You've decided to start your own website freelance business. Congrats, you are heading into an awesome and equally tough journey. I'm going to share three things with you that I wish I'd been told when I started. I'll also have a free Asana template for you to help manage your projects.
Great hosting is the foundation of any great website. When a business is brand new, cash is crucial. It's crucial because there usually isn't much of it. If there is one area you want to spend a little more, it's on hosting. Your website will be a reflection of your own work. Imagine a mechanic with a broken car or a personal assistant whose life is unorganized.
Would you ever trust a website professional who has an unreliable website? This is exactly why you need great hosting when starting your website freelance business.
After trying a lot of website hosting companies, we fell in love with Flywheel. They have an entry plan for $15 per month. Flywheel is an easy choice. They have amazing customer support. They recently announced the addition of included themes and the Genesis framework with each plan (learn more). The value and support make $15 per month feel like a steal.
If you have questions about what being a customer of Flywheel, we'd be happy to answer.
2. Productize Services
It's easy to look at a website freelance business as service-based. It is, but that doesn't mean you can't approach it as a product. Find a solution to a need and package that solution. It could be a comprehensive package for public speakers who focus on social media.
Create a layout that fits the needs of that specific niche, then figure out how to become efficient at implementing that layout. If you charge $1000 for the package and it takes you 10 hours the first time, you just got paid $100/hr.
If you use blueprints from Flywheel, you can roll that product out much quicker. When you do that, you don't reduce the price of the package. You figure out how to do the same thing in 8 hours. If you do that, you've worked less and raised your rate to $125/hr.
This is why productizing your service is so beneficial. It allows you to value your time higher than if you only trade your time for pay.
3. Project Management Software
Organization is critical to staying productive. Ideally, your leads are brought automatically into a tracking system or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform or your mailing list. Then you are able to nurture a lead and hopefully turn it into actual work.
Getting a client is only the start. You need to bring them through a process to get to the end result. This can be a simple process or a highly complex process depending on the product. A website freelance business requires tons of checkboxes such as setting up the staging area, activating the SSL and reviewing the site post-launch.
All of this can be done with a service like Asana, but if you want to pull everything into a single platform, we love and use 17hats. It is built for lead generation, invoicing, workflow management and so much more.
Regardless of the platform you use, you absolutely need a way to organize your process and scale it across multiple projects and clients.