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Considering how many skilled and creative web design & development freelancers are out there, you’d think that they’d be bringing in a lot of business. However, sometimes having all the creative talent is not enough. The lack of business and customer service skills can make your freelance business a tough one.
Here are a few of the more common errors that web design and development freelancers, and even freelancers in general can make:
One of the biggest mistakes that freelancers make is devaluing their services. A lot of freelancers – especially those who are just starting their businesses – mistakenly think that in order to compete, they need to charge rock-bottom prices just to lure in clientele. The truth is, you’ve got to price your services according to their value. You wouldn’t find a Ferrari at a price point similar to that of a Chevy, would you? Good clients will value good services, and will pay decent money for them.
The cost of living increases as inflation increases, so why would you settle for charging the same prices that you did a decade ago? If your web design services are top-notch, you shouldn’t be afraid of raising your prices at appropriate intervals – within reason, of course. If you’ve got a line-up of clients, they’ll most likely stick with you even when you raise your prices. After all, odds are your competitors have already increased their prices.
In a perfect world every single client would be amazing. But such is not the case, and you’ll most likely run into the odd annoying client here and there. It’s just the nature of the beast. Generally, you can expect about 80% of your clients to be great, with the remainder giving you a headache from time to time. Do yourself a favour and create a plan to deal with such clients before they even come on board. There’s nothing wrong with politely turning down their business if you don’t think they’ll make a good fit.
Freelancing definitely has its perks – you’re your own boss, you make your own hours and schedule, and you’ve got a ton of flexibility. But as the workload piles on, you’ll need to learn how to say no when you think you’ve reached your limit. While it can be tough to literally turn down extra cash, it’s good for your overall sanity and quality of work. If you are taking on too much work just for the money, perhaps you’re not charging enough. See #1 above.
As a freelance web designer in Toronto, you should consider specializing in one area of your niche. This will make you appear as an expert of sorts in your industry, and will set you apart from your competition. That way, you can make your processes more effective, speed up the pace at which you complete jobs, and justifiably increase your rates.
While most of your time and effort should be focused on your trade, it’s also critical to give the business side some attention too. Take these pointers into consideration to help you run a successful and profitable freelance business.