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BONUS #EspressoMonday Nr.5 – 10 QUESTIONS In One Episode!

Bonus #EspressoMonday Episode Nr.5 with 10 Questions

A Special Cup of #EspressoMonday

In our usual QA video episodes, we answer three questions asked by our readers and followers. In this episode, however, we brewed a special concoction of #EspressoMonday video as we answer 10, not three, questions from our followers. Let’s jump in to it!

Question #1

What’s the roadmap to become a good web developer? What kind of subjects should I focus on?

First, learn CSS and HTML because you can already build a website by just using these two basic code languages. As mentioned in earlier videos, HTML and CSS are enough for you to build a static webpage. HTML will provide you with the basic structure while CSS will provide you with the style information.

Second, you also need to learn a lot of WordPress for a hundred different reasons. One of the foremost reason is that it is easy to use and flexible enough to do just almost anything. In fact, a lot of top brands are already using WordPress to power their websites. A recent survey has revealed that around 22.5% of websites on the Internet are powered by WordPress.

Lastly, you need to choose a theme because they already do half the work. Choose a theme, such as Genesis and X, you can rely on. Focusing on a single theme makes you well-versed on that certain theme making you more confident and comfortable in working and developing it.

Question #2

What are the best resources or platform for web designers and developers to find freelance work?

AwesomeWeb, our own marketplace, is the best place for web designers and developers for two reasons. First, those who want to become a member undergo a strict and rigorous screening which means there isn’t a lot of competition. Second, AwesomeWeb does not charge you any fees other than the once a month registration fee which is lower than other marketplaces, such as oDesk, Elance, People per Hour, Evanto, and many more. This monthly fee does not change whether you are earning $25,000. Read our comparison here.

Question #3

What are the most lucrative ways for a freelancer to earn passive income from web design and development?

Like all other types of freelancing jobs, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Reality is, you need to work hard and if there is any short cut to earn more that is by understanding your clients’ pain points. What is it they really need or lack? Is it more clients, more subscribers, or an increase in sales? Find them out so you will be able to give concrete solutions to your clients.

Selling themes, vectors, and icons are good sources of passive income. However, they also require a lot of coding, learning, and mastering all other aspects of business, such as promotion, marketing, copywriting, analytics, SEO, and more.

Question #4

Do you think web builders, like “macaw” and “webflow,” have a space on a professional web designer’s workflow or is it just one of the trends that will come and go?

Whether they are just a fad or whether they will come and go is not really the question. Rather, it is whether they have a space in the professional web design industry which the answer is “No.” While web builders seem to make the job easy, it lacks flexibility. That means that if you want a more specific layout to suit your imaginative requirements, you have no access to edit the HTML code. Thus, you either get a website that looks exactly the same as the rest or you end up with a cheap looking website.

On the contrary, using and mastering WordPress is already enough if you want to thrive and succeed in the web design industry. It works well whether you are a new or seasoned designer. If you are just a new designer with limited coding knowledge, WordPress can do the job for you. If you are a seasoned one, WordPress gives you lots of flexibility to tweak and modify the codes that satisfy your creativity.

Question #5

How do you find the right sales pitch or how do you initiate the sales process?

One of the best way to give the right sales pitch is to understand your clients’ pain points first. Go to your potential clients’ web site first and find out what they are lacking.If you understand what they need, it is easy to present a solution that is concrete, viable, and most of all, a solution that will meet their need.

Stop making a strong sales pitch but rather, start making conversation with your potential clients. Clients, like all people, are drawn to people who show they care. If you understand their pain points, they will see you care and are willing to help them achieve their goals.

Furthermore, let go of trying to make an appointment or close the deal. If you simply focus on solving the potential client’s problems and not on making the sales process, you will be surprised that it will be your potential client who will bring you to the buying process.

Question #6

How can you write winning proposals for freelance marketplaces?

The most basic is present your price and the time frame – how long it’s going to finish the project. To increase your chances of winning the bid, however, you have to break the job down into smaller pieces. For example, you’d say that you will spend the first week redesigning and researching their landing page. It is also worth mentioning to the client how you’re going to change their page and what advantage that particular task is for their business, like it’s going to increase their sales or their subscription. Try to tell them as many details as you can.

A good proposal format includes the following elements:
Your reason why you’re interested in the project
Offer value – this is where you break down the task into smaller pieces so that clients will know what they’re getting for the fee you are charging.
Mention experience about similar projects and how you offered the solution
Ask a question – it will send a message that you are not just after the sales pitch but that you care about providing a solution
Call to action

Question #7

When starting a design agency and you need funding, which is better – crowd funding or business loan?

Neither. Unless your funding need is thousands of dollars, it is much better for you to approach your local council to get your funding needs. Most of the time, local councils are more than happy to support local businesses or entrepreneurs to keep the business community thriving and also help local entrepreneurs expand their businesses and generate more income.

You can also get funding from family and friends because those closest to you might be more than willing to invest in your venture. Just make sure that you put everything into writing how much the loan is and when the loan will be paid.

Remember that your business plan needs to include a budget and a financial projection between three or five years. This shows investors that you have a plan to remain the business for a long term. Conversely, you should not wait until the situation becomes hopeless to seek funding or financing because investors could perceive it as poor business management.

Question #8

Why do you not recommend an hourly rate but you are using it on AwesomeWeb?

The hourly rate displayed on AwesomeWeb is just a general expectation for the clients. It also gives them an idea of the rates each freelancer charges and in so doing compare between freelancers. What you can and should do as a freelancer when you set up a call to your clients is to tell them your estimate for that project. Aside from quoting the cost, you also need to tell your client the tasks involved in the project as well as how long the project will take.

Question #9

By installing plugins you are a plugin installer, not a web designer…

In the previous episode, I recommend that you should stick to WordPress, HTML, and CSS and forget about JS and jQuery. We received a reaction regarding this saying that JS and jQuery because when you install plugins, you are not a developer but a plugin installer.

This statement is, of course, correct. If you want to go deeper into coding and want to become a heavy coder, by all means should you learn JS and jQuery. Our focus here, however, at 1stWebDesigner is for you to scale or grow your business rather than focusing too much on coding. We strive for balance – have enough technical background to understand the concept of design but most importantly, you should have that business mindset. Every web designer should have a business mindset if they truly want to make their business grow.


Note: You might ask why there’s only 9 questions when we promised 10, that’s because Question #2 answers two questions that are similar.

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