David Caudwell
David Caudwell 6 June 2016

Selling Is The Other Half!

The Beginning - I began to develop my web design business in 2009. What a learning curve that was!

While I had some prior practical experience in designing and developing static HTML websites in a corporate environment, this technology was already coming under fire from the emergence of the CMS into the open market, such as open-source Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal, as well as proprietary systems like Concrete5.

I chose to stay with what I already knew - HTML. That was a big mistake, and when I look back, I should have made the move to the CMS universe much sooner than I did.

A Silver Lining

But, there's always a silver lining if you look for it. Mine has been that Iwas able to go back to my old clients, and upgrade them to responsive Wordpress websites, which has been good for them, and great for me.

The Learning Curve -On the other hand, researching and understanding and then developing proficiency with Wordpress has been a monster learning curve for me. Even just getting my head around CMS databases like MySQL and the way it integrates with every aspect of Wordpress was a challenge (even though I had been involved developing enterprise databases since the late 1980's).

Then, One Day...

Finally, I was putting it all together, and my understanding of Wordpress and how to make it work was at the point where I could confidently offer my clients the latest in website technology - phew!

Technical Skill Is Only Fifty Percent

What I soon discovered though, is that a successfull freelance web design business is not just about being competent with the technology and the tools to apply it.

Just as important is the skill to market the business. To go out and find potential clients, to make a pitch to them, and follow through with a well designed and compelling sales proposal, and finally to successfully sign the client up for a new website, and then deliver it, on time and on budget.

I'm glad I had all those early years in sales

Thankfully, in another life long ago I spent many years selling in retail, commercial radio and TV and even - yes - insurance. So I had a head start in how to sell.

Now I look back on the past 6 years as a freelancer, and I know that success in this business is not just about designing and building good websites at competitive prices - it's equally about understanding what makes people buy in the first place. I'm glad I had all those early years in sales.

My Tip for Freelancers

The best freelance designers and developers will fail without one other key skill. If you want to succeed as a freelance web designer, learn to sell!

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
The New '4Ps of Marketing'

The New '4Ps of Marketing'

Neil H. Borden, in 1964, gifted the world with the 4Ps of the Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. This concept has been a cornerstone of business marketing. However, there are new 4Ps of Marketing – just as powerful and just as game changing as Neil Borden’s.

Daisy Kent
Daisy Kent 18 May 2017
Read more
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
How To Calculate Marketing ROI

How To Calculate Marketing ROI

Calculating marketing ROI is an exercise in patience and accuracy. The formula to calculate basic, short-term marketing ROI is simple: ROI = (Incremental Profit – Campaign Cost) / Campaign Cost. But marketers know that the formula—while accurate—is far too often misapplied to their efforts.

James Loomstein
James Loomstein 16 May 2017
Read more
Forget SWOT, The Pareto Rule Holds The Secret To Your Online Success

Forget SWOT, The Pareto Rule Holds The Secret To Your Online Success

One of the most important principles I've learned is the so-called Pareto Rule. This principle holds particular importance for aspiring online entrepreneurs. If you are a Blogger, Digital Marketer, Amazon Seller, AdSense expert, then Pareto’s Rule applies to your business. Understanding it is vital to your success.

Alex Papaconstantinou
Alex Papaconstantinou 17 May 2017
Read more