How to Build a Web Design Business

Jose Hernandez
Head of Education

In today’s day and age, technology is the driving force of business and innovation. People find new ways to take advantage of the internet and establish businesses that have never existed in our history. One of the newer opportunities in the modern age is building a web design business from the ground-up.

These businesses may provide several essential web-based services, depending on the specific makeup. Some individuals or companies may stick with the basics of coding and/or designing and perhaps maintaining websites. Others may act more as a digital agency. In this case, these businesses sell skills such as web design, advertising, and SEO.

The process of building and managing a web design business is easier than most may think. However, that doesn’t mean the process is effortless. There is a great deal of initial research and practice required in order for an individual to build their portfolio and fine-tune their skills as a designer and developer.

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What is a Digital Agency?

While the technology field uses the term loosely, a digital agency has a more stringent definition than you may expect. In short, a digital agency is an online platform that sells multiple skills such as:

  • UI/UX design
  • Advertising
  • Search engine optimization
  • Marketing
  • Other specialized web development skills

For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus primarily on what you need to build a web design business. That being said, we will also touch lightly on some of the aforementioned topics.

Web development is a lucrative business that can earn $3000 per web design once you build a reliable client base. Digital agencies are preferred for their advantages, such as their cost-effective appeal. Many times, they can offer numerous services to businesses that involve the development of similar skills. However, there is also a large market for independent web designers as well.

Typically, building the skills you need to run your own web design business generally takes time. That being said, once you have a little practice under your belt, you can start selling your skills fairly quickly.

Once you’ve gained some experience, you can take on quicker jobs – or work faster on bigger jobs – which means you have more time to take on projects. Over time, this leads to both more money and more work in the developer’s portfolio.

What is UI/UX Design, and How Do You Start?

UI/UX design concerns the development of apps and websites. The end purpose is to provide an excellent interface and improve the experience of all who use the website.

UI stands for “user interface” and is generally concerned with designing appealing, user-friendly apps.

UX, on the other hand, stands for “user experience.” This is the process of designing the layout and functionality of a website. Additionally, you ensure that the site can operate in a specific capacity and provide a clean, easy-to-use interface.

What is Web Development?

Web development is primarily focused on how the app/website runs actually coding it all — using a computer language such as Java, Python, HTML, etc. Learning a computer language would be a great skill to utilize in your career regardless of industry.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves finding the most efficient ways to drive traffic to a specific website. Typically, you do this by finding ways to ensure your website will appear high on list of search results. The essential components of SEO are:

  • Keyword research
  • Keyword usage and implementation
  • Honest, accurate information (to ensure users want to return)
  • Data-driven practices

What Do I Need to Start?

The recommended way to begin building essential skills is to start doing it part-time. Alternatively, you may be able to persuade your employer to implement UI/UX design or other web development skills into your current job. If you can get your current employer to encourage (and pay for) your skills while you work, then your employer is providing a way for you to make yourself more marketable while still doing the same job.

Getting started is the hardest part, but the following steps may help you get a jumpstart to developing a skill and using it to make yourself money.

Step 1: Try Web Design Courses – and Practice

Online courses in web development, UI/UX design, and other desired skills are relatively cheap and offer tremendous possibilities if you take learning the craft seriously. In order to learn the skills quickly, it’s important to begin practicing soon and often. Additionally, if you want to see true success, you’ll need to market yourself to others in order to get real experience.

Unfortunately, one truth of any business – including web design – is that you have to market yourself in order to build rapport with your client base. Not only that, but if you’re looking to lock in a job with no professional experience or degree, you’ll have to learn to market yourself to your employers, as well. (Here’s a hint: learn how to write a killer resume from scratch).

Step 2: Market Yourself

Marketing yourself to businesses effectively is essential to building relationships and making yourself a desired designer. Utilizing online platforms such as LinkedIn is a great way to build a profile – and better the possibility of a business choosing your services over other designers.

Step 3: Build Your Web Design Portfolio

As you market yourself, one way to amp up your business is to provide some services for free. This allows you to build your portfolio as a web designer and grow your business. In fact, any experience in your early career will establish you as more credible and capable to future clients.

Step 4: Continue to Train and Build

There is no such thing as too much practice when it comes to developing your web design skills and building your business. As we mentioned before, the faster you can work, the more earning potential you have. If you develop and market yourself correctly, eventually the customers will come to you, rather than the other way around. Over time, this will serve to provide you with a very lucrative income.

Every business needs a website in order to stay reverent in the modern age. As a result, web design is always in high demand – which means it’s always a good time to build your business. Whether you’re an expert yet or not, smaller businesses are still willing to pay for less experience as long as you provide a good result.

The demand for digital design and interfacing is prevalent in every aspect of business. If you’re a person committed to developing a beneficial skill, beginning with UI/UX design or web development is a great place to start.

One of the most critical aspects of building and managing a web design business is that it revolves entirely around technology. Thereby, complacency in the technology field is death to a business. For these reasons, it’s vital to understand that this field involves the constant development of skills and learning new practices. (Bonus: the ability to continually develop yourself makes you an asset to your clients and any company that hires you.)

A Final Word on Building a Web Design Business

If you’re a person really interested in learning the ins and outs of developing your own digital agency, then there are great resources out there to break down the process into simpler terms. These will often provide step by step videos and instructions as you go through the process.

We have partnered with Private Leaders, which provides an app and a website that offers a simple interface with a plethora of information. Going through these resources will help your build your digital agency or web design business quickly and easily.

Utilizing an asset like this is a great way to enjoy the in-classroom experience and fully comprehend the concepts from the comforts of your own home. Click Here to check it out!

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Jose Hernandez
Jose Rafael Hernandez is known as "@thejoserafaelhernandez" on Instagram. He and his family are immigrants to the United States from Venezuela. The unique challenges that he faced at a young age taught him the real value of money and its importance in life. Jose studied finance at Mercer University, where he also competed in Division 1 Baseball. After his athletic career, Jose began his professional career in the finance industry. He started his career as a wealth management advisor for one of the top Investment Advisory firms in the US, where he was responsible for just north of $20mm in AUM. Jose currently holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses. Jose decided to leave the firm so he could have the freedom to create his brand on social media, geared towards educating millennials in the areas of personal finance and investing. His mission is to leave a positive impact on others while building his own legacy and providing for his family.