As more businesses embrace online marketing to drive sales, starting a career as a web designer is one of the foremost ways to set yourself on a path to financial independence, self employment or a career in the tech ecosystem.
Regardless of where you are, you can get to start a career in web design either as a freelancer, web design contractor or even set up a web design agency.
But, considering that there’s a lot of competition in the industry, to make a decent success as a beginner, you have to set yourself apart.
And to achieve this, there are some critical steps you can take to become successful as a web designer.
In the following paragraphs, I’ll be discussing some of the steps you can take to kick start your career as a web designer, regardless of your location.
Identify your Goals
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The first step to become a web designer is to identify the kind of web designer you want to be as well as why you want to be one. And the things you want to achieve with your skills as a web designer.
As you know, there are different kinds of web designers. Most times they are classified based on the kind of websites they build, their target market or their skill set.
So you can decide to be a front end web designer, back end developer or a full stack web developer.
You can also choose to be a WordPress website designer, building websites based on WordPress and other content management systems.
Regardless of the kind of web designer you want to become, you have to pay attention to certain things.
For example, find out how long you can commit to learning. Becoming a full stack developer for instance will demand you put in a far longer learning hours and months.
Compared to full stack web development, you won’t have to spend as much time if all you want is to become a front end designer.
But in the long term, being a full stack developer can fetch you more monetary rewards compared to being just a front end or back end developer. Especially if you’re planning to work with big name organizations.
Also, if your plan to become a web designer is so you can build a web agency targeted at small and micro businesses, you’ll be better off learning web development with content management systems, compared to learning more extensive programming languages.
So, in a nutshell, while choosing your learning path, think about your financial goal, your career path and other important factors before embarking on it.
Learn the Skills
Since you’ve already sorted out your goals as far as web development is concerned, your next step to become a web designer is to learn the Skills.
Depending on your preferred skills, there are several learning paths you can choose to learn web development.
There are a number of web design training courses, set up for people of all kinds. You can identify some of the most promising ones, sign up for classes and get started.
There are also a few self paced do it yourself learning options which you can sign up to learn from it you want.
If you choose the “do-it-yourself” options, you must keep in mind that at some instances you might get stuck and will need a live tutor with real live experience to get you out of the quagmire. This is one of the reasons most learners go for paid classes.
You can sign up for our web design course here.
Build a Brand
After completing your training, your next step to become a web designer is to build a brand.
So, go back to your step one above. What was your goal for getting started?
Pick it up all over again and get to build a brand that’ll get you to achieve this goal.
If your goal is to become a freelance web designer, at this stage you’ll have to choose a brand that’ll serve you as a freelancer.
Start with identifying your target market. After that, find out the things that appeal to this market as per web design brands and then build your brand to reflect that.
While building your brand, pay attention to your brand logo, colors and brand voice. These are very important branding elements that’ll set you apart.
Evolve a Growth Strategy
Creating a growth strategy is an important aspect of the steps you must take to become a web designer successfully.
Your growth strategy must have three aspects viz, a business goal, marketing plan and business strategy.
Business goal. Your business goal should outline all the things you plan to achieve as a web designer.
Marketing plan. This involves the strategy your business will implement to to sell your services to clients.
Business strategy. This covers the entire business including your overall strategy, financial plans, target market, services etc.
These things don’t have to be very elaborate or unnecessarily cumbersome to create. Make them as simple as possible.
Having them in place will serve as a guideline that’ll keep you on track with your business.
Create a Portfolio
Building a portfolio is one of the biggest ways to demonstrate your skills and your capacity as a web designer.
After you become a web designer, you want to create actual websites where you can showcase to potential clients.
Getting a portfolio can be quite difficult for beginners, since you may not really have customers up front.
But, instead of waiting for customers, you can go ahead and create portfolios based on generic jobs, just to have something to get started.
Alternatively, to get opportunities to build your portfolio, you can go for low hanging fruits.
Keep in mind that these kind of jobs may not give the satisfaction or encouragement you need as a beginner but it’s good enough to get started with as far as building a website design portfolio is concerned.
And as a final note, you can also start with building free websites for clients for your first few jobs, in exchange for mouth watering testimonials and brand visibility.
Launch & Promote your brand
Now that you’ve finally become a web designer, it’s time to launch out there and tell the world about what you do.
Remember we mentioned about setting up a brand in some earlier steps above?
Now, it’s time for you to launch that brand and get it to all the places you think you can find your target audience.
As part of your launch ideas, you will need a website, social media handles, captivating content and an advertising budget.
Your website will host your business, including every detail about what you do and how clients can benefit from your services.
Your social media on the other hand will be useful in engaging with your target audience either with content or actual advertising.
Advertising will come in as part of necessary tools you’ll be using to boost visibility for your brand especially at the early stages.
This will be very useful when you’re pushing your early stage discounts and free products.
PS: You don’t need to be available on all social media platforms. Identify the top 2-3 social media handles with the highest number of your target audience and start with that.
A business sustem is a documented procedure that outlines how you do things in your organization in order to achieve a certain outcome.
Now that you’ve successfully started a career in web development, it’s time to build business systems that will lead you to repeatable outcomes.
This is one of the ways to become a web designer that stands out from the crowd.
Building systems and business models are not things you do immediately you get started. You get to learn the ropes for your own business and then build customizable systems based on what works for you and your own realities.
So after you get started, you want to study your business as it goes and then find out what’s been working and what’s not.
With this data, you can build repeatable systems that you’ll use to drive your business.
This systems will include things like your pricing, offered services, sales system, marketing system etc.
Having these in place gives you a go to template you can use to Ron your business easily. And of course they can be tweaked or improved to meet up with your current realities per time.
As an aspiring tech entrepreneur it’s possible to become a web designer, learn web development or build a career as a website engineer.
But, to build a career that thrives in the web development industry you have to put your foot to the ground and go through the whole process all the way.
These steps you just read are some of the most formidable keys you can use to create for yourself a sustainable career in web development.
To get started on the right foot, sign up for our web development course here. Let’s get you started.
Now it’s your turn. What are your best steps to become a web designer? Drop your comments below.