Three Ways for Freelance Web Designers to Get Better Clients
If you are a freelance web designer, your actual design skills are only half of the equation required to find success. In order to be a successful freelance web designer, you not only have to possess top notch design skills, but you also need to know how to get top of the line clients. Whether it’s not going after the best clients or wasting your time on clients who are never going to do anything other than drain your resources, successful client relations are a vital skill in themselves.
Although this is an area where most freelance web designers learn through trial and error, I would like to give you a handful of tips that can help you get on the right track and hopefully help you avoid the pitfalls that far too many freelance web designers have been forced to endure.
Learn to Say No: If you only take to heart one piece of advice that I provide in this post, let it be this one: learn to say no. Of all the things that hold web designers back, this is by far the most common one. There are a variety of reasons why web designers get stuck in this trap, but regardless of the cause, not knowing when and how to say no can be a huge hindrance for your success as a freelance web designer.
So, what exactly do I mean by “learn to say no”? Well, there are several times when this advice is very important. If you are trying to land a client but they continually try to negotiate a lower pay rate than you deserve, just say no. If you are working with a client and they are making your job impossible, just say no. In most cases, twenty percent of your clients will generate eighty percent of your workload, so in order to make progress, you have to only work with the right clients and just say no to the others.
Follow Through: Word of a mouth is a powerful tool for attracting new clients. However, this only works when you successfully complete a job for a client. Far too many web designers abandon their clients and projects before they are complete. So, if you want people like Loren Feldman posting rave reviews about you on their blogs, you need to make sure that you actually finish the jobs you start.
Specialize: People are willing to pay for experts. However, even if you know that you are an expert in certain areas, you need to make sure that you are communicating this to others. If you are slaving away and working on an endless variety of general design projects, you need to stop, take inventory of your specific skills as a designer, and then focus on one or two areas where you can excel (and charge clients rates that reflect your mastery of that specific skill).
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