The Complete Guide to Starting a Web Design Business Before Age 25 –
From Finding Your First Clients to Building a Lasting Brand
1. DO YOUR
Do your research. Learn ALL the right moves. Of course, there is info ALL over the internet. But don't get lost in the millions of pages of advice. The SBA ( Government site - U.S. Small Business Administration) has made an AMAZING FREE course that will teach you the basics of creating and financing a successful business. You will learn to legally register your business, and ALL the other things you will need for your journey.
02. USE A TEMPLATE
Okay, we know that you want to be cool, and new and innovative...but seriously there is time for that. Right now it's time to get started! You don't need to re-invent the wheel.
We suggest that you use WIX. Wix is our FAVORITE website creator. It is easy to use. It's everything you'll need to have a beautiful, professionally designed website. We will share videos in our resource center to teach you how to do what you need
03. CLAIM YOUR DOMAIN
Claim your domain. Legitimize your business with a custom URL
Keep it simple, short, and easy to understand. Think about when you are saying your URL to someone…will they easily understand what you are saying will they misspell your domain name? Is your name memorable? If you tell someone about your company, will they be able to easily recall the name you have told them?
We recommend Google for a domain host. Why…because its GOOGLE! Google makes it SO EASY to setup your domain. It’s only $12/year. There are companies that advertise lower prices but they sneak other fees in at checkout or they raise the price after your initial term. We trust Google… They promise no surprise fees. Also, privacy listing is FREE!!!
04. GET ORGANIZED
Get Organized. Get your books in order. Keep receipts together. Keep billing in one place. This will make tax time easier.
05. SHOW OFF
Show off your work. Make a quick portfolio. Advertise. Social media is your friend. You can actually use WIX templates to build your portfolio. They don't mind...They actually encourage it! Wix wants you to be successful.
Think of the types of companies that you want to design for.
Find templates that you love
Customize the templates to fit your personality & the brand you want to build.
Post your work...OFTEN
Don't just sit there. If you build it...they WILL NOT just come. Go get clients.
But don't get freaked out. There are SO MANY people out there that need websites. They may be really good at what they do, but they don't know how to build websites. You might think it's easy, but that's because this field is made for you. This technology is second nature to you. Also, you have the time to figure out the best way to present their products. These small business owners don't have that time, and they are happy to pay someone else to do it for them, as long as you do it well.
Look for people on Instagram who have great pictures, but no websites; or people that use Linktre
Look for businesses who ONLY have Facebook pages
Create a 1-page website for them. Present it to them. If they like it, sell it to them
Find family members who want to start businesses. Design their websites. Charge them. Its not a business if you are not getting paid.
CHALLENGE: Find 5 Instagram Entrepreneurs - Create websites for them & then post with #SBDreamTeam
07. Follow up
You might be young but that doesn't have to hold you back.
If you behave professionally, people will treat you in a professional manner.
Only make promises that you can keep
Then Keep Your Promises
Google G-Suite is our best friend. We schedule weekly meetings with our clients & use Google Hangouts when we need a video conference call
We create Private Google Drive folders for each of our clients to share files. Of course, it's great for sharing pictures.
You don't have to have a professional email ...BUT it does make you appear more professional
You can do ALL of these with G-Suite at $5/month
08. Get Paid
Get Paid. Your service is valuable, don't give it away for free.
TIP: NEVER CHARGE YOUR MOM...but charge EVERYONE else.
Research what other people charge... But don't base your prices on what you see. People sometimes SAY they are charging one thing yet they REALLY charge something else.
We don't say charge what you are worth...mostly because new, young entrepreneurs often don't think their services are worth much. Charge what you can afford to charge. If you give things away dirt cheap. You may end up with A LOT of business, it it does actually take TIME, EFFORT and ATTENTION TO DETAILS to make a good website.
Decide how much you want to make each month & work backward from there.
If you want to make $2,000/ month that is
4 clients at $500 each or
2 Clients at $1,000 or
8 clients at $250 each
How much work can you ACTUALLY DO?
Remember to invoice your clients to keep a paper trail for tax purposes.
CHARGE TAX !!! The Government WILL charge you taxes. Its a lot of money if you do not save it or plan for it.
Charge tax, keep that money separate.