Freelancing is very helpful for web designers and especially those are starting their careers. You can earn a good amount of money with your preferred job timings. However, if you are shifting from your employment as a designer and starting a freelance career, it can be bit scary for you due to the pressure of being successful as a freelancer. You will be alone responsible for every aspect of this business and this is where the real challenge begins. As a freelancer, you would probably have done some mistakes that you think of today. It is not un-common because, with all the technology, tutorials and help that we find on the internet to stay focus on our work, there is something that people cannot avoid; the human error. Although, many of us will not admit about doing mistakes in freelancing but, it is the bitter truth. The best designer is the one who carefully analyzes the mistakes in freelancing and avoids them while working.
Mistakes can be in a very small and not worth mentioning but, others can be a disaster to your designing career. In today’s post we will closely look on some common mistakes that web designers do while they are working as freelancers. But, you would be thinking what’s the point of mention the mistakes only? So don’t worry, we would also be discussing their solutions so that you can benefit from our post. Below are some mistakes that you should avoid or be careful of while working as a freelance web designer.
Mistake # 1 – Not Promoting Your Work
Web designer’s work is based on the web, if you are not a person who loves an online presence all the time than it is one of the biggest mistakes ever. People will only get to know you when they interact with you. The world is moving to social media, where your familiarity depends on how your social circle. You cannot receive big projects and offers from top companies until you don’t have a gorgeous portfolio to show. You would have seen those designers that are on top positions earn a big amount of money through freelancing; the reason is their large connections. This is why promoting your name and work is very necessary in designing field. Now here is the solution for those who are struggling in making online presence.
You should start your own blog and share your work including some tips and tricks and tell your friends to join it. Creating a fan page on the social media is also a very good tactic because; people are always interested in learning about new stuff. As soon as you spend some weeks on it, make your portfolio site and ask everyone to visit it and promote you work to clients. It is very helpful technique for the beginners to make a solid start in their freelancing career.
Mistake # 2 – Accepting Every Project
More projects definitely means more cash and designers love that. However, this is a very big mistake that freelancers do in order to earn some extra cash by taking multiple projects in one time. It only leads to one thing; more pressure. Designers sometime regardless of what the pay is, accept multiple projects to gain extra experience or cash. Designers should release that accepting one job with good income is better than accepting multiple projects in low costs. Designers take it as opportunity to earn money but, it destroys their bargaining skills about pricing when accepting projects. Here is the answer on how to avoid this mistake.
Don’t agree to a low price job even if you are short of money. Agreeing to a job with low pay and huge amount of work will only lead in giving you headaches. Accept designing jobs that give you the amount that you deserve. Save enough money so that you don’t get depress in difficult times. Don’t say yes to every project that comes to your way because, in difficult time’s people tend to accept every job that they are offered but, those who wait get the best.
Mistake # 3 – Working without Contracts
This is a very common mistake that freelance web designers make. It can result in creating a problem between the client and you at some point. Clients sometime push you beyond your boundaries and at that stage you realize how important it is to have proper documentation with every rule and regulation in it. A properly signed contract is very helpful for freelance designers because, it defines what you are going to do in the amount offered. You will feel broken hearted if you worked very hard on a project and after a month you get to know that you are not being paid. You can easily avoid this mistake by following this solution.
Regardless of who your client is, you should always use proper signed contract when accepting any kind of freelancing job. Whether your project is large or small, you are working on an e-commerce store website, or you are working on a small brochure website. Everything you do should be included in your contract. It will also protect you legally if any disputes come between you and your client or if the client refuses to pay you at the end of the month.
Mistake # 4 – Thinking You know Everything
There are many designers who think they don’t need anything new to learn other than what is related to designing. This is totally wrong and a very big mistake if you are going to be a freelancer. In today’s world web designing is not just about the Adobe Photoshop skills, you should have a complete knowledge codes as well. This surely adds as a benefit when you are staring to work. There are some employers who would ask you the question like; you can do the coding too, right? So, avoiding learning something new will destroy your career. The world is moving rapidly and those who know basics are left behind. Here is a good solution with which you can avoid this mistake.
Mistake # 5 – Working as One man Army
It is very difficult for the designers who are starting their freelancing career to manage clients, meet with them, organize other meetings, prepare their documents, and answer to e-mails, phone calls while also making websites, graphic designs etc. If you are working alone, this is exactly what you will be doing. This will make you really tired after every night you go off from your work. That is why freelancing comes with many responsibilities. Now here is the right way to perform your duties when you are a working as a freelance web designer.
This might sound a bit strange but, it is the best option for you. Hire a person that will help you in doing small work that wastes your time. Just pass the work to your assistant and let them take care it for you. If you are thinking how you will pay the worker, then it has a very easy answer. You can set a profit margin of at-least 50% in your hourly rate by which you can make your time profitable. You can easily meet with new clients or existing without having to worry about other things.
Mistake # 6 – Not Offering Complementary Services
Struggling to find clients can be a huge frustration for freelance web designers. You call people, knock on the door, hand out your cards, post your portfolio and do many other things but, no client comes. This can happen very often to the designers. This mistake happens when you are continuously chase new clients after finishing your project with the last one, not knowing that you just missed an opportunity. Here is the solution for those who chase new clients and return empty hands.
The best way to always having work is offering complementary services to your existing clients. You would have noticed your client asking you about can you also make a log design? Or can help in making the site ranked in Google? Or can you help in online marketing? Etc. This is the time for you to jump in by taking it as a work opportunity. You can benefit a lot by offering these complementary services. Your income will get increased. Your struggle for finding a new client will end. These kinds of services are very helpful in filling out the gaps when you are finished with any project.
Mistake # 7 – Dealing with Anger
Designers are expert in their work and know better than the clients. But, we all know that some clients are not the same so you should be ready to change your will according to them. It is not always necessary that you will get everything as you wished. Expect clients to find a fault in your work, ask you for revision, or even reject your hard work and ask you to make a new one. This is very much possible that you would lose your temper and share your personal feelings to the client. This is a very big mistake that designers some do without knowing what they just did. This solution is for all those who face this kind of problem and how they should avoid it.
You should always think ahead of your client. A good tactic for handling this kind of situation is to get mentally prepared for it. Take your criticism in a positive way and utilize it to grow an even better web designer than before. Every designer faces the part of criticism in their career but, those who stand out are called best designers.
Mistake # 8 – Not Managing Your Time
This has to be the biggest mistake of all that designers do in their freelancing career. Freelancing is all about how you manage your time to get the most out of it. When you are starting as a fresh designer, you will be learning many new things but, the challenge will be to manage your time accordingly with every project. It becomes very hard to calculate how much time you should give to each project and that is a huge loss for the web designers. Not managing your time leads to undercharging which is very common in freelance designers who have just started. Below is a solution for those freelance web designers that are beginners and want to know the key to success in this business.
Managing your time is very helpful in freelancing. It can give you a very clear picture of how much time you are spending on each project and how much are you wasting. Tracking your time is very handy for the beginners in adjusting and planning. You can also evaluate how much you should charge hourly to the client and how much time any new project will take. You can track your weekly time as well. If you are working from home then it becomes more helpful to you. You can easily manage time between your personal and family matters when you have the full track of your time. It will save you from working more in less amount of money which many freelancers do in their starting stages. Another important thing to remember is to avoid burnout and try to enjoy your work so that you feel great in whatever you do as a freelance web designer.