order to land the job, or the designer can explain to the client why the deadline is unrealistic, what steps will be rushed with this deadline, and what the consequences may be. In many cases the client will be more flexible with their projected time frame if they understand the long-term ramifications of rushing through the project.
If you’re a web designer, chances are you are familiar with ThemeForest. For those who have not visited ThemeForest before, it is a theme and template marketplace owned by Envato that allows designers to sell their work to a very large audience of potential buyers. Designers can submit their themes and templates to be approved into the marketplace, and once approved the designer will earn between 40% – 70% of sales if the items are available exclusively at ThemeForest. The designers then do not have to deal with transactions, and any additional marketing is optional.
When starting a freelance design business the natural primary concern is how to find clients and to start getting paying work. While this is necessary in order to achieve success as a freelancer, there are a lot of other details that need to be considered as well. How quickly you’re able to get those first paying clients will actually have less impact on your long-term success than the amount of time and attention you dedicate to setting up your business on a proper foundation.
In this post we’ll look at the early stages of a freelance design business and what aspects can have a significant long-term impact. Focusing on these important issues from the start will help you to save time and headaches down the road, and your business will be more solid because of it.
1. Know Your Goals and Priorities
Not every freelance designer wants the same thing out of their career. Some may want to simply do a little part-time freelancing as a creative outlet that gives them time away from their full-time career. Some may want to use a short stint as a freelancer to build up their portfolio and profile in order to help land a job with a design agency or as an in-house designer. Others may want to freelance full-time for the foreseeable future, maybe even with the possibility of expanding and hiring some employees at a later date.
The goals that you have will impact how you go about marketing your business, and even how you set it up. If your goal is to use freelancing as a gateway to full-time employment, the long-term aspect is probably not a major concern. For the purposes of this article we’ll be focusing on those who want to establish a career as a freelancer and those who want to eventually transition from freelancing into an agency by hiring others.
One example of how your goals and priorities would impact your approach is in regards to your name. If you’re attempting to build your profile within the industry you’ll most likely want to operate simply using your own name, as this will help to build name recognition and to brand yourself as a leading designer. However, if you’re hoping to hire other designers down the road or even sell your business at some point, you’ll probably want to operate under a business name. Any work you do to brand your business or build up a reputation will have a greater impact on the long-term health of your business this way.
Providing quality service and retaining clients is critical to the success of any freelancer or design agency. In this post we’ll look at ten common causes for clients leaving designers. The intent is to provide some clear examples of things that should be avoided if you want to keep your clients happy.
1. Don’t Provide Quality Work
Clients will always have a certain expectation in terms of quality of work. It might seem that these expectations will correspond to their budget (high budget = high quality, low budget = low quality), but this is not always the case. Failing to live up to the quality expectations of a client can lead to a lack of repeat business, no referral business, and even the loss of a client before a project is completed.