Web Designers at Heart – Trust, Honesty, ExperienceCalling of the Heart, Design, Thoughts · February 24, 2015, Tuesday
It takes time to become a good web designer.
I know it— it took me years to move from personal website design (which I still do) to working for company websites.
At first, all you can do it grab opportunities and turn them into changes to grow as a person and as a designer. But when it comes to big companies, it’s important that you present yourself as an experienced web designer who built a considerable clientele and a good reputation over the years.
I know it might sound unfair — and sometimes I feel bad when I stumble upon gig announcements that require experience and numbers I don’t have (especially if I really, really like the company) — but that’s how it works— and I honestly believe it’s just, because an experienced web designer worked so hard to get to that point in their career. 😉
It’s why I really admire Cara, the web designer who runs CEB Design Studio, a web design DC based service.
And I love it that she begins her About Me page with a very heartfelt “I truly love what I do“. :love:
Cara has 7 years of experience under her belt. And she understands business, too. Sounds like someone I’d really love to make friends with. Or at least, we could get talking (about business and web design, what else?).
I believe she’s the kind of person who can make a difference for the clients she works with. Sometimes to be a solopreneur means you have to work harder to earn a company’s trust, but as you collect more and more bonus points from a job well done and lovely client relationships, trust will become almost a given.
And trust is more important than your resume, you can believe me on that. (I’m a freelancer, remember?)
If you’re a web designer like me and Cara, read on…
Don’t just put up a portfolio website. Don’t stop to testimonials and a few contact links.
Tell your prospective clients who you are, what you love, what you enjoy doing at work and outside of work.
Clients are human beings, too— they want to know the person behind the website. They’re not interested in a sterile resume. It’s the human touch that makes the difference.
Also, have free resources that both companies and fellow freelancers can download and use (and get to know you for your value and not just your words!).
Here’s an example from Cara’s Resources page [a screenshot]:
Cara’s website is a great example of how to help clients feel nurtured and taken care of.
She uses colors in a non-stressing way, too. Just what helps people focus their attention without hurting their eyes.
(Hope I’m doing good in that sense, too!)
And then, if you are a company…
Look at the person in front of you before you consider their work. Does she inspire trust? Is she kind and understanding?
Her work will reflect those personality traits.
Now, does her work show love and passion for what she does? Is there creativity and drive in there? Is her portfolio supported by genuine testimonials?
These are good starting points.
You should try to get in touch and see how your prospective web designer will respond, too. If she’s a nice, kind and available person, she will speak with warmth while keeping it professional, and she will do everything in her power to accomodate your needs without slaving it away.
Because real professionals are people with a dignity and know how to step up for their rights, if they have to.
But I’m sure you’re NOT that kind of company. 😉 The collaborative ‘friendship’ that will be born from working together will make a difference in both of your lives.
I know that, because it’s what happened to me– as a freelancer, collaboration always brought great human relationships to the table.
From what I can see from Cara’s website, she’s also that kind of professional.
Fellow web designers, what’s your take on client relationships and the honesty and trust that your responsibility involves?
Companies, how do you appreciate a collaborative, kind and honest approach in a professional web designer?
I’d love to read your comments! 🙂
“Web Design” image courtesy of Stuart Miles from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Still a Student, After All (Lifelong Learning)The Student Life, Thoughts · November 5, 2014, Wednesday
Hello! 😀 Guess what? I’ve almost completely recovered. Such a good feeling!
I have completed an article for a client today and done some social media work for them, so I feel good and accomplished. Now, time to update my personal blog and have some fun with my Character Blogs, too. Yup!
So, today’s post is about studying. Oh, I know some of you will make a face and say, “nooo, studying is awful! All that yucky homework to get done, bleh!”.
Well, I know there are teachers out there who make it really hard to enjoy a subject (been there, done that), but that’s not the ‘studying’ I’m referring to.
I used to be a university student until 2012. A Computer Science undergraduate. I was really slow to progress on exams, though, because in addition to my health issues I had almost no background in Mathematics and computer architecture, so everything was new to me and I had to absorb it bit by bit.
Never mind, I told myself, I love it so much that it doesn’t matter how long I take to graduate, as long as I DO graduate, right?
Some people around me had different thoughts about the matter, though. Long story short, there was this strong idea that paying several years of tuition (albeit I paid half of it with my own money) for a student with health issues who doesn’t make steady progress wasn’t a good idea, so I was strongly pressured to quit.
[NOTE: I know I shouldn’t have cared about that idea, but not being financially independent and the excess stress and pressure added to my ‘malfunctioning’ and made studying almost impossible.]
I didn’t quit, though— I just put my studies on hold. I don’t pay tuition anymore, but my university ID is still active, so while I can’t take exams, I can still use the library and the CS lab.
I keep in touch with my old classmates, I attend to student reunions (in semi-incognito, as I can’t participate actively) and I give and get advice on subjects.
I still study. I believe in Lifelong Learning. I attend lectures every time I can drop by the faculty, I study lecture materials that professors put online and I email professors who know my story and agreed to keep an open channel with me. (They also hope I’ll be back as a full- or part-time student, some day!)
So you see, I’m still a student, after all. And I will never stop being one. I became a Lifelong Learner.
It’s not just my university. I keep studying thanks to free materials from MIT’s Open Courseware and public course pages, and websites like Coursera and Udacity that let you enroll to university-grade courses for free.
Some people now know they can’t do anything to stop me.
Besides, I’m a freelancer thanks to my multi-area studies. I tend to use what I learn, so it’s thanks to the notions of Linguistics if I can write a better English and do better text translations for clients; and it’s thanks to Automata Theory if I learned to recognize patterns behind a language (natural or artificial) and understand programming better.
And if I’m starting to get a name in the freelance marketing field, it’s because I studied Marketing and SEO on my own.
So this is really it: I can be taken out of university but, in a way, university can’t be taken out of me.
This is who I am, and I love it.
Domains, Coupons and A Crazy Head. Yep, That’s Me!Thoughts · July 19, 2014, Saturday
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of DomainPromoCodes.com. All opinions are 100% mine.
If you check my Archives, there’s a post about the reasons that led me to buy and mantain over 200 domains across the years.
My friends Georgie and Jhoice know how crazy I can get on that matter. 😉 Thing is — it’s not really about going crazy about domains or developing a compulsive obsession for digital shopping.
No, it’s more about imagination.
Look at the navbar above — under the main navigation menu for Honey-Babe.net, I have another bar with ‘Featured Characters’ and ‘W.I.P. Characters’ — that is, character blogs (role-play) where I let my imagination run wild and create new universes.
Don’t think I spend that much. I don’t.
I don’t because I make massive use of coupon codes at any registrar I run into. 😉 Just to bring an example to the table, every time I get an idea for a new character blog and I want to register a new domain, I load up DomainPromo Codes.com (one of my favorites, really) and pick the best coupon at hand.
GoDaddy is not my favorite registrar, but I use it often for first-year registrations because its coupon codes make it very cheap. Right now, GoDaddy is offering a heck of a coupon at $1.99 for a new .COM domain! 😉 There, that’s a kind of coupon I’d use right away for a character blog.
Code is cjc199 if you’re interested.
But it’s not just Characters…
Heh no. I have registered domains for several personal and work projects over the last two years. I don’t want to spoil W.I.P. stuff, but among the things there’s a free advertising community that will probably help bring some ethics back into the world of blogging. Not sure how it will go, but so far people I told about liked the idea.
For business, .BIZ domains look great. 🙂 Right now, NameCheap has a sale for .BIZ domains:
Get .BIZ domain + Business email plan for only $1.99 for the first year
Also, both .BIZ and .US without additionals services cost $0.98.
If you had to buy business domains on a budget, wouldn’t you take advantage of offers like these? ^_^
And Name.com? Ah, I don’t need coupon codes there. I’m a member of their Investor Club since I registered (and keep) 151 domains with them! 😀
A bit of advice
Don’t buy domains on a whim — wait for a good coupon to be released before you purchase! You will save a lot of money and the return on investment (ROI) for the domain will be higher, whether that’s a name you need for business or for a personal project.
Question: How much did you spend on a domain name last time you bought one?
Photo credit: Widjaya Ivan on Flickr (Creative Commons 2.0)