When you just start out as a web designer, getting clients for your business can be hard. You’re caught in a Catch 22 situation where you need clients to get experience and portfolio but you can’t get clients because you have no experience and no portfolio.
However, there is no reason to despair as there are a number of proven tactics that you can use to fill up your design calendar. In this post, I’ll show you physical and digital marketing tactics you can use to get more clients for your web design business.
Physical Ways To Get Web Design Clients
Marketing your web design business physically is guaranteed to get you results as you’re often face to face with a prospective client and can establish the relationship easier and faster than using digital marketing tactics. Here are a few physical ways to market your business.
- Tell family and friends – the easiest thing you can do for your new web design business is to tell your friends and family that you’re looking for clients. They might just know a person who needs a website.
- Events such as WordCamp or local neighborhood councils – attending events in your neighborhood and community is a good way to connect with other small businesses in your area. Those businesses can then turn into your clients.
- Leave your business cards in local restaurants or coffee shops – local restaurant and coffee shop owners usually know other local business owners in your area. As such, they can be a great source of referrals for your business.
- Tell your local establishments such as church or city events about your services. Chances are members of your community would be more likely to work with you than complete strangers.
- Referrals – use past clients, your network, and even other web designers as a source of referrals for your web design business.
- Get testimonials – testimonials from past clients are the best way to build your reputation and instill trust in potential clients.
- Create a portfolio and show them what you can do
- Cold calling and emailing – yes, those methods still work. The most important thing to remember is to be polite and to get past the front desk person
- Run GTMetrix on their websites and share the report. This gives you the perfect opportunity to tell them how you can help fix their website.
A word of advice here is to go after clients who are in industries that are guaranteed to have the budget needed for a web design. This includes industries such as attorneys, dentists, doctors, gyms, and similar.
Digital Ways to Get Web Design Clients
If you want to have a holistic approach to your marketing strategy, you’ll also need a strong digital presence. Here are a few different ways to market your business digitally.
- Web design tutorials – show them what you can do. By sharing your knowledge and showing your skills, you build trust and reputation.
- Facebook and Google Ads – make sure to target your local area if you want your Facebook and Google ads to convert well and pay off
- Keep long term goals in mind and consider hiring an SEO company to help you rank in Google
- Online directory listings – list your website in online business directories
- Create a Yahoo or Quora question or answer questions on those sites and include a link to your website.
- Look for old websites on the Internet, get in touch with the owner, and show them how you can improve their website
- Make a clean and professional email signature and add it to every email you send out
- Go look On Craigslist.org for your local area. Many people are looking for help. Search for WordPress and you are bound to find plenty of people looking for WordPress and website help.
- You can also post on Craigslist in Services > Small Business Ads.
- Join forums and Facebook groups and provide value to other members. If they allow business promotion, don’t be afraid to link to your website
- Create Google My Business listing – this can help you get found when someone searches for a web design business in your local area
- Create a Yelp Business listing – in a similar fashion as Google My Business, Yelp can get you found in local searches
- A few other directory websites include Yellow Pages, UpCity, Thumbtack and Dexter Knows
- Write blog posts on web design. You should write posts on your website and you can even use a service like iwriter.com if you aren’t a fan of blogging. Another thing to consider is guest blogging on other website as this will not only put you in front of a new audience but also give you a backlink to your website.
- Consider streaming yourself live on Youtube as you design a website. This can be an actual client website or a fictional website and theme that you can sell as a digital product for extra income.
- Create educational information that helps your ideal client with a problem they have. You don’t always have to be blogging about web design, you could also post about running a successful business, marketing your business, and other information that helps them make more money.
- Create a social presence. Start a Facebook page, create a profile on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms and make sure to fill out your profile completely before actively engaging in marketing. Then, start sharing your content and promoting your services.
Fortune Is In The Follow Up
Now that you’re armed with a list of different ways to get more clients for your web design business, there’s one more thing left to do: remember to follow up with your leads!
The easiest way to do this is to create an Excel or a Google Spreadsheet and add all those companies to it. You can then use that spreadsheet to keep track of the initial contact and to remind yourself to follow up with them.
Follow up is necessary because most of these companies won’t hire you on the spot, immediately when you call them or email them. But if you politely follow up after a couple of days, your chances of closing that client grow exponentially.
Getting clients for your web design business can be hard but it’s not mission impossible. Use the tips in this list to start marketing your web design business and soon, you’ll be booked out months in advance.