I’ve owned and operated my own successful web design business for quite some time now. Now I don’t mean millionaire successful. I mean paying my bills and living life on my terms successful. I’ve enjoyed it and continue to enjoy it.
Web design is an industry that is continuously changing. New ideas and methods pop up almost every day. It can be challenging at times. But…something about this industry interests you. Right? Obviously, or else you wouldn’t be reading this article.
Now let me get to the point of this article.
How can you start your own web design business? You want the truth? Just go out and do it. I know that’s not what you want to hear, that’s not what I wanted to hear. But, honestly, it’s really not that difficult. If you can push yourself a little bit, then you will get some business your way.
Let me tell you what I did.
I got tired with my 9 to 5 job. I found myself online a lot and looking for ways to make some money. I bought so many ebooks and business kits that would supposedly teach me how to make money online with my own websites…none of them worked. However, they did teach me a little about editing html and changing graphics on the pages. I still didn’t think about a web design business.
One day a business owner friend of mine asked if I knew how to change an image that he had on his website. I thought I would give it a try. I was able to do it and he gave me $100. I thought “Cool”. That was easy. I still didn’t think about a web design business.
Months went by and I wasn’t any better off than I was before. I started getting involved in blogs and forums and still tinkering with html and css. One day another friend of mine told me that he was going to hire a web designer for his new business and that he was going to pay him $5000. I opened my mouth and said “I can do it for $3500!”. I didn’t know what I was doing.
Sure enough I scoured Google to find out how to make his site. I did finish it, and it looked pretty good. I then got some referrals from him and I started making more websites. But I still didn’t think about a web design business. Sure I was making some nice money on the side, but I didn’t take it seriously.
So how did I make it into a business?
Well, first, I had to consider whether I wanted to market myself, as an individual, like “Freddy’s Web Design”. But I didn’t like that. It didn’t seem professional to me. So I thought of a business name and registered it at my local county courthouse. I then designed my own logo on Adobe Illustrator and designed my own website. (A website is crucial if that’s what you’re going to be marketing).
Once I got that done, I designed myself some business cards and ordered them very cheaply (1000 double sided color cards for about $20). Once I got my cards, it was time to get to work. I would go to local businesses and introduce myself saying, “Hi, I just wanted to stop by and leave my card. My name is Freddy and we make websites. Let me know if I can ever be of service to you.” Short and sweet. I can’t tell you how many times I walked out of a business with a signed contract after just introducing myself. People will ask you questions and you will get their business.
I hope that helps. There’s really no secret. You just have to get out there. I know it’s not a glamorous story, but I’m successful in my eyes. You too can be a successful web designer. I know I wrote a lot in this article, but the main points are:
- Commit yourself to building a successful web design business.
- Consider whether you’d like to market yourself, as an individual, or as a company.
- Design professional marketing materials for yourself (logo, website, business cards).
- Introduce yourself to local businesses and offer them your services.
- Get to work.