So, being a human being living in a glorious internet age, you’ve had the thought. You’ve done the necessary research, by which I mean considered the life and career changes, calculated the costs, and analyzed the taxing and insurance information.
But, most importantly, you’ve weighed the pros against the cons, decided the pros win, and reached the inevitable conclusion to become a freelance web designer.
If you’re still undecided, here are a few facts and statistics that will hopefully give you the nudge into freelancing;
- Today, pretty much every organization, big or small, profit or nonprofit, needs web design services. The exponential growth of the internet has required every business and organization to create and maintain a presence on the world wide web. What better way to do this than having a website? And anywhere there’s a website, there’s a web designer.
- What this means is that web design is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the world. In the states, the sector is projected to grow by 8% (higher than average) from 2019 t0 2020.
- The average yearly pay for a freelance web designer in the United States is $55,812 (around $30 per hour), with an in-demand web designer making up to $108,500 ($52) per hour.
So yeah, successful freelancing is the dream of a lot of web designers. I mean, you get to earn a decent to high income (depending on your skills and effort) while maintaining a level of freedom and control that your 8-5 job wouldn’t allow you in a thousand years.
However, you’re probably stuck on the idea as many aspiring freelance web designers don’t know where or how to start. But before you fret, have you thought about Legiit?
Legiit is a freelance marketplace created to make freelancing less intimidating. It helps web designers find paying clients by providing the platform as well as the support and some useful resources for freelancers.
How to Become a Web Designer on Legiit
Legiit puts you, the web designer, and the client in the same space, allowing clients to buy your services by adding them to their shopping cart and checking out. Alternatively, you can bid on those web design jobs you find suitable and begin work once your bid(s) is accepted.
That easy? Well yes. But first, you need to create a Legiit profile by filling in the necessary personal and contact information, making the profile a little professional, and trying as much as possible to make it sell. A professional Legiit profile typically includes a high-quality headshot for the profile picture, where you wear a confident, smiling face to greet your clients.
When it comes to making your profile sell, here is a small tip:
While creating a profile, you’ll be required to describe yourself and what you do. Standard procedure, right? Yeah, but also an opportunity to create a killer elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a fancy marketing term for a well-thought-out overview and introduction to one’s idea, product, or service (named so since it can be delivered within the time span of an elevator ride, i.e., a couple of seconds).
Having a good elevator pitch is Rule #1 of freelancing. Therefore, make sure that your description is a smart introduction of yourself and doesn’t leave out any vital information about your web design services. That way, you get your point across quickly and won’t have to come up with new introductions every time a client contacts you for the first time.
Legiit will also require you to create a service, which in your case, is under web design. Here’s where you categorize your service and provide all the relevant information around it. These include the service title, category/sub-category (preferred niche), and pricing. Legiit allows you to categorize your services into basic, standard, and premium web design packages and charge different prices for each package. You have to love that.
With your Legiit account approved and registered and web design service created, you’re pretty much ready to sell and buy in some cases. As if that’s not easy enough (relatively), Legiit also lets you provide a portfolio on the platform and provides a strong marketing ecosystem for your trade. More on these later.
And that is how you become a web designer on Legiit. But to become a successful freelancer, your journey is only beginning; and it’s a long way to go. There is a lot you need to do on the platform and outside it to scale the freelancing ladder and sit at the top (or where you find most comfortable) of the earnings pyramid.
Becoming a Successful Web Designer
To become one of the best web professionals on Legiit:
Identify your goals and create a business plan
Making money, of course; that’s your website design goal. But most web designers never see the need to go deeper than that. For you, that changes today. Identifying your plans, goals, and intended direction of your freelancing career is crucial to your success as a web designer.
The ultimate goal may be to make as much money as possible, but setting smaller milestones sets a clearer path for the advancement of your venture. For instance, you can decide you want to make this many proposals by the end of the month or design that many websites before the year ends. Those are pretty simple goals, but they play a much bigger role in your career.
Also, where do you see yourself and your freelance career in the next year? What steps are you going to take to ensure you get there? These are questions you should ask yourself as you set up your Legiit account. By identifying where you want to go, you figure out how to get there, making your path to success significantly easier.
To put it simply, create a business plan by mapping out your intended path on paper.
Create a Portfolio Website
You may speak well in your Legiit profile description and even better in your proposals, but it all sounds like useless chest-thumping without a portfolio website. Furthermore, reading about what you can do isn’t enough: before hiring you, clients want to see what you can do. This means creating a portfolio website is a must-take step for any web designer.
While at it, make sure it’s one of, if not your best work. It’s not just enough to drag and drop templates and download free stock photos from all over the web. Think of yourself as your first client, and if what you do for yourself isn’t impressive, not many people will trust you enough to let you do web design for them.
Your portfolio website should show great talent, professionalism, and business understanding if you want to impress potential clients. In addition, make sure it gives the client a good idea of what you have to offer.
How do you create an excellent portfolio? Here are a few tips;
- Web design is all about creativity, and there’s no place to explore, utilize, and showcase your creativity other than your portfolio website. After all, it’s your best work.
- If you’re starting out and offer basic web design services, consider a one-page website. It is simple, so you won’t overstretch your abilities, but also direct. If you give it your all, this directness makes a one-page website an incredibly effective portfolio. This is described as direct response marketing.
- Make the most important components of the website noticeable and easy to find. These include things like your name, contact information (email or your Legiit service link), and portfolio pieces.
- Design a friendly and responsive user interface (UI) for visiting clients.
Find portfolio-building clients
Many well-paying clients will also want to see what you’ve done for others. And if you’re new in web design freelancing, this usually means you have to sit tight and wait before finding a good, well-paying client. While at it, take on a few portfolio-building clients. This may involve;
- Consider offering some free services: This sounds bad. But before you swipe away this browser tab or snap your laptop lid shut in disbelief, let me establish that this is only an option for those with the time and patience to do a free project.
It can be a volunteer job for your church’s one-page website or local non-profit/charity organization. These are typically not demanding websites, but they’ll do wonders for your portfolio.
If you’re having trouble finding a low-budget organization, you can create a free services ad and put it on Legiit’s official freelancers’ Facebook group.
Note that when designing for free, don’t accept a complicated job that will take you over three weeks to complete. No web designer wants to or should work that long without pay.
- Design templates: This you can do in your spare time. Design templates and use them to advertise your services and attract the first couple of clients. If they’re good enough, you can even sell them for some extra cash on platforms like ThemeForest.
- Offer a variety of web design and graphic design services when starting out: Offering multiple services widens your client pool, making it easy to get your first client. They may not be high-paying or able to utilize your best skills, but they’ll make a good addition to your portfolio.
Pricing your web design services
For web designers starting a Legiit account from scratch, pricing is often the most difficult decision. This is probably where I state Legiit allows a minimum price of 6$ for freelance services, but we know 6$ for a web designer isn’t enough.
It’s a well-known fact that ‘freshman’ freelancers don’t make that much. You’ll have to charge a cheaper price, probably cheaper than your skills are worth, to gain a foothold in the freelance marketplace.
However, don’t settle for wages that don’t cover your basic living expenses and provide an allowance for emergency costs. Also, just because you’re charging less for a project doesn’t mean you deliver less-quality work. If you prove more valuable than what you’re charging, many clients will gladly pay you more on subsequent web design projects. That way, you’ll eventually be able to earn what your skills are worth or more.
Valuable Post For Sellers: Conversion-Checklist For Sellers on Legiit
Build client relationships
Client relationships are some of the best perks of being a freelance web designer and play a big role in your success. After finding your first few clients, you want to establish a professional (and sometimes personal) connection with them. Your clients may not require your services as frequently as they would if you were a copywriter, but that connection may earn you some great testimonials and referrals.
How do you build strong relationships? Well, seemingly small things as how fast you respond to their messages and requests matter. Communication between the both of you should be flawless; you don’t want to keep them waiting an entire day for your reply. Also, don’t hesitate to make suggestions or ask questions relating to the project.
Delivering quality work is another way to build a relationship with your client. You’ve probably heard the phrase “underpromise, overdeliver” in freelance circles. That’s what you need to do with your projects.
Also, remember to finish all your projects on time. You can do this by creating efficient daily, weekly, and monthly schedules and using time management tools like Google calendar, Ta-da List, or Dejal Timeout to stick to those schedules.
If you’re great at web design and timekeeping and are a good communicator, your Legiit clients will never forget you.
Marketing knowledge is essential for a designer’s freelancing career, especially when starting out. You can market your service on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Legiit also has an official Facebook group with clients and freelancers alike, where you can advertise your web designs.
The Facebook community is useful for marketing and creates a support group where freelancers can learn new things and expand their horizons. Join now.
Don’t stop improving your web design skills
Nowadays, people can learn one or two programming languages, search engine optimization, and web design theory and call themselves web developers. What sets apart talented web designers from the crowd is their hunger to improve their technical skills.
To succeed in the web development world, you need to appreciate its changing scope. More web designers are joining the labor market each year, and newer technologies are being developed. Therefore, learning and self-improvement is a constant process, even for the most skilled web designers.
Other useful tips
- Reinvest your income to further your career
- Get a professional workspace
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Becoming a successful web designer may not be the easiest of tasks, but with the right skill, commitment, and some Legiit magic, it sure is possible.