PUSH YOURSELF AND GET GOOD
I’m not the best designer out there, and you don’t need to be either. But you do need to be pretty good. I like to think that there is an 80/20 rule applying here. That is to get 80% good takes a few years of work, to get that last 20% and get to the top of your field takes a lot more effort (and/or talent). I think I’ve gotten to 80%, I design things that are solid. I’ve never won any awards, but my work is functional, appealing and generally well-liked. I admire reallygreat, cool and clever designers, but know that I’m probably never going to be one of them.
So how do you get 80% good? You push yourself of course! I started out years ago as a mathematics major who liked photoshop tutorials, not exactly a recipe for good design. But I read a lot of really good design books on typography, grids, aesthetics, colour, more typography, branding, advertising, even more typography … you get the picture. I went to design events and conferences, talked to designers as much as possible, got a job at a small agency and endlessly talked to the senior web designer there.
I also did as much work as I could find. First I wrote tutorials, then I started entering competitions (never mind that I never won, or even had anything worth competing most of the time), then I started taking charity jobs, then freelance work and the whole time I would design my own sites and brands over and over and over. Do I think you need talent to be a good designer? Not particularly. It sure helps, but I like to think I made up for a lack of talent or artistic background with sheer hard work.
BE LIKEABLE, EXCITED AND ENTHUSIASTIC
I have met some really talented people who I would never want to work with, simply because I didn’t really like them. The people who are going to hire you are … well, people. And like any other people, they are going to like someone who is nice, friendly, warm, interested in them and interested in their project.
It’s often the little things that make a big difference in this area. Cyan likes to tell a story about a photographer she knows who takes cups of coffee with him to photo shoots for his clients, and has noted that a few times this has been the deciding factor in winning him future jobs. A friendly tone in emails, a genuine interest in people, enthusiasm about work, it all helps!
A large number of jobs for most freelancers come from referred clients. Do a good job for one person and they tell others for you. 80% of all the jobs I’ve worked were referrals and I think being referrable is extremely important. Focus on the characteristics that make people want to work with you, and be reliable, very reliable.
Reliability is one of the most prized characteristics for a freelancer. As a client finding someone you can rely on means solving a problem permanently. Many freelancers are not reliable, and this presents and easy way to stand out from the rest.
DESIGN THE PORTFOLIO YOU THINK YOUR CLIENTS WANT TO SEE
It never fails to amaze me how many designer portfolios I see that feel like they are aimed at other designers. The language you use on your portfolio site, the pieces you choose and the presentation should all be pitched at the clients you are trying to land. When hiring designers for corporate work I’ve had people present me portfolios of grungy, edgy or just arty work. This is a huge turn off and for a client, rather confusing. People want to see what they want to buy, not something completely different. So if your target market is edgy, make it edgy, if it’s corporate, make it corporate. Spend the time defining your brand and target market and then create a portfolio that will appeal to them.
FOCUS ON CLIENTS AND BE FLEXIBLE
To be a good designer you need to do work that fits your brief. You should not do work that you happen to want to do, use a trendy style just because, be fixated on designing how you like or any of the other many sins designers regularly commit. If you focus on solving your client’s problem, are flexible and adjust to their needs and within the framework of your brief put together the best possible design solution you can, then you are going to be a designer in demand.
One common complaint I hear from designers is, “my client has bad taste” or “my client demands changes that ‘ruin’ a design”. First of all, let me say, I *completely* understand. Unfortunately that’s rubbish, and you’ll need to get over it.
If you want to make things to please yourself, go be an artist.
If you want to make things to please yourself, go be an artist. If you want to be a designer you have to learn to manage your client, explain why some things are good and others bad, fit their requirements, be flexible and compensate for external issues out of your control (your client’s love of pink or their horrid logo). That’s just part of the job description.
GET A HIGH PROFILE
Most of what I’ve said so far applied to me when I worked as a freelancer. In February of this year I stopped taking freelance work and started working fulltime for Eden. Since then the visibility of some of the sites I have designed has gotten a little higher. Sites like FreelanceSwitch, FlashDen andPSDTUTS get seen by a lot of people and generally result in the plethora of job offers that still trickle in.
But you don’t need to own a high traffic website to get a high profile. Most of the job offers just get sent to our various contact forms saying things like “Who is your web designer?”, “I have a job for your web designer” and so on. In other words you just need to design a site that has a high profile. You can do this by getting your work into CSS and web design galleries or by offering to design a high profile blog (lord knows, some of them could do with a redesign).
There are other ways to get a high profile too. Positioning yourself as an expert and achieving credibility are great ways to make clients come to you. Often becoming an acknowledged expert has more to do with deciding you are one than any external nomination. One excellent strategy to achieving is outlined in Leo’s recent article on giving away your services
Most of our clients tell us that enquiries from the Yellow Pages are a major source of business for them – and in fact the major source if your product or service is home related. If it has not generated much business for you in the past, it may be that your layout is ineffective, or possibly there are additional categories that you should be in.
Online is also growing hugely. In this article, we summarise eight key points that will increase response from this source.
Research(1) shows that 58% of people who look in the Yellow Pages do not have a supplier’s name in mind. The other 42% have a company in mind but will on average contact at least two organisations. At least one third of this group are willing to be swayed to a different company. Therefore, nearly three quarters of all users are up for grabs! So it makes sense to have a more powerful and effective ad than your competitor! Here are some tips for success:
1. DON’T put your company name at the top of the ad. Just because everyone else does this, doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do! DO put a benefit or a catchy phrase at the top, such as “Reliable & fast appliance servicing” or “service around the clock”. Select a phrase that is a) less than ten words long and b) includes a benefit or unique feature about your business.
2. DO include a list of the products or services you offer. 71% of Yellow Pages users would not ring to enquire about a product or service if it was not mentioned in an ad, but would look for another one that did mention it. (2)
3. DO include a graphic or illustration – a picture paints a thousand words and can break the monotony of text.
4. DO include an incentive to call you now such as “free quote”, “free trial” etc. Try and do something extra that will differentiate you from your competitors.
5. DO go for as big an ad as you can afford. The user may think you are as big as the company in the neighbouring ad if your ad is the same size. Also, research proves that enquiries go up exponentially with each jump in size.
6. DO use contrast to stand out from others around you. This can be spot colour or white knock out if the surrounding ads are not all already using it. Alternatives include using freeform shapes (instead of rectangles), hand drawn illustrations, kids crayon style headings (since everything is normally typeset), blocks of black, or space.
7. DON’T reverse out the main text of the ad in white as it is 25% harder to read although a few words in the heading is OK. Choose dark text over a light background to hold attention.
8. DON’T use capital letters for a heading of more than three words. A professor from Stanford concluded that capital letters inhibit reading and “dance” when used in succession. We are trained from a young age to read words in small letters.
Gone are the days of building simple websites. Organizations are challenged by highly informed and demanding customers, blurring business boundaries, new revenue channels and changing cost structures. You want a website with such business functionalities that help you achieve your business goals. You need a well integrated website that will enable you to take better decisions and maximize returns from your IT investments.
You can achieve these goals with Design Interactive – a client agnostic Web design company, which renders range of services including but not limited to end-to-end Web development, customized Web application, content management system (CMS), Ecommerce & shopping cart development, PHP development, WordPress development, SEO services and iPhone application development.
Design Interactive is a skilled and professional Web design company in US and UK. We have clients across the globe and in UK and US including major metropolitan. At Design Interactive, You can get PHP developers , Web designers, to get quality offerings and cut your business operating cost.
Choosing a reliable web design company is important as your company needs to achieve a successful online presence. To achieve this, your website needs to be attractive and technically well created by ensuring your website fulfils the key factors of a good web design.
All of these significant factors can be met by choosing the right web design company that will perform the necessary work to help you to achieve your online success.
5 Key factors that you need to know before hiring a web design company:
1) Experience and skills
Analyse their experience and technical skills by reviewing the information on their website or speak to them directly. It’s crucial to provide information about your project and allow the web design company to get back to you with a proposed solution. This will provide you with a clear idea of their knowledge and expertise.
2) Past Work and Case Studies
Go through their web design portfolio or case studies which are usually available on their website. By reviewing their past website design project, you can have a rough idea on whether they are suitable for your project.
3) Response Time
Request for a quote with detailed proposal outlining cost, timescale and proposed solution. A professional web design company will usually get back to you within 1-2 working days with your submitted request. If the web design company takes too long to respond your request, it could mean that they are either not efficient or they are not interested to do business with you.
4) Board range of services
As your business grows, you may require additional services for your website. Plan ahead and make sure that the web design company you are going to engage provides services that you need in future. Services you may need in future may include search engine marketing, content management system, web application development and so on.
5) Package and Pricing
Most web design company provides web design packages. A company that can offer you a package within your budget not only gives you less cost but also ensure you to meet your business’s needs. Ask for quotation from multiple web design companies and compare both the pricing models and their prices.
Our aim is simple – to provide affordable web design and a first class friendly service. We create and build websites that fully meet your requirements by providing a tailored design with a professional look and feel which inspires confidence in your customers.
With website prices to suit all pockets, we offer five web design packages and an eCommerce option but can tailor something for you if your requirements differ.
Choose from the following web design price options:
- Basic web design option – 2 page site for $195
- Starter web design option – 5 page site for $375
- Small Business web design option – 10 page site for $575
- Small Business + web design option – 20 page site for $850
- Content management option – unlimited pages $650-$1200
- Ecommerce website option – unlimited pages $1200-$1800
The main benefit of hiring professional company is that they have plenty of knowledge and information about the web designing field. These professionals have done lots of work in the designing field and they understand the need and requirements of the clients and fulfill them in the most efficient manner. It is quite easy to find cheap web designing company in India whose services are effective and reliable. But there are many companies running in the market which use the cheap web design as a keyword. It is important to stay away from such companies.
The web site designing companies in India also outsource web design work. This is because it helps in distributing the work load. The best quality which the Indian website designers offer is they are flexible with the timings and can provide their services 24 by 7 a day. This will help in saving the money and time. And also when you are looking for a cheap web designing company look for their portfolio as it will tell you all about their previous and current work.
The designing companies also offer search engine optimized web sites which help in improving the ranking of your website on various search engines. Website can be designed by everyone but not everyone can develop a search engine friendly web site. The Indian companies outsource web design work at very affordable rate so it is easy for the clients to take the services of web designing companies of India.
Apart from it the Indian companies never compromise on the quality and the services are also cost effective. So if you keep these considerations in mind before taking the services of cheap web designing companies you can get the best benefits. All you have to take care is to research a little about these companies and then going for the best one out of them.
So, make your business global and get the maximum returns. Good Luck!