You don’t need anyone to tell you that the web design field is crowded. You see it firsthand. Whether you’re applying for a full-time position with a company or you’re competing for gig work on an online freelance marketplace, you know you’re up against hundreds (if not thousands) of other talented designers for any job you pursue. The challenging part is finding a way to stand out, as opposed to continually blending in with the crowd.
Standing out from the crowd isn’t very difficult when you’re one fish in a small pond. It’s a much bigger feat when you’re a single fish in a vast ocean of sharks. Yet it can be done. We have a few helpful tips that, when well-executed, can help you get from where you are to where you want to be.
1. Be Selective in Your Portfolio
You don’t have to put every project you do in your portfolio. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. This is one place where selectivity pays off.
Reserve your portfolio for only your best work. And when a prospective client asks for your portfolio, only supply them with the examples that are relevant to them. (If you provide them with a variety of projects that have nothing to do with their needs, they could get overwhelmed.)
2. Stack Additional Skills
It used to be that there were web designers, SEOs, copywriters, etc. Today, the lines between these roles are blurred. If you want to stand out, you need to stack as many complementary skills as possible on top of your core skill of web design.
This is something Active Web Group, a Long Island web design company, has discovered to be very effective for them. They don’t just offer web design, they also provide white hat SEO services. This instantly sets them apart from the companies that are only offering web design.
The same is true with freelancers and solo web designers. If you can add SEO or copywriting to your talent stack, you’ll instantly elevate your game.
3. Excel at Communication
Communication is a skill that’s seriously lacking in today’s digital environment – and yet it’s more important than it’s ever been. With face-to-face interactions between web designers and their clients basically non-existent in today’s market, you must refine your ability to clearly communicate in a fast and responsive manner. Doing so will put you above 99 percent of your competitors.
4. Build an Active and Engaged Online Presence
Social media, blogging, and YouTube videos might not be your thing, but perhaps they should be? You can dramatically improve your ability to attract and win over web design clients by building an active and engaging online presence for yourself.
When a prospective client is considering hiring you, what’s one of the first things they do? They look you up on Google and LinkedIn, right? Now consider how impressive it would be if they saw a bunch of followers, original content, and loyal clients who comment and share your posts. That’s the power of having an online presence!
5. Charge What You’re Worth
If you pay attention to the overwhelming number of web designers on the market, you’ll become tempted to lower your prices to compete with them. But here’s the deal: There’s always someone who is willing to beat you on price.
If you find that everyone on a certain platform is charging $1,000 for a specific design service, you might try to come in at $900. But guess what? At least a handful of those designers will be willing to charge $800, then $700, and so on. Before you know it, you’re giving away your talent for hardly anything in return.
Stop assuming that every client is shopping the value aisle. There are plenty of clients who actually ignore the cheapest options and consider designers with higher rates. Why? Because they assume they’re getting better value.
You Need a Plan
You aren’t going to stand out by chance. Unless your work is exponentially better than everyone else (which, to be frank, is highly unlikely), you have a certain threshold on your potential. And the only way to bust through that threshold is to position yourself in such a way that prospective employers and clients proactively pursue you above all of your peers. This article is a launching pad – use these tips as inspiration and continually brainstorm new ways to elevate your presence and compete for better jobs.