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Freelance Web Designer - Quick Start Guide | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

Freelance Web Designer - Quick Start Guide

Date January 28, 2008


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This quick start guide series shows you—step by step—what it takes to start a freelance Web design business. When I first started designing Websites, in 1999, I did everything by hand. I learned HTML and several other programming languages (HTML is NOT a programming language) with only a strong desire to succeed and a few books as my teacher.

When I started freelancing, I began to understand that my clients didn’t understand, nor appreciate, the heavy “brain” work involved with pulling together the components for a successful Website—its effectiveness not easily quantified or communicated. They only wanted one question answered—”What’s in it for me?”

The value I passed to my clients wasn’t in my design skills, as I originally thought, or in how quickly I generated ideas. I looked around and realized I was literally competing with the world—with others who charged $5 an hour—with those whose skill level far surpassed mine. I finally grasped the value I brought to my clients. They valued my ability to make the online process simple, easy to understand, and affordable. I was like an online tour guide. They trusted me to lead them in what they thought was a mysterious and confusing journey.

I decided to switch gears-focusing more on the “human” side rather than the design aspect. I developed a simple strategy that would free up my time and add more client value. First, I gave up the actual design process, and the steady headaches that were a natural part of that process.

Instead, I subscribed to several Web template sites. I “tweaked” a handful of designs—building a template stockpile. Amazingly, I didn’t miss the brainstorming, storyboarding, or coding and my business started to grow! I no longer touted my designs or “hand-coded” process. I could deliver quality designs and the value my clients were seeking.

That’s the purpose of this Quick Start Guide, to show you the steps I learned so you can start your own Web design business. You can certainly learn everything possible about Web design color theory, usability, graphic optimization—and I do urge you to learn as much as you can.

My intent is to prove to you that there’s an easier way that works as good, if not better, than the “slow” way. The only way to stay motivated when you’re thinking about starting a business is to keep moving forward. If you stop at every “point of confusion”, you’ll get stuck. I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to be stricken with the fear of not knowing what steps to take next.

No, you won’t understand everything but you’ll be amazed at everything you’ll learn, and retain if you can keep moving. Get your business online—quickly. Your success will NOT depend on your design skill. Your success will depend on the human value that you can offer your clients, and the niche industry that you choose to serve. Once you see what you can accomplish, in a short time period, you’ll be motivated to learn as much as you can.

With that, on to Step 1.


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Related posts:

  1. Freelance Web Designer
  2. Freelance Web Designer - Quick Start Guide Step 4
  3. Freelance Web Designer - Quick Start Guide Summary

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