How can you succeed as a web designer?
Web design is a competitive business. There are a number of good designers in the market for hire from those who are just getting started with website design to those who have been in the business from the dawn of the internet and are running their own web design agency.
Not only is web design a competitive business, but everyone wants to be successful. I mean, what business owner or freelancer will tell you that they don’t want to experience success. I know of no one who would say they don’t want their business to succeed.
Plus, there are great benefits to running a successful business.
Running a successful business provides freedom – both financial freedom and freedom in your schedule.
- If you are successful, a paycheck will be waiting for you at the end of the month. You won’t have to worry about how you are going to pay the bills.
- As well as success means you can take some time off. Your schedule will be your own.
- You won’t have to worry about someone else dictating your time. If you work better in the morning, great, then work in the morning. If you work better in the middle of the night, great, then work in the middle of the night.
Success also allows you the opportunity to give back.
- Today there is a big movement, and rightfully so, to give back and be helpful. But if you aren’t successful, you can’t give back to others. The fact of the matter is that you have to have money to help others. If your business is not pulling in enough income, there is no way you are going to be able to help others and give back to the community.
Giving back is what I want to focus on in this post. So
How can you experience success as a web designer or as an entrepreneur?
Success comes from focusing on helping, not money.
Money is important but it shouldn't be your only focus as a business owner. If you focus on helping others, you will see more success than if you focus solely on the money.
Providing clarity – I’m not saying you should always work for free.
For some of you, helping without an exchange of money might not sound right. You might be thinking, “I need to make money, not give my work away for free. I have bills to pay and mouths to feed. How is this practice going to help me make the money I need to be successful?”
Yes, 100% your business needs capital to operate. Without money you cannot help anyone. It is important you make money.Not just make money, but enough money to pay your bills and take care of yourself and your family.
I am not suggesting you give your work away for free forever, or even to give all of your time and effort away for free. You need to value your work and you need others to value it as well.
As a Web Designer, you are providing business owners a lot of value and opportunity. Value and opportunity they couldn’t get any other way.
Think about it, as a Web Designer you are providing a business a digital presence from which they can market themselves and sell goods or services to potential customers. Having a digital presence is extremely important.
In a recent post, I wrote about how 81% of Americans will do their own research before making a buying decision. If a business doesn’t have a web presence, they aren’t going to be found. If their presence isn’t compelling enough, customers aren’t going to contact them.
There is a lot that goes into building a website that is successful. Many business owners don’t have the skill or time to build a website and successfully market themselves on the web. It takes years to become an experienced web designer and marketer. Your skills as a web designer and digital marketer are essential and valuable to any business and you need to be paid for those skills.
So I am not suggesting that you devalue your work or let others devalue it. You need to be compensated fairly for your skillset.
While it is true that you need to be paid and that money is important, I believe you will find more success if money is not your sole focus. Why?
(1) People don't like to be nickel and dimed.
For instance, I use SEMrush as my SEO tool. They make a good tool. It is crucial to my SEO work. But I have to be honest, I don't like their business model. I understand their tool saves a ton of time. It can save businesses a lot of money. But they don't give you everything you need unless you are willing to fork out some serious cash.
I remember the first call I had with them after I purchased a package. We spent more time talking about all the features I didn't have in that package than what I did have.
Ticketing services are the same. I recently bought tickets to the Rangers game. While you are looking at seats, you see one price. The price you hope to pay. But at checkout, you are hit with a different price. One that includes a ticketing fee! Recently, I paid $23 just to pay for my tickets.
My suggestion: quote a fair price upfront. The price it will take to get the job done the right way, even if you have to do a little extra. That way you are happy and your customer is happy.
No one likes to be nickel and dimed!
(2) Being helpful leads to more business
In the web design business, referrals are king. 80% of business comes from referrals.Those referrals are not always from past paying clients. They sometimes come from people I helped with a quick issue free of charge.
Outside of the web design business, my mechanic puts this principle into practice. He will fix your flat tire for free. Even though he could, and he probably gets tired of seeing me with flat tires, lots of construction here in Texas, I have never paid him to fix a flat tire.
He eats the cost. But guess what? I won't go anywhere else. In the long run, he earns way more from me than fixing a flat tire would ever bring him.
What can you do free of charge? Is there a small way you can be of help to someone in your community? Find that something and offer it to others free of charge. Being willing to help others with quick issues will ultimately earn you more business in the long run.
A caveat: Be genuinely helpful. In other words, be helpful to be helpful, not for what you will get from it. People can tell if you are trying to pull one over on them. They know if you are expecting something in return. Be willing to help those who aren’t in a position to help you back. Maybe they will be in a different position in the future. Or maybe they will recommend you to someone else who does have the financial resources to pay for your services. Either way, be helpful to be helpful, not for what you can get from it.
(3) A focus on money instead of helping can lead to corrupt business practices
If money is your only focus, you certainly aren't going to be helpful, and you might be more willing to bend the rules for an extra dollar.
If you are willing to bend the rules to earn a little more money, you might not be in business for the long haul. And you might even end up on the wrong side of the law. That is not good for you, your business, or your family.
Do whatever it takes to run your business above board. Be upfront about your finances. Claim the money you make and pay the taxes you are supposed to pay.
Make sure you are working with individuals and businesses that are not breaking the law. If something seems shady and could put you in a bad position, be willing to walk away from the deal, even if it is financially lucrative.
The key to being willing to walk away and operate above board is to focus on helping not on the money. Money has a tendency to corrupt. That doesn’t mean money is bad. Money itself is neutral. But loving money is what leads us down the wrong path and ultimately hurts our family and business.
Helping on the other hand is a good practice that will not only provide others with benefit but will also keep you operating in a way that will allow you to stay in business for the long haul and ultimately give you the opportunity to be successful.
If you want to be successful as a web designer and entrepreneur, see your business grow, and be in it for the long haul, focus on helping, not earning a quick dollar.
I believe if you put this principle into practice, you will see a bigger return on your investment than you would if you are solely focused on making money.
Put these ideas into practice so you will succeed as a web designer.