Beyond Design & Development: Skills to Boost Your Career

Certain skills are essential for web designers. First, you need an eye for good design, an understanding of the concepts involved, and the ability to use related tools. Beyond that, a working knowledge of code (CSS, JavaScript, PHP, etc.) will help you put your ideas into action.

We often focus on these areas – and for good reason. They form the foundation of what it takes to work in this industry.

But there’s more to running a successful freelance web design business or small agency. Skills that don’t directly relate to code or aesthetics. Rather, they’re a part of being a well-rounded professional.

In some instances, you may need them to better serve your clients. Or they may take the pain out of everyday business tasks. Either way, there’s a lot of value in learning them.

Today, we’ll explore three skills that can help provide a boost to your career. Let’s get started!

Master All Things Google

Odds are that you already interact with Google quite a bit. Using it to search for coding advice is part of being a developer, after all.

In addition, you might know some best practices for SEO. But there’s an opportunity to go deeper. You can help yourself and your clients in the process.

By studying the search giant’s latest algorithm changes, you’ll be able to pass this knowledge on to your clients. They’ll appreciate your ability to help them navigate an often-confusing subject.

Working knowledge of Google’s various tools can also be beneficial. For example, setting up custom reports in Google Analytics and interpreting the data will help clients make informed decisions.

Likewise, the data within Google Search Console offers further context. It can provide a glimpse of strengths and weaknesses in performance and usability. This data is crucial to refining a site’s user experience.

These tools are free to use, and you can charge clients for your expertise. If you’re looking to expand your service offerings, this area can be a revenue driver.

Learn the Basics of Content Writing

The need for quality content will never go away. Whether it’s a blog post, an About page, or support documentation – there’s plenty of demand.

Content helps organizations reach their audience. Plus, users need it to gain valuable knowledge. And there are plenty of benefits to anyone producing these materials.

Once again, this is a service that can be offered to clients. Procuring website content from them is traditionally a struggle. It’s often an obstacle to getting projects launched on time. By contributing your talents, you’re making money and keeping things on schedule.

But even if you’re not writing for clients, your content can still have a positive impact on your business. Blog posts that target prospective and existing clients help to establish you as an authority. These concepts can also be used in email marketing and on social media as well.

It should be noted that there are some barriers to writing. Most often, it’s a lack of confidence. The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert or technically perfect writer.

The ability to present ideas in a concise, easy-to-understand manner is the biggest challenge. Master that and you can be on your way to writing effective web content. Plus, writing tends to improve with experience. That, along with helpful tools to check for grammar and structure can further shorten the learning curve.

The ability to write content will help you serve and reach clients.

Become Adept at Record-Keeping & Organization

Web designers can get away with being disorganized to some degree. But as your business grows, it can become a drain on efficiency. Every second spent scrambling to find documentation or figuring out how much a client owes are seconds wasted.

Sloppy record-keeping can also land you in trouble. If your business undergoes a tax audit, missing documents or inaccurate numbers could make your situation worse.

Therefore, if you have a pile of papers on your desk (or a stack of important data sitting in your email), make a plan to get organized. It can provide you with peace of mind and more time to tackle your projects.

And speaking of projects, being organized is also important there as well. Using a productivity tool to track what you’re working on, what’s coming up, and when it needs to be done makes work easier. This way, you’ll be able to keep tabs on progress and be less likely to forget something important.

It may seem like a large (or even impossible) task. But there are several products, services, and blogs dedicated to organizational techniques. Take advantage of their ability to simplify the process.

The key is to start small and create manageable goals. Stick with it and you’ll remove a stressor from your life!

Being organized will help to keep your business running smoothly.

Valuable Skills That Help You and Your Clients

The skills above share a few common threads. Each can enhance your everyday routine. And, even though they aren’t directly related to web design, they do offer a chance to increase both your revenue and productivity.

What’s more, you don’t necessarily have to add them to your list of client services. The fact that you’re learning for yourself also has value. At the very least, it can build confidence and increase your depth of knowledge.

One bit of advice: if you choose to learn any of the above, start with organization. It’s a skill that can carry through to every part of your work and life.

Outside of that, the world is your oyster. There are a variety of other skills that can benefit your business. The best part is that you can choose whatever interests you.

Beyond Design & Development: Skills to Boost Your Career Medianic.

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