The Could-be #1 Marketing Mistake by New Web Designers

Getting good at web design is only half of what you need to be a successful freelance web designer. The idea that all you need to do is be good at designing (HTML, CSS, Photoshop, etc.) websites and clients will come doesn’t work well for the simple fact that if people don’t know about you, then they can’t contract you as their designer. Simple.

Ironically, a bad web designer THAT PEOPLE KNOW will do better than a good designer THAT NO ONE KNOWS. You would logically think that the skilled web designer should deserve more work right? After all, she’s better. But again, unless people know about you, they can’t begin the process of deciding if they should work with your not.

You must be seen by possible clients!

So why do lots of very good web designers hide?

I think it all boils down to fear.

As artists (visual, user-experience, functional) we are often too close to our work. We create works that represent ourselves and are going to be judged. And, if we are too attached to our work, that is, if our work represents our worth, we are afraid of it being judged lowly.

We fear being low because our work is low. If people, clients, users don’t like our work, we may associate that with ourselves as not being liked. And, that sucks.

So, we may hesitate until …

  • Our own portfolio website is perfect
  • We have a few samples sites to show
  • We figure out what we want to say to people

All these things slow us down from getting out there.

Here’s a winning attitude to take:

  • Realize that you’re good at what you do. Just think, 99% of the world cannot do what you do. True many other web designers can’t, but those aren’t the people who are hiring you! It’s your duty to let clients know about you so can do the work they want you for.
  • Get judged! Share your work often, and early on during the process. Even if your website isn’t fully polished yet, get out there and talk to people. Tell them your website is in its beta form. Invite them to give you some preliminary feedback. They will help you perfect it and the positive interaction with them just may lead to having them become your client.
  • Instead of thinking “perfect” work, think “good work, and more work. In business, life, and websites it’s all about doing good now, sharing it, then improving later. Thus, instead of thinking “perfect now” think “prefect it later.” And be human and get out there and meet new potential clients or people who can refer you.

Are you NOT getting out there enough now? If so, why not? What’s a possible reason? If you are getting out there, what have you done that’s working good?


  1. Daquan Wright · September 7, 2011 Reply

    So why do lots of very good web designers hide?

    Lol, you know all too well!

    I am definitely invisible (I’ve had one or two clients but nothing big). I recently made a Twitter account and I’m looking to network seriously with other pros/prospects now. I need to network more and I need to dig into the power of social media.

    Another problem is my website is not up yet. I’m developing my website now and it’ll have a portfolio/blog attached to it. I often read that blogs are a great way to get exposure, not just because it highlights your expertise but also because there are opportunities to blog in front of different audiences. The more people that know you, the more possibilities you have to land work.

    Think about Walmart, they make a ton of money. But they would make 0 if 0 people knew about them. It’s not just that people know what WM is, they also understand the value WM provides to them. I actually like their system as it works well for them. They charge low, but they have many different products to keep them afloat if one lags behind in sales.

    I also fear putting myself out there, as you noted. I love my work and I admit, the thought of it getting ripped apart is scary. lol

    • Kenn Schroder · September 7, 2011 Reply

      I’ve redesigned my website at least 20 times.

      I remember redesigning it over 7 times before Iwent live with it.

      Funny thing too. I had no traffic and I was still nervous about it.


      The fear is real and can be quite a force to reckon with.

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