Since the beginning of 2019, the number of web designers has been growing rapidly, especially among young people (16-25 years old). This is influenced by the powerful marketing of entrepreneurs in the training business (let’s do without names). With the help of various arguments, they reveal all the advantages of web design skills, which is why every 3-5 months there are 2,000-3,000 novice designers on the market, of which about 50 people survive, at best.
It’s not very bad, but it creates its own problems.
On the one hand, there are woeful masters, against the background of which excellent specialists look even better, on the other hand, the opinion of customers about web designers deteriorates after cooperation with non-publishers. Therefore, specialists need to look for new competitive advantages and pump a personal brand.
Why are behance, Instagram, forums not enough?
Because, firstly, according to our observations, customers from the CIS are still not accustomed to Behance and other similar sites for finding a specialist. It is easier for them to do this either through a freelance exchange or to look for someone through their friends. “So there are customers from other countries,” you say. But not everyone knows foreign languages and, in principle, is afraid to climb into foreign territory. So that reason is important.
Second, Behance is still more about the portfolio. On the resource, it is not very convenient to place and study information about the services of a specialist, prices, work experience, principles.
Thirdly, Instagram as a platform for traffic is not suitable for all designers. Suddenly, you work in a very narrow design niche (sites only for dedicated three product categories, work only in one color scheme, develop sites only for large business projects or startups) and your clients are not in this social network at all. Alas, but yes, this also happens, if you do not understand marketing (and when working as a web designer, this is very bad).
Fourthly, the page on Instagram should be maintained regularly, constantly, sometimes every day to do at least 1-2 stories. There is not always time and energy for this. But if you do not do this, you can very easily get lost among other designers.
Fifth, Instagram has been very “sick” lately. To move at the beginning of the journey without auxiliary programs and applications (like Insta+) is difficult. And when you use them, accounts are blocked and everyone does not care about your plans. That is, you can lose your page forever at any time, but the worst thing is contacts with customers, potential customers.
Okay, but how will the site help then?
Additional traffic and lead generation
Yes, to do this, you need to invest money and other resources in website promotion. But if in the future this eliminates the problems with finding customers, why not! Remember that Google, Yandex are powerful traffic channels and you should not lose sight of them.
Building a personal brand and PR
The scheme is the same as with SMM – more different effective collaborations with others. There is also such a thing as affiliate programs (they are also inexpensive PR) – you can post links to your works or photos of works, but only with links to your site (for example, an article on the forum, which has screenshots of your works as examples or complementary pictures). And then there are already many options for collaborations – both with bloggers and with other freelancers-colleagues (copywriters, marketers, content managers, etc.).
The site as a competitive advantage and an excellent information channel
Even “eternal” stories on Instagram are not always convenient for obtaining important information about prices, terms, services, examples. Not everyone wants to write to a specialist to clarify this. It is better when this data can be found at any time in a convenient form. On the site, this is the easiest to organize.
As for the competitive advantage – abroad, every 3rd web designer has his own website. In Runet, it is not a fact that the site is used even by every 8th specialist. And this can be your advantage – beautiful, juicy and bright.
The site as a self-presentation tool
A designer without a website with his own design is like a shoemaker without boots. And for some customers, this point is fundamental. After all, each person tries to present himself in the best light, and site templates will help (to some extent) to identify whether the designer suffers from such a sore as a “gypsy wedding” (when 10 different colors, 5 fonts, the text of different sizes, etc.), whether he knows how to work with CTA, how he builds the client’s path, whether he knows how to make animations, how he has with the composition, etc. And if you suddenly do not have time for this yet, you can take advantage of a special offer for photographers from TemplateMonster and in 6-10 days get a ready-made, working, SEO-friendly site.
Opportunity to optimize processes
Any freelancer takes a lot of time to communicate with the client and the designer too. While he will clarify all the details, until the customer as a whole understands what he needs and for what, it will take a lot of time and it is not a fact that the cooperation will take place at all. And if you develop a brief (without which it is impossible to place an order), then it will be easier to work. Especially if you set something like a line that will show the cost and timing of the order, taking into account the workload of the freelancer and the requirements of the client. It’s like a talisman from strange and lazy customers.
You can also place an online chat, where a chatbot will answer (but, of course, with the ability to write to a specialist and communicate personally) to typical questions.
Also, it is easier to make a payment through the site (if there is an FLP) and not to beg the customer to quickly transfer the prepayment, and when confirming cooperation, immediately send him a link.
Preserve the quality of images
This is one of the sins of social networks. On the site, you can place images (for example, screenshots) without loss of quality or even with the ability to bring them closer and consider important elements (by the way, take note of this, because so far in addition to online stores, few people use this function).
And what are the conclusions?
A website is the simplicity of work in the long run. If social networks need to be maintained and developed literally every day, then it is necessary to sweat over the site for the first time, and then it will be easier. Update information and content regularly, and that’s all you will have customers and happiness 🤑😊.