Five Skills Other Than Designing That You Need to Become a Successful Freelance Designer
You must have come across professionals enjoying good positions and salaries at established firms, while they don’t come across as “bright” as some other guys you know, from the same field who are finding it hard to make ends meet, despite being doubly talented?
Usually, we dub such instances as bad luck, lack of connections, or unfair treatment. While all of these reasons are valid, there’s another reason for highly talented people never reaching their full potential, and that is, talent alone is not enough to succeed in any field. And same is the case with the profession of web designing, especially when you are working as a freelancer. You can have outstanding web designing skills, but you will still fail to get the real jobs, and before you start putting all the blame on your luck, please go through the following points to see if there’s something you can do to improve your situation.
People think that the principles of marketing are limited to businesses looking to promote their products or services. Truth is, good marketing is essential even for professionals. When you go out for a job interview, place a bid for a project, or apply for a freelance job, you are actually competing for a client, with literally hundreds of candidates vying for the same job.
What I am trying to point out is that your skills and talent alone wouldn’t cut it for you. You need to make a good impression, create a resume or portfolio that catches the client’s eye in a jiffy, and present your accomplishment and USP in the best possible way. In most cases, a professional with good marketing skills will triumph over a talented professional having poor marketing skills when it comes to bagging a project.
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If you think that working as a freelancer will liberate you from the restrictions imposed by your employer like a 9 to 5 job, then you are hugely mistaken. Freelancing requires a lot more discipline and responsibility as compared to a traditional job, where you are usually working in a team.
When you start working as a freelance web designer, you will be responsible for everything, and when a project fails to meet the expectations or cutoff date, there’s nobody to blame but you. Many freelancers make the mistake of taking up more jobs than what they can handle and find themselves working late at nights, or even on holidays and still fail to deliver the work in time. Being a freelance web designer, you will have to learn to be self-disciplined and organized in each and every aspect.
3. Business Acumen:
When you start as a freelance web designer, you are actually launching a small business, where you will have to look after everything from marketing to negotiations, designing to providing customer support, and pricing to managing your finances. You cannot grow as a freelance web designer without learning the nitty-gritty of business management, and the sooner you do that, the better it is for your career growth.
You will need to communicate with your clients all the time, therefore having good English comprehension is a must, so that you can understand the client’s expectations and convey your message. The good communication is a must even before you get an order. For example, you will have to do a lot of communication to convince the clients, or there will be instances when you will fail to deliver on time, or your design will fall short of expectations, in such cases, only good communication skills will be able to save you.
When you are working as a web designer in an established firm, it’s easy to stay abreast with the latest trends or topics in the web design or development industry. Mainly because you are often working in teams, or you are in touch with other professionals, however you can easily get a little isolated when you become a freelancer. You will find it hard to stay on track unless you take out some time on regular basis and stay on the learning curve. You will have to do a lot of self-learning to make sure you are not lagging behind. Now, you won’t be having the help of the seniors or colleagues, so it’s important that you are capable of learning something via the help of material and advice available on the Internet.
If you are considering developing your programming skills here is a beautiful info graphic outlining the various programming languages, their uses, and their approximate value in the marketplace. This info graphic was created by the folks at teamtreehouse.com.