There are more than three billion people connected to the Internet – that’s a huge number of opportunities waiting for freelance designers to tap into.
But the same dilemma remains: Why are there a lot of freelance web designers struggling to find long-term clients?
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If you are one of them, you might be wondering what you are doing wrong. Why are some web professionals successful with multiple clients and can also charge higher per project, while others are struggling to find just a single client?
There are no set methods or standards on how to acquire projects that are long-term. Instead, we can only share with you the principles and ideas shared by expert freelancers that have been successful in their respective web businesses.
Let Your Clients Know What You are Capable of Doing
A website is more than a website.
What does that mean? It simply means that a website is just an end product, a tool that can become successful or idle if you know how to use it or not. When you design a website and give it to your clients, they don’t know what to do with it unless they have marketing and design knowledge.
All they know is that they already have a website and you completed your job. That is how most web designers work – they meet the client, ask their clients what they want, they design the website, give it to the the client, the client pays them, and then the working relationship ends.
However, if you show your client that you can add value to their business other than creating a website, you are positioning yourself to become part of their team, for the long-term. Knowing how to code or how to design a website alone isn’t enough anymore.
It is a fact that there are many web designers out there that are as talented, or maybe more talented than you are. So what is that extra value you can add that will let clients choose you and work with you for a longer period?
Paul Jarvis was able to charge $9,000 per project because he also offers his clients different business strategies that will help them use their website effectively to grow their business.
In short, you have to begin thinking and practicing that you are also an entrepreneur and look at the other aspects of web design aside from coding and designing.
Making the Website Work
Websites nowadays are interactive – designed to be explored, shared, and used across different types of platforms and devices. So when you design a website, you should also focus on the business aspect of the website.
Focusing on the business side of the website does not mean that you have to manage all its aspects or even take on the accounting side of things. It simply means that you have to make sure that it works to meet the unique needs of each of your clients and in so doing, you’d help them grow their business.
For example, if your client is an author, their primary goal is to expand their readership and their community as well as increase the sales of their book. If the client is a musician, then they definitely need to build their fan base and sell their music. For some, they might want to increase their membership, their subscribers, their visitors, and so on.
Ask what your client does, what it is they offer, and how can the website you’ve created help them grow their business.
Make Sure that You Set Your Client Up for Growth
Knowing and understanding something is one thing, but making it work effectively and efficiently is another.
The process does not stop when you find out what your client needs. It is just the beginning because the most important thing is you help them create a strategy that will help them grow their business.
The strategy includes placing the right elements on the website as well as implementing those elements. How are you going to use email and opt-in boxes, membership systems, and contact forms?
Even the placement of the header is crucial to optimizing the website. Even the graphics and copywriting should contribute to the website as a whole to achieve its targeted purpose – and that is to convert them from visitors into customers.
In fact, the beauty of graphics should complement the value of the content and vice-versa. One of the most powerful quotes about content states that “the user always look at the content and graphics as one entity and never separated from the other.” With this in mind, you should never overlook either of them.
When your client sees the value you can offer and see the results of what you have done, your clients will naturally go back to you.
As Jairek Robbins said in our podcast interview with him, “You have to over-deliver until you make raving fans from your customers and they can’t stop talking about you to every person they meet.”
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