This is a guest post by Paul Wallis. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
If you’re a freelancer, you’ll have noticed the market for web design comes in a large range of shapes and sizes, particularly on the contract sites like Elance. This is also an evolving market, and if getting business is the natural first priority, staying in touch with what the market wants is the natural development. Things like SEO, in its various ramifications for clients, need to be studied.
This is a business exercise. It’s worth getting yourself well prepared to provide a range of services so you can target your freelance work efficiently. You’ll find that you can generate more business, and more repeat business, with some pretty basic concepts and capabilities.
How to get more business without even trying- The support role
If you’ve been in the business for a while, you will have noticed that you’re supposed to be all things to all people. All glitches, bugs, hopelessly inappropriate software and other invaluable users of time mysteriously turn out to be your babies. This, believe it or not, is a real business asset, if you know how to exploit it. The Mr. Fixit role is actually extremely valuable to clients.
More importantly, you’ll find that good clients will stick with you as a support service. This work may not be glamorous, but it will pay all the bills by itself. You can double your receipts and you’ll also get referrals from customers without asking for them. You may find the entire local Chamber of Commerce is suddenly on your client list.
Targeting your web design work
Targeting uses your skills to their best advantage. Don’t bother going for any work that happens to be there, unless absolutely unavoidable. Target the things you do best, where you can really perform brilliantly.
1. What are your strongest design areas? Which facets of web design can you do day in, day out, and do well, almost reflexively? These are areas where your business can go into high production mode with no problems.
2. In what fields of web design do you really excel? This is quality control for business- You don’t even feel like you’re working in these areas. This is your quality zone, where you’re not only better, you’re ultra-competitive, and quite likely to win a battle for contracts.
3. What extra services can you provide? This is a business issue. If you can show added value and services, you’ve got the contract before you even go for it. If you’ve got search engine optimization” as part of your credentials, you’ve just ticked a box on the client’s list.
4. How good are your client relationship skills? If you answered anything other than “Excellent, Dazzling, or Brilliant”, you need to put in some work. All business is as much about relationships as anything else. If you want customers, excel in this area. Take courses if necessary but get it covered.
You’ll never look back, targeting your work on this basis. Keep your relationships strong and healthy, and you’ll literally have more work than you can handle.
About the author: Paul Wallis is an award winning professional freelance writer, specializing in creative writing, SEO and journalism, working in the US, Canada, Australia and Belgium.