Most freelance designers are experienced and talented with their trade, but not so much when it comes to financial issues. In this post I’d like to share some things that I have learned through my own experience of being self employed that I think will be able to help others. I am in no way a financial professional and you should always seek the advice of someone qualified on the specifics of your own situation, but these are some general things that have helped me along the way.
1. Have Emergency Savings
If you haven’t started full-time freelancing yet, the best thing you can do for yourself financially is to build up an emergency fund that will allow you to pay all of your bills for at least a few months. Hopefully you won’t need this money, but if things don’t go as expected at least it will be there for you and you won’t have to go scrambling back to a job as soon as things slow down.
If you are already freelancing full-time with no emergency savings, it’s not too late to address the issue. This money will help to reduce the stress that you may be feeling to earn enough each month.
Web designers obviously have a lot of competition from all of the freelancers and design agencies that are out there. Potential clients have plenty of designers to choose from, so there is always a need to focus on doing the best work that you can and giving clients a highly-valuable service. Designers who take great care of their clients and get results for them are usually busy and not lacking for work. Their clients will keep coming back to them and word-of-mouth referrals will be common.
In this article we’ll take a look at a number of things that designers can focus on with the intent of giving their clients a more valuable service. If you want to have more projects and clients coming your way or increase your income, these are some areas that you can address.
1. Focus on Results
In order to make your services more valuable to your clients, the best thing to do is focus on getting results for them. Clients will be happy to pay for services that help to make their business more profitable. Results are ultimately more important to a client project than the aesthetics. Take the time to get you know your clients and their customers, and focus on creating a website that will work for them and meet their needs.
There are a lot of factors that play a role in determining the success of a freelance web designer. Obviously, design ability and technical skills are needed, but other factors like customer service, marketing, networking, and work ethic will have a significant influence. In this article we’ll take a look at customer service as it applies to freelance designers.
Providing high-quality customer service can at times be frustrating for freelancers, but taking good care of your clients is critical for client retention and for encouraging word-of-mouth referrals. Here we will look at 10 aspects that should be considered by freelancers who aspire to provide a high level of customer service.
One of the most significant challenges that designers face is the need for continual improvement and development. The industry and technology can change very quickly and staying on top of things and working to improve your skills is necessary in order to have a successful career in web design. Fortunately, learning and improving will naturally occur to some degree as you continue to work on different projects and in different scenarios, but there will be times when you will have to make an effort to work on your own development.
In this post we’ll look at 10 keys to growth as a designer. This list and discussion should serve as a reference or guide for any designer that wants to improve. Focus on these areas and you will become a better designer. Please share your own thoughts and experiences in the comments.
1. Solid Foundation of Knowledge
There are plenty of different things for aspiring and improving designers to learn, and more than enough resources and tutorials to make it happen. One of the temptations is to jump ahead and try to learn too many specifics before having a firm grasp on the essential fundamentals of web design. Some tools, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, can lead designers to think that they don’t need to be proficient in HTML and CSS. However, having a solid knowledge of HTML and CSS, plus basic design principles, is necessary and trying to learn too many other things at once can lead to confusion. If you have not already reached this point, make it a priority to attain the foundational knowledge first before you try to build on it.