Are you tempted to work for yourself? You could be interested in becoming a web designer. It is an attractive option if you are thinking about starting out with a full or part-time career. It is difficult to build a worthwhile income with so much competition.
Many people are tempted to go straight into a new career working for themselves. Getting the right information early in the process can save you money and time. It can increase your chances of success
Why become a freelance web designer?
A passion for design is a key reason for many people. There are no real obstacles to entry. You don’t really need a computer or internet connection.
If you have design experience or qualifications, it is possible to switch to a self-employed career. It means you can be more flexible with your work hours, and you can use the tools and software you want.
It is a great option for anyone who wants to try out a side-hustle, or for someone who wants to supplement their income with a side-hustle.
The potential to choose your work and clients is the biggest reason. You might want to focus on one area of web design. If you can build a reputation as the expert for that particular topic, this can be an advantage over other people.
Delivery of a website can include graphic design, user experience, interface design, search engine optimisation, content creation and more. If you are a designer who also loves to write, code, or any other interest, then you can combine it in your business.
You have the ability to turn down clients which aren’t suitable for any reason. Being able to say no to work is a big part of being a boss.
What skills and equipment will help?
There are certain skills that you can use to get the best results from your work. It is important to work on your business plan even if you love design.
The better chance you have of delivering a successful project is if you can get a good understanding of what clients want, and then get everyone on the same page.
Understanding or talent for project management is also important. You will probably be working with a developer to make your vision a reality. It can lead to costly revisions, as well as costing you time and money, if you don’t meet the smallest requirements.
Training and qualifications can be useful cowlick studios web design, but your skills and portfolio are more important. If you want to tap into current demands, you need to look at courses and skills based on current trends.
Investing in a comfortable home office can make you more productive. For your clients, your knowledge of common design software is important. If you have a tight budget, free options such as Gimp can provide the same features. Make sure you share your work in a way that clients can easily access.
You should have a basic understanding of the most popular website software, along with knowledge of current design trends. You might not be coding the site yourself, but you will know what a developer can achieve with a variety of frameworks.
How much do freelance web designers earn?
You can make a lot of money from web design. The rates for an experienced designer with in-demand skills will be much higher than anyone else.
According to Glassdoor, an average UK salary for a web designer is around $285,000. It is possible to earn more or less depending on the rates you set and the way you charge. There is a guide on how to set your rates.
Your business plan should include your business and personal expenses, how many hours you can offer, and how much you need to charge to make a profit. Not all of your working week will be charged to clients because you need time for business administration, finding clients, staying up with design trends, and possibly training.
Supplemental income may be possible by offering your own training courses, design resources, or website themes and templates. Once sales start to take off, you can offer a passive income with your clients.
You will be responsible for chasing late payments and setting payment terms. Many designers will insist on a partial deposit before starting work, and then bill the rest on agreed project milestones or upon completion.
How to start as a freelance web designer?
There is no guarantee of becoming a successful web designer. Many people have been able to build great careers despite not listening to good advice. Most creatives agree that a portfolio should be built as soon as possible.
If you are just starting out, you may not be able to share work with any previous employer. You can create a varied portfolio by using templates and themes. These can be shared on your website.
Veteran flautists suggest that you shouldn’t give client work for free to get experience. The concern is that it undervalues your efforts, and web design as an industry, as well as potentially taking a paid project out of the market One option is to offer your services to a non-commercial organisation, such as a small charity, which would not have the resources to hire a more experienced designer.
If you offer free or cut-price work to friends, family, or anyone else, make sure you treat it as a fully paid project. Clear briefs, contracts, payment terms, deliverables and deadlines are more important to prevent disagreements with parents and relatives as unlike clients, you will definitely be stuck with them long after the project has been completed.
Finding new design clients as a freelancer?
There are some web designers who are lucky enough to have a portfolio. Most will need to do some work to find new clients.
Sharing your work on design networks is a good way to begin. Don’t forget to use more traditional methods to find work. Local business events can be useful in finding clients and partners. If you want to specialize in a particular area, why not research websites which need issues fixed or a redesign, and contact the relevant company.
Social networks can be used to make contacts within the industry and show you to new clients, as well as potentially showing you to new clients. If you want to join relevant groups, you should start with our own Facebook group.
More options will become available as you accumulate more knowledge. Writing articles about design for your own website or guest posts for other publications are possible. To get more name recognition, you can volunteer to be interviewed on podcasts or videos.
The process for new clients is one of the things that is overlooked by many. It is important to turn initial interest into an agreed project. It will save you time and money if you have a clear process for getting good clients.
Important legal documents for freelance web designers
Legal agreements are an important part of a freelancer’s job. You can get templates and resources through IPSE.
- The contract gives clear guidance and protection to both parties by giving a concise definition of the project, tasks and responsibilities involved, payment, copyright, and what happens if the work is canceled or terminated early.
These give clear guidance and protection to both parties by giving a concise definition of the project, tasks and responsibilities involved, payment, copyright, and what happens if the work is terminated early. It is useful to have a more in-depth document outlining your practices. It helps future clients know what they can expect.
A more in-depth document outlining your practices can be useful. It helps future clients know what they can expect. It is important for creatives to have a Copyright Agreement in order to ensure that their work is not stolen, miscredited, or re-used outside of the original agreement without further discussion or payment. If you are working with overseas clients, it is a good idea to get specialist advice.
Useful resources for freelance web designers
- The site is filled with advice on all aspects of starting a career in the business of making money, as well as resources, tools and practical benefits for members. A range of guides, including getting work and being paid, are included.
- IPSE is the UK’s only association dedicated to the self-employed.
- We have a group on Facebook to network with other self-employed people.
- Sharing your work can be done through the networks Dribbble and Behance.
Are you researching other jobs? We have other guides.
If you are starting out with self-employment or still in the early stages of building your career, you can get help with the IPSE Incubator. The 12-month programme is currently free with IPSE membership, and includes advice, events, webinars, networking and more.