One day I registered a website and it changed my world. I would love this to happen to you. I have just re-released an updated version of my first book Running A Web Design Business From Home it’s at the rock bottom price of $0.99 for the Kindle version.
Even better, the book is FREE on May 31st and June 1st 2017. Tell all your friends. Here’s some of what you can expect to find in the 20,000+ words of the book.
How to get started
You can start a web design business with nothing. It’s highly likely you already have the equipment necessary to start: a laptop or computer, a phone, internet access.
That’s all you need! Don’t spend any money on anything else you think may be useful. Don’t rush to buy expensive apps, courses, fonts, templates, or books. I started with nothing. (OK I’d spend a few dollars on domain name registration and hosting for the website).
I discuss in the book various amazing free resources that you can use. One exception to this is Adobe Photoshop or some proprietary graphics program. But I also discuss some free and cheap alternatives to Photoshop.
How to find clients
A whole chapter of the book is devoted to finding clients for your web design business. This is the sticking point and where many web design businesses succeed or fail. I talk about local business networking, YouTube, social, incentivized referrals, BNI, Craigslist, etc.
But the awkward truth is this: the two best avenues for finding clients are these:
- personal recommendations – which means you have to do awesome work first
- content marketing – which means you have to spend a lot of time creating great content
I say it’s an awkward truth because because it means you can’t get rich quick! Some people don’t like that and move on to the next “get rich quick” scheme that also doesn’t work. Don’t be one of those people.
How to buy the book
Shameless plug!! I have just updated my book on this subject. You can buy a Kindle or paperback version. It’s updated for 2017 and I have doubled the content!
Remember, the book will be FREE on Amazon on May 31st and June 1st 2017.
If the above link doesn’t take you to your local Amazon store, try one of these:
But not yet! Here’s yet more info you will find in the book:
How to create awesome websites
The best way to learn how to create awesome websites and the best way to learn web design and development – is to spend a lot of time designing and developing websites. I’m sorry if that sounds obvious. 🙂
So, if you’re just starting out, busy yourself designing and developing websites for friends, relations, colleagues, etc.
If you’re already creating websites then always do a great job. The websites you have already created are your portfolio. A great website is a great marketing tool, not only for the company you built it for – but also for you!
How to improve your website everyday
You should work everyday on improving your website. Ask your friends or anyone you know to look at your website. Try to look over the shoulder of people while they look at your website on multiple devices.
Can you improve the logo? Can you improve the message on the home page? Can you speed up the loading time? Can you make your website more secure? Can you improve the user experience?
The hours and hours of care, attention, and love, that you show your website will pay off in the long term. You will make so many improvements to your own site that you will implement to your clients’ sites. They will be grateful for this. You will be grateful for this!
How to create great content
People don’t like to hear this: the most successful web designers also successfully create content. Well, it’s also true to say: the most successful online entrepreneurs also successfully create content. Content marketing is the most cost effective form of marketing available to you at the moment.
If you don’t create great content you will disagree with me. If you do, you will understand.
Create great content. Whatever your forte is, whether it’s writing, talking, video, or tutorials, you will know what you enjoy. Stick to it. Enjoy it. Build an audience around your content. This is the best advice I can give anyone online. It makes you money, builds your brand and it’s free. Talk about ROI!
How to compete with freelance sites
But freelancers on Upwork work for peanuts, how the hell do you make money running a web design business!?!?!?!? If I had a penny every time I get asked this question …
The answer is to concentrate on providing a premium service to quality clients – and diversify and specialize. Offer a complete online marketing service with a website, onsite SEO, social media images and profile set up, writing services, consulting, etc.
How to always do great work!
One of my favorite web designers, Paul Jarvis, never reads web design blogs or follows the work of other web designers and, as a result, creates very original websites and is in constant demand.
Try to take on work that you love doing – follow your bliss – and constantly ask yourself “is this good enough to put in my portfolio?”
How to handle clients
Not all clients are created equal. Good clients are long-term business partners that will provide you with regular income and recommend you to other good clients. Bad clients can cost you money.
Learn to spot the red flags as soon as possible. Red flags are the tell-tale signs of nightmare clients and include phrases such as: “This won’t take you very long”, “I want the website/page to pop/whizz/sizzle/go bang/go in your face/be touchy-feely” or “I’m on a really tight budget”.
How to handle a web design project
The book explains how to lay down expectations, timescale and price clearly with the client, so that both parties know what to expect and what’s expected of them.
Communication is the King in client businesses. The Queen is detailing operating procedures – write down what you do for each clients’ website so you can use that info for the next website and for outsourcing.
Proposals, contracts, invoices, systems and SOPs (standard operating procedures) – sound scary but it’s explained simply in the book.
How to specialize and diversify
Being a just web designer or developer isn’t enough. Apart from anything else, you’ll get bored doing the same thing all day.
One of the many pleasures of running a business is that you get to choose what to do each day. What sort of web design do you enjoy doing the most? Do that. Write blog posts on it.
On the one hand, you have to diversify, on the other, you need to specialize. Make sure you enjoy what you do. You will be naturally drawn toward jobs that inspire you.
You can do it!
You can run a design business from home. Success, when you see it, is remarkably unremarkable. It’s usually a combination of a specific advantage (for example, knowledge and love of a market, a product, or a niche), sustained effort over a period of time, and a bit of good luck.
So good luck and love to you. And please consider buying my book. It’s good.