Pursuing my first freelance job

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Elixer, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Elixer macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2006
    I really want to help a small local company update their website but I'm not sure the best way to approach them.

    Still being in college this would potentially be my first freelance job. There site is in pretty bad shape, I want to try to convince them without putting down their current site because they themselves might have made it.

    What is the best way to bring this up? The site might consist of a total of 5-10 pages when finished how much should I charge? The money isn't too important but I'm really more interested in creating something that could potentially go into my portfolio.
  2. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    Value proposition / return on investment. It only makes sense for a business to pay you to update their site if the update will net them more than they spend on it. Whatever the angle you take going in, and whatever terms you couch it in, the bottom line of your pitch is how much money a new site would make for them.
  3. Bostonaholic macrumors 6502


    Aug 21, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    Wow, I could have made this exact same post 2 weeks ago. I'm new to freelance (0 and counting...) but I'd like to get involved. I came across a local wine & spirits website that was god awful, missing images on the homepage, broken links, etc.

    I didn't mention that I'm a "beginner" although I am a professional Java developer, websites & design are some what new to me.

    I started off by telling them who I am and how I came across their site. Then I put in a quick blurb relating me to their product, e.g. they're holding an upcoming wine tasting and I am very much into wine and attend many wine tastings in the area.

    Like you, I don't want to bash their site even though it looks like something their 14 year old nephew built by reading "HTML 4 for Dummies". ;) I didn't mention the current state of their site now, only that "I believe that an elegant website is crucial to the success of any small business" then with an invitation for a free consultation and what services I can provide to them.

    I wasn't completely sure if I wanted to mention to them that I'd do it for a very fair price, even free honestly for the same reasons as you, but I didn't want the email to sound unprofessional. Maybe someone can shed some light on this topic and help us out. I do understand that offering free services for what potentially could be ever-lasting is always a big no-no.

    Sent the email to the store 3/3 as a shot in the dark and haven't heard anything back. Until then, I have time to refine my pricing structure with much research on the topic.
  4. little.brain macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2010
    I'm just a few steps ahead of you

    I'm working on my first couple of freelance jobs right now, and halfway through a year-long Web Development program at a local community college.

    The bottom line is that you won't really start to pick up much -- especially on cold calls like this -- unless you have a portfolio showing that you can do better than what they've currently got.

    You might consider it an investment in your future earnings to do a site or two for free -- tell them you're just getting started, and that you're looking to build up your portfolio. Best bet: a local non-profit or an elementary school.

    I recommend the book "Web Redesign 2.0" (http://www.web-redesign.com/) for great workflow strategy. Even the surveys they provide on the site for free are a great starting point.

    Good luck!
  5. Elixer thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2006
    I'll have to check that web site out in greater detail after I get back from work. Just taking a glance I think it will be very useful, thank you.

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