Finding website or graphic design work online is actually quite easy, however, the challenge is getting people to select your services, reply to your job applications, and finally hire you to take on the job. In this guide, let’s look at how to find work, and the best tactics to use when trying to land new contracts and build a solid reputation.
Tools you will need setup specifically for design before you apply for jobs:
— A portfolio website
— Instagram Account
— Twitter Account
— Facebook Account
Having these accounts gives you a broad reach to your target audiences; when they ask to see you work, you can give them access to your social media profile on the employer’s preferred platform. But, having a portfolio website is perhaps the most important thing because it is the one place where you can really showcase your work and show your potential clients what they would be getting if they hire you.
1. Online Freelance Job Websites: Freelance websites are the very first place to look for design work if you want to work from home or land your company a few small contracts before looking for bigger jobs. ‘Small’ is the operative word here because you will probably only be able to land small contracts to begin with because your freelancer profile will not have any feedback. Therefore, accept that you will need to sell yourself at bargain basement prices and over-deliver. Once you do this a few times, your profile will show positive feedback from multiple customers.
One mistake you want to avoid is to demand market rates; this is why most people fail on the website that offers freelance work. Think about this, why would someone hire you at the going market rate when they can simply hire someone with a proven track record for the same rate? Therefore, you need to accept that you will need to invest time for a low return and deliver high-quality work so eventually you can start charging the market rate for web design work once you have an established profile.
The next problem is getting someone to put their faith in you when you have no proof that you are an able designer. However, with a good cover letter, persistence, and options for the person hiring to see your portfolio, you can let the employer know that by hiring you he or she is getting great value for money.
Lastly, when you apply for a job, be honest; tell them you are an excellent web designer or graphic designer, and the reasons your rates are low is because you want to build a profile with great feedback.
2. Freelance Marketplaces: One of the hardest places to get work online is online freelance marketplaces. It is difficult because in general you will not have the option to apply for jobs, while there are some facilities offered on these websites for people looking for web designers and will broadcast the fact that they are open to offers. Once again, as with online freelance job websites, you will need to oversell for a lower price than market rate. In fact, you will find these websites are so competitive that it is extremely hard to get noticed.
This also gives you an opportunity to show off your design prowess. Create an attractive image that will catch the eyes of those browsing the marketplace for web designers. Also, create multiple services to increase your chances of being seen. For example, you can advertise Wix web design, WordPress web design, Python web design, Java web design, and simply web design. Add a nice image, create portfolios for each one if there is a facility to do this, and then sit back and wait for your first order.
3. Apply to Web Agencies Using an Email Marketing Program: The scatter gun approach takes a small investment in an email marketing program such as MailChimp. Now this is an email marketing campaign, and what you are marketing here is your web design services. However, there is a lot of hard work to do here. Firstly, you need the email addresses for as many marketing and web design agencies as possible. You may also need to send a price list for your service as an attached PDF as well as links to your portfolio website and social media accounts.
The best way to get a list of emails for these companies is to hire someone on a freelance marketplace. For around $5 to $10 per service, you can ask someone to give you a list of every company in a certain location. For example, Sydney, Hong Kong, or West London. Let the freelancer go off and complete the job on your behalf. Once he or she has finished, you will have multiple email addresses to which you can offer your web design services.
In theory, the scattergun approach will work in the long run but try not to expect immediate results. It takes time and effort until eventually you get that one reply opening the doors for you to show off the art of web design and become an indispensable asset to the web design firm that put their faith in you.