Starting A Web Design Business: Is It Really As Easy As 1-2-3?
Steps To Starting A Web Design Business
Starting a web design business has never been easier. Moreover, since COVID-19 increased online retail sales, new data indicates that 2021 online sales will surpass all of 2020 sales.
Online shopping and e-commerce are now more popular among consumers than ever before, which means retailers and businesses need to use the web more heavily in order to remain competitive and viable. You can bank on this increased consumer drive to get your web design business running.
So how do you get started with designing websites?
Where should you start?
Do you have a true passion for running a web design business?
Would you be able to grow it?
Let’s look at all the necessary steps required to launch a web design business in this guide.
We’re going to talk about how to start a web design business to see if it really is the best business model for you.
Towards the end of this article I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions on how to start a web design business…
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Table of Contents
Why Start A Web Design and Web Development Business?
From a financial and lifestyle standpoint, starting a web design business offers many benefits. It is possible to make a living doing something you enjoy, solving problems, and maintaining a flexible schedule with a web design business.
“Starting a web design business can be financially and socially rewarding. Web design is a lucrative business that you can run while enjoying your work, solving problems, and maintaining your schedule.”
With new technologies and more resources available than ever before, starting a web design business today means you’ll have a greater opportunity to establish yourself and your brand than ever.
Hence, the best time to get into web design is NOW.
The thing is a well-designed website is an essential element for every business in 2021. This is where your new web design business comes into play.
Evaluate Your Reasons For Starting A Web Design Business
If you’re here, I would guess it is obvious that you are passionate about good web design and that you’re looking for ways how to make it to the professional web design world. Poorly designed websites probably leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Poor design almost always turns you away from doing business with a company you otherwise would have liked to do business with.
Why are you interested in starting your own web design business? Do you want to be your own boss? Is flexibility in your work schedule important to you? Would this generate more income for you?
It will take a lot of determination and drive to start a web design business, regardless of your reasons. If you think you can achieve success without exerting any effort, you are wrong.
If you’re just starting out, you may work more hours for less pay. Longer hours at the start might seem problematic, but if you are passionate about what you do, it won’t really matter.
7 Questions To Ask Yourself
7 Questions To Ask Yourself
- Would you be more productive if you worked alone, or would you benefit from constant human interaction?
- Are you able to communicate well?
- Do you handle uncertainty and stress well?
- How self-motivated and driven are you?
- How disciplined are you when it comes to meeting deadlines and producing quality work?
- Do you feel you can survive web design work without immediate reward?
- Are you sure this is one thing you would want to pursue?
Getting started with a web design business, or any kind of business, can be complicated, stressful, frustrating, and time-consuming.
But know that you can achieve success and financial independence with persistence and dedication as well as flexible time, unlimited growth, and many other freedoms.
What It Means To Start A Web Design Business
Now that you know how great web design can benefit your business, it’s time to figure out how to get started in the web design industry.
To have any chance of success in web design professionally you need to have an absolutely outstanding website of your own. Here, potential clients can learn about your experience and talent in web design.
Your Web Design Business Website: Keys to Success
To attract clients in the highly competitive web design market, you’ll need to incorporate several key elements into your website. Building thought leadership at this time could be a smart move.
Tell Your Story.
Use your business website to tell your story.
The story you tell prospects on your business website is critical. It’s not just about listing your skills and what you can do, though this is also very important.
Let them know who you are.
Explain why you’re passionate about web design. Share how you have gained knowledge and experience from other industries before starting your own website design company.
Share a few details about your personal life and what passions and hobbies you enjoy. Put yourself first as a person, then as a web designer.
In this way, you will stand out from the crowd when potential clients or target audience are searching for a web designer for their next big project.
With this approach, you can be more relatable and gives them the impression that you are someone who they can work with easily. target audience
Make sure that your potential and existing clients can easily get in touch with you.
You are going to be asked several questions about their WordPress projects by every visitor to your website, as in the following:
- Are you familiar with WooCommerce and ShipStation plugins?
- Do you have experience building WordPress websites for businesses with multiple revenue streams?
- Could you integrate some of their existing design into your new design?
Your website content should be able to answer as many of these questions as possible. However, for that client who would rather speak to you about his or her needs, how easy is it to reach you?
Yes, you can let go of the cliched “Contact Me” page and place a web form that most Internet users never expect to get a response from.
Alternatively, you could provide your personal email address and phone number and let customers and prospects know the specific times you are available.
The first thing you should do as you begin your journey is make yourself easy to reach personally and to be available for conversations as many hours as possible during the day.
By taking this simple step, you’ll be able to stand out.
It will not matter how cool your website is if potential clients are unable to find it or do not know it exists.
Visibility to the client is definitely challenging in the beginning. Choosing a simple and catchy business name and URL can help you avoid this.
But don’t become too cutesy.
When choosing your URL, ensure that it ends in .com and try to keep it at three syllables or shorter.
Start handing out your business cards to as many local businesses as possible and promote your business.
I know it might seem daunting to walk into a business location, but it isn’t actually that difficult. Try to be personable, friendly, relaxed, and non-intrusive. Give a brief overview of your business and yourself.
Make sure that your URL appears prominently on your business card so they have a means to learn more about you after you leave.
Since most of your competitors are afraid of “cold calling” introductions, this practice will most likely drive you new business.
Once you have successfully implemented this simple yet effective practice, you’ll soon need to think about managing multiple WordPress sites.
Once this is done, list yourself on popular freelance websites like Upwork.com and Freelancer.com. Take time to set up your freelance profiles.
Next, apply to as many WordPress web design freelance positions as possible. Here, it’s important to avoid price-bidding wars with other web designers or freelancers. Before you begin searching for freelance work, establish your rates and stick to them.
Your work will lose its value if you decide to undercut your rates and upset clients who have previously paid a higher rate.
Getting freelance jobs through popular freelancing sites isn’t easy, especially if you’re a beginner. But it’s a great way to build a portfolio and make contacts for direct work in the future.
Display Your Rates.
Display your rates on your business website.
When you do online research or shopping, what do you look for first in a company’s products or services?
As is the case with most people, you probably want to know what it will cost. The same applies to your customers.
Whenever a client is considering getting a website designed, they would want to find out how much they’ll have to spend. Depending on the type of project or the complexity of the design, the rates on your work can be set by the number of pages or by the hour with an estimate on the length of time the project will take.
In cases where it may be difficult to set blanket prices, remember to always offer a “Custom Design” option that allows clients to reach out to you directly for a more detailed quote.
When you speak with a potential lead, you can get a new project and get a new web design job.
Showcase Your Portfolio
Showcase Your Portfolio.
Make sure your website shows as much of your past work as possible. Even if you are a beginner to professional web design, you can use the sites you build for family members, friends, or for bartering.
If you’ve built something and think it’s not worth including in your business website, think again. Potential clients might be searching for an array of different types of websites.
Perhaps the design you did for the local tire shop is just what someone else on the other side of the country wants.
When building your portfolio, you may also include your pro-bono works for friends, family, or colleagues.
Portfolios are designed to help you land clients, whether you are searching for freelance work, clients for your agency or employment at your target company. A website’s content should first reflect what you hope to achieve.
Feature Glowing Reviews
Include your best customer reviews in your business website.
Customer reviews influence buying decisions. You can quickly lose an entirely new customer with a few bad reviews.
Your business will look unreliable if you don’t have customer reviews.
In either of these scenarios, you will not be able to effectively build your business as a web designer.
Building your business will be tough if you lack customer reviews.
Simply ask your existing customers for reviews to build your portfolio. Have a link on your website that leads to a satisfied customer after your work is done. Politely ask people in your email list if they can review your work. I suppose they would be okay with you featuring the review on your site.
Generally, a majority of clients will take time to write a review for you. If you want to display all reviews on your website, you can do so, or you can display only the best ones.
WordPress review plugins make the process easier to streamline.
Consider your pro bono clients if you’ve never done any paid web design. Tell everyone you’ve made websites for that you will be doing professional web design.
Request their help in writing reviews for you. It will surprise you how many people will want to be part of your new venture.
Set Realistic Web Design Business Goals.
You may work this business part-time as a way to supplement existing income. Try to find three clients in the next month to start the process. Depending on the level of work they require, any of these jobs could earn $1,000 or more.
Start with six clients if you intend to make it full-time. Don’t wait any longer, and get out and start doing it.
It’s important, however, not to take on too many tasks simultaneously. Being able to handle multiple tasks at once will take some practice. You would will still give individual attention to each client while ensuring that all projects are completed successfully.
What Does It Take To Start A Web Design Business?
If you are looking to take your startup to the next level, here are just a few things you need to do to get you started.
- Take the time to build your brand.
- Put together a website to show off your portfolio.
- Utilize social media to build a presence online.
- Give potential clients business cards and take them to networking events.
- Boost your website’s ranking in the search engines by brushing up on your SEO knowledge.
- Look for a mentor who has experience setting up businesses.
- Make sure you have a lawyer and an accountant.
- Decide on how your website will be designed.
- Consider WordPress (we highly recommend it) as your website content management system
- Make sure you have a contract plan.
- Make sure you have a clear plan for ongoing website maintenance.
What Skills Will You Need To Succeed As a WordPress Web Designer?
This business is clearly not for everyone. The skills and abilities needed for successful web design in this competitive market are quite specific.
WordPress web design does not require you to learn how to code from scratch, which is great news for most of us.
However, you should possess these skills to be successful:
- SEO (search engine optimization) knowledge
- User Experience (UX)
- Visual design knowledge
- CSS and HTML knowledge
- Knowledge of tools such as Illustrator and Photoshop
- “People skills”
WordPress web designers need to keep in mind that they must create both an attractive and functional website. In order to achieve this, you need the right combination of technical expertise and creative flair.
The Importance Of “People Skills” For A Web Design Business
Being able to talk to people like they’re old friends can be a huge asset when it comes to building your web design business.
I consider myself an introvert. Being a “people person” isn’t exactly my thing, so I can relate to people who lack the natural ability to strike up a conversation with strangers.
Creating a client base for your web design business may be challenging for introverts, so make sure you stretch yourself a bit, but not too much.
That’s easy for me to say, isn’t it? As I sit with my headphones on, quietly facilitating encouraging words and phrases as they are spoken with thought.
Even though it’s easier said than done, it’s still possible. The following five tips will help you sharpen your “People Skills.”
- Make conversation with strangers a habit. Take the time to at least say hi to anyone who you come into contact with, whether it’s your waiter, barista, or person in the elevator with you. Taking this step will help you improve your communication with clients in the future.
- Participate in networking events and try meeting at least two people and strike a friendly conversation.
- Connect with a friend.
- Identify questions before you meet a client that you would want to learn about them. Consequently, this would involve imagining what kind of client you want to work with. It’s about quality over quantity.
- Plan to recharge on certain days, that way you’ll have time to yourself at the end of the day.
You will find a variety of ideas about how to develop a client base in the “Turning Contacts Into Contracts” Ebook, irrespective of whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.
Powerful Tutorials For WordPress Web Design
There are countless tutorials and courses available online as well as in libraries that can help anyone starting out or looking to improve their skills in WordPress web design.
Currently, there are over 500 hours of premium WordPress training content available on iThemes.
Let’s look at the best WordPress web design tutorials you can find to save yourself the time of researching it on your own.
HTML And CSS
WordPress designers should be well versed in HTML and CSS in order to produce the best designs. For more information on this topic, here are some courses and tutorials you can check out.
CSS Tutorials By LinkedIn Learning
This is an excellent starting point for learning about code. There are a number of tutorials and classes available here. These tutorials will teach you how to use HTML and CSS for creating a website on WordPress, why they are essential, and how exactly you can use them.
Once you understand these basics, you can move on to a more complex tutorial and course.
CSS Tutorial By W3Schools
You can learn a wide range of topics at W3Schools, from the basics all the way to advanced CSS techniques. When you master W3Schools’ courses, you will be able to create effective and powerful WordPress websites.
You should also be able to demonstrate proficiency in search engine optimization (SEO) since your clients will be looking for it when hiring a WordPress web designer. It is absolutely essential that you have a working knowledge of SEO if you want your clients’ websites to rank highly on Google and other search engines.
Remember that a website’s physical design only accounts for half of the work required. A site must also be search engine-friendly if it is to rank well on search engines like Google. Optimizing a site to suit a search engine’s algorithms and rules is essential if you want it to appear high in search results.
Additional WordPress Web Design Courses
The following are some other top courses you should consider before starting your business:
- CSS Tutorial For Beginners
- WordPress courses from iThemes Training
- Become a WordPress Web Design Expert Without Any Coding
You might also want to check out the book, “Web Designer’s Guide to WordPress: Plan, Theme, Build, Launch (Voices That Matter),” to broaden your knowledge.
It is an incredibly practical guide that will inform you about every aspect of WordPress website design – starting with initial installation, all the way to creating and implementing elaborate designs.
6 Helpful Resources For Web Designers
- Adobe Creative Cloud. The free 30-day trial is a great way to see if it’s right for you, since it costs quite a bit.
- Sketch. With Sketch, you’ll get an excellent design platform that’s simple and affordable. It also offers a 30-day free trial.
- Dribbble. Dribbble lets you explore designs, share yours, and promote others.
- Pexels. You can download free, high-resolution images for your projects.
- Unsplash. Free, high resolution images are available here.
- Pikwizard. There is an extensive library of free, beautiful pictures available on Pikwizard. There are a lot of pictures of people in this library, and I like the way they are categorized into relevant categories.
Wrapping Up: Starting Your Web Design Business
The only person that can help get you started on your path to success is you, regardless of the long-term goals of your new business.
There is a possibility that you already possess all of the technical skills required. However, you have no idea what to do to promote your company. If that’s the case, this article should be helpful for getting you started.
In contrast, you may already know how and what to do to start your business. But the problem is that you lack the technical expertise of web design. If this is the case, you’ll need to explore the various courses and tutorials listed here so that you can begin to learn how to become an expert.
Knowing that you will reap rewards for your hard work far outweighs the challenges you might face in this business. Web design businesses are tough, but it’s worth it financially and personally!
Enjoy the journey, learn from the lessons, and keep pushing forward to establishing your web design company!
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Sound too good to be true?
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What exactly is the skill?
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What I mean is…
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Now, I know you probably have tons of questions…