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Thread: How to get work as a webdesigner?

  1. #1
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    Default How to get work as a webdesigner?

    First let me tell you about my background. I am from India. I am currently perusing my college education & CA ( CA is known as CPA in USA )

    I always had a interest in building website, which got me interested in web design.

    Initially (for a long time) I thought that I didn't knew enough to get started as a web designer, but recently by stumbling a video of Micheal Locke on Youtube and I realized I know enough to get started as a web designer.

    I am proficient with HTML, CSS, Photoshop & Wordpress. I can build a complete custom & unique wordrpess child theme (thanks to CSS & resources online).

    I tried getting work on online marketplaces such as:-
    www.freelancer.com
    www.guru.com

    Bidded on some projects which I could have completed on time, but didn't get any project ( May be theres too much competition on those marketplaces, you just can't compete with the super super low bid rate )

    Still just to test the waters I bidded really low for some project but didn't land a single gig

    Heck I even tried fiverr.com to at least get started.

    As I am a CA student I have my 7+ hours occupied daily so I can't take a full time job as a web designer. But I can still dedicate a few hours if I can find some freelance work online.

    But it seems I have no luck!

    So I wanted suggestion/tips from other member; how I can go about landing a freelance job?

    Any suggestions or tips will be appreciated.
    Last edited by nnewbie; 01-09-2014 at 08:44 AM.


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  2. #2
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    Some freelancers find work by asking people with large audiences to design headers or parts of their site. Then the owner of the site may feature them on their site or refer their readers to them. It can be a more challenging way because a lot of people may say "no" but it's worth a try.

    There are a few requests in the "Hire" forum here. Have you ever responded to any of those threads? There may also be more requests or similar threads on other forums as well.

  3. #3
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    You may change your signature in this forum to advertise your interest.

    Write articles, comment, twitter, facebook.

    Create an ebook.

    Email list to people and businesses for which you have the skills.

    Develop a web personna, become the authority and they will flow to you.

    Market your skill in the same fashion that you would market any other item, develop a following.

    From what I see, the successful marketers and successful professionals load their sites with what is of value to their prospects and draw people as a magnet would.. and after a relationship is built, the prospects buy from them.

  4. #4
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    Good advice, dave.

    Also, since you are a developer and designer, have you ever thought of doing tutorials on YouTube? You could advertise your services in the video and description.

    You could do the beginning of the task in the video to give the basic information for whatever you're teaching and then at the end, you could advertise your services.

    Granted, many people searching for coding and graphic tutorials on youtube are of the do-it-yourself crowd but for advanced work, this is a great way to let them know how you can help.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa View Post
    There are a few requests in the "Hire" forum here. Have you ever responded to any of those threads? There may also be more requests or similar threads on other forums as well.

    Yaa. I had tried to get some gigs in the hire me section. As as the frequency of new post's in hire me section is also less.

    I guess you guys are right, a few months ago I was thinking to build a website in "how to make a website" but later I dropped the idea.

    I guess I will again start working on that idea and try to build a website in that niche.

    Even if I am able to get a few thousand visitors per month, I probably should get a few enquirers from people who want me to help them to get their website up and running.

    Initially it seemed like a bad idea to me. I mean why would someone pay you to set up a website when they can find all the info required on my website for free. Later I thought there would be at least someone who probably doesn't have enough time and would happily pay some on to do it for them.

    Am really not sure whether it's going to work or not!

    Lisa you have a website in same space, do you get any enquirers from people to build/design a website for them?


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  6. #6
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    Getting rolling is sometimes the hardest part. I found that a portfolio is a huge key in a person’s success. When I started, I made a few websites for friends to help them out. This also helped me (without knowing it) to better understand what type of things people would be looking for. It is the difference of playing your guitar in your living room versus in front of people. You need something to show to help build confidence.

    A how-to approach will not work (voice of experience here). You need to identify and define who your customers are going to be. The how-to people want to know how to instead of hiring you. So why do people want websites? Usually to sell something or tell a story (we’ll leave out monetized and e commerce). How will the website accomplish those goals? Remember as much as the website is for your customer, it is really for the customer’s customers along with keeping the SERPs in mind.

    Do you know someone well enough that you are willing to give a deal that needs a site? Maybe you will even barter their products. Having even two or three websites in your website portfolio will give you more credibility as well as showcase your product.

    Do not overlook the power of referrals. I get most of my business this way. Although, I am getting much more because someone Googled me. But, that is only because of the sites showcased in my portfolio. Well, maybe not just, but you get the picture.

    When I look back at my first few sites, I think these would be perfect for upgrading now, but they gave me a start. In fact, I received a referral for a hotel website that made a good portfolio addition that got me a chamber site. The chamber site got me into teaching a social media class at a tech college (The how-to was social media, not website building) and in front of a bunch of businesses. This combined got me two more chamber websites, a hospital managed and social media account. The chamber websites got me a municipality website, which help me get two more municipalities and a library. The library website got me two more libraries. See how this works?

    The portfolio kept building with bigger and better projects as well as my experience and expertise. In the next two weeks I will be bidding on a nursery plant warehouse, law firm website and a credit union. But, it came from pretty humble beginnings. Currently, I am working to have a Wordpress Responsive them that looks like a natural website without benefits or needs for plugins to stay ahead of the curve. (I'll save that for another post)

    I have a couple old threads showing this from last year and the year before. You can see iit took a while, but you can do it also. They key is hard work and good decisions.
    http://goo.gl/KulWmB
    http://goo.gl/P014NT

    Best of luck is when you help make it
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    and now Bill's Blog.

  7. #7
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    I disagree that the "How to Approach" does not work. It indeed does depend who you target but the "How To Approach" CAN work when you only give information away pertaining to low value tasks. If a prospective client was quizzing me over something I know I can charge for, and I felt they were trying to squeeze freebies out of me, I will say to them "I can tell you and it's X amount an hour", but if it is something simple like talking about how to sign up for a service or how to use an advertising platform, it can be mutually beneficial because they may go onto spend on Facebook ads promoting a site you have built. This has it's advantages if you rent the site annually or monthly. I would expect their website to become a more pivotal part of their business and it means I could continue to receive a regular income from that client.

    Being helpful is also a pretext for putting together Youtube tutorials. Using instructional and how to videos you can rank for longtail keywords targeted geographic related search terms, E.g. "web design in Birmingham". YouTube performs well in search and with its connection to Google Plus you are sowing some good seeds for a great social media presence in the future.

    Tutorials, blogs and videos can be sent to prospects/clients email addresses as a subtle way to advertise your services and keep yourself at the top of their mind. It makes them think of you when a friend or relative of theirs needs a website building, and you're more likely to get the referral. I get enquiries by phone from people who I spoke to more than 2 years ago but they call out of the blue because they've read a blog post I've written and ask me how much a website is. Most of these people were added to my list manually - I cold called them years back and asked their permission to add them even though at the time they were not in buying mode. Eventually their circumstances change and once they are ready to plan a website you could be the one who gets the enquiry because you've kept a steady flow of teaser info going to their email address. If you can find ways to keep the dialogue open and flowing, and makes it easy to work with people.

    The concern you probably have is the idea you're giving too much away and not charging properly. What I say to that is you must develop an instinct for identifying time wasters and cheapskates. You'll always get those people and I don't recommend getting involved with them. They're the types of clients who will always haggle and try to knock down your prices. If you agree to this you're only going to get more of these types of client because guess what... they refer one another too!! LOL

    Small businesses and self employed individuals should definitely charge properly. A higher price means you have the reources to outsource and invest in quality suppliers. For instance, I prefer using paid premium WordPress plugins instead of free solutions. Being cheap yourself means your work is never of a decent quality. Charge a good price by targeting those you know can afford it. Pick a market to focus on such as kitchen fitters or interior designers for instance. These businesses can make hundreds of thousands every 12 months. Stay away from painters and decorators unless they themselves charge high rates. Do your research to find the best paying clients and find out if they're already spending money on advertising and how much it costs them. Plumbers charge up to $100 an hour if not more during anti-social hours so they will not dispute a high performing and well designed website for say $90 a month. Look for quality clients, and help them. They will help you not only by paying what you ask but they will tell their friends and associates in the same income bracket about YOU.

    Helping people in a way which is not detrimental or labour intensive is part of your marketing. When I give free consultation, I only do it if the other person phoned ME (Why should I run up a high phone bill?) and if I make a YouTube video I keep it short, tantalizing and friendly. Most of all, I create help guides on my own terms. I am not a DJ taking requests - the prospects get what they are given. Imagine a scenario in which a new prospect is asking you to give them a 50% discount because they know another web designer who does just that. My response would be, "Let's leave the price as it is and I promise I'll work twice as hard as the other guy". The point is, do not think you are "helping" people by lowering the price. In doing so you yourself are making an issue of the cost because you are more or less admitting that your work is not really worth what you asked originally. In the prospect's mind, they are suddenly not putting value on what you do. They will psychologically file you away in the same part of their mind that deals with car wash coupons and discount taco vouchers.

    Helping someone through a quick training video is educational, informative, interesting and compelling. It is also attention seeking in a good way. This style of marketing works out more cost effective than placing an ad in the paper for two reasons. 1 You're connecting instead of broadcasting and 2 You can approach your ideal market in a surgical manner. If you're going to help people, I think it is fair you get to choose who to work with. I have spent incredible amounts of time with particular individuals because I happen to now they have ideal connections. Call me selfish if you want but I am in business to make money first. I gotta eat too.

    In the last decade technology has evolved to a point where the internet is totally transparent. Social media can elect as well as destroy governments, as we have all seen in the news. Everyone has the potential to become like a fish in an illuminated tank where people expect a 360 degree view of businesses. In this day and age others will be talking about you whether you like it or not. You cannot control everything said but you CAN take control of your own output and use this as a rudder to make waves and influence those conservations. This is one reason why you should target a very small geographic niche as a web designer or marketer. It is also an effective SEO strategy. Make your professional world smaller and you can have greater influence within it.

    I see it this way: There's an accountability on those who expect to profit in today's recession-ridden society. The burden of proof is greater, it is harder than it has been in the past and many do not have the confidence to spend. The solution: Give people something good to talk about and they'll find their way to you through word of mouth.

    In summary, definitely use Youtube, and Slideshare too. You can do some great stuff with these platforms and in the end it will pay you back repeatedly. Make your content timeless, and make some of it for clients only. This is your inner circle you charge for, ideally as a subscription. Just make sure you set your prices at the right level. It shows you take your work seriously if you ask for a higher rather than lower amount. It will also keep away those who are either not serious or cannot afford it. Low prices attract cheap clients, Higher prices attract quality clients.

    One more thing.. there's one word that will double your income, and that word is "No". You don't have to take on EVERY job, just a few well paying ones.
    Last edited by Darren; 01-14-2014 at 09:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren View Post

    The concern you probably have is the idea you're giving too much away and not charging properly. What I say to that is you must develop an instinct for identifying time wasters and cheapskates. You'll always get those people and I don't recommend getting involved with them. They're the types of clients who will always haggle and try to knock down your prices. If you agree to this you're only going to get more of these types of client because guess what... they refer one another too!! LOL.
    Actually that is still my concern. This morning I have an appointment in 2 hours bidding o a project at about $3,000 knowing my competition will be between 5,000-7,000. The problem is I already gave a ballpark based upon an hourly rate. I nee focus as much on the quality of product as hours and overhead. The big problem is that we worry about making enough to buy things light groceries and electricity, that we wait so long to ramp up to where we should be.

    By how-to should probably be better defined as how much how-to. I teach a social media class that gets me website customers. A balance of giving enough but not to much to have them recognize you as an expert is important. Event hen, showing someone how to fix a sink might have them just say fix it for me, but it depends upon how you do it.
    Like Bill at Facebook and Twitter.

    and now Bill's Blog.

  9. #9
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    Yes, how much is enough is the conundrum. If I help people out, I try and do it in a way knowing the experience they get will be shared publicly. With Youtube this happens as soon as you upload a video, but over the phone I want to create my own disciples and have them tell their friends, associates etc. The businesses that fail in future will be the ones who do absolutely nothing in terms of helping, sharing and building authority. By the same token the businesses that fail will be the ones who do not treat what they do as a business because they are not charging properly.

    The "Freemium" model is a typical business model, and doing seminars or lectures on a subject is the equivalent of a newspaper publishing an extract chapter from a book. By helping people with a How-To approach you should see it as giving a free extract.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill the Builder View Post
    By how-to should probably be better defined as how much how-to. I teach a social media class that gets me website customers. A balance of giving enough but not to much to have them recognize you as an expert is important. Event hen, showing someone how to fix a sink might have them just say fix it for me, but it depends upon how you do it.
    So what are you final thought on me start a "how to" website to get some website building work?

    Am definitely sure Lisa must be getting some amount of request from people to build a website for them. Granted that she is a popular personality online. But even if I can get a fraction of traffic, may be I'll be able to get some enquirers.

    What are your thoughts about it?


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nnewbie View Post

    Lisa you have a website in same space, do you get any enquirers from people to build/design a website for them?
    Not very often but when I do I usually send them to Elance through my affiliate link -- it depends on what they need. Most of them end up signing up through my reseller account once I explain how it all works.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa View Post
    Not very often but when I do I usually send them to Elance through my affiliate link -- it depends on what they need. Most of them end up signing up through my reseller account once I explain how it all works.
    Strange! I have heard many bloggers saying that the majority of their clients come from their website from those "how to" articles.

    For example I am sure that Rob (robcubbon.com) ones on his website mentioned that almost all his freelance work comes from his site where he blogs for people like himself (freelance webdesigners)

    I not sure where did he mention on his blog, maybe in some of his YouTube video, blogpost or may be in some interview; but am sure he once mentioned that starting his blog was the best decision he has ever made for his business as most of his client work comes from there.

    In your case it may not be so because you don't build website for others so you obviously don't promote your service on your website.

    Gosh now I am so confused


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  13. #13
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    I actually am doing a business where I setup free WordPress websites for people who sign up for hosting through my aff link. I know that you've got to get out there and tell people about what you do without being pushy. I've not had a client yet but am working on getting my name out there.

    Some of the ways I'm working on things are flyers, business cards, I've done YouTube videos in the past, Keyword-based blog posts, forum and blog commenting providing real value (as I hopefully am here), will be doing guest posting, word of mouth.

    In reality, I do not believe there is a right or wrong answer, honestly.

    And yes, there's always going to be competition but if you can get (as I'm working on myself) one client where you can help them out with one thing and learn from that experience, do a good job, to the point they want to recommend you and things start to grow, you're onto something. That's the way I would see it happening. But, still, you never know. Things might not go that way.

    Just being out there talking to people whether it's offline or on, and letting people know what you can do on a website of your own as well as social media and the many methods I mentioned above should do something.

    There are certainly many ways to go about it as I'm working on myself.

    Just get out there and experiment as ask as you are now. Make sure you explain and show your skills however you can online.

    Get a website up, talk about your skills, video tutorials, and so on. Then, spread the word and drive traffic back. With the right audience, I'm sure something will turn up.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluepop13 View Post

    And yes, there's always going to be competition but if you can get (as I'm working on myself) one client where you can help them out with one thing and learn from that experience, do a good job, to the point they want to recommend you and things start to grow, you're onto something. That's the way I would see it happening. But, still, you never know. Things might not go that way.
    It's been working that way for me, and a good way to keep the lines of communication open with clients even after you've built their website is to put them on a very special mailing list and send them useful (non promotional) content regularly. I record videos and send them. When I record the video I make it sounds like they're talking on the phone with me, although the dialogue is obviously one sided since I'm the only one doing the talking.

    The other thing is that doing things this way sets the example to web design clients about how they can market themselves. If you get good at producing videos, podcasts, marketing etc, you will be able to add those skills to your "Services" page and help clients that way. Building the website itself is relatively easy but the marketing has to be conducted permanently. I've been on the phone today with someone who wants a website but because I "rent" websites, I will not invest in someone's business if they cannot be bothered to market and promote the site. They will only resent having to pay for something they they do not fully understand.

    You need to teach marketing in this day and age - good web design is a byproduct of good marketing. Getting good clients allows the great work to occur.

  15. #15

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    I appreciate the the discussion. I would like to thanks for creating this threat and also thanks for contributors they have shared very interesting discussion.

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