Love web design? And Squarespace, the SaaS company for website building? Why not combine the two, become your own boss, work from home and tap into the $40bn global web design industry. Find all you need to know on starting a Squarespace web design business.
What is a Squarespace web design business?
Squarespace is a website design and web building tool, used to give companies a quick and simple way to develop an online presence. It does so by leveraging the power of pre-built templates that web designers can then edit to make it their personal site or that of their clients.
Web designers can quickly and easily answer questions within the Squarespace tool to choose the ideal site they’re looking to build or select from popular pre-built website categories including Online Stores, Health & Fitness, Professional Services, Travel, Entertainment and more.
Using the Squarespace tool, designers can then offer their web design skills to build websites for businesses and personal clients in return for a fee, typically between $500 to $5,000.
Training needed to open a Squarespace web design business?
A college degree or qualification is not required in order to open a Squarespace web design business. Experience in the web design field and graphic design or business management is encouraged but not needed either.
There are certain free and paid courses available online to learn the basics of Squarespace design and use the Developer Tool to show how they are built. A good web developer should be able to dissect any website’s CSS and HTML, understand all of Squarespace’s templates and use Squarespace 7.1 to design any kind of site.
Undertaking a CSS course will also be advantageous. CSS stands for cascading style sheets and this is a coding language that’s used to style and color a website. Other useful courses include branding, SEO and graphics courses to cater to your clients specific requirements.
Apart from the technical element, investing in an online business development or Squarespace freelancing course will help you get your business up and running and understand how to charge different hourly rates, negotiate freelancer costs, on-board new clients, how to find clients and client tracking.
Client communication and expectations management is also important to ensure clients are fully aware of project timelines, limits and parameters.
7 tips for opening a Squarespace web design business business
1 – Become an Squarespace expert
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the Squarespace platform. While it is very practical to use and easy to use, the best thing you can do to further your career as a designer is to learn all the details of a Squarespace site.
Some clients give a lot of importance to university degrees and academic experience, so if you do an online course, you will prove to your potential clients that you are a prepared freelancer, who has studied how to get the most out of this platform.
Certainly, having a web designer career is not a requirement to become a freelancer, but taking online courses will help you a lot to become an Squarespace design expert. Your training experience will stand to you when clients request more complex additions to the website and you need to adjust the CSS.
2 – Create A Portfolio Website
A portfolio website is a web page where you can showcase all the work you have done building previous websites using Squarespace. This is essentially your shop window and way to showcase your talent and expertise, a practical way to allow your clients to visually judge your skills.
It will also increase the chances that you and your work will be found by prospective clients searching for Squarespace web design services online. When creating your website using Squarespace, make it attractive, and add a touch to your personality. This will inform clients as to what they can aspire to.
Having a portfolio website with your own domain which bears your name or the name of your brand will also add professionalism to your image and prospective clients will know that they are dealing with someone who takes their job seriously.
3 – Learn How To Optimize The SEO of Your Pages
By optimizing the SEO of a website, you will make the page receive more visits and be useful for users. Squarespace includes SEO tools and its own analytics panel, which makes it much easier to track a website’s statistics on a day-to-day basis.
Since this is one of the best advantages Squarespace offers, you must learn to get the best out of it as SEO is the main interest of many clients. This means that you should learn how to allow access to search engines of the content of the page.
4 – Equip yourself with the right business tools
To ensure your business runs smoothly, it’s in your best interest to equip yourself with powerful and efficient tools. In particular, you’ll need to:
- Open a business bank account
- Obtain a Virtual card terminal to allow customers to pay with card
- Use accounting software to record day-to-day financial transactions and/or use an online accountant
From an inventory point of view, you should consider your:
- Computer – the most important piece of equipment for web design. Ensure you choose a fast processor and big screen to allow you to quickly and easily work on the web design. Invest also in a large hard drive and plenty of memory.
- External monitors – These will prove to be very useful when digging into code or comparing design elements on multiple screens.
5 – Market your business
As your established business or your new Squarespace web design business gets ready to open the doors, you will want to invest in marketing your Squarespace web design business like crazy! Marketing like crazy doesn’t have to be expensive however but it should be well-thought-through.
Take care of the basics like developing your logo and brand, set up your website, open your social media accounts, and reach out to bloggers and local media. You may also need a total make-over and rebranding, so you will want to figure that into your overall budget.
Communicating about your activity and collecting the opinions of your customers is a good solution to engage your customers in your project and to improve yourself, always with the pursuit of customer satisfaction.
A Google Business page, a professional website, a presence on social networks are good ways to talk about your Squarespace web design business, attract new customers, retain them and create a community around your activity.
Choose a couple of platforms and learn them in and out. For a Squarespace web design business, get on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to share your work, projects, and other useful material and write about your work with blog posts.
If you spend time on social media, be sure to post content for when your followers are most active to maximize the engagement. Ensure your images that you post on Instagram are eye-catching, photos that will make your audience stop scrolling and click onto your profile to see more.
Accumulate Good Testimonials And References
When you are starting to work as a freelancer it is likely that you still do not have many clients in your history to have good references, but you can make collaborations or free work for a friend, family member, or foundation and thus obtain honest reviews that help you promote your job.
A good reference from a client is the beginning of achieving another new design project. Most companies get new contracts because ‘another’ previous client recommended it. That is why you must do your best to have happy customers and to make your work speak for you.
When you finish a project, you can ask the client to refer you to their acquaintances or to those who need a similar service. Also, send them an email thanking them for the opportunity to take charge of their project and take the opportunity to suggest that they write a comment that will serve you for your new clients.
6 – Join Job Platforms
Freelance job platforms such as Fiverr are of great help for web designers who are looking to get their first freelance project. In these freelance platforms, you will find a great variety of projects to which you can apply and that are suitable for Squarespace designers.
At first, it may seem a bit tedious to do a job search on these websites, but with patience and effort, it will be worth it. You should take the time to see how each platform works, what are its peculiarities, how much job availability there is in your area, and thus start applying for job opportunities.
Having a good reputation will help you land other better job opportunities and where you will receive higher pay.
7 – Connect with the Squarespace Design community
You can find these communities in Facebook groups or by following designers on other social networks. Belonging to a community of designers specialized in Squarespace will allow you to keep abreast of news, recommendations and advice directly from others who already have a track record designing with this platform.
On the other hand, being in these groups will also increase your chances of finding work or connecting with potential clients, since they also usually publish job offers.
You can also interact with other designers, share your work with them and they will take you into account whenever they need someone to help them with a project or to suggest your services to a client.
Which business structure should I use to open a Squarespace web design business?
When setting up a Squarespace web design business, you’ll need to think about what business structure will work best for you.
In the case of web design businesses, we advise you to choose one of these legal forms:
- A Limited Liability Company (LLC) for one or multiple owners
- Sole proprietorship if you own an unincorporated business by yourself
LLC’s are often preferred as, unlike a sole proprietorship, their business structure in the U.S. protects its owners from personal responsibility for its debts or liabilities.
An attorney or accountant can also explain to you how to open a Squarespace web design business or you can choose a professional company formation service. These services offer excellent legal advice and business formations at a fraction of the price of a traditional attorney.
Good to know: The budget needed to open a Squarespace web design business depends on the investments needed for your business, computer hardware and whether you need to rent an office or coworking space. Prospective owners should budget for between $500 to $3,000 depending on the above items.
How much can you make as a Squarespace designer?
Squarespace designers charge over $3,500 for a custom website design and $75-$125 per hour for helping clients with an existing website.
How much does Squarespace charge for web design?
Squarespace offers four premium options, with monthly license prices between $16 – $65 depending on the service tier and whether you prefer to purchase monthly or for the year.
How do I become a Squarespace web designer?
To become a Squarespace web designer, you’ll need to take either free or paid courses to learn the basics of Squarespace design. Undertaking a CSS course will also be advantageous as will a branding course, SEO and graphics courses to cater to your clients specific requirements.
Tom is the founder of Gottagrow.io. He reads the offers, deciphers the details including features, pricing, included services and more to find you the best products and services.