The 10 Easiest Ways To Sabotage Your Own Freelance Web Design Career

Posted by Libby Fisher on Friday, October 22nd, 2010 in Freelancing, Random, Web Design

Today I want to talk about the top ten steps that can put you on the fast road to ruining your own prospective career as a freelance web designer. Read on for your own benefit! :)

1. Take on each and every client that comes to you, regardless of what kind of designer they really need (certainly you can produce professional-looking graphics if you have to, right?), how difficult or extravagant their potential project is (you could always outsource it if you had to), and how small their budget might be (at least it’s something).

2. Don’t bother with project proposals or even contracts, they probably intimidate potential clients anyways and take too much of your valuable time to write. If you must, you could always use the same generic, one-page contract for each project. That should cover everything that could possibly go wrong.

3. Don’t discuss payment terms for a project with the client – this is sure to intimidate them and nobody likes to talk about money anyways. You can deal with that when you get to it. And absolutely don’t ask for money down – how can you expect someone to pay you when you haven’t done a thing yet!

4. Let the client dictate and decide every step of the project – after all, they are the ones paying for it. Don’t offer your advice, nobody wants advice they didn’t ask for. Do everything you can to avoid any discussions that could potentially lead to conflicting opinions – this is why it is best to keep your mouth shut at all times. If the client needs help deciding on something, they can ask someone they know.

5. If you can’t see yourself abiding by the advice in #4, try this – don’t listen to a thing the client tells you. After all, you are the professional. Eventually, they’ll stop making suggestions when they realize that you are just going to do whatever you want anyways. This way, the site is sure to turn out well – since you are the professional.

6. Don’t communicate to your clients – this will only slow the project down. They probably don’t care what is happening behind the scenes anyways and you don’t want to be annoying by sending them updates every week. Wait until you are done with the whole project and then just send them an invoice for the completed project.

7. Don’t worry about keeping your computer, file cabinets and email inbox organized – as long as everything’s all there, you could find it if and when you need to. There is really no need for separate files or folders – like we said, as long as it’s in there somewhere, you should be fine. Also, don’t throw anything away or delete anything – just keep it all.

8. Don’t bother telling clients when you are taking vacation and will be away from a computer for days on end – they’ll figure that out themselves when you don’t respond to any of their emails for a week or two.

9. Demand payment for every single little thing that a client asks you to do that is not explicitly outlined in the contract. You can’t afford to be doing little things here and there for free – nothing’s free anymore, right? They’ll understand. In fact, if you want to avoid talking about money – just tack it onto the end of their invoice. Maybe they won’t notice and will just send you the money, no questions asked.

10. Whatever you do, do NOT stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in the web design field – this is sure to affect the way you design, and you definitely want your designs to remain completely “yours”, nothing like some of the other websites out there. Trends come and go after all, so why waste your time? Stick with what you know, don’t get burned out trying to learn new things.

And that’s it – 10 extremely easy steps that could completely sabotage your freelance web design career! Happy Friday everyone! :)

  • Alexa Stone


    • Germán


      Fortunately I still haven´t made any of those mistakes (I think…) But they are all very common.
      Here in Argentina is sometimes difficult to discuss the payments with the customer, because they often think that webdesign is something easy and there is a lot of mis-information among business people about this topic. Sometimes you feel like a homeless asking for a donation =/


      • Libby Fisher

        Hi Germain,

        I agree with you – I do not enjoy having to discuss payment and money with clients either, but it is kind of a necessary evil. :/ Thanks for commenting!