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Freelance Expert: 6 step guide to become a freelance web design expert

Freelance,Web Design
Freelance Expert: 6 step guide to become a freelance web design expert
Freelance Expert: 6 step guide to become a freelance web design expert

Being a freelancer is one thing, being an expert freelancer is another. It's true that it takes a long way to get to that point. In fact, it takes time and patience. But time is not everything. To become an expert freelancer in web design, you have to start from a good base.


In your opinion, how long does it take to become an expert freelancer in web design?

  • Little time, as long as we start on the right basis as you say.
  • A long time, because it is built little by little, slowly, but surely.
  • No idea!
  • Any other comments? Don't hesitate to say what you think.


Freelance web design expert

Advantages of being a freelance expert

Steps to become a freelance expert

  1. Define the activity
  2. Regularize the legal status
  3. Create a pleasant work environment
  4. Do a market study
  5. Writing a business plan
  6. Search for clients

Everyone has their own definition of what an expert freelancer is. To make sure we're speaking the same language, here's my definition of what it is.


☝️QuWhat is a freelance expert?

  • First of all, it is a person who works as a freelancer, i.e. on his own.
  • She can live comfortably without the constant fear of not getting new assignments in the coming months. Comfortably also means that she works at the rate she wants. It is not her client who imposes the price of her services, it is the freelancer herself.
  • Indeed, she either has clients who call upon her services on a regular basis, or she is constantly contacted by different clients and agencies. She can even refuse certain contracts if the terms are not convenient or if she has a very busy schedule.

To sum up, an expert freelancer has a certain reputation, which helps him/her to never struggle in finding clients.

The main advantage of being an expert freelancer is obvious: no more risk of not getting contracts. But are there any other advantages?

Why become a freelance expert

I don't know anyone who doesn't want to stagnate at a certain level for years. Just to let you know that becoming an expert freelancer shows you've made progress. However, here are some other reasons to motivate you even more:

  • You are flexible: You can work whenever and wherever you want. This doesn't mean you can't be responsive and deliver your projects on time.
  • You earn more: no matter how you set your fees (by the hour or by the project). In any case, I always advise my students not to work by the hour if possible. This form of pricing seems restrictive. In my opinion, it also gives the impression of an employer-employee relationship, a salaried employee... and not of freelancing, service provision...
  • You are more competent: You know how to solve a specific problem, you know your target, their problems and their expectations. That's what customers want.
  • You have your own network: For more explanation, it's here → my guide on how to start a network. Did you know that having your own network (with quality members) always pays off? One day, when you need to build a team, you'll have no trouble doing so.
  • You won't feel like you're working: as long as you're doing something you love. For my part, I love web design!
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🚀Stepsto becoming an expert web design freelancer.

1. Define what you are going to do and want to do.

🙊Web jobs have been trending for the past few years. All my friends are getting into it, I need to get into it too!

🙊I can't seem to find a job. I hear web jobs are easy. I'm going to get into it too.

Have you ever thought about things like that? If so, you should know that this is not a good enough reason to embark on this adventure! Contrary to what it seems, it is full of pitfalls that if you are not motivated enough, you may give up at the first obstacle.

That's why I advise you to only start if you are really into it. To find out, I invite you to think about what you want to do first. You want to become a freelance webdesigner? That's great! You have web design skills?

  • No ? That's okay; there are training courses you can take for free to get started. It's also to make sure you're ready or not.
  • Yes ? Good, that's an asset for you.

In any case, make sure you really enjoy what you're doing. As long as you're having fun with the assignment, that's great.

Defining your business is just the beginning. It is now that the whole story begins to unfold...

2. The legal aspect

There is nothing more important than the legal aspect of what you do. So, if you are thinking about freelancing, the first thing to do is to find out what legal status exists in your country. Indeed, it is different depending on your country of residence.

For Belgium, you will find all the information here.

🔗 https://sedomicilier.be/articles/formes-juridiques-entreprises-belgique

Then, you will choose the status adapted to your situation (according to your project, your objectives, etc.).

3. Pleasant working environment

This may seem like a small thing, but it's the foundation. Your work environment affects everything you do. Because of it, you can be very productive. Because of it, you can be unfocused. The choice is yours! Yes, it's all about choice.

Obviously, in freelance, we generally work at home (especially with this pandemic, we have to!). But be careful! At home does not mean in your room, and even less on your bed. You need to reserve a dedicated and healthy room that makes you feel comfortable.

If you choose to work outside (perhaps in a tea room, library or coworking space), choose the one with the decor you like best.

🔗Fora coworking space, I talk about it in this coworking space guide.

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4. Conduct a market study

To be completely honest with you, this step is mandatory.

Many freelancers don't do this; they start right away. If some of them still manage to have good results after a few days or months, others are not so lucky.

Not doing a market study can set you back in your business. On the contrary, by having a clear study, you put all the chances on your side. All that's left is to know how to write a market study?

Factors to consider include:

  • The market in question:

Is it generalized or more specific? That is to say: you address all contractors, or only those who intervene in a very specific field (example: building contractor who works in the renovation of single-storey houses). Depending on whether it is specialized or not, you will automatically have the size of the market. Is it stable? What are the current market trends? Are your services in high or low demand in the market?

  • Your target:

Creating a persona helps a lot! This is a typical profile that you create, a fictitious profile that you will address from now on. It would be best to give him a name, his age, his needs, his expectations, his problems, his values, his pain points, his income, his hobbies, etc. This is the only way to personalize your strategy. However, a target is never enough. It is better to be on guard, and thus, to set another one: secondary target. It is only once you have set your targets that you can personalize your communication strategy as much as possible.

  • Competition:

It's not about copying the competition's strategy. That would not be ethical or professional. I am simply suggesting that you study it. How do you do that? By counting how many direct and indirect competitors you have, by analyzing the prices they offer and by seeing how they have established their strategy.

  • External environment:

It includes many things that I can't list all: the country's economy, politics, new technology... Indeed, these external factors have an impact on your business (both directly and indirectly). Let's just take the example of the pandemic that is currently raging throughout the country!

I will say that you have all the elements that will help you move forward now. Unfortunately, they won't do you any good if you leave them like that. You have to analyze them in order to get the most out of them.

Here's how it's done. From this data, try to define the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your project. In short, use the SWOT method. You will see that you will have to modify some of your initial ideas to better adapt them to reality.

5. Make a business plan

A business plan is a document in which you detail your offer. Throughout your business, it will always be useful, hence the importance of doing it well.

So, more specifically, you'll see in a business plan:

  • Your work method, including your process and delivery times.
  • Your rates. For some, it's the hourly rate. Yet, most of us already get stuck at this stage. Do you know why? Simply because no market research has been done. Yet, having done a study, we could have seen what rates to propose to the real needs of the target, competitors and the situation in which we all live. All this would have made it possible to fix the price appropriately, while taking into account your competences, formations, experiments... A price too low, as a price too high, scares away potential customers.
  • Finally, your marketing and communication strategy (you are the only one to take care of it as you are a freelancer, at least at the beginning).

Having a business plan prevents you from making a big mistake:improvising during your interview with a potential client. Not only does it destabilize, but your interviewer will also feel that you are not well prepared.

6. Prospecting for yourself

Let's be realistic! Even if the first three steps are completed, there's no telling how many contracts you'll miraculously win. These are things that are earned. So what can you do to win one (or more)?

You have to work on your communication and marketing strategy, which will depend on the previous steps. Depending on your target and your competitors, you can choose your strategy:

  • Inbound marketing

A lot of work and so much patience. That's what you need here. In fact, inbound marketing is all about attracting customers to you. So you don't need to make the first move by sending emails to people you don't know and who don't know you either (we'll see that a little later).

But how do you attract customers to you? The most used method revolves around social networks.

🔗Here isa very detailed article on how to start your network on social networks. By creating a network of potential customers, you're putting all the chances to attract customers to you.

Here's another tip: register on all the directories and platforms that connect freelancers and professionals. Don't hesitate to take care of your portfolio and why not, to create your own website where you will expose your achievements, demonstrate your expertise through blog posts... Sooner or later, these efforts will give results (believe me, I know what I'm talking about).

  • Outbound marketing

Outbound marketing is the opposite of inbound marketing, that is to say that you have to contact potential customers first. In general, to find customers, we use cold mailing. You send emails to people who may never have heard of you or your services, tactfully of course.

The content and structure of the email will then be adapted to your target.


You don't become a freelance expert by chance or by luck. There's a lot of effort behind it (from getting your status regularized to finding good clients). Now that you have all these secrets, it's up to you!


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