How to build a portfolio, organize and rate design services, and get your first clients

Guide To Getting Started As a Freelance Web Designer

This guide is designed for anyone who's just starting out as a freelance web designer or only dreaming about becoming one. Check it out to learn how to create an effective portfolio, manage your workflow, price websites, and win over your first clients. Tips from experienced and award-winning web designers included!
Starting a career as an independent freelance web designer can sound both like a dream-job opportunity come true and a bit daunting, mainly because of all those questions swirling around: Where do I even start? What to put in my portfolio if I don't have any clients yet? How to find my first clients? How to figure out pricing for my services? This guide consists of a roadmap that will help answer all of those questions, find your first clients, and jumpstart your career as a freelance designer.

Building an Effective Designer Portfolio Website

Getting clients can be hard, especially at the start of your freelance career. A vitally important thing here is to have a stellar portfolio website that displays you, your skill set, and your work in the best possible way. A portfolio website is crucial nowadays since it works like an online business card and increases trust in your design abilities as well as gives your future client a glimpse of who you are and how you work. So make sure that when your prospective clients visit your website, they will get the right impression.
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About Me
Start with building a coherent About page. Working as an independent freelance web designer often means interacting with a lot of different people. It really helps if they can learn a little bit about you even before directly contacting you. When creating an About page, don't be afraid to give it some character so it feels like you. You can have fun with the layout, show your style, make texts personal, show your face, tell your story, etc. All of that will contribute to the fact that your potential customers will notice and remember you, and later help to gain their trust.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
It's very important for clients to have a good sense of who they work with. I think it's best to put some information about you on the Home Page as well as on the About page. But don't overdo it. Don't make it a "look-at-me" website with your model pictures all over it. Try to stand out but be subtle.
Simon goofily animated his About page.
The About page also has to market you and your services so spend some time on competitive research and personal branding. What kinds of value do your competitors offer? Can you do the same or top what they offer? A lot of people hate the "selling yourself" part because it feels like bragging or showing off and it kind of is. But you have to convince prospects to choose you. So sell your experience and skills and be persuasive even if it means being a little bit braggy.
The second most important thing after properly introducing yourself to your visitors is the actual portfolio. When filling the Portfolio section with projects, stick to quality rather than quantity: Display only your finest work. Don't share work you're not proud of, it's not likely to impress anyone.
There can be several strategies to follow when choosing the right format for displaying your best work. Probably the most convincing one is to put 2/4/6—depending on how many you actually have for now—of your cases right on your Home Page with a few high-quality images and short descriptions.

Ideally, each project icon should click through and transfer the visitor to a separate case study page where they can find all the detailed information regarding this particular project such as the description of who the client is, the goal for the project, your solution and reasons why you chose it, etc. It is also important to show a diversity of styles and techniques through the displayed work so you increase the chances to attract people from very different industries and visual cultures.

Julia Zass
Freelance Web Designer, Illustrator
When sharing your work, put some time and effort into storytelling. A case study will look 10 times more impressive and persuasive if it's not just pictures and a few sentences describing your client and their needs. You can also share the thought process behind certain design-related decisions. Don't be afraid to bore someone with unnecessary details. Extra information that allows understanding of how you work and how you think can actually help greatly with winning those prospective over.
It's also a very good idea to reach out to your clients after some time and ask them about the website's performance so far. Maybe the old website couldn't attract as much organic traffic as the new one? Maybe the new website's design gets way more compliments on how beautiful and easy to use it is than the previous one? All that information carries tremendous power and helps evidently highlight the actual profits that client has gained from having you build the website for them. You can display it in the form of infographics so it's easier to digest.
What if I don't have real cases yet?
If you haven't had an opportunity to work with real clients yet, just come up with a few mock projects as diverse as possible. It doesn't matter whether those websites are real or not, the most important thing is that they help your prospects understand what exactly you're capable of.

Creating a couple of imaginary projects is the perfect way to show your skills without strict limitations and looming deadlines from real clients. It's also an additional opportunity to practice and learn a new thing or two.

Valeria Francis
Freelance Web Designer
Choose a subject that really inspires you and go create something crazy! I love mock projects as you can do really unusual things which would be extremely difficult to pull off while bringing to life a real commercial project. Also, you can show your full potential and these types of projects usually attract a lot of clients as they tend to turn out much more creative and memorable.
It's also a good idea to start tracking the working hours that you spend on creating your mock projects right away. This will come in extremely handy when you acquire your first clients and will be asked to price your work.
Simon is into traveling, so he made a mock project about trip to Vietnam.
How many projects should be in my portfolio?
At least 4 big projects in your portfolio are necessary to look legit.

Julia Zass
Freelance Web Designer, Illustrator
You don't need to pose as your own client and come up with a mock project from scratch. Let's say that you like a brand or a particular product but find their website design outdated. Just go ahead and redesign it! You can also not only make this project a part of your portfolio but actually reach out to that company or brand, show them your work, and offer to buy it out for a discount price. Who knows, maybe they find themselves thinking, Well, we didn't know we needed this but we actually do need this. Hence a win-win situation for both parties :)
Also, don't be lazy to take down old case studies and replace them with the recent ones. Design trends and techniques are evolving fast so your portfolio should be updated accordingly. There's an exception: You can keep older projects that you've made for famous brands and big clients or more unusual ones that have required a lot of time and effort and stand out from the regular ones.
After showing your best work, make sure to include customer testimonials on your website as it makes you appear much more credible. Satisfied clients that are willing to share their feedback on working with you are probably the best social proof ever.

So don't be afraid to reach out to your clients and ask for their feedback as you're showing them that you value their opinion. Grateful clients are usually more than happy to help out with that. You can make this process easier for them and guide them a little by providing a small questionnaire so they know exactly what topics you expect them to highlight in their review.
Some questions to include in the client review questionnaire:
Why do you need a website? What do you use it for?
What issue(s) did you face with your old website before reaching out to me (if you had one in the past)?
Why did you choose me over other web designers?
What was the best thing about working with me?
How would you rate my communication skills from 1 to 10 (10 being the highest)?
In your opinion, were I able to meet all the deadlines?
What results have you achieved by having a website that I made for you?
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Note that some clients, despite the provided questionnaire, may ask you to write what you want to hear yourself and that's okay too.

You can put the testimonials right on your Home Page or add them to each related case study page. You can also ask your client to publish their review themselves on a third-party platform like Google Business or on social media, then you can screenshot the testimonial and put it on your website. Don't forget to collect all the reviews you get and regularly update this section on your website.

In order for a review to look credible, it has to include a name, a link to a social media or a website, and, ideally, a photo of the client. Ask them for an image and get permission to publish it on your website.

How To Promote Your Website

Now you have your portfolio website up and running. That's great but even the most beautiful website with persuasive content won't really help much with marketing your services if it's not SEO optimized correctly. So make sure to spend some time on SEO optimization.

This task would require conducting keyword research, placing keywords thoughtfully throughout your page, and adding Alt Text into all the images' descriptions as a bare minimum. Also, remember that SEO optimization can be a popular request from your future clients so—one way or another—it's a good idea to learn how to do it properly.
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Besides SEO there are some other ways that can be of hand with promoting your website. One of them is link building.

Obtain permission from your clients to put a link to your website or your logo in their site's footers so you get additional traffic consisting of interested leads, who've already been impressed with your work. We can assume that they are interested and impressed since they cared enough to find and click on the link at the very bottom of the page.
Valeria Francis' copyright on one of her works—an online photography magazine.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
I find that link building is one of the most effective free ways of promoting your website. If your client's clients like the website they're on, they will most definitely be curious about who's created it. Make sure to have a subtle yet noticeable icon with your logo, name, or initials that you can use to basically copyright your work. I get this kind of traffic on my website regularly.
Another important thing that can really help you with promoting your work for free is design-related platforms like Behance, Dribble, Tilda Experts, DeviantArt, #madeontilda, etc., where you can also share your portfolio, become a part of the community, and potentially find new clients.

Julia Zass
Freelance Web Designer, Illustrator
If you use Tilda, make sure to apply to and become one of Tilda Experts. Also, Made on Tilda is just the perfect platform where you can share your work with the world—for free—that can help you find new clients or rather help them discover you :)

Valeria Francis
Freelance Web Designer
I have about 3 to 5 business leads that find me through Made on Tilda every month, so it’s a great source for generating new clients for sure. The more projects you publish there, the higher the chance of getting noticed.

How To Price Your Design Work

Calculating your hourly rate

The question of how much you should charge for your designs, especially when you are just getting started, can be hard to answer. The good news is that there is no universal response or fixed rate. One common thing among web designers though is charging hourly. So you need to figure out how much money an hour of your time costs.

Julia Zass
Freelance Web Designer, Illustrator
Even very skilled and experienced professionals struggle with setting the right price for their services. Especially at the very beginning of your career you inevitably will find yourself with projects that the final commission for would feel like too much or too little. There is no other way to fight this but to accomplish more and more projects.
The price for everything that you have to offer to your clients is ultimately made up of many factors including your actual working experience—which sometimes is referred to as seniority level—, your education, and the additional courses that you've taken over the years, etc. Take all of those things into account and compare the figure with the industry's average in your country. Somewhere in between lies your perfect hourly rate.
To sum up, $25-30 per hour is an adequate hourly rate for those web designers who are at the beginning of their professional journey. Again, those figures are indicative. If your client needs a multi-page website with a minimum of 5-7 blocks on every single page, an online store, a complex layout with animation, etc., it's fair to charge more than you usually would. At the same time, if it's literally your very first real project, it's okay to give a solid discount.

Also, it's important to remember that with every new client and the new project you're developing new skills and growing professionally. So don't forget from time to time to revise your pricing policy. It's okay to charge more when the quality of your services has increased.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
I don't believe you get paid only for the working hours you've spent on a project. How qualified you are also matters. In my case, I studied for 8 years, I've done more than 3 years' worth of internships, and spent many hours mastering different softwares and services. I did all of those things to get where I am today. It's fair to take into account all the effort that you've made to become the specialist that you are now. Remember that when you're answering the question regarding your worth as a web designer.

Valeria Francis
Freelance Web Designer
When pricing your services, take into account all of your experiences, and not only work-based ones. Remember that with every new course that you've taken and every new thing that you've learned, the value that you're providing your client with is increasing as well. Also, if you suddenly find yourself being booked up for weeks in advance, it's a sure sign to revise the pricing for your services.
After working on several projects, the value that you bring to your clients will become more and more apparent to you. Always keep that in mind, especially when taking on the next client since a lot of people like to try and negotiate the price that they hear. You have every right to stand your ground and don't budge with your pricing. Remember that there will always be specialists who would do the work for less money.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
Often clients think a website can be done for $500 because they falsely assume that, "It's not that much work." But why is that? They often don't realize what the task requires. And there are web designers out there, who will agree to do the work for an amount like $500. There will always be others who would do it for less money but it doesn't mean you have to bring your price down. Don't be shy to explain to your clients why a good website can't be cheap and how many hours and how much work and effort really go into making one.
Calculating the project's final price
Figuring out your hourly rate is only half the job since your clients most likely don't have a slightest idea about how many hours a basic website or a basic online store would take to build, it's just too abstract of a concept to them.

To specify the pricing, divide the project into a number of small activities, each usually taking N number of hours. To figure out how much time each task actually takes to finish on average, you need to develop a habit of tracking your working hours. You can use popular time-trackers like Toggl Track, Harvest, Timely, etc.,

Again, those numbers can very much vary—for example, a specific task can end up needing complex animations—but you need approximate time so you can convert it into approximate prices. That way your clients can have a rough idea of how much the website will cost them. Tracking time and dividing big tasks into small ones will also help you with planning your work schedule more efficiently as well as generating transparent and clear client reports.
Simon's list of work tasks that building a website usually requires measured in hours.
Should you put pricing on your website?
Another money-related thing that can puzzle even experienced web designers is whether to publish prices for your services on your website or not. Again, no universal solution here. Some designers think that it's better to discuss money with clients individually since every single project is very different from one another. Others believe that it's beneficial to show prices to your prospects even before communicating with them for the first time because it works like a filter. Use this table to decide whether or not you want to list prices on your website:

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
I do show prices on my website mainly because it helps me to filter out people with no real budgets. I also use package pricing which is basically 3 different sets of services that sort of convert into a website's various functionality that a client can expect for each particular price point.

The important thing to articulate here is that those figures are indicative as every project is different so the final price will depend on specific customer and technical requirements for a particular project and will be calculated individually.
Is there really a fixed or final price for services in web design?
When it comes to web design, what's called a final price is basically an estimate of the number of hours it would take to create a website. So does it make sense to have those if a project—for different reasons—can take more time? It depends on many things but the main one is how good you are at accurately estimating the required working hours that will take to complete the project.

Valeria Francis
Freelance Web Designer
As a web designer, I've had people reaching out to me with similar tasks for years so I'm pretty familiar with what is what. I have a set price list that explains what's included in those prices. Everything that's not on the list, I'll charge extra for.
Valeria's pricing that displayed on her website.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
I prefer working with fixed prices. Both you and the client know what to expect, and there will be no surprises for both parties. Also, if you manage to complete the project earlier, you don't have to return anything, and basically get more money out of the deal. On the contrary, if you end up working more because you failed to estimate the time correctly, it'll be a loss for you and also a lesson—give your planning a thorough examination.
Getting paid fairly is directly related to planning your work accurately. Don't forget about that when starting to work on a new project.

Getting First Clients As a Web Designer

Getting your very first customers can be a real struggle. Look around, maybe your friends or family members need a website or a landing page. Word-of-mouth marketing is a good strategy that can gain you a lot of clients. So don't be shy to ask people you've worked with to recommend you to others. If they like your work, they'll be more than happy to help you out.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
I made one of my first websites for my friend's mother years ago. She was happy with the result and had a friend who was also looking for getting a new website, so she spread the word, and he came to me. Some months later, my friend's mother's friend worked with someone, who also needed a new website, and they again asked me to do the work. And it goes even further. This person also had a family member who needed a website and branding. So from 1 client (my friend's mother) came 3 other clients.
How the Word-of-Mouth marketing worked for Simon when he was getting started as a web designer.
What else can you do in order to acquire your first clients?
Regularly update your social media. Having a business account on Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn can be very beneficial. For starters, you can post your work there every single day without virtually any limitations whatsoever and it won't take as long as adjusting your website or coming up with a full-fledged case study.
Participate in design-related competitions like Awwwards, #madeontilda, and Adobe Creative Jam. Becoming an award-winning professional also counts as social proof—by getting a trophy or a title you're showing that your efforts are recognized and valued by fellow professionals.

Valeria Francis
Freelance Web Designer
After I posted my portfolio on Awwwards for the very first time, a number of people almost immediately hit me up, asking whether I would be interested in collaborating with them. Some of those conversations led to me getting the work done for them, some didn't.

What I find the most interesting is that among those case studies that I posted were a few real projects and a few fake ones. And the fake ones received much more comments and got more praise than the real projects! That happens because when you're working on a mock project, your hands are not tight to your client's requirements and time limitations. You can make whatever you want and show everybody how creative you are.
Become a member of web design-related Facebook and LinkedIn groups where people often ask for advice, look for potential collaborators, and be active there. We've already mentioned the power of word-of-mouth marketing: It works almost as well with people you've met online as with those you actually know in real life.
Network with people from other spheres. It's great to hang out with fellow designers from time to time but it's also important to make friends with people who work in marketing, PR, sales, etc. For example, a marketing specialist who works in an advertising agency would probably need a trusted web designer on a regular basis. So when participating in business conferences make sure to exchange business cards with those folks too.

Your First Client: How To Plan Your Work

Once you gain a client, you have to figure out how to tackle a project because your work doesn't begin and end with building a website. The entire workflow includes many stages and can vary but generally consists of the following:
Choosing file and document sharing channels. How does your client provide the content? Do they have any references in mind or—even better—on hand, and, if so, how and when they can send it in? How and when does your client prefer to review drafts? Is it convenient for both of you to make a shared Google Drive Folder for all the imagery, or maybe they are more comfortable with WeTransfer or just Gmail? It's very important to be aware of the fact that not all people are tech-savvy, and you need to be prepared for that, meaning to have some alternatives to suggest.
Choosing communication methods. Some clients prefer people they work with to be available to answer their questions and hear out their comments almost around the clock, others are hard to reach out to themselves. Ask your client what their preferred channels of communication are. Pick a few convenient channels that ideally match your favorite ones, and be reachable through them during your working hours. Remember that comfortable communication is a big part of pleasant and successful cooperation. If you respond quickly and answer questions in detail, it's a sign that you are a responsible and reliable professional.

At the same time, it's okay to set your boundaries with clients. Let your clients know the hours that they can expect to hear from you. Gently remind them about it, if they demand a response in the middle of the night or on weekends. Unless, of course, being in touch 24/7 is not part of your service that you can additionally charge for. It also won't hurt to put what you discuss verbally in writing—preferably in an email since it's legally binding—so in case there are any problems you have clear proof in black and white.
Estimating the timing of the project. The creation of a working plan depends a lot on the desired outcome. So make sure you brief your client well on what functionality they expect their website to have. A basic questionnaire would consist of the following:
  • Do you want online store functionality?

  • Do you want your online store to accept online payments? If so, what kind of payment systems should be integrated (PayPal, Stripe, etc.)? Do you know how much the maintenance of a payment system costs per month?

  • Do you want a newsletter integration?

  • Do you want to have a blog on your website?

  • Do you want your website to be multilingual?
It's a good idea to have these kinds of questions in the form of a PDF file ready to be sent to your client. Some designers even publish the Questionnaire—or at least its short version—on their website or make it a part of the lead capture/request form as a mandatory field. In this case, you'll have a basic idea of what a potential client wants even before directly contacting them.
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After getting a better idea about the complexity of the project and about your client's personality, it would be good to answer the following questions yourself:
  • What kind of client is this—urgent client, unresponsive client, unrealistic client, etc.?

  • Will the client be quick in responding?

  • How much is the client going to have a say?

  • Will the client be easy, or will they be picky?

  • Is it only a website and does the client have a corporate identity already or do you have to develop the whole branding, a website with widgets, and social media design?

  • Do you need to do research on the target audience in order to, for example, figure out UX elements?

  • Do you need to dive into the code?

  • Is the project new to you and do you have to figure stuff out on the way?

  • What are the additional small tasks?
The better you answer all of those questions, the better you can estimate the amount of time and effort every single project will demand. Of course, there always can be bumps in the road and you can't predict everything but it doesn't mean you can't try and be as well-prepared as possible.
Simon's 4-month planning table example.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
A good example of miscalculation is a client I had some time ago. It was a relatively old man, and the communication time I estimated was far from enough. Usually, I plan about 6 hours of communication but this time it was more than 12 hours in total. His communication via email wasn't that great and he preferred to call. Calls took way longer than usual and there were many miscommunications.

He didn't understand much about websites, or even how to use the Internet in general. It's not their fault, because they didn't grow up with this technology, but I should have thought about this more thoroughly beforehand. It's a perfect example of the importance of adjusting your planning to a particular client.
Finally, don't forget to clarify when the deadline is. Ask your client when they need the website. Estimate the amount of work and whether the project is doable in the allotted time or not. Negotiate the deadline if you think it's not realistic right away because otherwise, you'll end up rushing the work or overworking. Discuss how many revision rounds you do for free. Also, explain the next steps after the website is delivered.

For instance, you can agree with your client that the aftercare—helping with small things like modifying titles or changing captions—is free for a certain period of time, say, 2 weeks or 1 month. After that, you will start tracking the hours in a logbook. Also, if any major changes are required, you will charge for them.
Choosing a website builder. Briefly explain what website builders are and how they work to avoid any confusion—again, people can be not that tech-savvy. If they have never heard of it before or have a very abstract idea about it, show the ones that you like to use and politely suggest your recommendations.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
I use Tilda, so I tell my clients exactly why Tilda is better than other website builders. For me, the main pros are the freedom that comes with Zero Block, good SEO functionality, easily adjustable without outside help, and reasonable pricing. That's what usually gets clients pretty enthusiastic.

Valeria Francis
Freelance Web Designer
I believe that this kind of choice is up to a client and not a designer because it's the client who ends up using and maintaining the website. So it's highly important that the chosen platform or service is user-friendly and easy to figure out. Tilda is one of such services.
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Providing pricing options. Explain to your client how exactly you charge for your services, maybe you have an hourly/daily rate, or maybe you have a variety of package offers that depend on the complexity of the desired website, or likely both. Tell them how fast after receiving a client brief you can provide a pricing plan with the final cost. Explain what kind of services are included in that price, how much time you expect they will take, and what will be considered extra services like changes in the content or complexity of the layout after the project has started, more than 20 revisions from the client, etc., so that the client can expect to be charged for them additionally.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
I tell the client that the price in my pricing plan is the definitive price, so there won't be any extra or hidden fees. Although, these conditions are satisfied only when there is no change in the content of the website during the process. If there is a change in the content after I've started working on the project, I tell the client that we'll discuss the extra time required right before I get to that newly added part. Because I use the definitive price scheme, I make sure that I plan my hours well. I advise everyone to add some extra time if you have doubts.
If you end up working more hours than were initially specified in the pricing plan, does this mean you can't charge for it since you work for the definitive amount? Not necessarily, if you had to carry out tasks that weren't originally in the plan and were brought by your client in the middle of the process. However, if this happened because you underestimated the workload and the complexity of the project, too bad. Learn from your planning mistakes and remember them when starting to work on a new one.
Choosing payment terms. After figuring out the final cost of your services, you need to decide how and when you are to be paid by your client. Do you want to go with the staggered payments that you receive after finishing a certain stage of a project? Or do you prefer to receive an upfront deposit before even starting working on the project? No matter what you choose, don't forget to plainly lay out your payment terms in a contract so you get paid on time and in full. Sometimes clients would try and negotiate their own payment terms but as both parties are interested in working together, there is always a chance to find a middle ground.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
I like to separate the invoice into two parts. I receive the first payment halfway into the project, and the second one after delivering the website. This is a safer scheme and the client will understand it. Sometimes it takes a long time before the project is finished, so it's nice to get some money halfway.

Also, I always give the customer 14 days to complete the payment. Some clients forget to pay the invoice, so remember to check your bank account.
Building the actual website. We won't be getting into the details of actually creating a website in this guide. If interested, check out our articles and video tutorials on that topic.
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Video tutorials on creating all types of websites on Tilda
Keeping your files organized. Using the same folder structure every time will save you a lot of time because after a while you will be doing routine stuff like uploading pictures and other files on auto-pilot.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
For each project, I have 3 main folders:

1. "Client documents." Here I put the planning document, the pricing of the project, and the feedback that I get from the client.

2. "Branding." This speaks for itself. Here I put the client's logo (in PNG, JPG, SVG, and AI), the favicon, avatar, etc., as well as corporate identity files like the color scheme, typography, style elements, and brand guide if they have one.

3. "Website." This is where all the website content like imagery (originals and optimized versions), videos, and texts goes.

Valeria Francis
Freelance Web Designer
You need to keep your files organized not only in folders—especially ones that your client has access to—but pretty much everywhere. For example, I use several graphic editors. So I try my best to keep each work file as organized as possible: I make sure to name them properly in relation to each stage of the project like research, first concepts, full page, final layout, etc. All of that allows me to easily take a step back if needed and, for example, provide the client with a particular version of a draft quickly.
Making sure to name your files properly. If you name your files coherently right away, you won't confuse older versions of the same file with new ones and will be able to find them on your computer as well as Google Docs quickly.
Creating descriptive ALT tags. It's handy to name the image files accordingly right away and use these descriptions as Alt tags on the website. This way you'll save time and avoid re-uploading them again on Tilda. If you're having trouble coming up with the perfect Alt tags on the spot, prepare them in advance before starting a new project.
Planning your work wisely includes breaks. If your working plan says 50 hours, it doesn't mean that the project can be done in 7 days. Working in a rush, and overworking yourself doesn't help your creativity and negatively affects the end result.

Communicating With a Client

If you're a web designer, it doesn't mean you only build websites. You are a service provider as well. Hence you also build business relationships with your customers. Great or bad communication is something that your clients will remember you along with your actual work. So ensure clear, respectful, and effective communication with your clients whatever channel you use it for. Avoid difficult terms and be open to explaining technical stuff if needed.
Communication channels
Remember to give your clients some choices so they can reach out to you easily and make sure to be in touch through those channels during your working hours.

While working on a project, you most definitely will be communicating with your clients in different circumstances. So it’s useful to know what channels are the most suitable for each particular situation.
Client reporting
Even if your client is well-aware of all the activities that the project requires from the plan that you've shared with them, it's also important for your client's peace of mind to understand what you are currently working on. Receiving regular status reports makes them feel more comfortable, safe, and in control. So it's always a good idea to provide them with some sort of a client's report so they know how things are going and how much time is spent on different stages of the project.
Example of a table that Simon shares with every client.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
I've come up with the logbook document that I share with my clients, where I add all my hours in a graph. Clients can view the progress live and access it any time they want. I create this document for every client I work with. This way you have total transparency about the work you do, how many hours it takes, and how much it costs.

On the left, I have the date, actual minutes worked (I round them up to 5 minutes) and next to that I put the task that I work on. On the right there is the total number of spent minutes which is converted to the total amount of hours and beneath that the total costs so far. You can set the calculations of your hourly rate and automate it.
You can not only provide your client with regular status reports that highlight all the tasks that have been successfully completed but also share your plans at the beginning of every week. This contributes greatly to your client's understanding of what you do specifically and how much you work.

Julia Zass
Freelance Web Designer, Illustrator
I prefer sending drafts to my clients as soon as I have something to show even if it's just minor things. It makes them feel more well-informed. Otherwise, especially at the very beginning, it may seem like they've partially paid for a service and don't really know what's going on out there.

Send drafts only if you're comfortable with that yourself because you need to be prepared to get notes on your work right away. If getting feedback on every little thing only disturbs your workflow, or makes you feel anxious, send drafts at the end of each stage of the project.
Remember that making reports is not only beneficial for your clients, reports come in handy since it's a documented history of the project, and can be used as a proof in case something goes wrong and one or both sides have claims or grievances against each other at some point in time.

After the Website Is Delivered And Approved

Getting the main part of the work finished is great but you're still not completely done with the project. At this stage, you need to show your client that even though the website is up and running you are still here for them and will be in the future. Your willingness to help them afterward contributes greatly to the final impression of working with you and shows that you care.
Arrange a small website walkthrough. Your client has probably seen the website a bunch of times by now but it's still a good idea to give them a little tour and demonstrate the final product. It's a chance for you to explain your line of reasoning behind certain decisions and show how thoroughly you thought everything through.
Help out with learning how to edit the websites on their own. Whether your client has had a website before or it's their first, you need to show them how it can be adjusted themselves. Schedule a video call and teach them how to edit text, upload and update images, move blocks around, etc. It's important that your client won't feel left alone with something they can't handle on their own.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
If the website you've created is large and has a lot of complex functionality like a webshop, blog page, event booking, widgets, etc., don't teach them everything at once. It's just too much information to absorb. First, go through the basics and let them get to know Tilda. You can show the rest after. What also helps is sending them a basic guidebook on Tilda and some Help Center articles. This way they won't be bothering you with basic questions.

Valeria Francis
Freelance Web Designer
Giving your client a small live virtual tour is great but what are the chances that they can't remember everything at once? Very high. So in addition to a demo Zoom call, I usually record a video tutorial explaining some basic things about editing their Tilda website that would be the most relevant for that particular client.

For example, if the website has an online store, I'll be explaining how to create product cards, upload images, edit descriptions, specify prices, etc. By doing so, I save myself time answering similar questions over and over again. Of course, they can always reach out to Tilda Support but I prefer reducing the need for it.
It can take time for your client—especially older ones—to get a hang of their new website so you need to be attentive and patient with them. When a website is made on a no-code and easy-to-use platform like Tilda, getting used to the new will take much less time than usual since it has an intuitive interface and dozens of helpful articles and tutorials that go with it.

By choosing such an intuitive website builder you not only ensure the future comfort and confidence of your clients but also save your time since they’re likely to figure out the platform themselves pretty quickly and not bother you with excess calls and requests after the project is done.
Help with website maintenance. Once the website is live, it can demand some adjustments on the spot or later on as your client starts receiving feedback from visitors and customers. It happens all the time no matter how thoroughly you've tested it before going live. So it's common courtesy to help your client out with those in the first month or two from the moment the website has been launched.

Whether you should view this work as an extra one and charge for it additionally depends on how much time those adjustments would take. If it's just 10 minutes or so, you should probably make it on the house. If it takes hours, of course, ask them to pay for the extra work.

The important thing here is access to the website's admin panel. Once the website is done, it belongs to your client. But in order to be able to quickly assist them with any problems that may occur it's better for you to have their login information. So just politely ask for permission to keep it. Some clients will not want to share passwords—in this case they can grant you with full or limited access using Tilda Collaborators.

Simon Wijers
Freelance Web Designer at swdesigns
After I finish working on a project and transfer it to my client's account, the "Collaborators" feature on Tilda comes in handy. It allows adding up to 10 people as collaborators, meaning they can have limited or full access to editing the website. That's a safe choice for the client and a handy option for me as you can have an unlimited number of shared projects on your Tilda account.
Ask for a review. If your client is satisfied with your work, they'll probably have some nice things to say about you. Ask them for a testimonial, make it clear where you prefer them to publish it (e.g., Twitter, LinkedIn), and after they do, make a screenshot so you can put it on different platforms including your own website. The more positive and genuine reviews you have, the more trustworthy you appear to be.

10 Practical Tips & Tricks That Help Designers Grow Professionally

Go the extra mile—make people go WOW when they visit your portfolio website. Don’t settle on "good enough." Your prospects and clients will notice that.
Be confident in your skills. Become a Tilda, Photoshop, Adobe XD, and Illustrator expert. Take online courses and tutorials regularly, and learn something new every day.
Perceive being creative as a hobby. When you do what you love, you not only enjoy the process but also learn faster.
Use Illustrator for your designs. You can upload SVGs on Tilda, so don’t limit yourself to only stock shapes/images. The possibilities are endless.
People will know in 2 seconds whether they want to scroll further or leave a website. So make sure the Hero screen is perfect. This is crucial.
Sometimes you end up working more than you'd expected. It's okay, that happens. Learn your lesson and better plan your schedule next time.
It’s okay to have an unplanned day off if you feel stuck. Go outside, get fresh air, go work out, clean your desk, etc. Freshen up your work routine and you'll feel inspired again.
Mobile user experience is important. These days many people use their smartphones to surf the Internet, so make sure to create a kick-ass design for the mobile version of your website.
A lot of times here and there you will come across some nice designs. Even if it’s something minor like a small detail on a page, it can be useful in the future. So save those and store them in one place as inspirational references for later.
Make the page load speed your absolute priority. Check the file sizes before uploading. If your website is slow, visitors will not stick around for long. Page speed also affects SEO.
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