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Any UK web design bidding sites?

like elance

     
2:48 am on Mar 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I am starting off on freelance web design and I tried critiquing sites for free and emailing potential clients etc all with no real results. I need to build my portfolio and was wondering whether there are any UK based sites like elance where I can bid on work. Or any other client attaining methods?
6:03 pm on Mar 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Im in the same boat as you. My ideas for building a portfolo is to build a few personal sites realted to hobies ect, Write to a few charities offering free services. Some charities are very worth while because web site addresses are placed on stationary ect so it can be a good opertunity to raise a bit off awareness towards your services. Im also going to try local press. By staying local because that way I am able to meet people on a face to face basis. Because I have sales experience this is the way I like doing things.

I hope it works out for you.

1:26 am on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I tried emailing prospective clients whose web sites needed a redesign. I gave a free critique but it wasn't well received. One person even got nasty. I decided to move away from that technique and I am considering cold calling. I get at least one call a week from someone else trying to get my business. Is cold calling worth it?
2:23 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think most will say that cold calling is one of the least effective means of obtaining clients.
2:32 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I started by sending out intro letters to small & medium size companies then following up with a phone call 3 days later on the hope that the letter would still be either on his desk or just on top of the bin, I think the problem with an email is itís too easy to hit the delete button

I did that for 12 mths, which was 4 years ago, now I canít keep up with the work, which is all from referrals now

2:40 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I am in the same boat as well (getting cramped in this boat :))

I live in the southwest, I have built a few sites of interest to myself and a few for friends. The next site will be my first real paying customer :)

Craig

6:48 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Tigger, how did you choose which companies you would contact? Did you offer your services for free or a discounted rate? Any tips for me at all?

9:11 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My next stage is to send snail mail to local companies. I am going to write each of the letters personaly and be specific about what I could do for each companys concerned.

Reason I am doing this is to avoid the spamm trap and also to get through to a few of the non web-user busines owners who surely nust have at least thought about getting a website but dont have a clue how to proceed.

[edited by: mack at 10:17 pm (utc) on Mar. 5, 2003]

9:16 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It would be good idea to buy a database from Yellow pages, you can stipulate, type of company, location, contact number and MD name :) I canít remember how much but it wasnít expensive
11:22 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I too have been there but I find the free assessment presented at an appointment is far more successful but obviously is far more time consuming. It seems to work out that locating a 50 hour job takes about 15 hours of non paying work spread between 6 or 8 potential clients to secure just one job.
12:35 am on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I would say not to do it, but guess you'll just go ahead anyway.

Cold calling won't work. Mailshots won't work. Yellow pages won't work (sorry tigger).

My advice would be to get into bed (metaphorically) with someone that can promote your web site for you, maybe offer a contra deal, get them to promote your site in return for you buidling something for them.

If you need to build a portfolio (which you probably do, but more for the commercial acumen of working to deadlines, preparing the pitch etc. rather than the portfolio itself.) then offer your services at a knockdown rate to something like a Business Link and then let them promote you to their members, stands a much better chance of being accepted if they do it for you. Chamber of Commerce could be another option.

In the last 4 years every company has been approached by hundreds of design agencies, being offered everything under the sun.

It's not price, it's not "we can do it better", it's not criticsm, it is simply "show me the money"

We don't do much web design but still get enquiries, because at one point in time I fancied we were good at it (how naive I was). I also got fed up with the constant changes of mind, the delay in providing content and all those other things I can see the savvy designers nodding about.

i-tik is a site that occasionally has design requests, but you need a portfolio to bid on design projects.

Good luck.

 

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