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
There are so many benefits to having a website if you have your own business. Here are 7 of them:
1. Significant Market Expansion
Through the internet, you can break through local barriers and become accessible to not only any state, but any country in the world, and you are accessible to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This can significantly build up your customer base.
2. Much Lower Cost than Standard Print Advertising
You can reach a large audience with a smaller investment. If you put your internet address on your business card, your customer or potential customer can visit your website and get a very good idea of what your product or service about.
You can change the content on your website at will, keeping it fresh for those who visit your site more than once.
You can still use print advertising of course, but with a website there is a two way communication when you include a Contact Us page. The potential client can ask any questions or ask that you contact them through your contact page.
3. Your Site Allows You to be Semi-Available at all hours
Your site runs every day all day, allowing your clients to visit your site for the information they are looking for without waiting for your business to open.
4. Higher Level of Customer Satisfaction
Your website is a convenient way for clients to get information about you in the privacy of their office or home. Add to that the idea that you can feature valuable information on your site for your clients, and you’ve got a higher level of customer satisfaction.
5. Improve Your Company Credibility
Since many potential buyers use the internet to research any future purchases, your site gives you the opportunity to illustrate for your client what your company is about, and your high standards for service and customer satisfaction.
6. An Opportunity for Your Company to Grow
It is obvious that since you are reaching a much larger market, your company has the opportunity for growth. And occasionally, someone who visits your website may promote your business by word of mouth.
7. You Can Put Your Best Foot Forward
You can work out, in advance, the best approach to use on your website to entice your potential customer to contact you. There are no variables or mistakes in the presentation, as there may be in a “live” sales presentation.
A website is an advantage to a brick and mortar business. It makes you more available to your potential customers, and can give your enterprise a certain amount of credibility before you have the first conversation with your potential client.
Source: Ezine Articles
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!