If you’re a freelance web designer making your way in the industry and constantly looking for new clients, there’s one thing you’re either already familiar with or, if not, must do some serious thinking about right now. That thing is branding. Not branding for your client’s website – that’s a very specific task you either know how to do or don’t take on – but branding for yourself, as a freelancer and a professional.
Your own brand as a web designer can be a million different things, but it’s something worth thinking about if you ever intend to sell yourself and your services to your clients and make them realize they’re not just throwing a bit of cash at some person for a small job but actually working with a professional who knows what they’re doing and provides the full package with confidence and a full skillset.
In order to start building your own brand, the first thing you need to do is have a think with yourself and choose your preferred path. What kind of target market are you hoping to work with? What type of message and ideas do you want people to have about you as a web designer? Do you have a young and hipster vibe, or maybe more of a clean-tie and businessy approach, or are you looking to work with small business owners who know nothing about the web and need you there to guide them all the way through?
Once you’ve got an idea of how to represent yourself and build your name, you can begin creating your brand. Your brand and style is in everything from your logo and website to the way you reach people and communicate with them. If you do have a target audience in mind you can try and find similar gigs to increase and polish your portfolio – even do a few volunteering gigs if it means it helps you showcase your work to potential clients from the same industry.
One big thing to keep in mind no matter what your brand type is: always be professional. That one is, without exceptions, a huge things clients look for, no matter who they are. That means marketing yourself well, showing seriousness at all times, being punctual with your work and with keeping in touch and so on.
It also means using the right tools, not only to make sure your product comes out great and satisfies the client but also in order to harness the best there is out there and keep up with all the trends. Use tools like Zeplin and Flow to track tasks and collaborate with other professionals and even get the right tools for the design work itself, such as Webydo, which lets you create responsive and slick websites without having to write code and makes it easy for the client to continue managing and updating the site you created for them.
Once you’re ready to show off your professionalism and know-how and acquire those new clients, get out there and start marketing yourself. Create an online presence, network like crazy, spread your name among anyone and everyone who might be relevant and remember: always continue building your brand. In the long run it will pay off immensely.