If you are a freelance web designer or own a web design company, then you should know that one of the biggest obstacles starting out is getting customers. The web design and development industry is full of competition. It’s not hard for a person interested in getting a website to get on the Internet, perform a quick search for web designers, and to then have a list of thousands presented to them. If you are a web designer and understand the competition aspects, then you should take all necessary steps possible within your means to attract those Internet customers who need your website services.
Create a website to attract and showcase your work. To attract Internet customers, you are going to need an attractive, clean, and professional website. Your website should explain your services, skills, and should include a portfolio of your previous work. Make sure that you have a user contact form on your website.
Perform keyword research and use on-page optimization. Go to Google keyword tool website (Look in Resources for a link). Come up with and submit 6 keywords you think people may type in search engines to find web designers (e.g., web designers in new jersey). Place those keywords in the Google Keyword Tool. Click on “keyword ideas.” This will generate similar keyword phrases searchers have actually been searching for. Look at the keyword phrases that get the highest search volume and lowest competition. Take those keywords and place them in the Meta Tags of your website including Meta title, Meta descriptions, and the overall content of your website.
Post, submit, and respond to ads off popular classified websites. Open your web browser and go to websites such as Craigslist.org and backpage.com. Click to post a free classified ad, add a title and description of your services. You can also find people looking for website designers in your area. Click on the job for web designer wanted ads and respond to the ads offering you web design services.
Submit your website to web design directories. Open your web browser and do a search for “web design directories” in Google. Find them and submit your website to as many of these free web directories as possible. For a fee, many of them will submit (to your inbox) web design quote request from their site visitors looking for web site.
Become an expert and give out webinars over the Internet. Come up with a way to show how having a website can benefit and improve a person’s business. Detail steps such as layouts, marketing, advertising, budgeting, and overall strategies that go into developing a successful website and how your company can help them execute it.
Attend networking events and give out your business cards. Have a professional business card with your company name, logo, address, and web URL. Give it out to people who have businesses of their own but do not yet have a website.
Sign up for an account on freelance websites such as Guru, Freelancer, oDesk and elance.com. Open your web browser, navigate to any or all of those websites and sign up for an account. List your services, skills and start bidding on web design projects. These websites attract a large number of Internet customers looking for website designers.
Capturing solar energy efficiently and inconspicuously is something that the Solaroad cycle path has attempted in the Netherlands. Now scientists at Stanford University have developed peel-and-stick solar panels, which can be attached to any surface. READ MORE…
It’s no secret that those who find themselves tossed into management with little more than a hope and a prayer aren’t ready to fully engage in all that is required of more experienced managers. But there is certainly something about you that indicated you were right for this job. Your job is to build on these strengths, while you try and master the other skills necessary to be a successful leader. Here are seven ways you can shine from day one:
1. Manage those above you. Some of you may be thinking, “How the heck am I going to manage people above me when I haven’t even figured out how to do my job?” Trust me. I can tell you from personal experience that if you don’t begin with managing up, you won’t have to worry about managing down. It is critical to learn how to manage these relationships effectively so that you can secure the resources you need to be successful in any situation. Observe how others successfully gain resources in the organization and follow suit when their approach aligns with your values.
2. Decode your boss. I can’t recall a time when I’ve seen a boss adjust their management style to that of an employee’s. This means you will be the one who will be doing the adjusting. Begin by observing how your manager uses authority, the way she relates to others, and her communication style as a leader. Most bosses typically fall into one of the following categories: dictatorial, laissez-faire, bureaucratic, consultative. Once you determine the type of manager you’ve been handed, you can then study ways to work most effectively with this type of leader.
3. Become a master player of office politics. You are in the game, so deal with it. In every organization, there are unwritten rules. We call this office politics. The sooner you understand these rules, the better. Politics in the workplace isn’t just about manipulation. It’s about using power effectively to get what you need. People who are masters at this game follow unwritten rules that allow them to maneuver swiftly through the organization to obtain scarce resources, approval of prized projects, and promotions. Can you see now why it’s important to pay attention to this?
4. Toot your own horn. For years we’ve been taught that it’s not polite to brag. But if we don’t do so, how will others know about our contributions? I can assure you when companies are putting together lay-off lists they aren’t including those whose contributions are well known throughout the organization. You may be the best singer in the room, but no one will know this if you never open your mouth.
5. Manage performance. No one likes to tell an employee they are not meeting expectations, but how can they improve without feedback? Clearly define your expectations and communicate regularly so employees know exactly where they stand all year long. Provide timely well-thought-out performance reviews that are specific in nature so employees know exactly the type of behavior you would like to see repeated.
6. Be respectful. Be mindful of your tone. It’s easy to bark orders and have others respond out of fear. But eventually you’ll gain a reputation that will be difficult to shake. Effective leaders do not yell at their employees nor do they chew them out in front of customers or other employees. They speak to them like they matter.
7. Hire the best. At first it may be a bit intimidating hiring people who are smarter than you. You will shine the most when those around you are beaming. Hire bright people who will step things up in your workgroup and do whatever it takes to see that they are promoted.
What your cover letter should do:
Cover letter basics:
Dear Hiring Manager,
I’m a certified J2EE architect with experience in migrating applications to the cloud, and I’m very interested in your job post involving these skills.
I have recently worked in G.ho.st (Globally hosted operating system) as a team leader, where my responsibilities included developing the G.ho.st platform built using Java J2EE technologies. This infrastructure was built entirely on Amazon AWS.
My experience creating J2EE solutions includes building and deploying scalable solutions on top of Amazon AWS. I am an expert in AWS EC2, S3, SDB, and RDS. I have consistently delivered projects on time and under budget, which has earned me the role of team lead on a number of recent projects, as you’ll see in my work history. I believe my skills would be ideal for your project.
I am available to chat by IM, email or Skype, and would be happy to set up a convenient time to discuss the application you’re moving and some ideas about the safest way to get it into the cloud. I will be available 15 hours per week for this position.
· Use the name of the client if it is given in the post. Otherwise, “Dear Hiring Manager,” is sufficient.
· The first sentence offers the strongest, briefest summary of Anand’s qualifications for this particular role. This first line is what’s visible as the client scans the candidate list, and so should be as compelling as you can possibly make it.
· Anand then lists his additional qualifications, highlighting those requested in the job posting, and mentions having served as a team leader, an indication of previous clients’ faith in his work and leadership abilities.
· He directs the client to a particular piece in his portfolio that is relevant to this job, and gives detail on how it is similar to the work requested for this position.
· Anand closes by repeating his interest in the job and his understanding of the client priorities.
· He indicates the means by which he could be interviewed — allowing the client to respond with the chosen method and contact info.
· He indicates his availability and the number of hours he can devote to this position each week.
· Anand does this all in only 200 words.
The four P’s of interviewing
3. Personal presentation
4. Pertinent questions
- Research the company/position
Check the website, brochure, talk to people who’ve worked there
- Sit down and think, ‘What are they going to ask me when I’m in that interview?’
Do they use behavior-based questions, do they use case-based questions, do they use a really unstructured conversational interview
- When setting the interview up ask the following:
It shows that you are interested in what’s going to happen and that you’re inquisitive
Anticipate the kinds of questions they’ll be asked during interview and practice answering in the mirror.
3. Personal Presentation
Do your homework for the appropriate attire. Be well-presented, unwrinkled, and have a good handshake. Use basic eye contact, a smile, and don’t be uptight.
4. Personal Presentation
When you get to the end of an interview and the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, ask. It reflects negatively on the candidate when the say “Nope, I think you answered them all”.
Think about your question and show you know their business and did your homework.
Train to Visualize
The Journal of Consulting Psychology outlined an experimental study of visualization techniques. After training, 21% of the group who did not visualize found new jobs. But 66% who used the technique were employed within 2 months.
Good visualization vs. a passing daydream
- Lie down comfortably in a quiet room. Close your eyes, and use each breath to relax your body from head to toe.
- Imagine yourself preparing for the interview on the morning it will take place. When you visualize getting to the employer’s office, use your senses to imagine the colors, light, shadows and objects in the room. In your mind, hear the interviewer’s voice when he greets you. Notice your emotions are calm and confident as you shake hands.
- When you meet the interviewer, imagine you are smiling warmly, and he is smiling back at you. As the interviewer begins to ask questions, imagine you answer them spontaneously and easily. You feel confident and comfortable. Ideally, at the end of the interview, you might imagine hearing the interviewer say something like “You’re hired” or “Welcome aboard!”
22 Ways to Strike Out when Interviewing
1. Poor personal appearance
2. Lack of interest & enthusiasm
3. Too much emphasis on money
4. Condemnation of past employers
5. Talking too much
6. Weak handshake
7. Refusal to travel & relocate
8. Bing late for the interview
9. Failure to seem interested about the position
10. No definite career objectives
11. Overbearing, conceited, know-it-all attitude
12. Inability to express yourself clearly
13. Lack of confidence & poise
14. Too much concern about rapid promotions
15. Lack of long term commitment
16. Lack of interest in the company of products
17. Intolerant prejudices
18. Inability to take criticism
19. Second guessing the interviewer
20. Low moral standards
21. Displays of laziness
22. Lack of eye contact
Most people make 2 devastating mistakes. They fail to listen and answer a question not asked, or give superfluous information. Or they answer with no preparation. You have nothing to gain by showing defeat, and it could merely be a stress interview tactic to test your self-confidence. If for any reason you get flustered or lost, keep a straight face and posture; gain time to marshal your thoughts by asking “Could you help me with that?” or, “Would you run that by me again?” or, “That’s a good question; I want to be sure I understand. Could you please explain it again?”
1. Why do you want to work here?
Because you’ve done your homework. Answer in several short sentences “You make the best product on the market today. Your management is farsighted enough to reinvest the company’s profits so that you soon will be the leader in this category.”
2. Why should I hire you ?
Don’t reread your resume. They are testing your poise and confidence. Make it short “I have the qualifications to do the job that needs to be done and my track record proves it.”
3. What interests you most about this position?
Be truthful. “I like the challenge, the future, the environment, the competitiveness, etc.” This will force another question which will allow you another way to show off your knowledge of the company.
4. Would you like to have your boss’s job?
"Yes!" Be ambitious and you will be preferred over a safe settler. If you feel like it’s too much, finish out with "should an opening develop in time".
5. What are your biggest accomplishments?
Keep this job related and truthful. If you didn’t succeed in an Apollo space mission, reply with “Although I feel my biggest achievements are still ahead of me, I am proud of my involvement with… I made my contribution as part of that team and learned a lot in the process. We did it with hard work, concentration, and an eye for the bottom line.”
6. What kinds of decisions are most difficult for you?
Be human. Nothing comes easy. But be careful about what you admit “I find it difficult to decide which of two good employees must be let go” or “It is difficult for me to tell a client when he’s running his business badly.”
7. How do you feel about your progress to date?
Never apologize. “I think I’ve done well, but I need new challenges and opportunities”. Drop hero stories. “No one in my company has advanced as fast as I have. I think you’ll agree that I’ve accomplished quite a bit in the last five years”.
8. How long will you stay with the company?
As long as I continue to learn and grow in my field”
9. Have you done the best work you are capable of doing?
I would be lying if I told you I was perfect, but I have always tackled assignments with all my energy and talents”.
10. What would you like to be doing five years from now?
Know what the candidate in your shoes can do, and where your career can lead you. HOMEWORK. If you see yourself on a different path, tread lightly.
11. What training/qualifications do you have for a job like this?
2-3 qualifications. “I have a background in accounting. I’ve demonstrated proven selling skills. I’m capable of handling several projects simultaneously”.
12. Why do you want to change jobs?
This is one of the first interviewers ask. If you’re at a dead-end, explain your locked out advancement. If your job is routine, void of learning experiences, or your current employer is losing ground to competition, say so they will understand. But be careful. Don’t say you hated your boss or that you were bored.
13. What is your energy level like? Describe a typical day.
No one wants a part-time employee. “At the end of the day when I’m ready to go home, I make a rule always to type one more letter (make on more call, etc.) and clear my desk for the next day”.
14. Why have you changed jobs so frequently?
This question is crucial. In fact, an unsatisfactory answer to this one is among the top reasons why candidates fail to get the jobs they want. Convince the interviewer that your job-hopping days is over. If you feel it was a mistake leaving previous jobs so soon, say so, and at the same time remind the interviewer that your performance was never in question. If something in your personal or business life has recently changed and would affect your future stability, come right out with the facts.
15. What is your greatest strength?
Demonstrate pride, reliability, and the ability to stick with a difficult task yet change course rapidly when required. “I believe in planning and proper management of my time. And yet I can still work under pressure”.
16. How have you helped sales/profits/cost reductions?
Hero stories, have prove in 1 or more areas, keep it short, and try to have specific dollar amounts.
17. Why aren’t you earning more at your age?
I have been willing to sacrifice short-term earnings in order to gain valuable experience”, or “I have received (been promised) company stock (or other benefits) in lieu of a salary increase” or “I was reluctant to gain a reputation as a job-hopper, preferring instead to build my career on solid, long-term achievement”. These work.
18. How many people have you supervised?
ie. what is the depth of your experience.
19. What are the reasons for your success?
Keep it general and about you. “I work hard, I get along with others, I know how to listen, I pay close attention to detail, I know how to watch costs, I like to keep customers smiling.”
20. What kind of experience do you have for this job?
4-5 key areas you can bring to the new job and how you can solve their problems. “My industrial design background will strengthen your sales-force capability in dealing with large clients”.
- Drive. Have goals, get things done
- Motivation. Enthusiasm, ask questions, accept challenges, do a little extra for every job
- Communication Skills. Talk and write effectively
- Chemistry. Don’t get rattled, smile, team player, self confident without self-importance
- Energy. Give the extra effort
- Determination. Don’t back off when it gets tough
- Confidence. Poise, friendly, honest, open, not intimidated by the big enchiladas or overly familiar
- Reliability. Do your own job correctly
- Honesty/Integrity. No personal preference, take responsibility for your actions and do things for the company
- Pride. Job well done. Pay attention to detail
- Dedication. See a project through with time and effort
- Analytical Skills. Weight the pros vs. cons. Don’t go with the 1st solution
- Listening Skills. Listen, understand, & don’t wait for your turn to speak
- Efficiency. Eyes open for wastage of time, effort, resources, & money
- Economy. 2 solutions. An expensive one & the company would prefer
- Procedures. Don’t work around them, they exist to keep the company profitable. Keep your boss informed - problems or good ideas and follow the chain of command. Don’t implement your own or organize others to do so
- Profit. Be admired in the business world, everything relates to profit
Thank you Letters
Writing powerful thank-you letters is not just a formality. Thank-you letters are marketing tools that can have tremendous value in moving your candidacy forward and positioning you above the competition.
- Overcome objections raised about your candidacy. Demonstrate that the concerns are not an obstacle but an opportunity and you’re fully prepared to meet the challenge.
- Reiterate your expertise
- Highlight Your Core Professional Competencies and Successes
Wendy S. Enelow