If you have a lot of spare time after work, why not use it to earn more money? The side hustle culture seems to grow exponentially over the years. Around 45% of working Americans report having a side hustle to generate extra income. That amounted to roughly 70 million people in 2019.
Nowadays, there are numerous choices of business models to take as a side hustle. One of the most popular freelance jobs available is web designing. However, is it really a side project opportunity worth pursuing?
In this article, we will look at why web designing can be considered an excellent option among the many hustle ideas available and provide several tips to help you thrive in this field.
Why Web Designing Is a Good Side Hustle
A web design side hustle can be considered a profitable business considering its constant growth over time. Since 2016, the size of the market for the web design services industry has expanded 4.4% per year on average in the US, reaching around $40.8 billion in 2021.
As more businesses see the need to create websites as the center of their online marketing efforts, freelance web designers now have more chances of landing a gig and making extra money. There are an estimated 12 to 24 million eCommerce sites worldwide, with more created each day.
According to Glassdoor, freelance web designers in the United States can earn up to $77,846 per year on average. This is significantly higher than the country’s median annual earnings in 2021, which is around $65,760. Therefore, this line of business has the potential to help you make money on top of your day job salary.
Web design is also an excellent option because it lets you work on your own schedule. Most of your clients won’t establish specific work hours for you as long as the project is finished within the deadline. This gives you more opportunities to manage side projects while still working in your full-time job.
How to Make Web Designing Your Side Hustle
There are some processes and steps you should follow to make your web design side hustle a profitable business. Let’s take a look at six tips on how to improve your performance as a freelance web designer to land your first clients and earn money from your side hustles.
1. Build Your Portfolio
Pro tip: having a portfolio is a great deal when it comes to starting freelance work. A good portfolio will get you more exposure, helping potential clients to know more about you and your track record. As a web designer, the best way to present your portfolio is by making your own website.
Take time and concentrate your efforts on making this portfolio website as best as possible. Elements such as design, navigation, and overall performance of the website will help showcase your skill as a professional web designer.
Remember to trim any unnecessary elements that might obscure your site’s content. Pick a color combination and fonts that make your website more appealing and easy to navigate. Also, use tools like PageSpeed Insights and Mobile-Friendly Test to ensure your site is mobile-friendly and performs properly.
Another crucial step is to buy a domain name that suits your personal branding and can help set you apart from other web designers.
2. Determine Your Work Pace
One of the biggest benefits of freelance jobs is that they let you work at your own pace. This is also applicable to a web design side hustle. As a general rule, most web development side projects don’t establish fixed working hours on their contracts.
Many business owners typically accept flexible working time, as long as you finish the project before the deadline. Therefore, good time management is key to achieve the best productivity and maintain the client’s satisfaction.
Find out your normal working speed while also considering your day job schedule. Since you will rely on your spare time to work on these projects, it is better to set clear objectives and a strict timetable for each day.
This can help you achieve more while tackling tasks within limited hours. Consider using time management tools such as Google Calendar and Toggl to help you find a ‘sweet spot,’ getting the most out of your time without affecting your full-time career.
3. Reach Out to Potential Clients
When taking the first steps in this industry, you might lack exposure and have a limited network to help you land a gig. Because of that, it is important for new freelancers to reach out to potential clients.
Even though one or two small projects may be a decent start for your side hustle, eventually, you have to gain more customers to maintain a steady stream of income. Assuming you are still working a full-time job while freelancing, it is a good idea to use this as a networking opportunity.
Another great way to connect with potential clients is by joining freelancing websites such as 99designs and Toptal. These freelance marketplaces can make your service more accessible and are a good way to introduce yourself to new clients.
Some freelancers also use email marketing strategies to distribute their portfolios, offering services directly to large companies.
4. Promote Your Services
Your marketing strategy plays an important role in the success of your side hustle. With current technologies, business owners and freelancers have numerous ways to promote their services.
These marketing methods range from free solutions such as SEO to improve your ranking on search results to paid services like Google and social media advertising. Each method suits different needs and preferences, and come with their own pros and cons.
In the beginning, you might also want to consider offering a lower hourly rate or even free services to a few first customers to build relationships and gain trust.
5. Work with a Partner
Most web development projects require multiple people to handle their tasks. As a freelancer, there are times where you might have to work with partners due to various reasons. First, you may lack some skills required to build a website from scratch, like advanced programming and network security.
Therefore, it might be good to network with a web developer and combine your talents. Even if you have the required skills, partners allow you to handle larger projects more efficiently by splitting tasks. With good teamwork, you can finish projects quicker and potentially achieve better results.
6. Ask for Feedback
Encourage your customers to leave feedback and share their honest opinion after you finish their websites and other projects. This is a great way to learn what you need to improve and determine the client’s level of satisfaction. Your growth as a freelance web designer should revolve around clients’ needs and preferences.
Positive reviews and testimonials are also effective tools for your marketing efforts. This gives your brand social proof, which may increase potential clients’ confidence in using your service.
Web design side hustle possesses many potential benefits for those who want to gain extra cash in their spare time. However, there are some steps you need to take to make your freelance business successful.
In this article, we have looked at six tips on how to land more gigs for your web design side hustle, including:
- Build your portfolio
- Determine your work pace
- Reach out to potential clients
- Promote your service
- Work with a partner
- Ask for feedback
Building a strong client base and improving your skills can help you gain a higher and more stable income. However, just like most businesses, growing your side hustle requires some time and patience. Start freelancing now and follow the steps presented in this article to turn your small business into a successful venture.