Starting Your Career as a Freelance Web Designer

Starting Your Career as a Freelance Web Designer

by Neil Tortorella


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Break out of the cubicle and gain the business savvy you need to launch your own freelance web design business with Starting Your Career as a Freelance Web Designer! Written by seasoned pro Neil Tortorella, this book guides web designers step-by-step down the path to success and helps them avoid common pitfalls. Jam-packed with practical know-how, this book also contains the wisdom and advice of noted industry authorities and business leaders. Readers will learn how to draft a solid business plan, negotiate contracts, manage time and money, deal with taxes, manage projects and clients, determine rates, and create winning proposals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781581158595
Publisher: Allworth
Publication date: 09/01/2011
Series: Starting Your Career Series
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 8.76(w) x 6.08(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Neil Tortorella has been strumming a guitar since he was thirteen. He’s also been the singer of countless songs in a few bands along the way. A well-known graphic designer, writer, and marketing consultant by day, he’s a player by night and on the occasional weekend. He’s no stranger to the ups and downs of a creative career and brings those insights to his writing. He is the author of Starting Your Career as a Freelance Web Designer (Allworth Press, 2011).

Table of Contents

Part I Getting Starting and Laying Your Founder 1

Chapter 1 What Does It Take to Be a Successful Freelance Web Designer? 3

The Freelance Life 4

A Day in the Life of a Freelancer 6

Traits of a Successful Freelancer 7

It Takes More than Talent 10

Do You Have What It Takes? A Self-Assessment and SWOT Analysis 14

Chapter 2 Education and Work Experience 21

Design School and Degrees: Do You Need Them? 22

Colleges, Universities, and Art and Trade Schools 23

Other Education Options 24

Other Technologies 26

It Takes More than Talent and Technical Skills 29

Chapter 3 Crafting Your Business Plan 35

Preparing to Write Plan 37

The Elements of a Solid Business Plan 38

Chapter 4 Offices, Location, and Leases 53

Home Offices 53

Working from an Outside Office 55

Office Leases 56

Equipment, Furniture, and Supplies 57

Interior Design 60

Business Forms 61

Other Useful Forms 64

Chapter 5 Figuring Your Rates and Billing Method 67

Billing by the Hour 67

Project-Based Billing 70

Retainers 73

Chapter 6 Your Trusted Business Advisors 77

Accountant 78

Attorney 80

Insurance Agent or Broker 82

Business Banker 83

Chapter 7 Dealing with Taxes 87

Obtaining on Employer Identification Number (EIN) 90

Planning for Income Taxes 91

Tips for (Relatively) Painless Taxes 92

Self-Employment Tax 97

Sales Taxes 98

Chapter 8 Legalities 101

Understanding Contracts and Other Legal Issues 101

Understanding Copyright 109

The Complexity of Copying and Web Design 112

Chapter 9 Business Insurances-What You Need 113

Health Insurance 113

Life Insurance 114

General and Professional Liability Insurances 115

Business Interruption Insurance 116

Disability Insurance 116

Home-Based Business Insurance 117

Special Insurance for Web Designers 117

Your Portfolio 117

Part II Into Action 119

Chapter 10 Marketing and Self-Promotion: Planning, Tools, Tactics, and Techniques 121

Finding and Developing A Niche 124

Creating and Implementing Your Marketing Plan 128

Marketing Budget, Calender, and Tracking 143

Sample Marketing Plan 144

Keeping Up Momentum 153

Chapter 11 Your Website and Portfolio 155

Getting Ready to Build Your Site 155

Organizing Your Content 156

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 157

Usability and Testing 159

Creating A Killer Portfolio-On-and Off-line 160

Getting the Work You Want 162

Showing Work from a Previous Employer 163

Presenting Your Work-Off-line 163

Chapter 12 Sales, Proposals, and Presentations 165

Qualifying Prospects 166

Consultative Sales vs. Traditional Sales 169

Finding Suspects and Prospects 171

Building Prospect Relationships 174

Crafting Your Proposal 177

Presentations 183

Chapter 13 Project Management 189

Development Process 190

Time Tracking 193

Maintaining Clear Communications 194

Project Management Software 195

Chapter 14 After the Project 199

When You Don't Get Paid 201

Generating Referrals 203

Tantalizing Testimonials 207

Chapter 15 Growing Your Freelance Business 211

Hiring Employees 213

Delegation and Managing People 214

Planning for Growth 215

Chapter 16 Balancing Your Professional and Personal Lies 219

Money Management for Freelancers 221

Money Management Tips 222

Plan for Retirement or Die at Your Keyboard 226

A Closing Word 228

Appendices 229

Executive Summary 229

Current Situation 230

Project Goals 230

Audience 230

Competition 232

Site Design and Process 233

Recommendations 234

Estimated Project Fees and Reimbursements 235

Billing, Copyright, and Schedule 236

Conclusion 236

Company Overview 236

Services 237

Selected Bibliography and Business Books for Every Freelance Web Designer's Library 238

Websites 238

General Business 238

Design Related 239

Freelance Related 239

Marketing 239

Contact Managers and Client Relationship Management 239

Legal Resources 239

Magazines (Online and Off-line) 239

Money Managements and Invoicing 239

Organizations and Associations 239

Project Management and Versioning Control 240

Time Tracking 240

Index 241

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