What is it like to be a freelance web designer?

In the world today there are endless routes you can take in life. You get full control to decide on skill/trade, full/part-time employment, or whether you choose to go self-employed.

There are many reasons that people make the choice they do. Some people want the financial safety net of employment, others prefer sleeping at night without 30 people relying on them.

How it started

The idea of being self-employed first came when I was studying my IT qualification at college. Like most others, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to be. I thought that I would go down the path of being a data engineer or a web designer.

To tell you the truth, I never had much ambition – and had it not been for the part-time job where I worked under the golden arches doing long hours, feeling undervalued and considerably underpaid (£4.75p/h), I probably wouldn’t be here writing this article about how I became the guy to build your next website.

I started the brand JK Computing that you all know and love today, and registered it as an ltd. I had no clue at all what I was doing at that point. Six months later, I closed the limited company down and gave up on the idea for a little while longer.

COVID 19! Whilst it was nowhere near pleasant, one thing I do appreciate was the furlough. This is where the origin story really starts….

20th March 2020 – exactly a week before my 19th birthday. I spent about 2 weeks loving life, no work, and no excuse needed to stay indoors. Armed with a PlayStation, mixed with all the time in the world – I had every teen’s dream, right? In all honesty, I soon got bored, I couldn’t handle the repetitive eat, sleep, game and repeat. I needed something new.

I grabbed my laptop, and built my own website to showcase my offerings to business owners. Looking back, it was awful and I don’t know how I even sold a website.

My First “Sale”

I registered for bark.com, which if you don’t know is just a website where people post a request for a professional, you get basic details about the project and then you pay for their contact details to go and make your pitch.

I met Alan, who was looking for a web designer to rebuild his website Ashington Memorial. The website had been built in flash – which at the time was about to be retired. When I contacted Alan we spoke very little about the project before I offered to do it for free. I had no portfolio, and he wasn’t making any money off this anyway ey!

After completing the site, and receiving a cracking testimonial from Alan, I spent a couple more weeks scouting for more clients that would like a free website. I was desperate and had no experience in selling.

It wasn’t long before I returned to work when I built the first website that I charged for ( still making a loss). Ken is a counsellor based in Burnley trading as KBG Counselling Services.

I continued working at the fast food franchise for about 5 months after returning from the furlough, before making a jump to another full-time job in a call centre in Preston, UK. I liked the balance, arriving home at 6pm, sitting down and digging into WordPress.

What it’s like now

It is absolutely brilliant, although I still have a full-time job working for a large communications provider. Whilst things are picking up this is something that has had a lot of consideration recently – especially now that I have a clearer focus on my career.

Starting my business has been a journey that I don’t regret one bit. I love what I do, I love the flexibility of doing it when I want to – and I love the fact that I can choose what I want to do and who I want to work with.

Normally, my week gets cramped as working 4 11 and a half hour shifts takes up all of four days. I find that I spend most days off catching up on web work, scouting for new web design clients and also working on my own online presence.

Don’t get me wrong, running a business is not an easy task – especially when you’re working full time too, but it works and I love it (if I haven’t already said so).

If becoming a freelance web designer is something of interest to you, then absolutely do it! Remember that you have just gotta do you, so don’t listen to the negative nancy’s in life that tell ya you can’t. P.s I am always up for a chat if you’re looking for advice/tips or whatever questions I can answer.

Anyways, that’s enough of me rambling on for now, but check back soon; If you haven’t already, subscribe to receive my posts via email.

Until next time, love ya x

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