Being a great Web designer or developer is one thing — running a successful freelance business another. Whether you already have work experience in companies or have just graduated from design school, being self-employed entails a number of tasks that you most likely haven’t had to deal with so far. As a freelance Web designer, you also have to be a project manager, office administrator, accountant, controller and IT expert.
Such is the premise of Successful Freelancing for Web Designers, an e-book from Smashing Magazine. I recently got this book from a promotional deal online, so I thought I would check it out. When working on various projects, there are always aspects to the business side of things that we can be unsure of, and for most cases, this book will most likely cover what you need to know to land and carry out that next job with a client.
The first section of the book is a must read, covering a range of basic skills you need to know, skills I have put into practice in the last few weeks as I put together a proposal for a company. Sure I'd done proposals before, but this book provided a helpful layout as well as some legal jargon that both I should know of, but more importantly, what my client should know of to avoid any complications down the road. After finishing my proposal with some helpful tips from this book I felt more confident that both sides would be getting a better deal and product, with less confusion. Always a good feeling!
The next 3 sections of the book elaborate more on the basics covered at the beginning of the book, going in-depth on everything from the perfect pitch, to the best way to price your work, to even looking at how many potential mockups you should show your clients.
Here's a list of all the chapters included:
1) Basic Skills of Freelance Web Designers
- Essential Habits of An Effective Professional Freelancer
- Common Questions of Web Designers
- The Designer Who Delivers
- Critical Mistakes Freelancers Make
- The Importance of Customer Service
- Creatively Handling the Admin Side of Freelancing
- Pitching Like a Pro
- The Finances of Freelancing
2) Communication with Clients & Partners
- How To Identify and Deal With Different Types Of Clients
- 5 Simple Tips for Improving Designer-Client Relationships
- How to Communicate with Developers Effectively
- How to Educate Your Clients on Web Development
- How to Explain to Clients that They Are Wrong
- How to Respond Effectively to Design Criticism
- How to Persuade Your Users, Boss or Clients
- How to Create the Perfect Client Questionnaire
3) Marketing – Convincing Strategies for Freelancers
- Getting Clients: Approaching the Company
- Converting Prospects into Clients
- Marketing Rules and Principles for Freelancers
- How Many Ideas Do You Show Your Clients?
4) Contracts & Pricing
- Freelance Contracts: Do’s And Don’t's
- What’s In A Price: Guidelines For Pricing Web Designs
- Quality-Price-Ratio in Web Design
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in web design or working on web projects. It will help you better serve your customers as well as making you a more efficient worker, which is what we are all seeking! And for only $4.95, it's a no-brainer, so grab it today! It will give you a good grasp of the breadth of your job as a freelancer, as well as helpful tools to grapple with all of it.
And hopefully it will reignite your passion for why you're doing what it is you're doing!