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    34 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2008 8:08 PM by intechspecial

    Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?

    intechspecial Ranger
      I can not break into the field. Tons of leads, no closings.

      Professional web design firms & freelance designers, I could use some input.

       

      http:www.intechspecial.com
        • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          WOW, Tons of leads, no closings. Tell us more. How long have you been in business??
          Do you have a Business and Marketing Plan that WORKS?? You have had almost 200 posts to this web site.
          Maybe you need a simple, straight forward approach to web
          design.
          LUCKIEST
          • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
            NXGNXG Wayfarer
            ITS,

            If you are not able to convert the leads, it indicates that you are been droped after they review your work or the rate you quote does not match their budget.

            No offense. Please take it positively.
            1. People try to look at your website. if you are trying to claim your self as webdesigner then your website should be the best out there. Please change your site. You can do this by spending couple of 100 dollars or by buying templates. use both versions ie. flash and html.
            2. Have a great portfolio of websites, designs. Every one is interested in what you have done in the past and they evaluate based on that to see what they will get from you.
            3. Bundle more services along with what you do, for example free hours after implementation or support.
            4. Free search engine submit.
            5. Charge atleast few dollars, never do it for free. People do not retrun to you, as you did for free. In the start you might think the other way, however that won't work. instead give more for few dollars.

            If you need to make the best $ you have to be the best or among the top 10 in what you do. update the technology as you grow.

            Thanks,
            Kat
              • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                NatOnline Tracker
                I desagree with you NXGNXG, if a webdesigner buy a template you cannot claim it as your own design, and to be honest with you I think if you are webdesigner and buy a template you have nothing to do in this field.
                  • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                    NXGNXG Wayfarer
                    I was suggesting for a kick start. However the creativity does not mean that you need to do it from the start.
                    you can buy coupld of images, templates an then put together. that is how industry works. If you design every thing from start. you spend lot of time in creating rather than pursuing the goal of your business.

                    All I am saying is use the best our there and put your creativity into it. do no reinvent the wheel.

                    All the successfull are not 100% talented, all they have is talented people around them and retain them.

                    • Kat
                      • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                        NatOnline Tracker

                        No offense, but a simple website HTML do not take a long time to build from scratch, you can always pick up the buttons navigation, pictures, etc... from stock image or other sources if you pay for and if it is allowed to resell, that will be faster to build, but the main design should be the representative skill you can provide.

                         


                        Or if you don't design websites yourself, you can give a clear message that you are using templates to build websites because you are a template reseller that can customize sites.
                          • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                            NXGNXG Wayfarer
                            Thanks, exactly that is what I was about to suggest. The bottom line is to make the company's website look nice which sends the message to the customers who look at them. The original author gets lot of leads however could not close them. May be this could be one reason why she/he could not close the deal.
                              • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                                intechspecial Ranger
                                Alot of great input.

                                Let me expand a little.

                                My education and experience is on the tech/ network admin side of Information Technology(MCSA, MCP, MCNPS).

                                I have found that I enjoy Web Design & Development alot more, and that it is easier work for me.

                                Hence you see the website I have built utilizing CSS, html. Is it one of the best out there? Nope, I understand this. So I agree that I need to redo the site, which I am going to, unfortunately I do not have the funding to for the appropriate Adobe software to make changes to the flash files, so that I can utilize a template.

                                I could then market my services more effectively, and bring in freelancers web developers or hire web developers, when there is a need outside of my skill set.

                                I guess a already knew what everyone has said here, I just needed verification of what the issue was.

                                 


                                Any suggestions for building a portfolio? This would be of course after the website is further developed.
                                Everyone wants to see your portfolio before they hire you. If you have no portfolio, then what?

                                Once again I would like to thank everyone that has an interest in helping out of the goodness of there heart.

                                It is appreciated.
                                Thank you.
                                  • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                                    NXGNXG Wayfarer
                                    I took a look at your website. The content is good enough. IMO you need to rewamp your site which will look nice, it is not necessary it need to be flash. By seeing your website customers would prefer to have a second round of discussion to discuss the requirement and ask for the portfolio and references.

                                    if you do not have one then you need to build one,this is the foundation for your business you need to do this one way or other. For example you can build you initial portfolio as follows.
                                    you can get a domain and hosting where you can host multiple domains. ( this does not cost much, max 100 dollars / yr)
                                    once you got this all you need atleast 20 websites for 20 different business. Have a target and set a time limit for yourselves to get these 20 websites.
                                    Approach near by business ( resturant, take out places, doctors office, towing companies, rental offices, etc..the list goes on and on) and ask them whether they need webpresence. Initially they need to pay only for the domain cost 9.99 and you can provide free space for an year. If you are good in marketing you can ask for 10 dollars more. If some one is not even bother to pay for the domain, leave them alone do not even persue them, IMO they do not believe in internet.

                                    Assume if each customer would like pay 20 dollars/ yr for the free domain and page. You have to spend your time to build their websites. From the second year you need to bill them for hosting and retain them, you need to do this untill you get 20 websites. There comes your portfolio.

                                    more important thing. Team work gives sucess. Try to partner with some one who knows how to build great website. Select some one who knows to build website but lacking marketing skills and it is a win / win for both of you.

                                    Make a plan, evualate your plan whether it is on track. Try harder and i am sure you will see growth in your business. I have done this for myself and i have consulted others and even they are doing well now.

                                    Good luck.

                                    thanks,
                                    Kat

                                     

                                     

                                    • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                                      xenopod Adventurer
                                      Since you have network certifications have you thought about joining a colocational facility and using your certifications by offering hosting? Then you could sell your templates in a bundle with hosting services. I think maybe a switch in gears to focusing on your knowledge of networking could seal more deals for you and then you can always offer the bonus of what you are currently enjoy (the site building). Just a thought, I hope it helps.
                                      • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                                        xenopod Adventurer
                                        You mentioned the expense of a lot of web design software. This thread: Re: How can you compete with companies using pirated software?

                                        has some information on that subject that you should find useful.

                                        Another program that is free that was not mentioned in that thread for Windows PC's is Paint.NET
                                        Which you can get here: http://www.getpaint.net/

                                        Another program you might find useful is Notepad++ which you can find here: http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm

                                        There is also the web developer plugin for Firefox if you have that browser installed. You can get that here if not: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/?from=getfirefox

                                        These tools are powerful enough to complete with the Adobe packages, but may not be as easy to use if you have only ever used the Adobe software. Since you are on a budget though these should be quite useful.

                                        You can also search a site like this: http://sourceforge.net/index.php for other kinds of software you may need and it will provide you with various Open Source projects that are intended to suit the need.

                                        I hope that helps!

                                         

                                        www.xenopodinc.com
                                          • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                                            intechspecial Ranger
                                            As a small business owner/ entrepreneur, we must forever be self-critical, forever anyalyzing our business processes until we have established a profitable way of doing business.

                                            Even at that point we must still critiques our business processes to ensure we stay in business.

                                            Sometimes my self analysis of my business practices gets a little "foggy". This is when I bring in the SBA or find ther means of business support.

                                            Not to say I would change everything, as I must weight the good with the bad before making change.

                                             

                                            So it is not to say that I do not know the best path to take, sometimes my vision is blurred by outside or even internal influences.

                                             

                                            Hence the original posting.

                                             

                                            Thank you for your responses to this, my vision seems a little more "clear" again.

                                            Yet still a work in progress.
                              • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                                fnkdumplin Newbie
                                Keep this in mind: web development is a commodity. Any basement geek can do it. I've found that the best way to seal the deal is to differentiate yourself on design and project management. Wow them with your UI talents and promise them that you can hit their budget and time constraints. Don't sell the fact that you're an all-in-one-shop. Clients don't care.
                                • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                                  intechspecial Ranger
                                  If I may, I could use a little more of a critique.

                                  Suggestions? Input?

                                  I could use suggestions on both the design side, and the code side as well. I use CSS to design the site, so table based critiques on the code side will not work.

                                  Examples of sites that match your suggestion would work well as well.

                                  Thanks!
                                  • Re: Web Design Firms & Web Designers ~ How did you get your start?
                                    InternetGuyz Newbie
                                    I am not sure what your leads are exposed to, but if they are going to your website their is nothing to buy, their are no graphics or clickable text links to any design elements that I noticed and the graphic and dark background don't really give me the feeling that I am at a design site, it feels more like a game site in some ways, and the text is to small for me but maybe it's my monitor today. It is acceptable to develop a portfolio of your or your contracted designers abilities without it having been paid work. Show what you can do, logos, banners, headers, graphic art, ads, forms, custom websites, templates, text styles, e business cards, whatever you can do or want to sell you'll need to show it in order to sell it in my humble opinion. I know when I look for a new designer I look at their site or link to portfolio and base my decision first if they have samples of anything I like, anything that I would use, but that's me. As far as how they got started I know many create a portfolio and then use some of the freelance sites and then bid on webmasters posted design projects, when I need a designer because the last one flaked out or is to busy I post projects on freelance sites to find new talent, but in all cases I have to see samples of their work first, I need to see the design skills, I only need words if I am hiring a writer! Steve