Being part of the successful web designers community is very obtainable. Creative Web Design has less to do with raw talent than with the development of good habits. The fact that this is lost on professional designers whose paychecks rely on a consistently high rate of work is troubling – but it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if you resolve to take positive action to change your habits now.
Here are the top 10 effective habits that all successful web designers share:
Understand that you’ll never learn all there is to learn. Creative web design is a constantly evolving art that rises to meet the demands put upon it by rapidly improving technology. It’s also heavily dependent on the expectations of clients who are always on the lookout for the “next big thing.” Radical shifts in the industry require that a professional developer remain on the cusp of the learning curve if they intend to survive what’s becoming an increasingly crowded field. If you don’t fall in love with learning new things on a daily basis, the likelihood is high that you won’t remain viable for the length of your career.
Be Open to Change
Become adaptable to change. The greatest downfall of many would-be world class professionals is their inability to shift direction at a moment’s notice. But being able to do this can keep you ahead of the pack, especially with respect to emerging technologies and game changing shifts in the industry.
Use the work of others as inspiration to help you develop new and innovative methods to serve your clients’ needs. Understand the difference between emulation and imitation and never cross that line, otherwise you’ll run the risk of coming off like a poor man’s version of a top notch creative web designer, a slightly more boring carbon copy. No client wants that.
Resist the temptation to take shortcuts. “Test” is a four-letter word, but it’s one that you’ll have to grin and bear as you repeat over and over ad nauseum. When you develop a website for a client, don’t stop short of putting in 110 percent effort by slacking off during the testing phase. If you do, you risk repeat business.
Immerse yourself in networking. Just because the majority of your work is done remotely doesn’t give you permission to become a shut-in. Practice your people skills often and attend industry seminars and events to get in valuable “face time” with potential clients.
Uphold Your Reputation
Value your reputation. If you truly care about what your clients are saying about you and you understand that their words will hold weight with respect to your ability to land future assignments, you’ll work harder. You’ll also take criticism as an opportunity to better yourself, rather than taking it as an insult.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. If your specialty is interactive flash design, focus on that and don’t overextend yourself try to be everything for everyone. Remember, a jack of all trades is often a master of none.
Wear the coat of persistence. This may sound a bit frilly and poetic, but there’s a truth here that can’t be denied. To succeed in your career as a creative web design professional, you’ve got to be persistent. That means being putting the extra work to make a client happy, making time to learn new methods and techniques that will keep you on the cutting edge of developing trends, and not calling it quits when work occasionally gets scarce.
Learn to budget. You don’t have to have a knack for numbers to succeed as a freelance web designer. But if you want to survive challenging times and be able to ride out lean periods between jobs, you have to have money set aside to ensure you’re fed and your bills are paid.
Allow yourself to be represented. One of the unfortunate characteristics that a lot of freelance creative web design professionals share is that they enjoy calling the shots. This isn’t a bad thing, but if taken to the extreme with a “my way or the highway” attitude it can lead to issues of not finding work. Not every mobile app developer or interactive flash design pro scoffs at the notion of signing up with a creative staffing firm to help line up work, but some do, to their detriment. Successful Web designers: If you want to expand your visibility, visit Artisan Talent and get represented by one of the leading talent staffing firms in the country.
For more information on successful web designers contact Artisan Talent.
Vince F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.
Artisan Talent is a Digital, Marketing and Creative Staffing Firm placing talent in jobs perfectly matched with their skills all over the US.