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Maybe you went to school for web design or maybe you’re tired of working for a larger corporation. Whatever the case is, you are looking to branch out on your own as a freelance web designer. 

Unfortunately, finding the well-paying freelance web design jobs isn’t always an easy task. We’re here to walk you through the best ways to find work as a freelance web designer and land the jobs you’ve only dreamt about. Keep reading for more information!

Finding Steady Work

When you explain to people that you have a background in web design, they are likely intrigued and may even tell you that they need someone like you for a project. Although well-meaning, you won’t always be able to close the deal with these leads and you may not receive a rate that you’re happy with if you do. 

Instead of trying to market yourself directly to your friends and family, you may need to discover new options for your income. Utilizing a job board or even a website dedicated to freelancers is a great way to connect with potential clients who need your service. 

If you do a great job on your first project, these clients will likely become long-term customers who offer steady work (and steady work means steady income!) Keep in mind that many of the most credible sites do charge a percentage of what you make but this ensures that you are paid in a timely fashion for work that is completed. 

Whenever you do find clients who are interested in your work, it is important to submit a proposal that includes all aspects of the project, the job scope, as well as your rates for various tasks. In order to appear as professional as possible, consider using a project proposal template – this shows potential clients that you are serious about the job and aren’t a fly-by-night web designer. 

Knowing What to Charge

As a new freelance web designer, you will probably have to take a few lower-paying jobs in order to build your portfolio and to make ends meet. While this isn’t necessarily ideal, a strong portfolio and happy clients will help lead you to the higher-paying jobs that you desire. 

Don’t set your rates so low that you must work 15-hour days in order to pay bills; you also don’t want to be the most inexpensive web designer on the market. When you are cheaper than everyone else, you may be flooded with so much work that you can’t keep up or potential clients may perceive your pricing as a reflection of the quality of your work.

On the opposite side of this, if you are lacking experience or years in the industry, don’t price yourself out of the market by offering exorbitant rates. The goal with your pricing should be to find a middle ground between a reasonable cost while still being able to pay your bills. 

As you begin to research hourly rates, keep in mind your experience level, education, and of course, your ability to provide services. If a client insists on a lower rate, you may wish to explain to them that cheap isn’t always good and good is usually not cheap. 

You Are Now a Marketer

When you decide to pursue freelance web design, you automatically become a marketer. You will now have to market both your skills and yourself. Of course, you will want to build a website for yourself to showcase your web design skills but to also make it easy for new leads to contact you. 

One of the best ways to help you obtain clients from your website is by having a lead capture form. Having a lead capture form will prompt interested parties to share their contact information with you so that you may start a conversation about their current business needs. 

Additionally, you will want to make sure that your social media platforms are updated to include your abilities and convey a professional persona. This is especially important for websites like LinkedIn and Facebook as many businesses use these sites to search for contractors. 

Because you are aiming to work for yourself as a freelancer, you should also have well-designed business cards with your contact information. These will help you appear far more professional than simply writing your name and phone number on a bar napkin should you meet someone who needs a contract web designer. 

The Takeaway

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In order to secure your first freelance gig as a web designer, you will have to hear multiple rejections before you finally receive a positive answer. Don’t get discouraged by this as many seasoned freelancers experience the same. 

You will also need to develop a tough skin as some clients can be brutal when they review your work or ask for edits to their website. It can be difficult not to take it personally, but if it seems as though the client is impossible and you have other work available, you can walk away. 

The final tip that you should take away from this article is to always follow up with potential leads, no matter how small they seem. Small leads can turn into big clients down the road and have the potential to refer you to other business owners.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.