One of the benefits of being a freelance web designer is the ability to work with multiple clients. You can build websites that span a range of industries – each offering a unique experience. Or you can go in the opposite direction and focus on a specific niche.
Whichever path you choose, there is a singular common thread to every project you take on: commitment. It is essential to focus not only on the outcome of a project, but also on our relationship with clients. But it’s not something we discuss regularly.
That’s something we should change. After all, dedication is the key to a successful web design career. You’re unlikely to get very far without it.
Let’s start the discussion by looking at the types of commitments web designers have to make, as well as tips for managing it.
What Are We Committed To?
Booking a project is exciting. But he also has a lot of responsibility. If you are not willing to deal with it, things may not go as planned.
So, before you sign on the dotted line, know that you are committing to:
Delivering High Quality Work
First and foremost, web designers should deliver quality work. Although “quality” is a subjective term, in this case, it means that the website should look and work in an agreed upon manner.
Nothing in this world is perfect – and that includes websites. However, we are committed to following best practices and doing so to the best of our knowledge.
Honesty can also be included here. For example, if a client requests functionality that is outside of their budget, it is our duty to explain the situation. All told, it’s about setting realistic expectations and then following through.
Have you ever booked a client who has previously worked with another web designer? Apparently one of the reasons they left the other designer was a lack of communication.
This means being responsive to client requests and keeping them in the loop as needed. The requirements will vary based on the type of project and the personalities involved. But staying on top of your inbox is vital.
And you don’t have to be a hostage of words. Even a brief acknowledgment that a message has been received and reviewed is usually sufficient. Even minimal effort in this area can build trust.
Professionalism is a neglected part of free practice. And despite what stock photos often show, it has little to do with wearing business attire. It’s more about how you manage projects and interact with stakeholders.
It starts with being organized. For example, keeping track of your schedule and showing that you can consistently meet project deadlines. These actions go a long way towards developing good relationships – and maybe getting some positive word of mouth.
There is also something to be said for accepting what we do and don’t know. We all have weaknesses. So, when we don’t have an immediate answer, it’s always better to do research than to provide a half-baked answer.
None of this means you can’t have fun. Rather, it’s a reminder to go the extra mile and do your best.
Long Term Relationship
If you are a freelancer who provides design and maintenance, you are also committed to long-term relationships with your clients. That means the website you build today may still be a part of your life several years from now.
This is a very important consideration. Unless you’re crazy about a project or a client, dealing with them indefinitely may put you off. It could be reason enough to turn down the opportunity.
The bottom line is to make sure you know what you are doing! You may not always get it right. But the ability to choose positive relationships will take you a long way in this industry.
Commitment to Web Design Success
When you think of freelancing, commitment may not be the first thing that comes to mind. And it’s not uncommon to hear stories from others who have been surprised at how much it takes to be successful.
That’s one reason why this career is not for everyone. Starting a web design business without a sense of commitment is even more of a challenge.
However, it is something you can learn and improve over time. And you don’t need any special skills – just be willing to put in the work.
When you understand the finer points of the job, things start to flow naturally. You may even find that your projects and client relationships move forward more smoothly. Why? Because you have mastered the art of commitment.