The world of web development has changed a lot throughout the years. And though it has unlocked plenty of opportunities for businesses to promote their products and services front and center, the methods and strategies involved in designing websites have become even more sophisticated.
This has pushed companies to invest in effective web design as they strive to outrank each other in the search results. With much of marketing being done online nowadays, there has never been a more perfect time to become a freelance web designer!
Why make the leap?
You might be thinking that web design is not for everyone. It’s a career choice people would tell you to mull over before you make the big leap. You probably think how people would look down on you and call you a hipster with dreams of becoming the next boy wonder of Silicon Valley.
But there’s more to it than just wearing plaid shirts and posting on Reddit. Being a web designer in today’s world, where digital transformation has become a by-word for progress, you’ll find yourself right smack in the middle of these important changes.
The near future will see a majority of consumer purchases being made online, with retailers such as Amazon leading this inevitable transition towards digital selling. No doubt, small businesses will follow suit, seeing how inexpensive and practical it is for consumers to buy online.
To better give their offers the visibility they need online, businesses will have to create websites for their e-commerce activities. This involves a lot of work as they will need to build highly intuitive websites that are not only engaging but also highly appealing and intuitive for their audience.
Added to this is the fact that the search engines are changing their algorithms to make the climb to the first page of the search results more challenging and competitive for businesses.
Google, in fact, has rolled out numerous changes to its search engine algorithm over the years, putting more focus on content relevance rather than on keyword quantity.
At a glance, building an e-commerce website is a challenge in itself as many businesses lack the necessary skills and training needed to establish their online presence. If you happen to have both of these, then consider yourself ready to enter the freelancing market as a web designer!
But why go freelance?
Freelancers are digital nomads in their own right. They don’t serve a single master, but they specialize in tasks that are in-demand. And seeing that web development is such an intricate area to begin with, businesses often have the choice between creating their own in-house web development team or hiring freelancers to handle everything else down the line.
Sure enough, large companies have enough resources to put together their own web development teams that could handle on-page SEO, link-building, and other essential tasks. Startups, on the other hand, will have to make do with hiring freelancers that will help them optimize their online presence.
The good thing about this is that the startup sector is growing. The US alone has about 45,000 active startups across various niches, and the number is expected to rise as innovation goes on a constant uptrend. Along with this, the demand for freelancing services will also see a steady rise, especially along the lines of web development and web design.
But that’s not the only reason you should consider getting a freelance job as a web designer.
Although it has been a subject of dispute, freelancers are drawn to the world of web design due to the hefty income it could generate. Estimates vary considerably, but there are claims that independent web designers could earn up to $100,000. It might sound like a long shot, but it’s possible. You just have to work your way up the ladder until you reach that point when you’re ready and mature enough to work with high-profile clients.
The basics of getting started
Speaking of working your way up, being able to forge success in the current freelancing environment is either a hit or miss. But if you’re able to master your aim, equip yourself with the right tools, and enhance your techniques, you could easily hit your targets in the rough and tumble world of freelance web design.
Here’s a short guide to get you started:
1. Research the field
Knowing is half the battle. And being a freelancer, you should know that it literally is! So, before you start introducing yourself as a freelancer, you should be able to talk with veterans, especially when it comes to pricing your services and maintaining a close network of associates.
2. Build your portfolio
Web designers are artists, and the only way for potential clients to vouch for their creative skills is by taking a quick look at a few samples. The best way to go about this is to create a professional website that features your best work. It could be an original or a project you did back in digital marketing school. For sure, you will need to pick designs that could “wow” your audience and make them want to hire you as their main web creative.
3. Be present across social media
It isn’t enough to use your personal Facebook and Twitter account to market your services. You might want to build your very own brand that maintains a strong social media presence. Start by creating your own Facebook page and post curated content. Make sure to include a call-to-action so people could instantly contact you when they need to.
4. Keep yourself up to speed
As you know, the digital world is always on the move. And if you’re not quick enough in adopting the latest trends, you could risk not finding any success at all. So, keep your eyes and ears open for game-changing innovations and trends that will keep you afloat.
There is a growing need for web designers, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the market for freelancing is some sort of a cash cow. After all, skills are what matter the most for companies that think about scaling in the long term. Do your best to utilize the practical knowledge and tips presented here in an effort to make an impact on your journey through the world of freelancing.