Not all website design gigs are created equally. The truth is that they will all vary in terms of compensation, scope and the overall experience you have.
But just about every project provides you with some type of benefit. They aren’t always monetary. And they aren’t necessarily obvious – at least not right away. It may require you to look back after the fact to find out exactly what you gained.
In that spirit, let’s take a look at some hidden gems that can come out of a web design project.
It seems like every website you build has an unexpected challenge along the way. There’s always that one bit of functionality or design element that (temporarily, at least) derails your entire schedule. Nothing else gets done until the problem is solved.
eCommerce websites are famous for this. Clients tend to want their shopping cart to do something that goes against the grain. It complicates and frustrates. But eventually, you find the right solution.
At the time, it’s easy to move on and assume that you’ll never have to deal with that issue again. But these things have a funny way of randomly popping up in other projects. Perhaps a new client saw what you had done for someone else, or they had an idea that was similar enough to a feature you implemented in the past.
The experience you gained the first time around can be invaluable. Even if you aren’t tasked with that exact same challenge again, a past struggle may provide just the insight you need. It will give you a solid foundation that you can use to navigate that next obstacle a little more smoothly.
A Boost in Confidence
Confidence can be a fleeting thing. One moment you have loads of it – but it might leave just as quickly. The right project may be just the thing you need to get your groove back.
The great thing is that this can happen in any number of ways. Hearing (or reading) some praise from a client after a successful launch certainly provides a boost. But it’s often the little things that offer an unexpected good feeling.
Things like experimenting with a new design technique or writing a piece of code that does something cool are prime examples. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of surprising yourself and feeling that sense of pride in your work. And it’s a feeling that you can achieve again and again as a project moves forward.
Much like the niche knowledge we mentioned above, the experience itself is also rewarding. You can think back to what you’ve accomplished anytime you need some positive vibes.
Discovering What You Do (And Don’t) Like
You’ll work on a number of website projects in your career. They may span a variety of industries and price points – not to mention all the different looks and functionality that go with them. Then, there are the personalities of those you work with.
Each one provides a different experience. And, over time, you’ll develop a sense of where your “sweet spot” lies. These are the types of projects that bring you joy. Along with that goes the price range and technical requirements that you feel comfortable working within. In addition, you will also develop a preference for the clients you work with and even the processes behind how you work with them.
On the other side of the coin are the projects and people that you want to avoid. This is equally important as you don’t want to become stuck in a bad situation.
There is a certain freedom in knowing the types of projects you want. This enables you to bring a higher level of focus to your business. It can even lead to better project outcomes.
Finally, among the biggest potential benefits of any website project are the relationships you gain. They are vital for keeping your business going strong over the long term.
The most immediate payoff is that a good working relationship often leads to repeat business. That client will come back to you for maintenance, redesigns and maybe even another new website or two down the line.
And, because they’re satisfied customers, they might even help you find new clients. Referrals are a huge bonus, as they get your foot in the door with a great reputation already in hand.
Plus, regular referrals can do wonders for the stability of your business. It means you can concentrate on the work itself, rather than wrangling new gigs.
Money Isn’t Everything
Virtually every web designer is hoping to reap financial reward from each project. After all, we have rent to pay, too.
But money alone can be a short-term benefit. Once you’ve spent it, then what?
It’s those lesser-known perks that are the real drivers of growth. Gaining the right kind of experience and relationships will help you move up the ladder more than cashflow alone. They take time to accumulate, but are more than worth the wait.