Newbie Freelancers: 5 Ways To Get Your First Web Design Client
You made the jump, eh?
Or, maybe your former employer made the jump for you. Either way, you are armed with the latest copy of the Adobe Creative Suite and you are ready for your first freelance client.
Here are the five things you need to do to get yourself off the ground and start making money from your work.
1. Set up your portfolio, website and social media accounts
A designer’s most important asset is their portfolio.
If you are a newbie and don’t yet have enough professional work behind you to assemble a portfolio, you should just put your personal projects in it: identity packages you have designed for your favorite brands, posters you designed for movies or school events, print-ads for your favorite brands etc. The bottom line is that it’s hard to get design work without samples.
If you have nothing, create something.
Once you have planned the pieces you want to include in your portfolio, you need a place to display it. These days, it’s unforgivable for a designer to not have their own website and accounts on all the major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Linked In). After all, potential clients can’t find you if you don’t have a significant online presence!
Your portfolio and contact details should be displayed prominently on your website as well as your Facebook page. Look up some SEO and Internet marketing techniques to make your website and profile pages more visible in search engines.
There are also a number of websites (like Carbonmade and Deviantart in the listing below) that can host your portfolio for you and make it accessible to a wide audience.
Here are a few portfolio solutions:
2. Sign up on outsourcing & design contest sites
‘Outsourcing’ or ‘bidding’ websites are a great way to meet potential clients. It’s hard to make a name for yourself or charge top dollar when you are competing against so many other designers for the same projects on these sites. However, it does get better over time. When you have worked long enough and built a good reputation, you will find more clients and work coming to you than you can possibly manage.
Following are some popular bidding and contest websites: