Job description of an Web Designer Consultant:
As a web designer, I’ve designed four websites, and handled all aspects from concept to graphics, animation, coding and scripting. I am also responsible for providing ongoing website support. I perform changes and updates to reflect the evolving nature of companies. I also manage and monitor the web presence of companies, with special attention to web 2.0 strategies through blogs, forums, etc. Then, I also help develop web branding, through logo and image design, as well as digital advertising.
PayScale: What motivated you to become a web designer consultant?
I had two primary motivations leading me to become a web designer consultant. My first motivation was to use as many of my talents as possible. I’m naturally inclined toward design and enjoy creating things. I also like to communicate, articulate, and coordinate. Being a web designer consultant allows me to use all of my natural inclinations, to provide solutions and serve.
My second motivation to become a web designer consultant was that I wanted to work for myself. I traded the benefits package for being my own boss (to some degree). I get to work from home and choose my hours, which is only tempered by being on-call at all times.
PayScale: What do you love about being a web designer consultant?
I pretty much love everything about being a web designer consultant; it's close to my dream job. Not only is the work satisfying, but the salary of a web designer consultant is quite decent. Plus, I get to initiate a majority of my work. My bosses expect me to be proactive, and I love that.
Recently, when one of my clients hired a new boss, I was called in to meet with her. I discussed with her an assignment replacing their outdated website. She already loved the design template I submitted prior to meeting, and was actually giddy about putting it out there. I then explained that beyond just a prettier face, the new site would also have better organization, more intuitive navigation, and serious content gaps would be filled in. I then summarized my evaluation thus far, asked the necessary start-up questions, and described in detail a three-point solution to filling in the content gaps. Following that, the new boss looked at the other boss, and they high-fived each other for having the sense to use my services. I kid you not.
PayScale: What are the biggest challenges you face as a web designer consultant?
Discipline. Ironically, the need to be my own boss means I have to boss myself around. I can easily spend fourteen hours a day on my computer, and although it may be productive time spent, it might not necessarily be billable. I can skip a lot of meals because there's no set routine, and no one saying "We're heading to lunch, ya coming?" Sitting around that much, combined with occasional binge eating, I've gained some weight over the past year.
PayScale: What advice would you give to those interested in becoming web designer consultant?
Have a clue about what you want. Once you get focused, then be stubborn. You have to believe in yourself, realizing that you're always a work-in-progress and can learn whatever is needed when it is needed.
PayScale: What's the most exciting thing that has happened to you as web designer consultant?
I took a lower web designer salary than what was initially offered me. But I did my best to always deliver beyond what was expected, and my "suggested" pay increases at six months and a year were happily proportionate.