Every day, more businesses take their first step in owning a part of the internet – building a website. With the daily increasing number of businesses going digital, it is still outnumbered by businesses who operate brick and mortar but do not have a presence online.
This is enough point to prove that the world doesn’t have enough web design businesses yet. As a person with web design skills, you may want to start getting clients for yourself as a side hustle or become a full-blown business owner. If you fall into any of these categories, this article is just the right thing for you to read.
Although, the idea of starting and maintaining a typical business may seem difficult at first. However, the benefits often measure up to the efforts put in.
For many businesses that now realize that the more effective way of reaching potential and existing customers is the internet, position yourself as the problem solver who builds their website for them.
Here are 5 important things you need to know before starting a successful web design business.
1. Create a personal/portfolio website
This should make sense straight away. You must have heard of a syrup vendor who coughs as he markets his products in a commercial vehicle right? That says it all.
How would you expect anyone to trust you with building their website for them if you don’t have one? It goes beyond giving the impression that you can build a website.
The first thing anyone will judge you with is the standard of your website. It is also a means of showcasing your previous projects, client’s testimonials, press reviews as well as your unique selling propositions.
You don’t need to talk directly to prospective clients all the time. Having a website will sell for you even in your absence.
2. Defining your market
This is as important as the first because, truthfully, the only way a business will grow is with the frequent inflow of customers. In the case of web design, it goes beyond having customers, it also covers making customers your advocate in the market.
Other things that you can do is having an in-depth understanding of your target market, their pain points, reasons for owning a website, what value a website would bring to their businesses as well as the possible advantages it will give them over their competitors that are not capitalizing on.
Having this knowledge will make prospective clients perceive your expertise and this will also put you on top of their minds as regard web design.
3. Determine your charging rates
For a new business, getting clients to pay the standard industry fee can be a difficult task. More often, the marketing strategy used by new entries into a market is discounted prices.
They attract customers and over time, they are able to increase their profits. Acquired customers won’t live because change sometimes might just be too expensive plus may not worth it. Besides, there are other ways to retain customers than giving a discounted price.
You may want to consider charging based on the project to be executed and not the per hour. The reason being that most workers turn to freelancers or start their own business because they want a more flexible work nature. Charging based on projects will allow you to work at your own pace which often encourages creativity.
In a world characterized by competition, you want a distinctive name, image, color and voice that people can easily trace to you. In this time and age, branding is the only way people know that you are intentional about what you are doing.
It has its way of implying business authenticity and perpetuity. Talking about your website, social media pages, business cards, etc. you need consistency in passing across your brand message to your clients.
The costly mistake you can make in business, especially in the digital world is being inconsistent. Build for yourself a good business brand as well as a personal brand because it’s not about what you know but what people know that you know.
This will go a long way to become a top of mind among your target audience. In no time, you won’t need to personally pitch to clients as other elements of your business such as branded items and words of mouth will work around the clock for you.
For most businesses, the primary essence for online presence and management is to create awareness. With your website up and running, market defined, pricing strategy determined and brand identity ascertained, you are ready to take on the world. You already have more than what an average web design expert has.
You can start with creating an online presence for small businesses you know; these businesses will serve as your portfolio which you can upload on your website and showcase to clients when you go for a pitch. You can also expect these businesses to refer other businesses to you.
Social media is also a proven way to promote your business. It’s basically the art of taking your business to where your prospective clients hang out. You can join a design community to learn from other professionals as well as leverage the comment section to share your educated views on the topic and make yourself known.
It is also good for personal branding which is also a way to give prospective clients the impression that you know what you are doing.
Blogging which is a way of sharing relevant and valuable knowledge based on your expertise will also go a long way in making you a thought leader in your industry.
When people visit your site and they are able to find answers to what boggles their mind, they don’t need you to pitch to them before reaching out to you because you are already seen as an expert.
You can make research on the types of topics that trend in your industry or just use your creativity and assume the place of customers by thinking of what questions they would like to be answered. In no time, Google will notice your site provides answers to question and the reward will be increased suggestions to search engine users.
With all the steps listed above followed, you will be able to create a successful web design business with a solid foundation.
Taking all steps at once may be overwhelming. A gradual approach will ensure you are not stressed out and enable a strong and distinct web design business.