5 Skills you Need to Start your Freelance Web Design Business

by | Aug 6, 2011 | How To, Marketing, Web Design | 1 comment

Back when I was in school for software development, I befriended a fellow student who seemed to think he new a thing or two about conducting a freelance business. At first, I approached him open eyed and with a curious sense of wonder as to how he managed to make a living working from home. Most Everyone’s dream is to work for themselves!

As I probed my peer with question after question, they responded in ways I truly did not expect to hear from a professional business person.

Me: “Hey, it would be awesome if you and I could partner in web design!”
Him: “yeah, that sounds cool”
Me: “Awesome, I can design and you can code, it will be great! I should start researching contracts, marketing and legal aspects”
Him: “I don’t do contracts, never have, never will”
Me: “What? how do determine the work the client receives for the amount paid to you?”
Him: “I don’t. I tell them a price and they pay it…that’s that.”

From experience, I am a very organized person who loves to keep track of all my business via paperwork. That’s when I knew, It would be too difficult for me to partner with anyone. From that day on, I knew, I would be a professional freelance web designer. I purchased a bunch of books, and now I am sharing my knowledge with the next generation of newbs.


Image by asif akbar

5 Skills Needed for a Successful Freelance Web Design Business

1: The Propeller Head
This is the person that sits in dark room for 16 hours a day coding and analyzing while drinking 6 cups of coffee and getting frustrated at human life every time they are disturbed. They dream in code and they may even get up in the middle of the night to try out a new idea to fix a bug.

Development of the back end of the site is of high importance. You should enjoy solving problems, researching,and putting up with sitting at the computer for hours at a time. A propeller head is knowledgeable and comfortable programming in several languages such as PHP, Ruby, CSS, C#, Java, Perl, Javascript, CSS and HTML.

2: The Pony Tail
This is the show off. No one likes to admit it, but artists love to show off their work and that’s why they spend a great deal of time perfecting their graphic design skills. This person can sometimes be cocky or a little crazy. Sometimes you may find them using 16 different layers for one gradient on an image.

Design of a website can be a very competitive market. You are not only a graphic artist, but a graphic designer. An artist has no boundaries, but a designer must abide by technological standards like user interface, color theory, typography, grids and layouts. Finding a balance between the two will prove you to be successful.

3: The Rainmaker
This is the salesman. This person is confident and excitedly brags about every aspect of their work. The rainmaker searchs for individuals who are in need of a website or redesign so they can be apart of the increased success in that persons new online exposure.

The ability to persuade people is a talent that can be hard for some web geeks to grasp because it involves clear verbal communication and social awareness. You must be ready to answer any question thrown at you and smile a whole lot. The object is to sell yourself as a professional web designer so be ready to get to know strangers and network yourself.

4: The Green Visor Cap
This person revolves around money. They now how to punch numbers and calculate costs of profit and loss. The visor cap is finicky about cash flow, taxes and legalities. The visor cap knows how to charge what they are worth so they don’t end up eating leftover rice from a garage bin in the alley.

Managing your finances is of great importance. You must be a highly organized individual to properly keep track of all paperwork involved in your freelance business. On another note, having a good grasp of math strengthens the abilities of the green visor cap and the propeller head as well.

5: The Business Suit
The business suit knows how to take charge. They prioritize their day. You usually can spot this individual making to-do lists and helping people in need solve problems. This person can easily become the leader of a group if need be.

Being able to manage yourself is the most important part about freelancing. You have to create deadlines for yourself, manage your own work times and make quick responsible decisions at a moments notice.

There you have it kids. Now your equipped with the knowledge to go out into the world and start your freelance web design business. If this article has helped you in anyway, make me smile today and drop a comment.


Image by asif akbar

Sources: How to start a home based web design business by Jim Smith

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