How to Become a Freelance Web Designer
Posted August 26th 2020
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A Starter’s Guide for Freelance Web Designers
The world of freelance web design and development is an attractive one. A freelance web designer can be their own boss, choose their own hours, and work from anywhere. Success, ultimately, comes down to you. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit can have a very rewarding and lucrative freelance career. Digital professionals with the necessary skills to make a living as a freelance web designer or developer can lead very fulfilling, exciting lives. Once you build a stellar reputation and portfolio, you can choose to work on the projects that interest you. More importantly, you can choose the clients you want to work with. Yes, being a freelance web designer in the modern age can be thrilling, fruitful, and immensely worthwhile. However, it is not easy.
Mastering the Art/Science of Web Design
First of all, web design is not an easy skill to develop. Not everyone is cut out to be a freelance web designer or developer. You must have extensive creative skills, aptitude in a wide variety of digital programs, and technical abilities as well. Furthermore, you must understand the fundamentals of design theory, graphic and logo design, and certain programming languages. Additionally, you will want to learn WordPress inside and out for building functional, attractive websites. You may then finally be ready. Here are a few fundamental abilities you will want to develop in order to even think about becoming a freelance web designer:
- Design Theory
- Visual Design and Composition
- Graphic and Logo Design
- Design Software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign
- Website Development and Management Software like WordPress
- UX (User Experience)
- UI (User Interface)
- Digital Marketing and Social Media
- Keyword-Targeted Copywriting
As if this extensive list of skills doesn’t already make your head spin, these are just the fundamentals. At the same time, if you have prowess and proficiency in all these creative fields, you may be ready to make the lead to freelance web design and development work. However, sometimes even mastery of all these skills is not enough to be a successful web designer. Beyond the creative and technical sides of web development, you will need to shore up your business expertise before you begin to earn clients and turn a profit.
Sharpening Your Business Skills
If you are already an excellent web designer, you have a great head start in this endeavor. You will likely have an excellent portfolio of work to show prospective clients. You may even have written recommendations from former clients and supervisors. However, if you do not have the research or experienced needed to navigate the treacherous world of freelancing, you may be dead in the water.
To take the jump into the world of freelancing, you should be adept in client relations, have a sharp business acumen, and an unrelenting work ethic. While you can work from anywhere, being productive enough to make a living as a freelance web designer requires diligence. While you can be your own boss, it is up to you to go out and earn clients. You can choose your clients, schedule, and workload, you need to know precisely how to conduct your professional life like an independent business.
You will want to do your research, develop a business plan, and master the art of personal branding. Some specific skills you should develop on the business side of freelance web design include:
- Upfront Costs, including Domain and Hosting Services for Your Website
- Subscriptions to Stock Photo Services and Design Programs
- Business Planning
- Associated Taxes
- Legal Contracts for Independent Client Work
- Time and Task Management
- Personal and Professional Branding
- Client Relations and Communication
- Freelance Network Websites
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