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  1. #1
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    Hello

    After years of waffling, I decided to give web design another shot. I've been working on a musician friend's website this past year, and I have a mockup done, at least the homepage (incidentally, I'm fairly competent in Dreamweaver and Photoshop, the main tools I've created his website in.)

    The funny thing is he doesn't even know I've done the site. Originally, I thought I would do his site for free, but I was later advised by forum members NOT to create websites for friends. So I basically created his website all this time without his knowledge.

    Do I tell my friend I've done the site, and do I continue doing it for him?

    Another problem is: since I'm just starting out, I obviously have no portfolio -- which means I can't get clients, who generally want to see past work done. How do I start creating a portfolio if I can't get hired to do projects?

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  3. #2
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    Thats where they were wrong. Create the site for your friend, create a site for a few other friends call it charity work, make sure they give you a review, and guess what they will talk about how amazing you were at it, and continue telling others, other musicians will go to his site, you will start getting customers. Show him the site, and give it to him for free. You will start seeing a client base form once you have created just a few sites.

    This will develop your portfolio and also create a client base that are spread through word of mouth, chalk it down under "advertising costs", its not free for him. If you did an outstanding job tell him and show him. This will be your best way, word of mouth (viral marketing) is the fastest way to spread things. Not only will he see it, but he will vouch for you and say "yea he did a great job i know him personally." Can't beat that sort of recommendation. It's like if you fixed your friends card because you just started a garage, and he tells some other friends, and says "yea he did an amazing job, clean, neat and did it on time, and i know him personally hes a good friend." Who will people choose? Joes Fixit Shop, or your shop who was just vouched for by someone you know.

  4. #3
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travel_man, post: 225288
    Hello

    After years of waffling, I decided to give web design another shot. I've been working on a musician friend's website this past year, and I have a mockup done, at least the homepage (incidentally, I'm fairly competent in Dreamweaver and Photoshop, the main tools I've created his website in.)

    The funny thing is he doesn't even know I've done the site. Originally, I thought I would do his site for free, but I was later advised by forum members NOT to create websites for friends. So I basically created his website all this time without his knowledge.

    Do I tell my friend I've done the site, and do I continue doing it for him?

    Another problem is: since I'm just starting out, I obviously have no portfolio -- which means I can't get clients, who generally want to see past work done. How do I start creating a portfolio if I can't get hired to do projects?
    When we advise not to do websites for friends, we mostly mean it for people who already have some paying clients, and may find it a frustrating and costly experience to work for a friend for free, and without a contract.
    If you have no portfolio, by all means do a site for your friend, and use it as a starting point for your portfolio. It doesn't have to be for free, though, even if you are not asking your friend for money. The barter system is a wonderful thing. Your friend is a musician? Ask him to mention his awesome website at his gigs, and have him tell folks who made it. Free advertising by word of mouth is a great return on your effort.
    Yoda_Girl likes this.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

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  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Exactly. It basically means don't mix business with pleasure. However, sometimes you have to take advantage of pleasure to do business. In this case, you've got the right idea.

    You need something in your portfolio, and this is the best way you're going to get something in your portfolio. You may not get paid now, but you could get paid off down the road.
    mafiya likes this.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

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  6. #5
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    I would suggest doing some research to find a local non-profit organization that does not have a website up yet. Not only are you building your portfolio, but you are also helping organizations who help the community you live in.

  7. #6
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Be very, very careful with a not-for-profit, though. It's a commonly given piece of advice, but there are some things you need to watch out for:

    1) Mob mentality. A lot of the time, the inmates run the asylum in a not-for-profit.

    2) Lack of true leadership. Quite often, it's some well-meaning relative of a friend affected by a tragedy or a disease or something that wants to help others in the same position but doesn't really have an idea how to go about it.

    3) Excessive abuse of good nature. If you do something for free, they're going to expect a lot more for free down the road.

    4) Corporate culture. For some reason, not-for-profits are more susceptible to corporate culture and things such as nepotism, apathy, and people who talk a lot but say nothing.

    5) Politics. Not-for-profits are incredibly political at times, especially when it's a larger not-for-profit and an employee leaves to join a rival. This happened with a former client of mine...a complete loser of a man somehow talked his way into the presidency of a rival, then proceeded to email myself and several others in his old Outlook contact list (which he had copied onto a Flash key when no one was looking) telling us how we could use his not-for-profit's services. There was a major battle over that.

    That's not to say "don't build a site for a not-for-profit." It just means "be careful, cover your own *** first and foremost, and be aware of what you're getting into."
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  8. #7
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    I would suggest finding 3-5 small buisness that are new, resturants or anything else like that. Show them what you can do, create the website for them and give it to them for free. I think the only reason to do it for a not-for-profit is to do it as a tax write off. (As most of us usually have a job on the side.) The reason I would suggest a small buisness is because they generally need the help and wont be overly greedy with what you ask, and need any help they can get. So help them out with what you can do, and they will thank you in spades, if you know anything about starting a resturant the person that owns it generally has worked for a few of the different resturants any them seem to know each other all the time. So they will most likely be able to help you with other customers, and they generally also do catering, and so they can name drop you to other prospective clients.

    There are a lot of people out there that have no idea how to make a website, but will thank you in spades for what you do for them.


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