18 September 2012
Finding work as a web designer
Ok, you've· finished your degree , read all the books, you can create great websites, but can't find a job, what next ?
Web Design has a very high percentage of people who work for themselves, either as freelancers or small home based web companies.
If this is an option you're considering there are many ways to get work, but be prepared to get plenty of knock backs along the way, and not to earn a great deal of money in your first year .
Having said that, as a start-up business, Web Designing is probably one of the lowest cost businesses to setup, and with virtually no financial risk at all if you're careful and prepared to work hard and smart .·
Usual Business start up costs
- Rent a premises
- Buy Stock·
- Hire Employees·
- Buy transport·
- Get a Website
- Marketing and Advertising·
As a new Web Designer, you will probably be working from home and already have a PC, so that's all you need really.
Do you're ready to go. Although it seems obvious to say it, but the next thing you need is a website !!!· ( do you know anybody who can do one· ??).
The website itself will be easy enough, but you have to fill it with content, basically what you're offering .· Research the competition locally, and keep your prices low to start with .· Knowing how much to charge against what youu think you're worth is tricky, but· it's something that comes with experience.
Unless you've either employed an SEO expert or done your own SEO on the site· to get you in the top 3 of Google for a 'Web Design' keyword, there's no way you'll get any customers from google yet, so it's time to start· finding your own customers . Where do I start ?
To get any customers you'll need to get at least 5 sites in a portfolio. This may mean· contacting family or friends who may need a website , and actually doing one for free.
Local Business Magazines
Those little free booklets that get delivered through your door once a month are a great low cost way of getting exposure locally . You can get a decent advert for approx £50, and· usually have a good response rate .·· They are also a good source of small local businesses who may need websites. These type of businesses / SMEs are generally the best· customers that most freelance· self employed web Designers will benefit from using.··
Offering to Work in Kind
Let's say that you want to put an advert in· the magazine· just mentioned but couldn't afford it - This is where you can get cheeky. You could approach the magazine, and offer to create them a website in return for an advertisement in the magazine.· You'd have to work it out so the monetary value was the same for both parties.· It's surprising how successful this can be. It's a win win situation if it's what both parties are looking for.·
The most popular way to find work with a lot of new web Designers is by using websites where people post their job requirements , and then Freelancers bid against each other for the work. This is what we do on this site . They usually fall into 2 categories of how they operate ;
Free to bid, but a percentage of the fee is payable. This can be as much as 10% - quite a lot .· The advantage of these sites is that you don't have to pay anything upfront before bidding.· The disadvantage is that the cost afterwards is usually higher. Another big disadvantage is that· the customer will get about 30 bids , which doesn't give you much chance of getting the job. As well as this there are usually a lot of bids from India, and it's difficult to compete with their costs.
Our site & other similar ones, charge you to bid for a job, but restrict the amount of bidders per job.· We restrict this to 4 bids per job. The cost of your bid being· £15 or· £10 for paid members.· In reality, most jobs only receive 2 or 3 bids, so for your £10 you're getting a 1 in 3 chance of winning the job, which is quite good .· There's nothing else to pay after this.
Organic Search Results / SEO
Obviously, in the long term this is the best way to get work, as once you rank well in Google for your chosen keyword, the work will come in , and best of all it will be free of charge ! However, you have to bear in mind that Web Design is a very competitive market and is full of SEO experts, so finding your keywords is key. It would make sense to· try to compete locally rather than nationally, due to the amount of competition .
Cost Per Click
This can be a very expensive way of getting customers, you can pay a lot of money before you get the right results. It does work however, else you wouldn't see Web Designers adverts in the search results . If you do go down this route, it's best to have a bit of money behind you, and be prepared to loose a bit before you get your strategy right .