Today I received an email from someone starting out and asking me for advice. I was flattered and more than happy to give back.
I thought I’d sumarise some of my points for others out there looking at building a web design business. In no particular order:
Find a niche. There are so many web design companies out there you have to really think about what makes you different. Do you want to specialise on one particular area? Are you known for something or is there something you could be known for? A great book to read is Purple Cow by Seth Godin. Seth talks about transforming your business by being remarkable.
Get your website online. Now! This is one mistake I made and really wish I hadn’t. Learn from me. ;)
Learn about markets as conversations and having a human voice. Another must read: The Cluetrain Manifesto. You can buy it or read it online.
Join some relevant forums and start conversations and make connections. I spend most of my time at Cre8asite Forums under the nic sanity. Others to consider:
Forums are a way of getting help and advice, sharing help and advice, showing off your skills and of course – networking.
Start a blog.
Get links to your website!
Collect and post testimonials on your website.
Add case studies or a portfolio to your website. If you haven’t done a lot of sites yet look around and see if you can offer your services to a charity or something similar.
This list is by no means exhaustive but I hope it offers some advice for those just starting out. Trust me, we’ve all been there.