Why be a Freelance Web Designer?
So how did I become a Freelance Web Designer in the first place and what was it that brought this profession into my life, and is it something I would recommend others to learn and make money from?
Let me get one thing straight, I never intended to become a freelance web designer, my degree which ended in 2006, which introduced me to HTML/CSS, Flash and Adobe design products was actually a TV Technology and Production degree which I obtained a 1st Class Honours Degree from and started work in outside broadcast for sport, working initially as a slow motion operator using EVS machines for Man UTD and other companies in the football world.
What this type of work allowed me, just after graduation, was time mid week to do videos for people close to me, this I hoped would be all I needed and work would come from referrals etc, but most people who asked me what I did asked for websites, and I simply never said no.
The irony is that I a) had never made a website when I said I was a web designer for my 1st job and b) did not even have any internet.
So I was faced with Dreamweaver (as an easy way to make websites), but these were table based generally, or as I had been looking into things on a theoretical basis, the choice to really challenge my non computer brain and learn HTML and CSS, I took the hard route and never touched Dreamweaver, I think this was one of the best moves I ever made in my life.
Over two months I stopped smoking and with my time I just messed with coding day and night till me head exploded and new neural pathways had emerged that meant I understood what a Peek-A-Boo bug meant and also learned yet again why I despised Microsoft and their utterly woeful but then ubiquitous browsers (IE6 Anyone!!!).
At this stage with a new company formed I had entered self employed land and the realms of the freelance web designer.
So while studying I was tasked with making a very simple HTML website suing CSS to style a page or two, this was fun, but as it looked terrible it never really made me think I will be doing this day in day out in a couple of years time.
What initially started as a hard challenge just getting to grips with new mark up languages like HTML and CSS and associated ones like JavsScript and PHP. I soon realised that I was going to need to spend many years getting my head round the complexities of many other areas if I was to go it alone successfully:
A) Running a business
B) Being your own sales person
C) Doing accounting
D) Delivering projects of huge variety
E) Staying abreast with technology
F) Learning new CMS systems such as Drupal, WordPress and Magento
G) Getting heavily into SEO and PPC
H) Keeping my hand in with video production
I) Getting better at using design packages like Photoshop, Fireworks and Illustrator
J) Saying no to projects that did not pay well enough
In any one week as a freelance web designer (digital marketing professional) you are expected to wear upwards of 10+ hats, all deemed professions in themselves!
Satisfaction with results
The one thing I love most about the Freelance Web Design part of my job as an all round digital marketing professional is the end results, when the client loves what you have done, unfortunately I often never see face reactions or hear much apart from an email, this is a shame as the lack of personal contact doing the job does mean that certain moments are less poignant after so much hard work goes into the creations.