How to Start Your Own Web Design Agency

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jul 18, 2018

Jul 18, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Starting your own web design agency can be fun, scary, exciting, and overwhelming, all at the same time.

It won't be easy, but if you have what it takes and are willing to put in the work, you'll find success and be rewarded with being able to be your own boss.

If you're ready to take the plunge into becoming an entrepreneur by starting a web design business, keep reading to find out how!

1. Get Prepared Mentally

Before you jump into the business aspect, you need to make sure you're going into it with the right mentality. Thinking like an entrepreneur means looking at the world in a different way.

Here are some of the most common problems that entrepreneurs face:

Laziness

When you have the ability to set your own hours, it's easy to fall into bad habits of spending more time in front of the TV than your computer. However, if you want to make it as an independent web designer, then you have to get yourself into gear and put in the work.

Burnout

On the other end of the scale, there are people that work so hard at their business that they end up burning out. Be sure that you're allowing for some leisure and family time in your schedule to avoid this.

Lack of Direction

A hamster running in a wheel works hard but gets nowhere. To avoid being like that hamster, make sure that whatever you're doing, it's helping you reach your personal and business goals.

Before you go any further into the process of starting your own web design business, set up some goals for yourself. Then, every time you want to do something, ask yourself if it's going to help you reach those goals.

And if you're not sure what to do, look to your goals and think of what you need to do to accomplish them.

2. Set Yourself Apart

There are already a plethora of web design businesses out there, so you need to be ready to set yours apart from the crowd. You need to be ready to solve a problem that nobody else has an answer to.

In the web design business, the best way you can set yourself apart is by choosing a niche. A niche is an area in which you have expertise. People within that niche are much more likely to trust you than if you are a general web designer.

Think of it this way: if you're having heart problems, would you rather go to a cardiologist who specializes in the heart or a doctor that works with the whole body? You'll go to the cardiologist, obviously.

Businesses in need of web design services think the same way. If you specialize in their industry, they're far more likely to hire you than the designer that works with anybody and everybody.

3. Make a Financial Plan

It may seem obvious, but you'll need to come up with a financial plan before you launch your business. Figure out how you're going to pay your bills before your business becomes profitable.

Here are the two most common ways you can remain financially stable while starting a web design business:

Use Your Savings

If you have enough money in savings, you may be able to jump into running your web design business full time. This can help you find clients and start making a profit faster as you'll have a lot more time to devote to your business.

Keep Working

Most people don't have enough money saved up to quit their current job. If you're one of them, you'll have to continue working enough to pay your bills as you work part time on your design business.

Once you're consistently making enough as a web designer, you can quit your job and officially become your own boss.

4. Create Your Own Website

Once you're through the planning process, you'll be ready to build your own website. Be sure to put a lot of time and work into making it as amazing as possible since it's the first impression potential clients will have of you.

Be sure to include these pages on your website:

  • Home page that lets clients know what you can do for them
  • Satisfied client testimonials
  • Portfolio of other websites you've designed
  • Contact page so potential clients can contact you
  • Blog to improve your site's search ranking, establish your authority as a web designer, and expand your reach through social media sharing

When making your website, your primary goal should be to show potential clients that you understand what good web design is.

5. Market Yourself

Now all that's left to do is to market yourself and your services to potential clients. There are several ways of doing that, so pick a couple that work well and focus on those.

Here are some of the ways you can market your web design business:

Cold Emailing

This is one of the easiest ways to find clients. When you come across a website in your niche that looks like it was designed by a teenager in 1992, find the email address of the owner and tell them how you can help them modernize their site.

With cold emailing, it's a numbers game, so you'll need to send out as many cold emails as you can to get a response.

Job Boards

There are several job boards specifically for web designers and other general ones where you can search for available web design positions. These can be highly competitive since other web designers are also looking at them.

On the other hand, every company you contact through a job board is definitely looking for a web designer, so you're not shooting in the dark as with cold emailing.

Freelance Sites

If you're looking to build a portfolio, you may need to start with freelance sites. Most clients you find through these won't pay as well, plus the site takes a commission.

Events and Conferences

Another great way to market your business is to find out where your target clients are, and then go there. Events and conferences are great places to meet people and hand out business cards.

If you can land a speaking engagement, even better! You'll be able to show off your industry expertise and have people begging you to work on their site.

Start Your Job Search

If you're ready to start looking for your dream job as a web design agency, then why not hop over to our job search?

Who knows? You may even be able to land your first client by the end of the day.