Starting a web design business 2021 in is easier than you think. That’s why in this post I share my best tips and strategies for starting your own web design company without the stress!
In this video, I’m going to share with you the exact steps you need if you want to start a Web design business now.
Hello, I’m your host Kaycinho from Kaycinho.com , I’m the digital alchemist, and today we’re going to talk about starting a Web design business.
So I’m going to share with you the exact steps you need to get started. And I call these the four “how to’s”, how to be credible, how to get clients, how to price your services and how to deliver the services you’re being paid for.
If you can answer these four questions, you’re on your way to start a successful web design business.
Who am I?
I’ve been a freelance web designer since 2012. And boy, I can’t believe it’s been that long already.
Now, before I started freelancing, I used to be employed as a web professional for a couple of airlines as well as for an advertising agency. So that has taught me a lot of what happens in the corporate world and how to handle projects.
But I love being a freelancer so much. It gives you so much freedom and also gives you a lot of responsibilities. But freedom has no price.
So let’s look at the first of the steps. If you want to start a web design business.
1 – How to be credible as a Web designer
So just think about it. If you’re going to go and pitch some clients, they will want to see what you’ve built as a web designer. Right?
Kind of makes sense. Now, this is where a lot of people get trouble because they think they need a really huge portfolio with big names.
And you don’t need any of that. I mean, if you got it, fine, but you probably wouldn’t be reading this post anyway.
So to be really practical, this is what you need to do. So the first thing you need to do is to build your own website. But I guess you know how to do that.
And if you don’t, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, including on my channel.
Next, you want to have three items in your portfolio.
You could start with a one page website and get it three pages websites and a five pages website.
And yes, you’re going to build those for free… And I know. I know. But you need to give before you receive. Right?
So here’s how are you going to do it, because you’re going to play it smart.
Some people advise you to go and look for friends and family, and that’s fine if it works out for you.
Now, personally, I don’t like doing that because I don’t like to mix and match family and friends with business, because just imagine you are at a barbecue with your family and then they come and talk to you about the website and all the work you have to do.
I don’t want to mix and match these, but if you’re all for it, feel free.
Now, what I advise you to do instead is just go and look for three businesses in your local area, try to look for businesses that either have obsolete websites or no website at all, which is even better.
And you’re going to make them an offer that “they can’t refuse”, as I often say. You’re going to tell them: “Listen, if I had to build a website for you, it would be …”. And then you just replace the blank … with the correct figure.
That would be the average amount for a similar website where you live. Could be 1K, 2K, 5K, 10K, I don’t know. But basically what it would cost them.
And then you’re going to tell them you’re going to offer that service for free. But in exchange, you get the final word on the design because you want this to be in your portfolio.
So you get to make the decisions about the design. So that’s the first condition. And the second condition is that they’re going to sign a non-disclosure agreement where they can never reveal that it was made for free. And in case they do, they owe you the amount that’s on the non-disclosure agreement.
If you apply these simple tips, you can build your own website with your portfolio very fast.
OK, now that you’re credible, let’s move on to step number two.
2 How To Get Clients
So that’s a question I get asked all the time. So make sure you write some notes. So first of all, you can go online where everybody’s going like Fiverr, Upwork, those kind of platforms.
Now, if you want to step it up, you can have your own blog and you’re going to write about topics that’s going to interest as the target that you have.
So if you’re trying to target everybody, it’s going to be really hard for you to make a name for yourself.
But let’s say you want to target lawyers, for example. So you would write blog articles about “how to create a website for lawyers“, “five tips for your law firm website“, “the one thing that should be on your law firm website” and so on.
You get the idea.
And by doing that, you’re going to try to rank inside of Google to get more leads. And then it’s up to you to transform those leads into clients.
Personally. I’m more of a video guy, as you may have guessed. So you can do exactly the same thing on YouTube or on some other platforms. But I think that YouTube is really great because it’s a search engine. So instead of writing a blog post, you just going to make a video about it.
So that’s all great. But it also depends a lot on the competition around you.
So I have another way to find clients that not many people think of and it’s actually really simple: business networking. And bear with me, don’t go yet.
I know it sounds counter intuitive. You’re trying to build a business where are you going to sell websites and then I’m asking you to go to a meeting and actually meet people. And I know it’s not always possible, especially with everything we’re going through right now.
But some of those business meetings happen with Zoom calls right now. So you could still do it from the comfort of your home.
But what’s really important here is the dynamics, because when you’re on Fiverr or on Upwork, you’re trying to look for someone to pitch your services to.
So you’re already in a position of weakness, in my opinion, because you’re competing with a gazillion of other Web designers and developers. And everybody wants the client right?
Now when you go into a business networking session, whether it’s physical or in a zoom call or whatever software you’re using, the dynamics are different because they’re looking for a professional.
And then when they hear you’re web designer, they come to you.
So the situation is really reversed.
They’re looking for someone and you happen to be there. But one thing to bear in mind is that in most of these groups, there is only one person per profession. So if you get into a group like this, you would be the only web designer, just like there is only one plumber, one dentist and so on. And for me, I find it much easier than trying to compete with a gazillion of other designers and developers.
Sure, I like competition, but hey, at one point I need to make a living. I want to enjoy that time. And the time I’m not looking for clients is the time I’m actually building websites.
So basically once a week or every couple of weeks, you’re going to meet roughly 30 to 40 entrepreneurs and business opportunity will arise from that. And because you’re credible as a web designer, it’s going to be a breeze to transform some of those leads into paying clients.
Because they see your portfolio and think: “Oh, some other businesses trusted him / her, so why not us?“.
Now, the truth is, whether you go for business networking, Google ranking, YouTube search, ranking, Upwork, Fiverr and so on. It doesn’t really matter.
The question is, what do you feel comfortable with and what gets you the best results? And even if you get a lot of results with one system or one option, do you enjoy it as much as from the other source or do you make as much money? All those ingredients are going to decide if it’s a good recipe for you.
So one thing you need to you to do is just try, try and try again and also make a note of everything you’re trying so that you can make better decisions.
Now, the question is, how much are you going to price those services?
3 Pricing Your Services
Now, there are many ways you can price your services. One of those ways is by the hour.
Pricing Per Hour
So basically you need to assess how many hours to work in a month if you want to have the salary that you want to have.
And you’re just going to divide that amount by the number of hours that you can actually work building websites. So that’s a very simplified version of what I already covered in another video.
But basically, once you know your hourly rate, you can communicate that to your clients.
Pricing Per Project
Now, another pricing option is per project. So basically when a lead comes, you’re going to assess their needs and then you just going to set the number of hours you need to complete that project.
Now, the beginning, it may be quite hard if you have no experience, but the more you build websites, the more you’re going to know.
But the little trick here is that when you were building your portfolio in step one, you should have taken note of the time it actually took to build the website.
So then, you’d know how many hours it takes for a one page website, for a three pages website and for a five pages website. At least it’s a start.
Pricing Per Package
Another way to price your services is per packages. And this is exactly what Chris from A Nerd’s World is doing on his website.
Value Based Pricing
Now, another way of pricing your services is based on value. So instead of charging per hour, per project, or via packages, you’re going to take a cut of the value you’re going to bring to your client.
So, for example, let’s say you’re going to build a website for jewelry store that is well-known in your area. And let’s say that you expect the website to make a million bucks after one year.
I know sounds a lot, but hey: it’s jewelry store.
So they would go from making $0 online to actually making a million bucks. That’s another considerable stream of income for them.
So you could sell your services at 100K because they would make an extra 900K in the operation.
That business model can be really great. But as you can see, there are a lot of “ifs” that you need to assess.
And what if the website doesn’t make one million bucks but only makes 10K? All of this comes with experience and the more you practice, the easier it is going to get.
But you also need to bear in mind that your portfolio and reputation play a big role in selling those type of contracts.
This is a type of strategy applied by Chris and his company The Futur.
Which Pricing Strategy Then?
So once again, you should experiment with this pricing strategy, see what fits you best, what gives you the best results.
4 – Delivering The Service
So once you’re credible, because of your portfolio, once you know how to get clients, once you know how to price your services, how do you actually deliver the value?
So my process is as follows:
I always start with the briefing. The briefing is so crucial because basically what the client is going to tell you is not always what they need.
They’re trying to express in their own words what they want. But you as a professional must guide them. And that’s why the briefing is so important.
Don’t become one of those professionals that say amen to anything the client wants because they just want the business. But maybe they’re not doing a favor to the client because what the client wants is a return on investment.
And if you as a professional spot that if you do what they ask you is not going to help, you need to have a discussion with them.
Now, don’t become a dictator and force the client to do stuff they don’t want to do.
That’s not what I’m talking about.
What I’m saying is, is if a client comes and said, listen, I want a big giant button that takes 95 percent of the page, and if you know it’s not going to work because people actually need to see the copy and the images, then as a professional, you can give them the right advice and then they decide to listen or not.
So once the briefing is complete, we can define the strategy.
Wireframes / Prototype
After the briefing and strategy are set, I move on to the wireframing and prototyping phase.
Design / Development
Once the prototype is approved, I move to the design and development phase.
And I only put the final website online the day I’ve been paid in full. Next, I will train my clients to update their own website, if that’s what they want.
If the clients took a maintenance plan, I will follow up with them.
Starting A Web Design Business 2021: Your Turn!
So try to picture yourself once you’re credible, that you know how to get clients, how to price the services and how to deliver the website you’re being paid for, then is just rinse, recycle and repeat.
Get my help
Now, if this looks a bit vague and you’d like some help, just go to Kaycinho.com/obwp and I’ll see you on the other side.
If you got any value out of this post (and the companion video), I would really appreciate if you could give the video a thumbs up, because it really, really helps growing my channel.
And if you want more videos about Web design and freelancing, make sure you subscribe on my Youtube channel and smash the notification bell.
I’ll see you in the next post / video in the meantime, take care and stay safe!