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Even if you’re a professional web designer with extraordinary talent and a diverse portfolio of projects, figuring out how to get web design clients and promote your business may be a difficult task.
There are two types of business owners: those who wait for someone to post business opportunities, and those who actively go after strangers and convert them into paying clients. At some point, every freelancer or agency has realized that they need to be the second type to survive in this marketplace.
In this post, we’ll see several strategies on how to get web design clients quickly and effectively.
1. Use your social network
While we find most of our B2B clients on LinkedIn or other business-oriented platforms, you may also find B2C or individual clients on other social networks, such as Facebook or Instagram. As always, you should develop an audience persona to determine your objectives and social media marketing strategy and to identify where your potential customers spend their time.
To establish yourself as an authoritative voice on social media, you should create a professional-looking business page with samples of your work, experience, and personality. Yael Levery is an excellent example of how to get web design clients; she has more than 22K followers, and she highlights stories that have the information required to market herself.
This way, the prospect may swiftly and simply view your expertise, personality, and possibly your portfolio. Regardless of which platform you choose, follow these tips around these four elements.
Your social bio should include a keyword that your ideal client may search for, such as a web designer. Also, find a hashtag that your ideal client would use on their social media posts.
For instance, if you are searching for a course website project, your ideal clients would most likely use hashtags such as #healthcoach, #yogaclass, #training, and so on.
You should generate content that moves your followers and connections from awareness and interest in the material to decision and action with you. So, you should provide content that the ideal clients could search for, such as what their anxieties are, what questions they may have, and what aspirations they may have.
Business relationships or engagement
When you first begin connecting with your target clients, you should attract their attention and raise awareness about your business or service.
When you comment on their posts, for example, you should seem professional and make a lengthier, more in-depth answer, and specific to what they are sharing.
Many web design agencies have recently launched a YouTube channel to acquire new web design clients. They talk a lot about design innovation, and then they seek clients that need help with design creation and find them.
2. Create valuable content for free
While writing blog articles can help you generate leads, they may not help with how to get web design clients that pay. So, you may need more valuable content that converts, such as a case study, infographic template, video, or white paper that demonstrate your expertise and establish a relationship, which might eventually lead to a paid project.
For example, you can look into creating a case study based on the work you’ve done with certain clients. This tactic will allow you to showcase your creative process and demonstrate how your work can transform potential clients.
While offering your services, share your case studies with potential clients. You may share your content through Facebook or LinkedIn groups, email newsletters, social networks, and other channels.
However, the only issue with content marketing is that it’s a long game. You must do it consistently over a lengthy period, and you must begin doing it long before you see the results.
It is, however, worthwhile since people become aware of your brand, begin to understand what you do, and develop an interest in you. So, they’ll want to work with you to fix that problem someday.
3. Offer niche services
If you want to know how to get web design clients, you need to offer services that will make you stand out. So, essentially, you focus on something specific, such as a particular location that you would service, the types of industries that you may target, or the service you offer in a specific industry.
If you are a web design agency, you may, for example, only provide website funnels, landing pages, or e-commerce stores. You may also even target only businesses that are lawyers, dentists, or beauticians, among others.
It’s hard to figure out how to get web design clients if you don’t specialize in any specific niche. On the other hand, focusing on a specific industry will help you gain a competitive advantage over others who try to serve all niches. We take this approach at Lform, where we focus almost exclusively on B2B manufacturing clients.
A great example is Finsweet which is a web-flow development agency. All of its messaging and activities revolve around web-flow development. They become the go-to experts for anything related to web flow.
That has served them well since they became a massive agency and everyone in the web flow community is aware of Finsweet.
You may create a more focused profile as a “web designer for MedTech Startups” instead of a general “web designer” page. It may sound like you limit the number of businesses you may reach out to and target, making it challenging for you to find new clients. The truth, however, is that you’re making things simpler for clients to find you quickly.
This type of profile will also help you target your SEO more effectively as niche clients would like to find web designers who have worked with similar businesses.
Another example of niche services is an Idaho-based marketing agency called Nifty Marketing, which only services legal businesses and does nothing else. They started by offering their services to doctors and dentists. They narrowed down ultimately on law firms.
4. Partner with freelancers and other web designers
If you’re running a solo web design business, you need to take advantage of all the opportunities you can find. Around 81% of freelancers recommend work to each other. If you don’t tap into this market, you’ll lose out on a lot of opportunities.
Creating relationships has the potential to propel your business to the next level. It may double your ability to attract new clients and expand your funnels. You’ll also be able to take on bigger, complex projects since you will be working with a broader range of partners.
Furthermore, it might assist you in learning new approaches, tools, and processes. It increases your understanding of how to accomplish things while also developing your management abilities and communication skills. You can even learn how to get web design clients from more experienced freelancers and designers.
Look for an expert or a successful freelancer who has to outsource web design services to other freelancers since they don’t have the time or the ability to accomplish it on their own.
You should seek out freelancers with complementary skill sets.
So, if you’re a designer, you shouldn’t seek out any designers. Instead, reach out to copywriters, animators, and web developers. You can find collaboration on LinkedIn, meetings, via cold emailing, and through freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. Freelance platforms make it easier to filter potential partners.
You may strengthen your relationship by exchanging advice, sources, free help, and so forth. It is also beneficial to provide a project to other freelancers who need it if you decline it.
5. Upsell your existing network
If you currently have a client base, you should strive to maintain them since they are your most direct, quickest channel to increase revenue.
They are more likely to trust you to solve their problems due to your unique relationship with them. That makes them the best people to upsell your new services or products.
So, to upsell to them, you should first develop the habit of asking questions, fostering communication, being responsive, and paying attention to the types of issues and challenges they have. By generating communication, you can learn more about their issues.
Ask yourself what the logical next step is from what you just offered them. Then you should provide your clients with valuable materials. Include something that complements your existing service. Send an email to those clients with detailed, focused recommendations on dealing with the various situations they may face.
Also, try to come up with innovative ideas to improve their business. Find out what else your clients are dealing with or where they are wasting time, and then address how you may save them that time.
If you’re working on a new product, keep them updated on your progress and the product creation journey as you go. Customers that are involved in your journey might be some of your most powerful advocates.
6. Ask for referrals
Word of mouth is far more effective than regular outreach since it is a reliable source of your abilities and skills.
Current clients are the ideal persons to ask for referrals. Since they have a current relationship with you and are familiar with the quality of your work, they can credibly represent you to others.
You may also ask your old coworkers or colleagues, copywriters, photographers, or web developers to recommend you to other potential clients who may need your goods or services.
You can’t afford to be shy if you want to learn how to get web design clients. Instead, you should be confident about the services you offer and your general body of work.
To make it easier for your client to provide a high-quality recommendation, you can provide them with a simple email template, with a simple statement describing what you provide them and how. Consider the template below, which you may send to your web design clients to fill out.
I am writing to recommend [name]. [He/She/They] worked with us at [company] as a [job title] and [reported to me/worked with me] in my position as [your job title].
As an employee, [name] was always [insert quality]. During [his/her/their] time in my team, [his/her/their] time in my team, [he/she/they] managed to [insert example].
I’ve always put a premium on [insert quality] among my team members and [name] never failed to deliver. An example was when [insert example].
[Employee_name] is a delight to work with and I wouldn’t hesitate to hire [him/her/them] again.
Should you have any further questions about [name], feel free to reach me at [phone number].
That way, they won’t have to put in as much effort, and you’ll have more control over how you position yourself and what you say. You may also use social media, such as LinkedIn since it is easier and faster.
7. Join industry-specific job boards
In addition to the general job boards such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn, organizations, and recruiters use specialized job boards to post industry-specific positions and backgrounds. These job boards allow you to arrange work, find quality clients, and search for and apply to a more significant number of opportunities.
Some are free, while others require fees to post jobs or gain access to the necessary information you need as a freelancer.
It’s possible to start a full-time business just from the work you receive on freelance job websites. Here are a few of the reputable choices we prefer.
At first glance, you might not see what makes SolidGigs different, but the tools offered to take this platform to new heights. Start by signing up to receive top-tier freelance gigs in your inbox every week, then browse the library of education and other tools that help you excel in your field. The value is second to none.
Professional freelance marketers rely on FlexJobs to provide positions from some of the top companies. Every job posting is screened carefully by the team. This level of security ensures that you won’t get wrapped up in a scam.
Upwork is one of the most popular freelance platforms around. It was formerly named Elance-oDesk, but changed its name in 2015. There are opportunities in every field, including web design.
Fiverr operates differently than many of the other platforms. You post your services and a flat-rate fee. Then, those looking for web design will reach out to you directly. If you take the time to market your skills, you can find a lot of success on this site.
Currently, about two million clients are using PeoplePerHour. To stand out from the other freelancers, you want to post a portfolio of your work. This simple action helps others to see what you can do.
8. Create a landing page that converts
Part of knowing how to get web design clients is learning to create a landing page for your website. As a designer, your portfolio or landing page is your most crucial tool for selling yourself and converting website visitors into paying clients or just gaining their email addresses and contact information. It’s proof of your skillset and professional experience.
Of course, throwing everything you have at the wall to see what sticks is never a good idea.
Every visitor to your site will be different, which means they will be interested in various aspects. For example, some visitors may be particularly interested in price, reading testimonials, or visiting the FAQ page. So, your landing page should be well-structured, with easy-to-find sections.
A professional portfolio will have an effective contact page that is easily accessible and easy to use. It’s a good idea to create a contact form that pops up whenever somebody lands on the homepage. Also, try to make it your own by adding a personal touch. Rather than listing everything, create a brief bulleted list of what you offer to make it simple and easy to read.
Take a look at the Elegant Seagulls landing page, which includes case studies. It boosts their credibility and trust among prospective web design clients.
Of course, you want to create a powerful hero section with a strong title, sub-header, focused messages, and high-resolution images –combining different elements like skies and custom designs– that convey quickly and provide visitors with further detail.
Also, it would be great if you could take social proof a step further and obtain at least one video testimonial. Last but not least, it’s best to stay away from technical jargon. It may indeed show off your expertise, but it does not encourage communication with your potential clients.
9. Run a cold email campaign
You may create a list of prospects to contact to get new web design clients. You can use online services like LimeLeads and UpLead for this. So, to begin, try not to copy-paste the same content because this can get flagged as spam, and these ideal clients will be much less likely to reply if it isn’t suited to them. Use their name and add a personal touch or anything else that would entice them to respond.
You may check over their website to see if it meets the latest criteria.
Perhaps they weren’t implementing a practical approach to their website. Then, you send these prospects information on how your services may assist them in resolving their problems.
So, they will go check out your portfolio or website and respond to your email. Consider this email template. You may offer prospects your services in the form of recommendations based on your analytics.
Avoid a generic email with no personalization with a menu of services, no call to action, poor English, and a commercial subject line. If they reply but aren’t fully engaged, you may ask them what they’re having trouble with within their business and encourage them to respond that way.
10. Get active on freelance marketplaces
The benefit of freelancing markets is that they enable information transparency, allow potential buyers and sellers to communicate, and allow the market to operate without interruption.
So, there are two ways to attract web design clients through freelance marketplaces. The first is to search for projects and bid on them by writing proposals, or you can set up a profile, and clients will find you and ask you to work on their projects.
So, if you are active and receive a decent rate from your clients on the platform, you will appear in searches and be more likely to gain clients organically.
Some advantages of marketplaces include that if you don’t have a website or portfolio, you may create a profile and upload all of your previous work and information in one place, and you don’t have to create a website.
Additionally, marketplaces frequently include features such as a time tracker, work submission, and payment options.
Some things to keep in mind: you are limited to the projects on the site. If you try to take your client’s contact information, several sites may block your account.
Also, some disadvantages include a lot of competition from talented individuals worldwide. That can make you think heavily about reducing your rates.
Web design might be a creative field, but it requires a business mindset to make things work for you. Knowing how to get web design clients involves knowing how to make your business visible to potential clients.
If clients can’t find you, you won’t find them. You have to reach out to them to make them aware that your business exists.
Aside from advertising your business through your website, there are many methods you can use to expand your reach and attract more clients. For example, you can create content and share it on social media. You can also run cold email outreach campaigns to introduce yourself to potential clients outside of your social networks.
By taking a strategic approach to client acquisition and business development, your web design practice will grow like it’s never grown before. Good luck!
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