Freelance Clients

The 5 Types of Projects NOT to Include in Your Portfolio – Website Design Article

When it comes to designer portfolios, bigger is not necessarily better. While it’s tempting to list each and every project you’ve ever done, it may actually be counterproductive. That is, if you’re using your portfolio as a means to generate new business. Portfolios can be a terrific sales tool. A good one can show potential clients that you have the talent and experience to get the job done. It also provides a way to target the kinds of projects you…

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The 5 Forgivable ‘Sins’ of a Freelance Designer – Website Design Article

The web is full of advice for freelance web designers. Certainly, I’ve offered up my share. But, while it’s often well-meaning, there is an unintended consequence. It can lead us to believe that we need to achieve perfection in order to succeed. But no matter how much great advice we give or receive, none of us are perfect. We all make mistakes. Sometimes, we run a bit low on motivation. It’s all part of the human experience. Today, we’ll explore…

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Finding the Real Value of Social Media for Web Designers – Website Design Article

A few years ago, social media was the apple of every marketer’s eye. It was supposed to boost our businesses and provide a whole new level of engagement with potential customers. So, how’s that working out? Admittedly, I’m not the most fervent user of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn in terms of promoting my design business. But I’ve tried various techniques and have come away less than impressed with the results. I’m personally convinced that trying to book traditional web design…

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The Hidden Benefits of Web Design Projects – Website Design Article

Not all website design gigs are created equally. The truth is that they will all vary in terms of compensation, scope and the overall experience you have. But just about every project provides you with some type of benefit. They aren’t always monetary. And they aren’t necessarily obvious – at least not right away. It may require you to look back after the fact to find out exactly what you gained. In that spirit, let’s take a look at some…

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Areas to Be Proactive with Your Web Design Clients – Website Design Article

We talk about it all the time. Being a web designer is about more than just clean code and pretty graphics. There are a number of other roles we play. Psychiatrist, psychic, support technician and all-around guru come to mind. Part of our relationship with clients also involves sharing knowledge and gently prodding them to move in the right direction. That makes us motivational speakers/life coaches, maybe? Regardless of what we call it, the action itself is vitally important. Because…

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Things That Will Scare Your Web Design Clients – Website Design Article

Dealing with concerned clients can be a challenge for numerous reasons. I liken it to running around with a fire extinguisher, desperately trying to put out blazes large and small. But it’s not just the panicky ones who need the occasional dousing. And it’s not necessarily their fault. The web can be a scary place – even for seasoned designers. Trying to wrap our heads around privacy issues, security, accessibility and new technologies can make anyone’s head spin. So, just…

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The Emotional Rollercoaster of Being a Web Designer – Website Design Article

There are a ton of resources out there to help us learn web design. Whether you want to code like a master or create stunning graphics, the opportunity to sharpen your skills is just a few clicks away. But being a web designer is so much more than just the technical side of things. Depending on your particular situation, it also requires business sense and the ability to work with others. A career in web design can also be a…

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There Are Questions Even a Grumpy Designer Can’t Answer – Website Design Article

I am not an advice columnist. Nor am I a mediator, lawyer or even an IT specialist. Like many of you reading this, I’m a web designer. In reality, this title only qualifies me to answer questions about web design. And even then, I may very well have to look up the answer. But that doesn’t stop clients from asking me about all manner of subjects. The funny thing is that these questions often, in their own roundabout way, relate…

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Ideas for Making the WordPress Back End More User Friendly – Website Design Article

Building a website with WordPress for your clients opens them up to a whole new world of possibilities. Just about any sort of functionality they need can be installed with a few clicks. But, when it comes to introducing them to the all-powerful WordPress dashboard, all of that possibility can be a bit overwhelming. The sheer number of menu items, options and assorted litter make the back end difficult to digest. For example, put yourself in the place of a…

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Tips for Working with Web Design Technophobes – Website Design Article

Let’s go out on a limb here and declare that web designers are generally pretty comfortable with technology. We know our way around computers, smartphones and other assorted gadgetry. Our clients, however, might be a different story. They may well be well-versed in these areas – or decidedly not. You might find that, when working with those who aren’t so tech-savvy, there can be a bit of a disconnect. Even if we nominally speak the same language, we may as…

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Building Websites with the Future in Mind – Website Design Article

Web design is loaded with existential questions. One of the biggest being: Can I build a website today that will still be relevant (in both style and function) tomorrow? The answer probably depends on how many tomorrows into the future you’re referring to. But a good rule of thumb is that, the more time that passes, the less relevant a website’s design and functionality become. The future always brings change – often in ways we don’t anticipate. This is probably…

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Adjusting to Larger Projects as a Web Designer – Website Design Article

For designers who are just starting out, smaller projects provide a tremendous opportunity. We use them to put our skills into practice, develop a workflow and make a little bit of money. Building these types of websites serves as the perfect proving ground. Over time, though, working exclusively on small projects can become unsustainable. To make a decent living, it can take a constant flow of new and repeat business. That means more time spent on marketing and less on…

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Want to Avoid Undesirable Projects? Ask the Right Questions. – Website Design Article

Every web designer has the ideal sort of client and project they want to work with. Whether it’s a project that will utilize a specific CMS or working with a client in a particular industry, we all have our comfort zone. But many of us are contacted with opportunities that aren’t going to be a great fit. It might be that their timeline is too tight, budget too low or their project isn’t within our niche. On its own, that’s…

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Preparing Your Freelance Design Business for an Unexpected Absence – Website Design Article

Today, we’re going to discuss a rather difficult subject. But it’s one that every web designer should think about: If something happens to you, what happens to your business? This is something that not only affects you as a business owner, but your family, colleagues and clients as well. And, if you’re not prepared, the results can take a difficult situation and make it even worse. The good news is that taking a few basic steps now can make an…

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Why I Charge the Same for Building Websites Designed by Someone Else – Website Design Article

As a web designer, the vast majority of my new projects are original creations. The process goes a little something like this: I create a mockup, make revisions until my client is happy, then move on to building the website (usually with WordPress). But there are occasions where I receive a mockup from another designer, then build a custom WordPress theme to match. While this makes up a relatively small portion of my business, I generally end up building around…

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The Four Ways That Freelancers Are Often Mistreated – Website Design Article

To many web professionals, freelancing means freedom. The freedom to work on what you please, when you please. It seems to be the perfect career path in this on-demand world we live in. However, the fact that you’re out there on your own does have some downsides. Being a solo entrepreneur leaves you without a lot of the benefits and protections that an employee might have. And it is often those things that leave us at a disadvantage. One of…

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The Battle of Stability vs. Growth – Website Design Article

One of the great challenges for any freelancer or small design shop is in finding a consistent level of work. We often run into that old feast-or-famine cycle that seems to result in us pulling out our hair either way. As such, there’s a definite appeal in finding clients who provide us with a steady flow of projects. Knowing what to expect in terms of workload and revenue is a sort of Holy Grail for many a web designer. And…

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Don’t Shortchange Yourself When Inheriting a Website – Website Design Article

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a contestant on one of those crazy reality shows. The kind where they drop you off, blindfolded, in the middle of a thick jungle. Maybe they provide you with a compass and a very rudimentary map. The goal is to find your way to a road that leads to a posh resort. Well, taking over maintenance on a website you didn’t build can feel a bit like that. While you may have a somewhat…

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Bending the Rules to Accommodate Your Design Clients – Website Design Article

Part of being a web designer involves developing processes. For instance, we have a process for how we go from concept to finished product. Over time, we may even create a process for dealing with a specific type of maintenance task. The idea is that we do things in a certain way in the name of efficiency and perhaps sanity. However, the business side of things also requires a lot of attention in this area as well. Consider your payment…

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How to Keep Clients for Years to Come – Website Design Article

For many web designers, finishing off a brand-new website for a client doesn’t mean the end of that relationship. Potentially, you may continue to work together in some capacity for years to come. Things like maintenance, repairs and maybe even a lucrative redesign could all be in the cards. But in order to get to that point, you need to build and maintain a solid relationship. Even if there are no guarantees, it’s still the best way to ensure that…

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How Losing a Big Client Changed My Career for the Better – Website Design Article

There I was, sitting alone in a nearly empty restaurant. I’d just come out of a meeting with a longtime client who informed me that their corporate parent had decided to move in another direction. They were my second-largest source of revenue. I was stunned. I started thinking about the future and how I’d manage to pay the bills. How could I possibly make up for the lost income? The thought crossed my mind that I may have to go…

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Staying in Touch with What Users Want – Website Design Article

As web designers, we build sites for our clients based on our own expertise. And while there are tried-and-true techniques for placing items such as navigation and calls to action, other design decisions are more arbitrary. We often end up implementing features the way we think users will want them to be. While this is challenging for all designers, it’s especially so for solo freelancers and small agencies. Why? Because we often don’t have the budget to conduct real user…

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