If you can find web design clients online, you can reap many of the benefits of flexibility. The biggies are being able to work from anywhere and at any time.
You can work from home.
If you’re tired of fighting rush hour traffic and having to dress up in your Sunday best, then you’ll find working from home in your sweats after a nights rest without an alarm clock to be extremely refreshing.
You can work your own hours.
Some people thrive at night. There’s a fun energy when it’s quite and dark and you’re in your own cyber cockpit whizzing through information space. You can really lose yourself in your work and enjoy it.
You can live abroad.
If you love new seeing places and meeting new faces, and you know how to find clients online, then you can pack your bags and live in another country for a short spell. I recently experienced three summers in by high-tailing out of New York down to Buenos Aires one winter.
To make it happen, here are four tips:
(1) Avoid job boards and carve out a meaty niche.
Job boards and freelance depots like guru.com, odesk.com and craigslist.com are a tough route to finding clients because you’re up against the world of competition.
They are also tough to succeed on because they are like the Ebay of services and are associated with low cost. That is, clients who seek web designers there are seeking low cost solutions. The places with low costs of living thrive on these sites.
Instead, I recommend becoming seen as an expert within a small market. Become a big fish in a little sea – or try a shark in pond. When you work with a specific market, you can access clients faster, speak their language, and get very good at helping them with their websites.
Just think, if you had a brain tumor, you wouldn’t go to a foot doctor. You’d seek the best brain surgeon around!
(2) Build a lotta trust
If you want clients to pay you big bucks and trust you’re going to get work done for them when you’re across the planet in a tiki hut sipping coconut water, you’r egoing to need them to have confidence in you.
There are a lot of ways to do this – here are some;
Behave like a trustworthy person. Respond a timely manner to email and phone calls, show up on time to meetings, and completes tasks as promised. You will want prospects to feel like they are dealing with a trusted pro.
Create credibility builders. These could be well-written articles, useful how-to videos, or your own software plugs or templates. Credibility builders show you’re a truly committed professional.
Associate with trustworthy people. When prospects see that you are known among other well-known and well-trusted figures, you are assumed to be trustworthy. You can do this by guest blogging on other expert’s website or appearing in a photo with a well-known person.
(3) Learn how to market online
Web designers should learn how to market online. This doesn’t mean just having a website. It means knowing how to write in a compelling manner and knowing how to use various web channels to reach potential clients.
Writing and speaking (video/audio) are two very important skills when marketing online. Polish up those skills by taking a class, reading a book, and of course, just jumping in and doing it.
I love to use writing to reach my market. Writing is king because search engines love the written word, articles are easy to spread around, and written material can be accumulated into a bigger ebook (big credibility builder!).
(4) Focus on heavy web-using clients
While just about everyone is on the web doing something or other, certain kinds of clients will actively use the Web to find a web designer.
In my experience, restaurant owners and chiropractors might be a tough niche to reach as they spend a big portion of their time in their physical location. They seek trusted help within their immediate network which are people in their towns.
But, marketing consultants, tech entrepreneurs, and architecture firm heads love the Web and congregate online. You can quickly find them.
The younger industries and technology industries are a good place to start looking if you want to hone in on heavy web users.
Learning how to find web design clients online can provide immense flexibility that can really give you control over designing your life. Focus on building high trust and research ways to reach a very specific market on the Web.