We’re all busy to a certain degree, no matter how skilled we are at design. If you’re just starting out, you’ll be busy with your education. If you’re already an accomplished designer, you’re probably neck deep in projects.
With so much on your plate, how can you possibly find time to maintain an up-to-date personal website? Well, I’m here to tell you that you need to make the time for it.
When I was active on 99designs I had more projects than I could handle – it was a freelancer’s paradise. I never considered having a portfolio or blog because I wasn’t really looking for new projects. It made sense back then. But as I grew as a designer I discovered how powerful a personal website could be:
1. It makes you social
Some of us are introverts and there’s no shame in that. We don’t like to “mingle” at parties or events, so social interaction can be challenging. A website changes all that.
All of the sudden you’re swapping ideas on Facebook, Tweeting inspirational websites, and getting your work critiqued instantaneously. Since there’s a face behind the username, it makes it easier for others to interact with you as well.
2. It brings in different types of clients
Keeping an updated portfolio with your best work, alongside a short bio and a contact form, will instantly increase your visibility. Creative agencies, big companies, and established businesses need to be able to easily find you, identify your skill level and reach out with a proposal – all in one place. Sending them links through Twitter isn’t what they’re looking for.
3. It offers new business opportunities
Maybe you’re not interested in taking the professional leap just yet, but in the future things may change. Starting a website now before you actually need it will give you a major boost when you finally decide to go pro.
Say that you want to sell a premium icon set. Would you choose the designer with the stylish website and thousand-person social following or the designer with, well, nothing? The bigger the business, the more important it is to build your credibility.
How do you create a personal website?
An entry-level website shouldn’t cost you more than $150 and that includes:
- A domain name (.com/.net)
- A nice WordPress theme
- Hosting service paid in advance for 1 year
- CDN (content delivery network) service which greatly increase your website’s speed.
Put in a few hours of customization work and you should have a nice looking website that’s different enough from the original template. This is more than enough when you first get started.
When it’s time to take it to the next level, you’ll need to invest a bit more time and money. The key here is to make your website reflect your personality and interests. It should be high impact so people will remember it. A custom design built from scratch is a must.
After your website is done, make sure you spend at least 2 hours per week updating it. Prepare your posts in advance so your visitors will get new content every few days or so.
No matter what your current prospects are, a personal website will surely help you by making you more social, getting your name out there, and attracting different types of clients and new business ventures.