April 20, 2010 3

What You Can Do to Stand Out as a Web Designer

By Kayla Knight in Web Design

In the large pool of web designers today, it can be difficult to stand out and get noticed. A recent Ask FreelanceSwitch post spoke of one individual who wanted to break into the industry, but had no connections or references. I then asked myself, how does that apply to my own field of web design? How did I, and how can others break into the web design industry, and still stand out with no previous connections?

In this post we’ll look over some of the top strategies web designers use to create their own individuality when it comes to their work, and what strategies get them noticed so they can keep going.

1. Speak Your Mind

Blog about it, write comments, get into the forums, and speak your own opinion. It doesn’t matter if that opinion is with everyone else, or if it is uniquely your own, the point is to make your mark. Being an individual in the industry is just like being your own individual in all other areas of life. Be your own personality as a professional web designer, and it can easily start to become a part of your personal branding.

2. Get Your Own Style

Try your best not to follow trends. I’m guilty of following trends within my career so far just as much as the next designer, and honestly it sometimes can’t even be avoided. After all, clients do say: “I like this effect/look/style on these websites…” However, it can be very beneficial when it comes to standing out to not only follow trends, but to create them. Experiment and find your own design style or best practices.

3. Get Some Social Proof

We are as popular as we make ourselves seem. If a big blog features you, you look more important and can easily impress (stand out to) clients. Being featured in a big blog is as easy as asking to write for them, doing an interview, etc. We can of course expand that to other areas within the design community. If you provide feedback to other designers, work with already established designers, or just start talking, you look like you know what you’re talking about.

4. Over Deliver and Under Quote

This is the key to success for any web designer, and I think many of us know this. It is the key to good testimonials (better social proof, above), repeat clients, and more referrals. However, how many times have you acted upon it? What techniques do you use to actually give off the impression that you’ve given a client more than what they paid for? Re-evaluate how you over deliver, and also keep track of any stress factors that may be slowing your motivation to do a better job.

5. Have a Well-Defined Niche

Have a well-defined niche and strive for high-profile websites within that niche or style. It’s a lot easier to be noticed in a sub-category of web designers than a broad category. Let your clients know what you know best via your portfolio, your branding, and your image. If you are into doing band websites, keep to that and always strive for bigger band websites to complete. Don’t just accept any web design project and go from law firm website to church website.

About Kayla:
Hello, my name is Kayla Knight, and I am a web designer and developer based in Iowa, Usa. I focus on user-centric, beautiful, simple, and functional web design. You can check out my portfolio here: KaylaKnight.com.

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3 Responses to “What You Can Do to Stand Out as a Web Designer”

  1. Andrew says:

    great tips!

  2. Hello, I love your blog. This is a great site and I wanted to post a comment to let you know, great job!