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My 1st client


I have finished making my 1st website (www.willdoyle.co.uk) and now want to earn some money and make my 1st website for a client.

I'm not sure how to go about this. I have been going through the Yellow pages and emailing company's, but no email back yet.

Hope you can Help


Active Member
Hi Will,

Moved this thread as it was more suited to the business forums section, and running a design business/freelancing. To attract new clients who will be willing to pay for your services I would suggest offering a few local businesses/charities some reduced fee or even free design work to kick start your portfolio. Otherwise you'll find yourself in a catch 22 situation, clients won't want to try your design services out as you have no previous work to show them, and without the clients you can't create the work to get the clients, a vicious circle.

What hobbies/interests do you have outside of design? Is there anyone you can approach related to these, as it will probably be a more enjoyable/interesting start for you, getting involved with a design project that you personally have interest/experience of.

Hope that helps in someway.
Thanks, Greg



Just keep at it mate. The problem is your starting out at a bad time due to the fact that companies are cutting budgets on design left right and center. But if you just keep at it you'll soon get somewhere.

My initial thought would be try to build up your portfolio with some free work, ring companies that you really like the look of, or like Greg something you're interested in (i.e. if you like skating email skateshops).

I always always always point new designers to FreelanceSwitch. Make your self aware of whats going on there and you'll be able to pick up some really good tips that'll help you get some clients.


Senior Member
It has to be said I absolutely love the simplicity of your site! Before I start on getting clients I will suggest one design change though...

Where you ahve the image at the top left of every page (i.e. the apple/water image the coloured swirls iamge, the grass image etc) put the title of the page (portfolio/home/about etc) onto that in an opaque white and then remove the html title from your little content section to the right of it on the Contact page and you will not ahve to have that horrible scrollable div/iframe which in my opinion ruins your whole website.

Anway....getting clients....

When i started I posted on forums, spoke to family memebers who new business owners, posted on forums and did I forget? posted on forums?

By posting on forums you often get business owners looking for designers! I found it really useful in my first year....I'de forget cold calling for now until you have a nice portfolio to cold call with....


Senior Member
Design is sold primarily on your portfolio. unfortunatly starting out its unlikely you'll have a particulary broad portfolio so my advice, and what I did is work for free in the beginning, you'll get your name out and some work on the web, its likely you could offer something like a website for free, but charge a small amount for a logo - a foot in the door is more important than money in the bank at this stage.

I wish you the best of luck - if that doesn't take your fancy make some website concepts for imaginary companies or rebrand something existant, make sure you note on your portfolio what youve done.


Junior Member
To build up your portfolio, build some fictional sites. Even if it means designing them, programming them and uploading them to a server with an unique domain, do it.

When web designers scounge around other designers portfolio sites, we can tell if a freelancer has designed a ficitional site, or a site they are personally affiliated with. Most ordinary prospects (or those in the market for a site) however, cant make the distinction.

We all do it, so dont be afraid to 'artificially' bulk up your porftolio. If you dont, chances are, clients may not give you the time of day.

Keep at it though. Your site is really nice (and I like the minimalist aesthetic). Its effective.


Senior Member
Using my portfolio as an example, I think ive only done about 6 paid website designs in my time, and 1-2 others, everything else is personal projects or collaborations etc, However to average joe it looks as if I've done loads... which is nice :p

That said I dont really chase graphic/web design
Hi Will,

To start with, I like your site - very clean and simple which works wonders in my eyes. I can only really re-inforce what others above have said, you need to build your portfolio, whether it's doing some fictional sites or a few free ones...

Doing a few free sites will give you the advantage of working with customers, gaining experience, liasing and combatting customer based challenges. Every customer is different and challenges will arise, get some of that under your belt too.
I got an email yesterday from a company asking me to design them a logo and a website!!


Their company specialises in commercial cars.

She is giving me an ring on Monday

tbh, I aint 100% sure what their company is about.. lol


Active Member
Wah hey! great news!
It sounds like they might be some form of leasing company - commercial cars? If you have their details then try and find out a bit more about what they do before you have the call on Monday :)


Senior Member
just to let you know, dont go thinking aahh I dont like this one i'll wait for someone else to reply - whats happened to you is rare. Take advantage of the oppotunity thats fallen in your lap.


Active Member
doyle369 said:
tbh, I aint 100% sure what their company is about.. lol
That's why they invented the Internet.

Find out about them, similar companies, competition, the market.
Knowledge is power. Take the initiative and surprise them. The best form of defence is attack.