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Onlookers covet the life of a freelancer. After all, it looks so beckoning, so utterly tempting. Not only are you the master of your own fate, you get to choose when to work when to take off, and how long to work each day! If that wasn’t enough to make one drool, all those who fancy an extra hour of snooze each morning, aspire for long, lazy lunches, and want to have the luxury of slipping out early for the pub at nights, would jump at this chance of a great existence. What a wonderful life; no clocking in, no dreary hours, no devil in a Prada breathing down your neck, no boisterous co-workers or gossiping at the water cooler raining over your parade. But could it really be that straightforward?
While more and more people are bidding adieu to their tedious 9-5 drudgery and honing in their web designing skills at home, the life of a freelancer is not all a bed of roses. Like every other field, the path is beset with its own demons of challenges and pitfalls. At Dubai Monsters, we have already highlighted the major challenges that web designers have to contend with, however, this time around, we divert our focus to freelance web designers, to help them fully comprehend the implications of leading a boho life.
Here are seven challenges that every freelance web designer needs to be prepared for before rushing into their bosses’ office, demanding their P45, clearing out their lockers, and swaggering out the doors to start out their own venture.
1. There is nothing to Show
You have just stepped into the realm of freelance website design and do not have a bloated portfolio to your name, replete with great designs that speak volumes for your éclat.What would you do? This dilemma can actually deter a lot of freelancers from taking the first step. However, what you can do is to include some of the designs that you have created on your previous job in your portfolio so that you have something to show to prospective clients. Make sure that only your best work is featured in your portfolio. This will give clients an idea about what to expect from you and give them an insight into the quality of your works.
The growing popularity of freelancing platforms is projected to turn the freelance arena into a cutthroat battlefield. Although, this saturation is a golden-eggs-laying hen for businesses since they will be in a better position to solicit web designs at affordable prices, but doesn’t sit so well with freelance web designers. New players entering the market are bound to feel the pinch of good design jobs slipping through the fingers. The growing competition in the freelance ecosystem has reduced the margins for freelance web designers in Dubai, as they have to cut down on the price they charge to compete against their contenders. In addition to this, they now have to deliver the work in the quickest possible time, in order to win the hearts of the clients.
3. Designing Unique Websites
With every business aspiring to stand out from the crowd, they need a website that can distinguish them from other brands. This means that most clients will ask you to create websites that are completely different from billions of others that are already floating aimlessly in the vast sea of the World Wide Web. This is probably the toughest challenge for budding freelance web designers as it is hard to come up with unique design ideas every time.
If you are stuck in a designer’s block and cannot find it in you to come up with an imaginative idea for your next web design project, look for some inspiration from the best design sources. You can easily find a ton of design inspiration online, which you can build on to create something original. Such unparalleled works embellish your portfolio and establish your credibility as a freelance web designer.
4. Finding the Right Clients
With increasing competition and ever-demanding clients, freelancers have their work cut out. Choosing which clients to hang on to and which ones to shrug off is critical for freelance web designers. An annoying client can get on your nerves and waste more time and energy than they pay for. It’s prudent to steer clear of such clients because they actually do manage to drain your life’s force. The better you are at choosing your battles, the higher your freelance career would soar. In addition to honing in on the knack of finding great clients, you need to work day in and day out to keep them satiated and coming back for more!
5. Building a Community
Another mistake that most freelance web designers make is that they downplay the importance of building a community. You never know your next freelance project might be the result of a recommendation from a member of a community that you are a part of. Participate actively in web design communities and foster long-term relationships with your peers. They can prove to be an asset especially when you are in need of some kind of support or help. You can also collaborate with them, learn new things and discuss the hottest topics in your niche.
6. Financial Issues
When you cast-off more clients than you take on, you are bound to land into financial crisis. This is why many freelancers are forced to look for other ways to make money on the side. To keep yourself and your freelance web design business up and running, you must keep a lid on spending and manage your cash flows well. More importantly, you should charge the right price for web design projects so that you are satisfied with the amount of work you put in and the money you received in return. If you can complete a project quickly, you can also charge a premium price for it. Even if you are charging a premium price, make sure that you deliver value to convince potential buyers that the extra cost was worth it.
7. Maintaining a Work-Life Balance
The main reason why you switched from a brick and mortar 9-5 career to freelance work owed to a poor work-life balance. What if, you still fail to work around that problem even after working freelance? Would making such a major switch be any valuable? No, right? In fact, it will kill the whole purpose in the first place. As a freelancer, you should never bite off more than you can chew and wreak havoc on your personal life. Spend some time with friends and family to recharge your batteries and help you come up with some unique and creative ideas for your next web design project.
Freelance web designing is not a bed of roses, as it appears from a distance. It has its fair share of challenges too that most of us overlook. Knowing these challenges in advance can help you prepare yourself and easily overcome them.
What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a freelance web designer? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.