Sander de Wijs - Wordpress Designer - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Sander de Wijs - Wordpress Designer

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  1. FREELANCER INSIDES Sander de Wijs – Wordpress Designer More interviews with freelancers on © 8/25/2015

  2. Sander de Wijs is an expert in web design and also psychology. What does psychology have to do with being an IT freelancer you might ask? Well, our freelancer of the week explains it this way: it really is all about triggering the desired human behavior, no matter if in psychotherapy, marketing or web design. Want to hear how else he explains why it is a perfect combination? Then read on... experienced in 8/25/2015

  3. 1) First off, can you tell us a bit about yourself? My name is Sander de Wijs, @sanderdewijs on Twitter, and I live in Voorst in the beautiful countryside of the Netherlands. This is also the location of my office and provides a great amount of inspiration in my work. My main job is designing and developing great looking and functional websites. Besides this I also enjoy writing content and help clients to effectively market their website on Social Media. I started working as a freelancer in 2012. 8/25/2015

  4. 2) If you would search for your profile on Google, which are the three keywords you would type in the search bar? If I had to describe myself in a few words it would be 'Creative, Hands-on, Full-Stack WordPress designer with a unique mix of several trades'. 8/25/2015

  5. 3) What was your inspiration and when did you actually decide to become a freelancer? I thought about working freelance for a long time. The biggest inspiration in actually becoming a freelancer is my wife Daisha. She has been a freelancer her entire working-life and inspired me to take the final step. Even though my job as an IT problem solver for the Dutch government paid very well, it wasn't satisfying. At first I had the idea of helping people as a coach or therapist and took classes in psychology, human behavior and group dynamics for a few years. In 2008 I discovered that I had an eye for design and liked creating websites. 8/25/2015

  6. 3) What was your inspiration and when did you actually decide to become a freelancer? (Cont’d) By the time I was ready to quit my job in 2012 I already had some experience in web design and CMS like Joomla, WordPress and Drupal. At that point I decided to make a living out of web design instead of psychology. After a while I found that web design and marketing is really all about triggering the desired human behavior. So I could put all that psychology to good use after all. Much later I read a quote by designer Joe Leech(@mrjoe) 'A designer who doesn't understand psychology is going to be no more successful than an architect who doesn't understand physics'. And he is absolutely right! 8/25/2015

  7. 4) What kind of services have your clients asked you to provide? • (Re)Design: Most of my clients start out by not being satisfied with their website. This can be because the website looks outdated or there aren't enough conversions. They ask me to redesign their website and improve the overall performance. To achieve improvements, create a great looking modern design that reflects the clients business and rewrite website content to make it more appealing to the visitors. And most important the designs are all mobile friendly. this I make technical 8/25/2015

  8. 4) What kind of services have your clients asked you to provide? (Cont’d) • Custom WordPress Development: Since 2012 I chose to specialize in WordPress for website development. My experience with WordPress is that it's very user friendly and the way it is built made sense to me. Because of this specialization I now develop custom WordPress themes, add functonality and customize plugins. There are quite a few clients who love their website design, but want to have it rebuilt as a responsive WordPress theme. Other clients want to have extra functionality built into their current WordPress theme. 8/25/2015

  9. 4) What kind of services have your clients asked you to provide? (Cont’d) • Content Creation: Another service I get asked for by clients is content creation. New content is increasingly important for improving your business ranking in search engines. It's also a great way to keep your customers visiting your website because you offer them valuable information on a regular basis. Most entrepreneurs simply don't have the time to write new articles for their website so they contact me. We have a cup of coffee once a month, the client tells me what's going on in the business and I write a story about it. After it's finished I send it to the client for review and publish it on their website. 8/25/2015

  10. 4) What kind of services have your clients asked you to provide? (Cont’d) • Marketing and Crowdfunding: Last year I received a lot of demand to help clients promote their websites and services on Social Media. This is a similar approach as the content creation. I take care of the technical/marketing aspects of the Social Media campaigns. I target the best audiences, write appealing headlines and publish at the best possible times. The client can then focus on having the conversation with his/her clients on Social Media. This year I took care of the Social Media marketing for a Crowdfunding campaign that helped raise more than twice the goal amount. 8/25/2015

  11. 5) Do you use other freelancers or companies to provide skills that you don’t possess? I enjoy working with other freelancers, but don't do so very often. I have all the skills needed to fulfill the demand of my clients. In some cases, for example when I wanted to create background movie like in for a client, I reach out to other freelancers in my network. 8/25/2015

  12. 6) What about Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with our IT-network? Last year I tried several websites to find work for remote clients. I like freelancermap because it's easy to navigate and search for projects. The thing I appreciate most about freelancermap is that they're very easy to contact. If I have a question I reach out and get a personal reply within a day or so. Other remote job websites are mostly anonymous and impersonal. At I felt right at home and I'm confident it will bring new business. 8/25/2015

  13. 7) How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? What makes you special? I have a unique mix of several trades which cover both technical and social/psychological aspects of design. Web design for WordPress is my speciality, using HTML, CSS and Javascript with modern tools and standards. I also have a good understanding of PHP, writing content and understanding human behavior which is essential for creating a good User Experience. Last but not least I ask the right questions to my clients, helping them to determine what is most essential for their business and use that in my designs. 8/25/2015

  14. 8) What are the top three books, blogs or magazines you read to stay up to date in the IT-market? My favorite website for keeping my skills up-to-date is They also have a great blog. For future trends in web design, coding and IT I check a few times a week. My favorite book is 'You're my favorite client' by Mike Monteiro. This is a must for freelancers working with clients directly (and it's a fun read). Mike also gave a brillant talk '13 Ways Designers Screw Up Client Presentations' on Generate NYC in New York. 8/25/2015

  15. 9) Freestyle! Is there anything you would like to tell our readers? The most important skill I learned while freelancing is selling something without trying to sell it. I focus on learning about the client’s problem that needs to be solved, and showing how I can help. It makes them feel at ease and establishes a base of trust. And if a client doesn't need my help at that time, he/she will remember the nice conversation. Making it easier to them contact me in the future. And they do so regularly. 8/25/2015

  16. 9) Freestyle! Is there anything you would like to tell our readers? (Cont’d) The other thing I learned while freelancing is to never compete on my fee. There's always somebody out there who will work for less money. If you have a profession you have invested a lot of time and money to get where you are now. So let your fee reflect all that invested money, time and experience. And use that to convince the client that they will be better off with you in the long term. This way you will still love your job ten years from now. 8/25/2015

  17. Further freelancer interviews available on Contact Contact person: Doreen Schollmeier - International Affairs Mail: Skype: doreen.schollmeier Phone: +49-911-37750286 facebook: Twitter: freelancer_INT © 8/25/2015