Are you a web designer who’s struggling to get clients? Perhaps you’re constantly applying for freelancing gigs or dutifully updating your blog and sending out your email newsletter … but the work just isn’t coming in.
Try adding some extra (non-design) skills to your toolbox: that way, your resume will be set to impress.
First, Make Sure You’ve Nailed the Basics
Of course, your actual design skills are crucial. If you’re concerned that you’re not getting work because your portfolio isn’t quite up to scratch, then you may want to take a few web design courses.
This might mean picking a course in a particular area, or simply going over the basics to brush up. You may also want to look at enhancing your design portfolio with some pieces that showcase your new skills.
If you’re confident that your design skills are solid, then it’s time to add some non-design skills to your resume.
Some of the best ones for web designers are:
- Website Setup
- Project Management
We’re going to take a look at each of these in turn.
Many clients won’t just want a designer. They want someone who can get their website up and running too, so that all they need to do is maintain it.
While web design may be what you love most, spending a little bit of time on tasks like installing WordPress, configuring security settings, creating and testing a contact form, and so on means you can offer your client a “hands-off” experience where they get the entire finished website from you.
A big bonus here is you can charge more than you could for the design alone, without necessarily adding all that much extra work.
Tip: Got a client on a tight budget? Create a web design package for them that’s based around a premium WordPress theme. It’s sure to look great, and you can add all their own copy and images for them. This is a fast way to get an impressive end result without a ton of design work.
Web design often goes hand-in-hand with web copy. For instance, perhaps you’re creating the layout and graphics for a sales page. If you can offer to write the content as well as do the design work, then it’s easier to deliver a great finished result.
You don’t necessarily need to be a great writer to write content. You may well have clients who hate writing, or who struggle with grammar and spelling. Simply producing a competent piece of content for them could make a huge difference.
If you do want to go further, check out these great copywriting tips for sales content and these content-writing tips on crafting content that search engines and readers will love.
Tip: Not much of a writer? Partner up with a copywriter so you can offer a special package that gives your client the best of your joint experience.
If you want to really enhance your career, consider adding project management to your resume. That way, you can take on a whole project for clients. For example, instead of just designing their logo and website pages, you might mastermind their entire online marketing strategy — involving website setup, copywriting, social media, SEO (search engine optimization), and more.
Of course, you’re unlikely to be an expert in all those things. Instead, as a project manager, you’ll work with other people to deliver the finished result. That way, you can use lots of people’s expertise to deliver a truly impressive project to your client.
Tip: If you want to do some of the marketing work, then check out this list of ideas for marketing small businesses. You can use them to market yourself or your client’s company.
Web design might be what you love most. But by adding some other skills to your resume, you can hugely increase your chances of getting interesting, well-paid design work.
Remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Building strong relationships with other freelancers and contractors can make it much easier for you to create an attractive offer for potential clients.
What skill could you start working on this week or this month?