Website design services: Making the move from freelance to full-time

4 steps to success

Only 20% of employees in India are satisfied with their jobs, according to a 2018 Economic Times survey. So a majority of people do what they love, along with the job. If you spend your evenings providing website design services, there might come a time when you think you’re ready to quit the full-time job you don’t enjoy.

How does one make the switch with a minimum of disruption?

 

Recent estimates suggest that there are now roughly 15 million freelancers working in the urban areas of India. Some experts believe this number could double every five years until 2035. Some of these will undoubtedly turn into full-time jobs.

Editor’s note: Check out the free tools from GoDaddy that help web developers and designers manage multiple client accounts with ease.

How to take the plunge?

If you’ve been providing website design services on the side, here is what to do before you make it your full-time job.

  1. Test the water first.
  2. Save for a rainy day.
  3. Choose a specialty.
  4. Promote your services.

This is serious! Don’t make the move with just a vague idea in your head.

1. Test the water first

There are more than 200 million active websites currently. According to a study made by Adobe, 59% of the people will scroll through a website if it is beautifully designed. So, demand for website design services is not going to end anytime soon.

Website Design Services Open Laptop with Design Message
Photo: Ben Kolde on Unsplash

If you’re not already working beyond your regular job, you can look for website design work on the portals like UpWork, Freelancer, Fiverr, etc. Here you can gain experience, asking your clients for testimonials or endorsements.

Testimonials work as social proof and help you attract even more clients.

 

If you’re already servicing a few clients and have worked for at least six months then you would know if:

  • You really enjoy the work or if it was just an infatuation
  • There’s sufficient money in it
  • You’re okay with mostly working from home (and therefore no friends and fun)

You’ll also need to be okay with the work that comes with running your own business. Some of your time will go to scheduling, sending out invoices, finding new clients, etc. — you won’t always be doing the work you enjoy.

2. Save for a rainy day

Website Design Services 100 Rupee Note
Photo: Ishant Mishra on Unsplash

Forget about matching your current earnings. You will be investing money in your business in the first few months. This will likely include attending networking events and buying courses, tools and plug-ins, etc.

There will be days when you have too much and the days when you have nothing.

Clients tend to leave the way they come to you — all of a sudden. While you might have a constant flow of income, you cannot always rely on it. Do you have the buffer to sustain yourself through difficult periods?

If you are sorted till here, then you are ready to turn your part-time gig into a full-time business.

3. Choose a specialty

One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when you look for work is competition. There are countless web designers across the world and each one of them is a competition.

Focussing your services on a particular industry is an excellent way to get past your competition and reach your target.

You can choose to design websites only for dentists, gyms or salons.

 

A salon looking for a website developer will regard the one who has created similar websites as an expert in that niche. It will not only help you win clients easily but you can also charge more for your expertise. Isn’t that a great deal?

4. Promote your services

If you haven’t already done so, design a stunning website for yourself, as that’s the sample every prospective customer will check.

Get active on social media networks where your clients hang out. Blog about the problems and issues faced by them (get step-by-step instructions on how to do it here).

Little by little, more and more people will learn about what you do. Some will become clients.

Website Design Services Person Writing Blogs
Photo: Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Things you will miss about your job

No matter how much you hate your 9 to 5 job, there are substantial reasons you’re still doing it. Here are two of them:

Security

No matter how hard your job is, in the end, you will get paid. This is a big mental peace. You’re able to enjoy your side job today because your expenses are already covered by the job; whatever you’re making with your side hustle is an added bonus.

In the absence of this security, your website design services job may not feel the same as it feels now. You’ll work under pressure to match your old salary.

Time is money

An hour worked is an hour paid — not anymore! At least for the first few months, you could be working more hours still earning only a fraction of your job salary.

This is not meant to discourage you at all but to help you know what to expect.

Provide website design services full-time

If you’re looking for a move from freelance to full-time, there’s no clear line or criteria for the right time. No one can tell you when you should take the call. It all depends on how confident you are with your services.

Having prior experience in website design services and some financial backup can definitely help give you the required confidence. Lastly, I would say just listen to your heart before taking that leap of faith.

Image by: Hannah Wei on Unsplash