Getting clients and work for your web design company will, of course,
mean the difference between success and failure for the business.
Put most of your effort into developing your own site
Building and maintaining websites is a time-consuming business, but at
least the time and effort put into your own site will benefit you and you
But why would potential clients contact you from your website? Because
you have a great looking portfolio? Possibly. But you also need to write
quality content on there about what you do. You should write about
everything you can possibly think of about your particular area of expertise
– generally and specifically.
Even take the time to research into related areas you don’t know much
about now but hope to in the future. There is nothing quite so educational
as writing a tutorial. People will start to arrive at your site from search
engines, see you know what you’re talking about and hire you.
Remember – it’s far better to have clients going to you than to go cap in
hand to potential clients.
• Put your USPs, skills and services on your business stationery and emails
• Never turn down a job if it’s a good client. Elance and oDesk are good.
• The best clients are the ones you already have
• Form partnerships and alliances with other web designers
Designers are very keen on Twitter and there are some excellent LinkedIn
groups. Plus, I find forums very helpful, for example Estetica Design
Forum, DesignForums.co.uk, Designer’s Talk, there’s Digital Point and
Sitepoint for more code/technical queries, the WordPress forum is excellent
and there’s Warrior Forum for internet marketing issues. And blogs!
Also, there is no substitute for meeting potential clients face-to-face. See if
there are any business groups or mastermind meetings in your area –
especially with marketers as well as with designers (marketers always need
Try MeetUp.com or BNI to find them.
How to Set Up and Organize a MeetUp group
Everything starts and finishes with your website. You should be working on
it and looking to improve it almost everyday.
I would usually use WordPress to power a website because it comes with
pretty good SEO straight out of the box.
There are some essential SEO actions you need to perform on a WordPress
installation. These are basic things like putting your keywords in your site
title, headings and URLs, creating a sitemap and registering it with Google
Webmaster Tools, writing meta descriptions and alt tags from images and
following web standards.
You should also follow some basic rules to optimize your pages for
You can choose your keywords according to your specializations however
the obvious keywords to target would be “web designer blank” with “blank”
being the city or area you live in.
Try to get links with “web designer blank” and other phrases as the anchor
text pointing towards your home page.
Be careful: do not have more than 20% of links pointing to any page with
the same anchor text – if the anchor text is something other than the name
or URL of the page.
I can not overstate the importance of blogging. Blog as much as you can,
writing relevant quality articles of at least 500 words as often as possible.
And don’t forget to put the keywords in the titles of the posts.
Your portfolio – less is more
Obviously, your portfolio and website will require constant care and
attention. You should present your work samples in the best and fastest
way to the visitor imaginable.
Always choose less work samples rather than more. It’s better to see only 5
fantastic websites rather than 55 ordinary ones. Most potential clients will
actually only spend an average of six seconds on your portfolio page so make
the first six seconds count.
Stand out from the crowd
Above all, be creative and break the mold. Always try to offer something
different from everybody else. To do this your design and developing skills
need to be top notch.
• Planet Photoshop
• W3 Schools
The internet is your friend. A web designer only needs to look on the web
for inspiration and great teaching – usually for free!
If you’re just starting out
Whether you’ve been working as a designer for years or you’ve just left
college, you can enter the freelance world with zero risk!
There is nothing to stop you being a freelance web designer as you can
work in your spare time.
You can start by creating and improving your own website and writing
valuable content that is indexed by search engines. But do this in your spare
Don’t leave your steady job to go freelancing with no clients!