There’s a new trend among talented web designers and web developers to leave their corporate or agency positions behind in favor of living the entrepreneur life. For highly skilled, self-motivated professionals, striking out on your own can be the most exciting and lucrative career shift you can make.
However, many self-employed designers and developers wonder how to get web design clients once they’ve left the safety net of their larger agency. To answer that question, let’s take a look at the reasons to become an entrepreneur and make the move to incorporate.
Examining your motivations here will uncover the strengths you now possess to attract new clients and flourish as a business owner.
Why Choose the Entrepreneur Life?
There are many perks to ditching your corporate job and assuming command of your creative energy and business prospects. While it can be scary to make such a big change, many entrepreneurs experience success and fulfillment at levels they would have otherwise been unable to reach.
Here are some common advantages that self-employed web designers and developers enjoy.
Years of Experience
Highly skilled web designers and developers boast years of experience behind the quality work they deliver to clients. With these years of experience comes an intimate knowledge of the industry. You understand the ins and outs of graphic design, embracing new technology, fulfilling clients’ needs and marketing services effectively.
Though working for an agency or larger corporation might provide you with security in the beginning, the need for a backer to legitimize your work and provide security will quickly become unnecessary.
Select Meaningful Work
When you work for a larger company, you get little to no say in the types of projects you contribute to. Your boss will assign you tasks that might not interest or challenge you.
Striking out on your own and forming your own business can provide you with the flexibility and inspiration you need to unlock your productivity and your potential as a designer. While there will most certainly be projects that don’t check all your boxes, having the control to determine the size, scope and theme of the projects you accept is one of the great perks of being your own boss.
Establish Your Own Rates
Another great perk is having control over the rates you charge for your services. You know best of all what your years of experience and expertise cost. While you might be able to complete a project quickly and efficiently, it’s because of the hours you’ve spent honing your craft. You shouldn’t be stuck accepting an hourly rate for services that have taken years to perfect.
Everyone wants to be well-compensated for the work they do and the skills it takes to complete that work.
Benefits of Incorporating Your Business
While making the decision to become an entrepreneur is empowering, it can also leave you feeling vulnerable. The best way to protect yourself from vulnerability in business is to incorporate by forming an LLC (limited liability company) or other business entity.
An LLC is a great business entity for a multitude of reasons, but it’s especially beneficial for first-time business owners who plan on keeping things small. Even if you eventually hire employees, an LLC will provide you with protection and room to grow.
Forming an LLC for your web design or web development business provides you with:
Financial protection: Separating your personal finances from those of your business is key to protecting yourself in business.
Legal protection: Placing distance between your business entity and your personal assets keeps you safe if your business is sued.
Tax flexibility: Establishing your business’s tax status provides you with an EIN and allows you to individually pay taxes on the income your business earns.
Profit distribution options: Incorporating allows you to dictate the portion of profits that go to any business partners or investors.
Integrity: Adding "LLC" after your business name lends an air of respectability to your business, especially if you’re just starting out.
Attracting Clients as a Web Design LLC
The biggest fear new entrepreneurs have usually revolves around their ability to attract clients. Lucky for you, web designers and developers are uniquely skilled at creating attractive, well-designed content for customers.
Craft a Website
Creating a website to attract clients should prove to be both exciting and rewarding for you. The best advice is to not overthink designing your own website.
You want it to be simple to navigate, answer all potential questions your clients will have and provide an effortless way for potential clients to contact you. Everything else is just extra.
Curate a Portfolio
Don’t forget to leave a place on your website for a dynamic portfolio of your work that represents your depth while communicating your specific brand to clients.
You want your portfolio to accurately represent your skills, so designing a scrollable gallery or interactive experience will serve you well.
With a finished website, it’s time to create social media profiles and start curating content. The exciting thing about social media is the ability to authentically represent yourself and your business while communicating with a network of professionals and clients. Make sure to market your services while posting engaging content, client reviews and links to completed projects.
In addition to the content you share on social media, make sure to post quality content on your website. Adding a blog feature to your site will allow you to post SEO content that will ensure you pop up in search results while establishing your business as an authority in your field.
Really lean on the content you create to establish lasting relationships with existing clients, eliminate client turnover and strengthen your partnerships.
Attracting clients as a web designer and developer is a top priority when you’ve recently formed your own business. While it can be nerve-wracking at first, trust in your years of experience and industry knowledge to guide you.
Forming an LLC for your business will protect you from liabilities and allow you to pitch your services to clients with more formality than what’s typically afforded to a freelancer.
As an official business owner and entrepreneur, you can market your services on your website and social media with authenticity and confidence to attract the types of clients you’ve always dreamed of approaching.