WordPress is one of the most popular platforms to create a website. It's used by everyone from bloggers to Fortune 500 companies. Its popularity is due, in part, to how simple it is to use and how versatile it can be - allowing for polls, subscriptions, e-commerce, and more.
Because of its popularity, it also holds opportunities for freelancers with web design knowledge.
While the simplicity of WordPress does allow for someone with no experience to set up a website, businesses that want their site professionally and quickly set up from scratch can hire a WordPress developer. That's where you come in. Our guide will take you through starting a freelancing business and the steps that will help ensure your success.
The Benefits of Starting Your Own WordPress Freelancer Business
If you like doing remote work for different businesses and you have a knowledge base around WordPress, there is a lot of potential to grow your own freelancing business developing WordPress sites. While anyone can do some of the most basic setups, knowing the tricks of WordPress and its functionality gives you a leg up on creating the best WordPress sites. Because WordPress has been evolving through its Gutenberg iterations, keeping up with all the new features and abilities will mean that you can charge higher rates.
Steps to Starting Your WordPress Freelancer Business
Now that you have decided to build your web development freelancing business, where do you start? We'll take you through the important steps, from developing the right skill set to finding clients. We'll also discuss how to manage (and grow) your business from a part-time to a full-time endeavor.
Develop Your Skills
If you want to be a successful freelancer, the first step is ensuring you have the right skills to do the job - and to give your clients confidence that you can accomplish what they need. For a new WordPress development freelancer, it's important to show clients that you understand the WordPress platform, WordPress themes, and how to use WordPress plug-ins.
If you want to help develop sites that include a form of e-commerce, you will likely need to show an understanding of how programs like WooCommerce work, as well as how API integrations work.
Something else to consider is continuing your education with certifications in areas such as digital marketing, copywriting, SEO, plug-in development, and more. The more expertise you have, the more you have to offer your clients.
Set Up Your Legal Structure
Taking the time to set up your new business the right way will pay off in the end. Besides putting together a business plan, you should think about the legal structure for your business. Investigate whether a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), partnership, or corporation makes the most sense. The structure you pick will determine many things, including the taxes you pay and the ongoing paperwork you have to file. It will also impact how much personal liability you carry for your business.
Once you determine your legal structure, you may need to register with your state. Where to do that depends on which state you are registering in. In most cases, it will be through the secretary of state's office, a business bureau, or a business agency. You will likely need to file paperwork that includes your business name, location, and structure.
You may also want to register to get your federal tax ID. This step is helpful, even for sole proprietors. Once you have it, you won't have to use your Social Security number for things like opening a business bank account. Getting your tax ID is easy and there is no fee.
With the technical know-how solved, it's time to find your first clients. That may sound daunting - and it won't be easy - but it doesn't have to overwhelm you. First, make sure you know what you want. Do you want to generalize or do you have a special niche you want to fill? From there, you should begin building a portfolio that positions you as one of the WordPress experts so potential clients can see your freelancing in action.
As for finding those clients, there are many ways to find leads and land work, including:
- Word of mouth. Tell your friends, family, and networks that you are launching a freelance business. Show your enthusiasm for what you are doing and they will be sure to pass the word along.
- Research. Make a list of businesses who could do more with their web presence. Reach out directly to offer your skills. Make sure you personalize any emails or phone calls with what you know about that specific business and how you can help.
- Advertising. Make use of opportunities like Google Ads to get your information in front of the right people. You can also use social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to make connections, advertise your work, and look for WordPress jobs.
- Freelance Platforms. You can join freelance job platforms like Upwork to find clients, as well. Build your profile and search the job boards for job postings from businesses.
Do Excellent Work
Now that you have a client or maybe even a few clients, it's time to put your best foot forward with good, hard work. If you deliver quality WordPress projects, have good communication with your client, and meet deadlines, you will have a satisfied customer. It's probably obvious why that is important, but to be clear: Happy customers are more likely to do two things. First, they will want to work with you again. Second, they will tell other people about you - which could result in more business for you.
Invoice Your Clients
Invoicing clients in a timely and accurate manner is often a freelancer's least-favorite part of the job, but it's the next important step. Using an invoicing template like Skynova's will make this part of the job easier for you and your clients, allowing you to create and send professional-looking invoices without downloading anything.
With our template, it's easy to include all of the important information (e.g., names, addresses, the invoice date, and the due date). You'll also want to include whether the work was for a fixed price or an hourly rate. This is easy to do with our line-by-line itemization, which automatically updates the total amounts. The invoice template also offers customization so you can include things like a purchase order number or sales tax.
The notes field can be used to include any unique terms, for example, if you have arranged for certain payment conditions. If payment is due in net 30 or net 60 days, make sure to include that as well to avoid any confusion.
Manage Your Business's Finances
When you are freelancing, it's easy to focus on the clients and fall behind on the details of your own business - especially finances. Carving out time to manage your finances and keep your accounting up to date will benefit you in the long run. It will make invoicing your clients easier, ensure you know what your cash flow is, and prepare you for tax season.
Doing it all yourself can be made a lot easier with Skynova's accounting software. With our software products, you can create invoices in moments and track sales tax for each taxing authority. We make it easy to track and upload receipts, payments, and other expenses to keep everything organized. Your financial reports are ready with the click of a button, so you always know where you stand.
Grow Your WordPress Freelancer Business
Once you have your freelance business up and running, you will probably want it to keep growing. Some of the top tips to increase your earnings are:
- Fine-tune and build your branding. Keep marketing your business in the ways we discussed above. Include client reviews and add content to your social media and website that shows expertise in your field.
- Expand your connections. Researching potential clients you would like to connect with takes time, but it is worth it. You can begin to engage with those prospects through social media (by liking or commenting on posts). From there, it is easier to connect at events or through email and phone conversations.
- Reinvest in your business. As you begin to see profits, make sure you have a cushion to put back into your business. A few ways to do this include software, continuing education, marketing, and a business emergency fund. You may also want to invest in scaling up your business with additional employees.
- Hire people. At some point, you won't be able to grow your business without adding more people to do the work. Make sure to create projected financials to take a look into the future before making a decision.
Manage Your WordPress Freelance Business Finances With Skynova
As a freelance WordPress developer, you are passionate about what you do. Build a freelance website design business and channel that passion into profits. Skynova can help make managing the financial details of your small business a little easier so you can spend more time working with your clients.
Our accounting software makes financial management a breeze with easy expense uploading, sales tax tracking, and invoice creation. With a click, you can choose between accounting methods and run reports to keep you up to date in real time. Check out what Skynova's software products and business templates can do for you.