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So you designed your first Squarespace website, and you got hooked!

Not only was it super fun for you, but you also realized that you are a total natural at it! You found the entire process to be therapeutically creative and relatively easy!

You soon realize that web design is something you absolutely love to do!

Now, you constantly research ways to make it into something bigger than just a hobby.

You even started thinking…

“Maybe I can quit my soul-sucking full-time job and do something I love for a living!”

A lot of ladies stuck in corporate jobs wonder “Does everyone hate their job? Is it just part of the package you get once you become an adult?”

Spoiler alert!

NOT EVERYONE HATES THEIR JOB.

Some people consider Mondays their favorite day of the week. (Yep, really!)

So how can you turn your dreaded Mondays into a day you look forward to?!

Stick around to find out because I am going to share with you the 5 steps you need to take right now to get your web design business off the ground…

STEP 1:

Choose a niche

You might be wondering, what the heck is a “niche?”

Here is an example that will help you understand it…

Imagine you are a designer, and you start designing websites for makeup artists, IT businesses, restaurants, wedding venues, and real estate agents.

Now, you can imagine how these websites would look vastly different from each other and might even require different skills.

A makeup artist would need an entirely different website from an IT business, wouldn’t you agree?

This is where having a niche comes in really handy.

IT SIMPLY MEANS CHOOSING A SEGMENT OF PEOPLE (OR BUSINESSES) YOU WANT TO WORK WITH.

Let’s say your passion is to work with beauty salons because you like their work and understand it.

You can niche down and create websites for them and only them!

And I know what you’re thinking …

“But wouldn’t I leave money out on the table that way??”

This is a common concern, and let me assure you that this will not happen.

IN FACT, YOU CAN CHARGE WAYYYY MORE FOR YOUR SERVICES BECAUSE YOU SPECIALIZE IN A SPECIFIC NICHE.

If I owned a beauty salon and needed a website, I would hire a web designer who specialized in my field because I know they have experience working with the services I provide.

And trust me, there are hundreds of thousands (probably even millions) of beauty salons, so I wouldn’t exactly say it’s narrowing your pool of people very much.

You can even take it further and segment your niche further down.

ie.

  • No niche: I build Squarespace websites.
  • Niche: I build Squarespace websites for beauty salons.
  • Segmented Niche: I build Squarespace websites for beauty salons specializing in wedding hair and makeup.

So, here is your homework…spend some time thinking about exactly who you want to serve, and exactly what type of websites you want to create.

Suggested reading:

STEP #2:

Design your Branding

*Disclaimer! I have to put a disclaimer on this step because many new web designers get caught up in branding, and I don’t want you to overthink it.

Yes, branding is important, but it shouldn’t stop you from starting work.

There are two roads you can take when it comes to your branding:

1. You can do it yourself.

2. You can outsource it to a professional.

If you don’t have extra money to invest in branding right now, you certainly don’t have to. You can do it yourself!

Use platforms like Pinterest to get inspiration and Canva to design your brand kit.

Here are some basics you need to consider:

BRAND COLORS

Choose a primary color and 2-3 accent colors. Try not to go overboard. You truly need only a few.

BRAND FONTS

Choose legible fonts.

If you want to get fancy with script fonts, only use them as accents. The most important thing is for clients to understand what you are saying.

I recommend choosing two fonts. One for headings and subheadings and another for body text.

BRAND NAME

This one is really tricky!

Many of my students struggle to choose a name because they think it has to be trendy or catchy.

BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT YOU WANT TO PICK SOMETHING THAT WILL STAND THE TEST OF TIME.

Choose a name you won’t hate in a few years (or even months).

My recommendation if you’re stuck – go with your name.

It’s great for building your personal brand, and you won’t get bored of it.

BRAND LOGO

Create a simple logo that looks great when it’s big and small. Again, avoid thin lines and scripts that are not legible.

If you are not sure, you can just take the initials of your first and last name (or business name).

If this is completely overwhelming and you have some spare cash to throw at it, I recommend outsourcing your branding to an expert.

You can find incredible brand strategists on Instagram, Facebook groups, and even freelance platforms like Upwork.

STEP #3:

Choose your services & create your web design packages

Now that you have your niche and branding, it’s time to select the services you want to offer.

Let me say this right from the beginning:

You don’t have to offer everything just because you can.

I don’t recommend offering more than a couple of services initially.

You certainly don’t want to overwhelm yourself by spreading your time and skills too thin.

HERE IS A SIMPLE EXERCISE YOU CAN DO:

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle to make 2 columns.

In one column, write down all the things you love to do (related to web design, of course), and in the other column, write all the things you are good at.

Then, check if there are any overlaps between the two.

If yes, then these are the services you should focus on!

Deciding your web design prices

There are many ways you can do this!

You can charge hourly…you can charge per project…you can even create monthly retainers for clients!

The world is your oyster when it comes to pricing.

Just remember this:

Do not charge what others are charging simply because it’s easier.

YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH HOW MUCH YOU ARE CHARGING YOUR CLIENTS BECAUSE YOU WILL BE DOING THE WORK AT THE END OF THE DAY.

Some web designers may be charging up to $30,000 per website, but this number may not work for your business if you’re just starting out.

On the other hand, you may see a new designer charging $500 for a website, but you may know that you are worth more!

Here is the beauty of having your own business.

You get to choose how much you want to charge clients, and you can adjust it as you get better and gain more experience.

Ultimately, it’s a game of testing and seeing what works for you and your lifestyle! There is no wrong or right answer here.

Suggested reading:

STEP #4

Build your website

It goes without saying that if you want to be a web designer and be taken seriously, you should have a website (that you’ve preferably designed yourself).

Your website can be your portfolio!

Every time someone visits your website, they should be able to see a glimpse of your web design skills.

Be sure to include things like:

  • your services
  • a contact form
  • a little about yourself and type of clients you want to serve

STEP #5:

Market your web design business

Now that you have all the basics down, it’s time to put yourself out there and get noticed by your dream clients!

There are many ways to find clients, but I believe in building your personal brand so clients can actually find you!

Plus, constantly pitching yourself and convincing clients that you are THEIR web designer is exhausting.

You should strive to have clients wanting and wishing to work with you because they love your work and feel incredibly connected to what you offer!

The best way to do that is to create a marketing strategy for your business!

An easy way to start is with social media. Think about your ideal client and where they hang out. Then, make yourself visible there.

Let’s say you want to work with course creators who primarily use Instagram. You should create an Instagram profile and develop educational, inspirational, and relatable content for course creators so they can find you.

Social media is not your jam?

That’s okay! Me neither!

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Start a blog on your website
  • Make educational Youtube videos
  • Network at in-person events
  • Invest in paid advertising
  • Offer to speak at a conference

The most important thing is to put yourself out there to be visible!

After all, your ideal clients won’t work with you if they can’t find you.

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