Advice for selling web design

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Butters, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. Butters macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I'm a young web designer in need of a payed project to work on, but unfortunately I haven't had much interest in the past month or so.

    My website gets on average 10 unique hits a day, which isn't exactly tonnes I know, but it soon adds up.. and well when you're not getting any interest it's kind of concerning.

    Do you think I'm doing something wrong? maybe it's a bad idea to combine art and resources with selling web design all in one site, maybe my prices are too cheap or maybe I'm just not that good :confused:?

    I'd really appreciate hearing some constructive critisism or advice :)
    Thanks
     
  2. desenso macrumors 6502a

    desenso

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    #2
    First of all, your hosting prices are a bit obscene. That, stright off the bat, would be enough to get me to not want to hire you as a designer... if you're willing to charge someone that much for hosting, where the competition is fierce and easy to analyse, how much will you charge for a design, which is far more ambiguous to price out?

    Second of all, you don't seem to have a portfolio. If you do have a portfolio, I was unable to find it. This is a must. Why would I hire a web designer if I can't even see his BEST previous work? If you don't have a portfolio because you haven't designed any sites, then I suggest you design a few for free, or as a barter. Local charitable organisations are often in need of new/updated websites and would greatly appreciate your work, providing you with material to put in a portfolio in order to bring in customers that are willing to pay for your services.

    If I might comment on your website: I find it all a bit cluttered... everything seems jammed together. It's a pity, because the template you built is much easier on the eyes. Take a page.... from your own book? ;)

    Good luck!

    EDIT: Just found your portfolio. Not sure what to tell you now... either way, I guess doing more websites will just improve your skills. Hope it works out for you
     
  3. Butters thread starter macrumors 6502

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    UK
    #3
    I guess it must be really unclear what my prices are actually for

    I charge that much for the design and the hosting is free for the first year, and then £10 pa and that's only so that if the site dies after a year i have a valid reason to delete it. I really don't mind hosting peoples sites for them and I'm not too bothered how much i get payed for it either, I have the space so i might aswell use it.

    That's not a bad idea about the charitable organisations I'll consider it.
    thanks
     
  4. desenso macrumors 6502a

    desenso

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    #4
    Ah yes... I'm not sure if you changed the page, or if I just glossed over it for the first time. I'd make it even MORE clear that you are charging that much for the designs. I definitely thought those were your hosting prices to begin with.
     
  5. Butters thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I have changed the page yeah, i think it's a little clearer now what the prices are for. thanks for bringing that to my attention
     
  6. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #6
    Maybe if you made the site a little less cluttered it would encourage people to look around. I also think your stock photo is a bad choice. It serves no purpose and will not be universally appealing so it may actually be a turn off.
     
  7. Butters thread starter macrumors 6502

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    UK
    #7
    Ok very fair point.

    I think the reason I use that photo is because it's a manipulation of a stock photo I did, and qualifies as artwork which my website is also promoting.

    I do see your point though it is rather.. dark, which I know won't appeal to many people as much as it does me.
     
  8. Squareball macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #8
    I think your biggest problem is that you're coming at it from the wrong angle.

    You're saying "I have a business and I make web sites" basically. Your web site is a big cluttered and there aren't really examples that are readily available that show that you know what you're doing. So why hire you?

    I think a better approach is to showcase yourself and say "If you're interested in hiring me here is how you reach me". This is a much better approach IMO because people coming to your web site looking for a designer don't need to be sold on why you want to do their design.. just that you CAN do their design. So prove it. Design something great and showcase your work.

    An example of this is http://www.rad-e8.com/ this guy is an amazing designer. He doesn't sell that everywhere. He shows his work and has one small page for his 'services' which is basically what he can do and how to contact him.

    Also, drop the hosting aspect of it. Offer it only if the client wants it. It's not something that is going to make you money (trust me, been down that road) and is only going to waste your time. Clients I do work for rarely ask for hosting and if they do I just refer them to the many millions of web hosting services out there.

    Don't try to do everything.. do what you do best. If you market yourself a little better you can attract the bigger clients and have a much better margin.
     
  9. crees! macrumors 68000

    crees!

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    MD/VA/DC
    #9
  10. Butters thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    This makes a lot of sense, I've been considering dropping the hosting thing anyway for the reason you mentioned and because it complicates things a lot I find. So chances are I will soon do that.
    Thanks
     
  11. Butters thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    That's something interesting to consider and I certainly will. I think I prefer the model of working with clients but selling templates could be something to maybe do on the side, in the future.
    Thanks
     
  12. Squareball macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #12
    Another tip is to get active in open source projects. There are a LOT of open source projects that need help with graphic design. Pick one that has interest to you, approach them about helping out (for free) and you will make some really good contacts and learn a lot in the process.

    I've found that there are a LOT of coders out there however they always seem to be looking for designers to help them with projects and are always getting asked by clients if they know anyone.
     
  13. Butters thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Thanks a lot for the tip, hadn't considered that before! :)
     
  14. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #14
    this might seem silly but your company name could have something to do with people's first impressions. when i visited your site the first thing i did was notice the URL and then the company name in logo. when i see the word "Jaded" the first things that come to mind are negative things; disgruntled, spiteful. just have a look at the dictionary definition of jaded:

    "tired, bored, or lacking enthusiasm, typically after having had too much of something"

    even if on a subliminal level, negative thoughts can sway people a great deal. i once had a friend who named his web design company "Down Drain Designs". he didn't get much work because i imagine people were thinking "down the drain...down the tubes...etc". just something to consider.
     
  15. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

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    South of the border
  16. Butters thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Nah that's not silly it is an issue that's came up before but only very briefly, I'm not sure if maybe people see the word jaded very differently but for me it's always been something related to love and nice things :) in particular hearts..

    like for example i just done a quick google and found some sites with similar names: jaded-designs and jadeddesigns one is very pretty and the other had a heart on it

    but although it is a negative word by dictionary defintion I intended it origianally as just a name I liked and not something that sums up the service i offer... otherwise I would have called my site something like superduperreallygoodwebdesigns.com i suppose

    still, something to consider indeed thanks
     
  17. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #17
    I don't know if this was brought up, but where are your portfolio items. Clients are going to buy anything without seeing work you've done in the past. Your work, if good, will speak for itself and clients will be coming to you had over fist.
     
  18. Butters thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 7, 2006
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    #18
    link and the button to get there is on the right side, just below where it tells you about the packages.

    is it hard to find??
     
  19. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #19
    Random Buttons and the Shout box i don't care for ever on sites.

    You may want to also get into forum coding that has been a money maker for me in the past. hence why i know a lot about vB.

    That is how i have gotten a few of my customers/clients is from vbulletin.org and did some forum work for them and then did some website stuff.

    Also what i actually found helpful in one case was finding a companies (small company) website that didn't work with Safari.

    My case was with akadot.com (which it is messed up again for some reason no idea what they did) and fixed up their CSS and did it for free just to get my name out there and they used me as a reference.

    I used to get a lot of people asking me for help with their site but i have stopped in the past year and am thinking of doing it up again. Thou i need to look over the vB 3.5 code a bit more. Which i will get the joy of doing when i integrate Geek Mart with photopost vBgallery. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #20
    Agreed.

    No offense, but I find the shoutbox very unprofessional.

    I think if you are just starting out, you should take a more casual approach to it (casual, not unprofessional).

    Create some top-notch designs that are fun and exciting - even if they are for sites or companies thay don't exist.

    Potential clients just want to see your work - they don't care if the company is real or what they sell. Show as much as your work as possible.

    Taking too firm and "business-like" approach at beginning in web-design can do more harm than good. Your words speak with cooperate, big-league, "I'm the man for the mission critical job" tone - but you've got no portfolio show it.

    Another bit of advise: go hunting.

    Find sites thay are just HORRIBLE. Email the owner, tell them you really love their product/service/etc and have been a long time fan, and that you don't feel their website matches their products' quality. Don't be offensive, but just say that you would love to give them a hand.

    Those places may not pay the top notch money, but they are essentially paying you to make your portfolio. Work you way up to bigger and better sites, and your portfolio will build enough to start doing the big business design you're looking for.

    It takes a lot of time, practice, and experience though - but that can't happen without starting to get clients, no matter how small they are.
     
  21. Butters thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    Very good advice and to be honest I totally agree with everything you've said yet I find myself making these little mistakes anyway

    I think creating the perfect website is something that's going to take time and I probably will make errors along the way so I appreciate feedback like this which makes me realize what I've been doing wrong

    same for eva01

    thank you very much
     
  22. Dunepilot macrumors 6502a

    Dunepilot

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    Are you based in London? If so, I could give you some contacts of small charities/community organisations (as mentioned above) who would probably appreciate some assistance in creating basic but appealing sites. PM me if you're willing to do any simple design voluntarily, and I'll point you in the right direction.
     

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