Well after doing a post called ( Guide to landing a design job ) I decided create this post 4 Tips to becoming a good freelancer. With millions of Graphic designers, web designers, and developers, you should know by now it’s a challenging field. I will be giving you 4 tips to help you get started on the right path to build your list of clients. Some of these tips you will learn is how to make the right portfolio to show potential clients and also, what to ask or not ask in the first meeting, when to get started on designs and how long before showing the client, how to go about making changes, and also how to bill the client and always ending the job on a happy note.
1. The right portfolio - simonemaranzana.com does a great job displaying everything on one page. A potential client knows his name because that is the first thing you see on the page. Next, is the welcome message. This gives the potential client a warm welcoming and always give you the upper hand, but Simone took it a little further. He also tells the potential client what he is good at, which in this case is building websites.
Simone shows his skill level in his services section, which include Web design, Identity, Artwork, Photo retouch, and Myspace design. This lets the potential client know if they found the right person. Featured Work is very important to display on the homepage of your website. Simone didn’t do a great job displaying it on his website, but then again he does have multiple entry points to his portfolio, which makes up for the little display box.
Two key things that Simone did was adding two ways for a potential client to get in touch easily by asking for a quote or contact me.
( I’m Just using simonemaranzana.com for an example so get creative and design your own website)
( Example # 2 ftdesigner.net )
( Example # 3 serj.ca )
2.) What to ask or not ask - First meetings are always very important, so try to focus on the main mission of this meeting, which is to understand what the potential client wants. Most designers try to get ahead of themselves by saying yes to everything, but remember it’s more important for you to be very upfront with the potential client because if not, you will come to a dead end along the road.
THINGS DESIGNERS SAY
(Saying yes I have someone that can do that) - this is said a lot by designers, but don’t say it if you don’t have someone to do it.
potential client – I need the website designed and coded, is this something you can do?
Designer – HEY! no problem. If not, I know a lot of people who know how to code a website.
(Yes yes yes to many yes’s will kill you) - We all know it is really exciting when you’re starting a new freelance job, but the word YES! will turn this dream into a nightmare.
potential client – Well, do you think you can have the website to me in 2 weeks, but I would also like to see a mock up in two days.
Designer – YES! I can finish it in two weeks and yes, I can show you a mock up in two days.
In this case, you’re not buying yourself time to think this out; you’re using the word YES! too much.
What’s the budget for this project - One thing that you want to know is how much you’re getting paid for this project. Well, this is when the word budget kicks in. Feel free to ask what your budget is for this project. Try not to give a price in the beginning; let the potential client do that for you. Once they have given you the budget, now it is up to you to try for more.
potential client – Hmmmm I really don’t have a budget, but I will say about $500.
Designer – Well, I can do it for that.
You just settled for the lowest price on earth because I like to think if you’re a good designer, there’s no need to settle. Always give your price. If the potential client doesn’t like it, just think of all the problems you’re going to run in with the client.
3.) Get started on designs and how long before showing the client - Well If you made it past tip 1 & 2, you’re now designing for the client. First, you must ask for 50% upfront. Now let’s get to designing. Normally, it takes about 2 weeks to come up with the look and feel of the website and the mock ups. You will show the client 2 to3 mock ups. He or she will pick one design that you both think fits for their company.
week 1& 2 – Come up with the look and feel of the website and have 2 to 3 mock ups to show to the client.
week 3 – Meet with the client to show mock ups and talk about changes. After the meeting, you should start making the changes that week; 2 to 3 days is all you will need.
week 4 - With the changes made, the client should like your design. But, if he or she has more changes, you make more money. Some designers will bill this client for more money. The price can be from $25-40 per change.
week 5 – You should now be designing all the inner pages that belong to this website. This should be smooth.
week 6 to 8 -Mostly coding time.
From my chart, this shows it took about a month and 3 weeks to finish this project (Only if the coding went smoothly).
Use a project manager to show the client your progress. Here is a list of some project managers that you can use.
4.) Bill the client and always end the job on a happy note - Now you’re just about done. It’s best to email or fax over the final bill to your client. Normally, I will give them 30 days to pay. Use a billing program or invoice program. Here is a great list of some that I know about.billing, clients, Design, design job, designers web, developers, first meeting, freelance, freelancer, graphic designers, invoice, own website, project manager, skill level, Web Design, web designers