As you grow and become a more proficient web designer, you’ll be tempted to rest easy and find comfort in the feeling that you’ve made it. You’ve acquired a respectable client base and business is flowing at steady pace. All seems well, but in fact, now is the time to reevaluate to determine what you can do for your web business to stay above and ahead of the crowd.
Programming and design are becoming universal languages with kids as early as pre-school learning how to code. No longer is web design a specialized service as the access barriers to tools, education and resources disappear. Designers are now empowered with Website Builders such as IMCreator or Wix, that facilitate the creation of killer content and designs.
To set yourself apart, you’ll need to begin thinking beyond the box, beyond the status quo to discover new opportunities and make your business future proof.
Here are some simple changes you can make to your web design business and life, to hone the skills and profile to help you secure a stronger position in the industry.
1.It’s Time to Innovate & Specialize
Specialists are able to offer more targeted and quality work than the full-house developer or designer. You will be more respected and sought out for your skills as you will be the master of your niche. That’s the aim.
2. Take Advantage of Speaking Events
Many hardcore developers are introverts and therefore like to sit quietly and do their work without any disturbances from the outside world. We avoid confrontation and like to keep things simple. These are great qualities which make up the best of us. However, the ability to sell and present will take you a long way.
Look for conference opportunities to make powerful, impressive presentations on your unique approach and expertise on a particular subject or market. Events that attract CEOs, managers and other decision makers are vital and will expose you to a flurry of businesses looking to make a bigger impact online and finding ways of connect with the ever-evolving digital world. Inject yourself into that environment, start a few conversations, acquire some names and contacts then keep the conversations flowing after the conference.
While other designers are sitting at home focusing on the work of a technician, you’re enterprising and making connections that will change your web design business forever.
3.Collaboration Means Working Smarter
Engage communities like GitHub, Smashing Magazine and even Codecademy to find like-minded designers and coders to interact with and share ideas. Build relationships with other practitioners in your field to expand your reach and be in close contact with your dynamic field. These contacts and relationships are crucial for building your network and discovering opportunities for even greater work and career development.
Take the time and effort required to build your network of capable developers and designers who complement your skills. Come together, make an arrangement which allows each of you to pull on team resources when necessary. Depending on your comfort levels with each other, you could formulate a separate brand or partnership used when working with larger clients. This offers the flexibility and leverage of pulling on resources only found within a team to acquire larger, more demanding and rewarding projects.
4. Support a Cause
To receive you must first be willing to give. It’s a basic rule of life and when followed genuinely reaps great rewards. It’s not all about the money.
Look for opportunities within your community and schools to offer assistance in the form of your expertise and reach. Whether it’s teaching children how to design and code or sponsoring a non-profit organization in the form of a new functional website. Be willing to give back.
This not only builds your connections and public profile but also expands your vision to spot and take charge of opportunities to have huge impact in people’s lives and industry.
Ignore the status quo and go beyond what the average web designer is willing to do. Take risks, talk to as many people as you can and go the extra mile for your clients. It’s the only way to remain relevant in an ever changing marketplace.