It’s a great way to make a living – you get to do what you’re good at and love doing, you get to work from home and be your own boss, and you don’t have to invest too much money into the business because it depends on your creativity. Freelance web designers are a contented lot because of the relative freedom their job allows them. But there are some mistakes that could cost them dearly and affect the way they work and live, and these are:
- A shoddy web page: This is the biggest and costliest mistake you could make as a designer – when you design for a living and yet cannot be bothered to come up with a great website for yourself, it does not say much about the value you place on your professional skills. The first thing prospective clients do when they’re considering hiring you is to look at your webpage. If you don’t have a web page, then you may as well close your office and look for another profession; if the style of your webpage doesn’t impress them, then they’re not going to knock on your doors; and if you don’t have a portfolio they can peruse, they may not know what you’re really capable of. So work on your home first before you hire out your services to the rest of the world.
- Neglecting to network: When you work freelance, your network is your professional lifeline. Without the group of people who recommend you to friends and clients and inform you of job opportunities, it’s pretty hard to make a living as a freelancer. Focus on building and nurturing your network early in your career, repay favors when you can, help others out, and maintain smooth relationships with people. When you’re well known in the design world, it’s easy to find success as a freelancer.
- Failing to seek help when needed: There will be times when you need to work alongside a developer and/or writer for your page design. It’s only when all aspects of web creation merge efficiently that the design becomes perfect. So work in tandem with the developer and others on the project, and even if you’re doing everything on your own, don’t hesitate to ask for help when you find yourself stumped or swamped with work. The focus should be on your client and their needs and not on your ego or inability to work with other professionals.
- Imposing your ideas on your client: You may be a good designer, but that’s no reason to force your clients to accept your ideas. Rather, you need to focus on what they want and how you’re going to achieve the design they have in mind. If there are practical difficulties in the design they want, talk to them and make them understand instead of bypassing them and going ahead with your own design. Always remember that your client is the one who should be satisfied if you are to make it as a successful web designer.