It can be difficult to go from an amateur freelance web designer to a more professional one. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do that will immediately set expectations. Take a look and be sure you’ve implemented all that apply to you and your Toronto web design business.
Build a Portfolio
Do you have a portfolio? If not, you should get one. An updated example of your work goes a long way towards painting you as a capable professional. Giving examples of past projects and who you have worked with can get you a job.
Be sure to show off different sorts of work. You may want to focus on typography, technique, composition, and layout on entirely different projects. Show off the work that you want to do again, and you’ll attract people looking for just that. They just need to know you’re the right person for the job.
Network, Network, Network
Meeting people is important in any job, but it’s especially true for freelancers. Having more clients is always a good thing as it shows how healthy your business is. It also ensures you can pay the bills even if a few sites drop off the radar.
Get out there. Join some social events in your area, check out a conference that relates to your business in some way, and get a feel for where your potential clients may be spending time. Even if someone doesn’t need your services, they may know someone who does!
Contracts and Expectations
Being a professional requires being professional, and contracts are part of that move. Maybe you already work with contracts, and if so, you’re ahead of the curve. Those who don’t need to make the leap.
A standard contract is not as daunting as it might seem. It includes an outline of the job and revisions, it details who owns rights to the finished product, and it also describes deadlines, fees, late fees, and payment dates. By having this in black and white, you provide a service that is far more professional than the average novice designer.
Your job may be design, but that job also involves a whole lot of communication. There are phone calls, emails, Skype video chats, and more. You need to make communication a priority. It makes you look good if you get back to them promptly, and it’s easy to implement.
If you aren’t on top of communication, problems can crop up that make your work harder. Get in the habit of checking in, answering your phone, and checking your email. Do not put off what you can do today until tomorrow.
These tips will help you in your pursuit of being a professional web designer. They’re all simple and easily incorporated, but they make a huge difference. If you don’t already do these things, it’s time to start. You can always choose one and work up to the others. Get out there and get some clients!