Finding Web Design Work and new clients

I came across a useful domain name the other day.

http://www.webdesignquote.me/

And was intending to use it myself to drum up business. But I feel it might be better used as a web designer community in some way.

There are a prethora of (poorly designed) middlemen websites intercepting quotes from clients and then charging too much for so called qualified leads. I have even tried to test a few but not happy with the way it is done.

So I am interested in some feedback from the group as to what would you like to see from a site that promotes web designers so they can receive enquiries from interested parties.

A site done properly should get good Google listings worldwide for “web design quote”.

At this point I won’t mention the model I had in mind, so I am open to ideas how it could be run.

Any takers to comment favourably? Or shoot the idea down? No matter, the more views the better.

David


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No takers to comment? I can hear the echo?


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On 5 Jun 2009, at 11:14, David Owen wrote:

I came across a useful domain name the other day.

http://www.webdesignquote.me/

And was intending to use it myself to drum up business. But I feel
it might be better used as a web designer community in some way.

As an occasional web designer, the idea looks favourable, though I
have been listed on a couple of similar sites without any real success.

As someone who used to buy web design (before my current semi-
retirement) I see deficiencies, which you may be able to overcome -
but not easily.

  1. Authority - a listing of web designers needs some form of
    substantiation. Even a guy with iWeb, RapidWeaver or template driven
    PC software can call him/herself a designer these days, almost from
    their first website. (I think I might be one of them, except I use
    FWPro).

  2. Client understanding. Does a client posting his brief to a web site
    really know what he wants? Or what can realistically be achieved for a
    given budget? I’ve come across a few who have indicated other web
    sites that use sophisticated techniques as an example to follow (“I
    want something like that”) and when the estimate arrives say “I
    thought you could get a good web site for around £100 or so: my host
    offers a five page one for free!”. An attitude to encourage a price war!

  3. Client Substance. How much information is there on the client, it’s
    business stability and it’s payment record? I haven’t been caught out
    yet, but a know a couple of folk who have.

  4. Location. While we can do much via electronic transmissions, face
    to face is so much better during the briefing and design stages. So,
    would quotes be regionalised?

  5. Clear briefing. How can you standardise briefing so that a
    realistic estimate for the job in hand can be made?

  6. Quoting method. Do you use an anonymous model where the client is
    unknown or do you open opportunities for the web designer to by-pass
    the site and “do a deal” directly?

On a positive note, however, any listing of web designers can only
promote awareness, especially if carrying a small portfolio of their
work.

Just first thoughts, hopefully as a catalyst to reaction from others,
too.

Colin


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I was thinking it must have at some point a designer portfolio/
information page as a prerequisite (self editable?). I feel the
designers don’t want to be hidden behind a subscribing form / email
reply mechanism like a lot of web design quotes sites.

David

On 5 Jun 2009, at 12:23, Colin Alcock wrote:

especially if carrying a small portfolio of their work.


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To guide you a little in what I am thinking, the site it would not
interfere with the client requests for quotes in some convolutes
quoting mechanism between the client / site / designer. The idea
being to tap into the search search term “Web design Quote” and
putting forward web designers in a highly polished professional
interface, as it happens a bit like http://www.squarespace.com/examples/

But its early days hence getting a bit of feedback to see what I’m
missing or needs including.

David

On 5 Jun 2009, at 12:23, Colin Alcock wrote:

Does a client posting his brief to a web site really know what he
wants?


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Just seeing this (sips coffee – late night).

I know that there have been some “auction” models run at this problem,
and the consensus has been that they devalue the individual effort,
and devolve toward a very mean fee. I don’t know whether you were
thinking of going that direction, but there have been some notable
flame-outs in that arena so I wouldn’t encourage it.

Another approach to think about would be the traditional Artist’s
Representative. (I used to be a commercial photographer, and I had two
reps at different times, and knew countless others.) The rep takes a
percentage cut of the fee, some negotiate for a bite of the expenses
mark-up, naturally that wouldn’t be a big thing in a traditional Web
market.

A reputable Rep will avoid conflicts in their stable. I used to shoot
tabletop – food, conceptual still-life, occasionally medium and large
sets with actors – and I was the only artist my rep had who did that
sort of thing. So I never felt like one of the other shooters was
getting “my” work when my rep called on a potential client; after all
I wasn’t shooting cars or architectural interiors or going on location
much.

Reps encourage you to mark your fee up to cover their percentage, and
most artists who use them do this. But since not all artists use reps
(particularly not these days) the decision-by-price tends to
discourage this model as well, since a leaner-and-meaner operation can
undercut their fee, since it doesn’t have to be split so many ways.

With the world economy in a recession, anything that adds (perceived
or real) cost to a service is going to discourage use, from both sides
of that middle-man. Now if the middle-man has a steady supply of work,
and can help the artist get out of the boom-bust-
(omygodIbettercallsomeclients)-boom cycle, then there’s a real
economic benefit to be had here, even if the fee isn’t inflated to
cover the rep’s percentage. 75% of working-all-the-time beats the hell
out of 100% of working-half-the-time.

All just random thoughts.

What model were you thinking of here?

Walter

On Jun 5, 2009, at 6:14 AM, David Owen wrote:

I came across a useful domain name the other day.

http://www.webdesignquote.me/

And was intending to use it myself to drum up business. But I feel
it might be better used as a web designer community in some way.

There are a prethora of (poorly designed) middlemen websites
intercepting quotes from clients and then charging too much for so
called qualified leads. I have even tried to test a few but not
happy with the way it is done.

So I am interested in some feedback from the group as to what would
you like to see from a site that promotes web designers so they can
receive enquiries from interested parties.

A site done properly should get good Google listings worldwide for
“web design quote”.

At this point I won’t mention the model I had in mind, so I am open
to ideas how it could be run.

Any takers to comment favourably? Or shoot the idea down? No
matter, the more views the better.

David


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Having in the past looked at (and tried) a couple sites like Guru,
Design Quote, Elance, oDesk and crowdSPRING the experience was utterly
fruitless. Being that there are so many of these sites I wonder if
another one would just be white-noise at this point.

However, I would still love to find one that approached it differently
and actually worked. But, cheese-n-crackers, there are a lot of
variables to consider from both the client and designer end not to
mention that the market is saturated with “designers”, so even with
the best intentions of creating a designer-promoted site,
realistically, how effective can anyone expect it to be?

If the site is simply a catch-all for any “designer” with a computer
who is willing to work for $14/hr then I don’t see the point. But if
there’s a way to screen both designers and clients in some way
then …maybe.

If you think you have a winning model then I’m all for trying.

Todd

On Jun 5, 2009, at 5:14 AM, David Owen wrote:

So I am interested in some feedback from the group as to what would
you like to see from a site that promotes web designers so they can
receive enquiries from interested parties.

A site done properly should get good Google listings worldwide for
“web design quote”.

At this point I won’t mention the model I had in mind, so I am open
to ideas how it could be run.

Any takers to comment favourably? Or shoot the idea down? No
matter, the more views the better.


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Hi Walt,

Out of past experience bagging a good targeted domain name does bring
in googled enquiries which when properly engaged does result in work.
Anywhere in the world.

Many web design quote sites out there try to control the business
themselves via a convoluted purchase of enquiry lead credits of some
kind. And depends on the popularity of the service to see if any lead
come through.

So my thoughts were to make it a more open market place that will list
designers available to hire. But have an attractive interface to
engage the searcher/buyer, who not only can see a designer listed, but
have page they perhaps could even edit with samples of there work and
request a quote direct from them.

Designers I feel would need to appear on an even playing field. So
perhaps the site should have similar square images to list the
designers (ads) in an attractive similar method like the page on http://www.squarespace.com/examples/
which then links through to a page and examples and contact form
or link direct to their sites. Which perhaps could be searchable by
skills / location etc if numbers demand. Not to quote prices directly
on the site - but to get in contact direct with the designer.

Keeping it simple click through service could make it cost effective
service for the designer.

Todd you mentioned screening, I don’t think there is a way to screen
the buying client. But there are ways of selling sites to remote
clients and making sure payment and work done is in your favour. As
far as screening the designers, thats a good point. Perhaps a rating
system of some kind, its all food for thought at this point.

David

On 5 Jun 2009, at 15:20, Walter Lee Davis wrote:

What model were you thinking of here?


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Some of those site look like heavyweight sites. We’re not talking that
scale here. I’m thinking small simple and nimble and user friendly to
get under the radar of the big boys and yet appear in the same Google
listings.

Thanks for the input.

David

Having in the past looked at (and tried) a couple sites like Guru,
Design Quote, Elance, oDesk and crowdSPRING the experience was
utterly fruitless. Being that there are so many of these sites I
wonder if another one would just be white-noise at this point.

However, I would still love to find one that approached it
differently and actually worked. But, cheese-n-crackers, there are a
lot of variables to consider from both the client and designer end
not to mention that the market is saturated with “designers”, so
even with the best intentions of creating a designer-promoted site,
realistically, how effective can anyone expect it to be?

If the site is simply a catch-all for any “designer” with a computer
who is willing to work for $14/hr then I don’t see the point. But if
there’s a way to screen both designers and clients in some way
then …maybe.

If you think you have a winning model then I’m all for trying.

Todd


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Hi David,
In general I like the idea although, like others, my experiences of
some ‘bid for work’ sites has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Prices often start out low and are driven into the ground by those
either ‘learning the trade’ or from overseas where salary expectations
are lower. Ultimately the buyer gets a ‘good enough’ site for next to
nothing and the designer gets another site for their portfolio. IMHO
neither party gets a great deal from it.
I like Walter’s idea of acting as an agent and taking a commission for
the sale although it would be a lot more work for you than a straight
listings site. You’d need to draw up contracts (that means lawyers),
terms, etc. I also like the idea, and Walter can remind me of the site
name as I’ve forgotten it for the moment, where like the site he
created where buyers can directly comment on completed work and review
the whole business transaction. Think of it as an e-Bay style rating
system for web designers.
On a personal note I’ll be almost certainly signing up to such a
service as I was recently laid off from my job here in WA and will be
returning to the UK in early July to look for employment.
All the best,
Tim.

On 5 Jun 2009, at 09:12, David Owen wrote:

Some of those site look like heavyweight sites. We’re not talking
that scale here. I’m thinking small simple and nimble and user
friendly to get under the radar of the big boys and yet appear in
the same Google listings.

Thanks for the input.

David

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I know it’s a wrenching experience, but I have high hopes that you’ll
find that something even better comes of it. Best of luck to you, and
I hope MS stock tanks on the word that you’ve left the building.

Walter

On Jun 5, 2009, at 2:29 PM, Tim Plumb wrote:

On a personal note I’ll be almost certainly signing up to such a
service as I was recently laid off from my job here in WA and will
be returning to the UK in early July to look for employment.


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:slight_smile:
Thanks Walter. I keep reminding myself that all of this uncertainty
and upheaval is simply a learning opportunity. On the flip side
there’s a lot that I’m eager to get to work on and I’m really looking
forward to getting back to web design as a core focus. A lot of my day
at MS was taken up in PM-like duties - setting expectations, drafting
spec documents, working on timelines/budgets, etc - all very worthy
but it took me too far away from my first love of design.
Regards,
Tim.

On 5 Jun 2009, at 11:50, Walter Lee Davis wrote:

I know it’s a wrenching experience, but I have high hopes that
you’ll find that something even better comes of it. Best of luck to
you, and I hope MS stock tanks on the word that you’ve left the
building.

Walter

On Jun 5, 2009, at 2:29 PM, Tim Plumb wrote:

On a personal note I’ll be almost certainly signing up to such a
service as I was recently laid off from my job here in WA and will
be returning to the UK in early July to look for employment.

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They do love their waterfall process there, don’t they…

Best of luck!

Walter

On Jun 5, 2009, at 3:06 PM, Tim Plumb wrote:

:slight_smile:
Thanks Walter. I keep reminding myself that all of this uncertainty
and upheaval is simply a learning opportunity. On the flip side
there’s a lot that I’m eager to get to work on and I’m really
looking forward to getting back to web design as a core focus. A lot
of my day at MS was taken up in PM-like duties - setting
expectations, drafting spec documents, working on timelines/budgets,
etc - all very worthy but it took me too far away from my first love
of design.
Regards,
Tim.

On 5 Jun 2009, at 11:50, Walter Lee Davis wrote:

I know it’s a wrenching experience, but I have high hopes that
you’ll find that something even better comes of it. Best of luck to
you, and I hope MS stock tanks on the word that you’ve left the
building.

Walter

On Jun 5, 2009, at 2:29 PM, Tim Plumb wrote:

On a personal note I’ll be almost certainly signing up to such a
service as I was recently laid off from my job here in WA and will
be returning to the UK in early July to look for employment.

FreewayActions.com - Freeware and shareware actions for Freeway
Express & Pro.

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Spam.
Only available at FreewayActions.com

http://www.freewayactions.com


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On 5 Jun 2009, at 20:06, Tim Plumb wrote:

… A lot of my day at MS was taken up in PM-like duties - setting
expectations, drafting spec documents, working on timelines/budgets,
etc - all very worthy but it took me too far away from my first love
of design.

As a word of hope, I had a similar sort of forced experience
(including the PM and financial forecast duties) and decided to do a
short ‘sabbatical’ (thinking a year or so) purely as a copywriter and
advertising strategist, rather than leap into another ‘same’ job. It
lasted 15 profitable years before I decided to retire from the circuit

  • and I’m still working, though no longer quite full time.

Good luck in what you find ahead.

Colin


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An interesting site i’ve run across http://www.99designs.com is a bit opposite to your proposal, but is not associated with the “low ball” effect as the fee is set ahead of time and prepaid. The “jobs” are set up as contests. Designers instead of bidding on a job actually compete via submitted designs for the attention of the “contest holder” who posted the job.

Could lead to plagiarism somewhat in my opinion, but an interesting premise.


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