If you are a web studio owner or an individual web developer, perhaps, you have already faced the problem of a lack of clients.
Don't worry if this is the case.
Between us, it happens to the 70% of those who are involved in web design business.
The competition in the market is pretty tough. And there are basically two categories of the web design studios: big influential companies and all the rest.
The former usually don't have problems with clients. No offense. Don't identify the lack of clients with your proficiency level.
It rather speaks of the recognition of your brand and the ability to present yourself. You can be a heaven-sent designer, but when it comes to selling your services you don't know where to begin.
Big companies usually have professional PR managers who create their reputation and attract new clients.
So, as you see, the most successful companies in the market are not necessarily the ones who have the highest level of professionalism and solid experience, but those who have built a better advertising campaign.
We have prepared a list of the top 7 ways of how you can get new clients for free.
1. Get Yourself Included in the Web Studios Catalog
There is no need to introduce TemplateMonster.
The company has held a leading position in the web design market for over 15 years. Offering a collection of 25K+ ready-made templates they have gained the confidence of thousands of clients. At last, it has something to offer not only to its customers but to web studios and freelance developers as well.
Now, you can be included in the TemplateMonster Web Studios Catalog.
Actually, this project was launched to kill two birds with one stone.
TemplateMonster cares about its customers.
So to make sure that after buying the template the client would be provided with high-quality customization services if needed, they decided to assemble all web studios and freelancers with the high level of experience in one catalog. This is a wonderful opportunity to enrich your client base and receive new orders on regular basis. You can be included in the catalog at no cost. The only requirement is that you will have to pass a test to confirm your proficiency level.
To get you prepare you for the test, TemplateMonster launched its Certification Center. It provides a knowledge base on the basic web design and development topics. However, if you feel confident enough you can start the test right away. It is not difficult and won't take you long. If you pass the test successfully you will receive a certificate, which verifies your high level of experience.
When you are included in the catalog, you can create your own profile. You can include your company's history, your projects, and contact details. There is also space for reviews from TemplateMonster and your customers. Prospective clients can use advanced filters to search for the closest web studio.
2. Get Listed on Freelance Marketplaces
Don't hesitate to create your own profile on WordPress freelance developer marketplaces. We've looked at how to hire developers from marketplaces here.
This is one of the best and sure-fire ways of finding new clients. You can create a highly informative profile, describe all your skills and experience, attach the examples of your projects. Moreover, you should not sit and wait until the client comes across your profile. You can apply for the jobs yourself. Freelance marketplaces offer lots of opportunities to take on a short-term projects.
Most of the marketplaces are free to join. Here are the most popular ones:
If you are highly skilled, and are ready to pass a number of high tests, to get included in the very exclusive top talent marketplace, you might want to check out and register as a freelancer with Toptal.
3. Use Social Media to the Maximum
Social media plays an important part in the life of our society. And it would be foolish not to use this opportunity for the benefit of your business. The number of social networks is really enormous. Do you need to join all of them? Not really. First of all, you need to analyze who your clients are and which social networks they use. Here are some useful tips.
- LinkedIn is a must-have for those who are searching for partners and potential clients. Here you can build a professional profile rich with keywords. It allows you to create strong relations with your colleagues and clients.
- Facebook is, perhaps, the most popular network. Unlike LinkedIn, it is better for laid-back content and relaxed communication. Just remember, don't sell, build an online community.
- Pinterest is an ideal choice for a web designer, as it provides a great opportunity to showcase your works.
- Twitter will help you to keep your clients updated about the latest news regarding your company.
- Instagram will serve to entertain your clients and to keep them engaged.
Choose the social networks to join depending on your needs. Create a detailed profile, stay active, join communities and groups related to the web design niche. However, remember to use social networks not to sell, but to build relations with your audience.
4. Pay Attention to Your Own Website
No one would trust his website to a company that can't optimize their own one.
It goes without saying that the design and functionality of your website should be on point. Make it as user-friendly and intuitive for the user as possible. However, this is not the major factor.
To assess your highly functional website the clients need to find it first. So optimize you website to show up in the SERPs.
To influence your position in search engine results you need to have your name mentioned throughout the web. Here are several simple steps you can take right away:
- Use portfolio websites like Dribble to set up your account.
- Ask your friends, colleagues and acquaintances who have their own blogs, websites or accounts in social networks to link to your website.
- Communicate with popular web design blog owners and write guest posts for them.
- Join online communities, groups and forums relevant to the web design niche.
To be aware of how the things stand you can Google yourself. It is a good practice, which can also indicate your weaknesses. Moreover, it is always interesting to know what other people find when searching for your website.
5. Provide Killer Content
The phrase "Content is a King" sounds pretty hackneyed nowadays.
Still, it doesn't make it less essential.
A well-written article will assist in creating a positive image for your brand, showing you as a real web design professional. This also increases your chances for higher rankings in search engine results.
Besides, you don't necessarily need to limit yourself to the textual content only. The more creativity you would put in, the higher will be the response.
Here are several ideas you can use:
Perhaps, your blog section won't bring you hundreds of new clients at once, but it will surely help to create credibility and recognition of your brand on the web. This is one of those long-term perspective ways.
6. Offer Free Stuff
This magical word "free" can do you a good turn.
Offer special deals, promos and discounts.
If you are creating website templates, provide your clients with a freebie. Let them test the quality and functionality of the product they can expect to get from you. If the user enjoys the free product he will most likely want to buy the premium one with extended functionality and customization options. The main advantage of the free resource is traffic -- it gets people through the door. Plus, the free resources allows you to demonstrate your skill and expertise; it's as much a sales pitch as a service.
Creating a website for your customer you can also present him with a small bonus.
It can be a design of a business card or flyer, anything that doesn't take too much of your time to create, but would be appreciated by the client. A satisfied client is more likely to recommend you to the others.
7. Find Your Anchor Client
The term "anchor store" is typical for the retail trade.
In a shopping mall, an anchor store serves as an attraction that draws the clients to the smaller stores. It is not the anchor store itself that generates the main profit for the owner, but the small shops.
This principle can be applied to the web design area as well.
One anchor client in your portfolio is enough to attract dozens of smaller profitable clients.
How can you catch such a big fish? First of all, you need to identify the company that is well known and carries weight in your region.The niche doesn't matter.
Now you need to hook them in any way and by any means. A good idea would be by offering them a redesign of their website giving reasons for every modification you make. This will show you as an expert in your area.
Or you can offer to create a brand new website for them with a huge discount. You can even do it for free. Don't hesitate. You will gain more later on than you might lose up front. Seeing such a big fish in your portfolio, new clients will willingly pay handsomely to have their website created by your company.
As you see there are plenty of ways to attract new web design clients. Some of them will bring instant results, some work better over the long term. Trying several of them working together you will be able to achieve a positive outcome in the shortest possible period of time. Anyway, you should not be afraid of experimenting and trying new things. Your main goal is to learn to sell your services. This is your key to success in the web design business.
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