As a web designer or developer, it’s always important to understand what the client wants. That’s why it is strange how few designers and developers understand online marketing.
Understanding and implementing online marketing give any developer or designer a great advantage in the marketplace and promises much more of a long term reward than those that fail to learn about online marketing. This isn’t to say neglecting your designing or developing skills is a wise decision, but by combining your skills with online marketing, you can do three things:
1) Get more clients – When clients post ads for developers or design jobs, they often get responses detailing what features and formats the person could implement. They promise so many pages, or list how they are proficient in HTML5, jQuery, and W4C standards. This may seem like a great approach for contacting potential employers, but it has a great weakness.
Potential employers want to know what you will do for them, and what they want you to do is make more money. Employers want to hear that you will raise the number of subscribers a certain percent, or will raise their revenue. Wether you use HTML5 or jQuery is not of much importance to them.
There are plenty of good web designers that can make nice looking websites, but there are way less designers that know how to increase sales. Those that know online marketing will get the better clients, and higher rates.
2) Build Your Brand – The biggest problem for every freelancer is building a base of clients. It would be great for clients to just come to you ready to pay however much you want, but that is a fantasy. Or is it?
Building a strong personal brand online attracts clients by exhibiting your skills to them beforehand. This can be fairly difficult and requires a lot of perseverance, but there is a basic pattern. First, you build a popular blog, followed by establishing a decent social media following. Then, you participate in outside activities like conferences, and make yourself known about.
This path does two very important things for you. It establishes you as a reputable expert, and gains you tons of publicity many would pay for. When employers need work done, they go to the experts they know first, and if you’ve built a strong brand, they will know about you.
If you want to know more about building a personal brand, I highly recommend watching the TED talk by Jacob Cass.
3) Earn extra income – Freelancing is far from a stable career and anyone should be prepared for unexpected problems. That is why it is important to make yourself as financially secure as possible before the problems arrive.
One of the best options for securing your finances is to diversify your streams of income between client work and passive income. If you are already perceived as an expert in your field, creating a passive income shouldn’t be difficult. There are a slew of monetization options, such as creating and selling your own products or even simply displaying ads on your site.
It does take effort to create a product, and even more to market and sell it, but it could be extremely important in your future.
Think of it this way, if you want to run a local bakery, you have to be as good at business as you are at baking. Otherwise, the business won’t get off the ground. The same goes for creating a business online. If you want to be successful online, learn online marketing.
If you want to learn more about online marketing and the mistakes you can make while starting out, read more at 1stwebdesigner.