Just about every agency or freelancer asks themselves: “Where can I find new web design clients? What can I do to capture more qualified leads? How do I keep my marketing funnel full?”
No matter how passionate you are about your web design business, to be successful you need to have regular clients.
So let’s take a look at some tactics to help you find a steady source of web design clients for your business.
Sending out proposals
Regardless of whether you enjoy writing proposals or not, sending them out is a very effective way to find your new web design clients.
Using a proposal to pitch new business to cold leads is quite a common way to gain new clients. A lot of businesses will issue a request for proposals (RFP) online, so this is a great way for you to bid on a project and gain some visibility for your business.
Of course, it’s helpful to know where to look for RFP opportunities online. For a start, you can look at the RFPDB website for RFPs to respond to. This is a free database that allows you to browse RFPs from different business sectors, so you can find work in an industry that you are more familiar and comfortable with.
Look on job boards
Third-party marketplaces will list potential new client projects on their job boards and allow web designers to bid on them.
Or in most cases these platforms also allow you to join as a seller and post your web design business information and hourly rates so that you can be approached by potential clients.
As a web designer, you can take advantage of both services by scoping for client projects to bid on, while potential clients can approach you to work with. To do this look at platforms such as Upwork, People Per Hour, Guru, and Freelancer.
The downside to third-party marketplaces such as these is that they take a commission fee from your earnings, but most web designers are happy to take this because of the convenient service that these platforms provide.
Effective content marketing
Content marketing is a superb way of helping to build your business credibility. By allowing people to see what you can do they can be impressed by your work.
Yes, it takes a lot of effort to build up your valuable content and to keep on producing fresh, useful and interesting content, but there is no denying that it works!
These days content marketing has become mainstream and users actively seek out fresh content to consume.
You can understand why you should be putting a lot of effort into producing content for your business when you consider that WordPress users alone create about 70 million new posts each month. Another example is Facebook with an average of 500 million stories shared daily.
With people’s attention switching heavily to the mobile market, they rely on searches to get fresh content that is relevant to them, such as blogs that are kept up to date that rank well on Google.
Attend business events
This can be an effective way to attract new clients to your web design business if you are confident enough to do in-person cold pitches.
If you enjoy meeting new people then attending business events can give your company some visibility and you can leave a positive impression with key staff members attending these events.
Look out for opportunities to attend web development conferences, computer trade shows, and events held by industries you are interested in working with.
This is a great way to create new business network connections that you can add on LinkedIn, establish new partnerships and even co-marketing or collaboration arrangements with a complementary business you come across.
Using client referrals
If you already have a well-established list of happy customers, then you can leverage their previous experience with you to help find new web design clients.
It is worth creating a referral process for your business if you haven’t done this yet. Word of mouth remains the most powerful means of advertising for your business, so you should be taking advantage of this great opportunity.
It’s a great feeling to know that your previous clients are happy with your work so it makes sense to encourage them to talk about your work to others. If your work is good, then the world should know about it, right?
Remember that each of your happy clients has a whole network of like-minded people around them. Who better to spread the word about your web design services than a happy customer willing to sing your praises.
Personal recommendations score high when trying to attract new clients, but you can also encourage your happy previous customers to remain loyal to you and come back for return business by rewarding them for referring you.
You could offer them a discount off their next project with you for successfully referring a new customer to you.
Keep in touch with your previous customers
While it can be easy to treat each new web design project as a single job, it is incredibly important to maintain a good working relationship with your previous clients. If your clients were happy with your work then there is every chance of landing repeat business with them, but unless you keep in contact with them they may forget about you when the time comes for a web refresh or upgrade.
Your previous clients can be a source of repeat business and low-hanging-fruit to fill your marketing funnel with. What if your contact moves businesses and their new boss wants to find a good web designer?
If you maintain a good relationship with them they will be more likely to recommend your web design services to their new boss.
This is another good reason to keep your inbound marketing up to scratch to attract new clients to you.
If your previous client has moved on to new pastures and is recommending your services to their new boss, what will he or she find when they Google your business name? You need to make sure that your website is the money-making asset it should be.
Passive inbound marketing tactics, such as your website blog and business social media pages, LinkedIn profile etc. will give you a solid base to build off when establishing new prospects, so remember to maximise your passive inbound marketing channels to attract new web design clients!