1st rule, You must be professional at all times.
Get a website
Do free web designing for maybe like 5-10 clients.
Display your portfolio on your site, then slowly advertise in forums or give quotes to people whom have needs for web designing, showing them your portfolio aswell (showing them your own site would boost confidence to them as well)
Remember to always give copyrights to the sites that you designed and ask the users to actually keep the copyright or they could pay a fee to remove them.
The Copyright idea is actually rather ingenious. You could piggy back off of other people and do a little SEO back to your site doing that...
You also need your own professional website in which people can look at and decide for themselves if you would apply the same standards you put to your own work. As the designer, I would usually work twice as hard on my own website just so that when they are blown away by it, they could at least expect half as much... which is me just trying to finish the product.
Do a promotional of doing one free website a month for about a year, and advertise this, and this might build up a small waiting list, or some people may get impatient and just pay you a couple hundred just to move up the list or build their website.
Again, when you start out, the number one rule is NETWORKING. Your number one source of income after you get a healthy base is just referals. If you get enough referals, then you can turn around and push your rates up....
When I started, I charged maybe... $10 an hour... after two years I charged closer to $25 per hour plus fees for additional services... with occassional projects that paid $500 - $4K. Also eventually my resume was impressive enough to land me a full time job that pays $25K a year base plus full medical... so you just gotta get started and keep pushing. It took me about 4 years to get to this point, so be patient and NEVER give up.
Just my 2 cents of what determination can do for you.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Divinityfound For This Useful Post: