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Chapter 23. Turning Pro: Becoming a Paid... > Street Cred: Web Design Certificatio... - Pg. 269

Turning Pro: Becoming a Paid Web Designer 269 · Make sure your own site is always up-to-date and well-designed. Nothing turns off a prospective client more than an ill-maintained business home page. · At the bottom of every client page, put a small, tasteful logo that links back to your site. (Make sure your client is okay with this.) · Show samples of your work on your site. You don't have to restrict all your promotion efforts to cyberspace. Here are some ideas for adver- tising your business in the real world: · Get business cards or flyers made up and plaster them around town in grocery stores, com- munity centers, and other appropriate public spaces. · Check to see if local businesses have a web presence. If not, send them a proposal. · Create free pages for churches, charitable organizations, community groups, and schools. · Chat up the nerds at the local computer or electronics store. Be sure to leave them a stack of business cards so that they can refer people your way. · Advertise in community newspapers. · Give talks or presentations to local computer user groups, community groups, clubs, or even the Chamber of Commerce. Webmaster Wisdom If you decide to start your own web design shop, or even if you're seriously thinking about it, you'd do well to check out a mailing list called hwg-business. It's run by the HTML Writers Guild and it covers most aspects of running a web design business. You can find out more about it here: dex.html. Street Cred: Web Design Certification As I said in the previous section, getting your new business noticed is vital if you want a steady stream of contracts. One good way to do that and to assure prospective clients that you really know what the heck you're doing is to get some kind of web design certification. There are tons of certif- ication programs available, but the following are among the most respected: · Association of Internet Professionals--This is more of an umbrella group that exists to, in a sense, "certify the certifications." See Page Pitfalls