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Top 10 Ways For Web Designers To Find New Clients


TOP 10 WAYS FOR WEB DESIGNERS
TO FIND NEW CLIENTS

(c) Copyright 2002 by Tom Mulkern

Given the “dotcom” bust and the global recession of the past
18 months it can be difficult for Independent Web Designers
to put food on the table these days. However, the business
is out there -- you just have to be a little more aggressive
in finding it. Based on our own experience and that of hundreds
of Web Designers who have used our Web Hosting services over
the past five years, here are ten of the best ways to find
new clients for your web design shop this year:

1. Contact Local ISP’s. Most Internet Service Providers offer
a few MB of webspace or hosting accounts to their customers.
However, most don't offer website design services. Contact
local ISP's and offer a generous referral fee if they send
business your way. This tactic has worked very well for some
of our Resellers. Note: It's important to help the ISP's
promote your service by providing them with some marketing
materials they can send out by email and snail mail to their
customers.

2. Local Networking. Time and time again, web developers
have cited this as one of their primary sources of new
business. You can’t do business sitting on your behind in
front of your computer all day! You need to devote some time
to getting out and meeting local business people. This is
most easily accomplished by joining local business
organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and the
Rotary. If you keep active in these groups over time you
will establish yourself as the person to go to for any
web-related services. Always be sure to carry business
cards, or better yet, full-color postcards to handout with
a screen-shot of your website or web design portfolio.

See http://www.web-cards.com for some great business card
and postcards ideas.

3. Online freelance sites. There are number of sites now,
such as http://elance.com, where you can find listings of
web projects open for bid. It is true that you will be
competing with many bidders for these projects but don’t
let that stop you these are businesses that are ready to
buy now. A good strategy is too bid as low as you can
initially in order to get your foot in the door with a
given company. If you do a good job and delivery it quick
the company will naturally go back to you for additional
work.

4. Create a community business directory. This is a great
strategy that is often used but rarely done well by local
web design firms. By creating a community business
directory you accomplish three things. First, you now have
a database of all the businesses in your local area your
primary target market! Secondly, you have now created a
legitimate reason to get in touch with them. And finally,
when you do contact them they will not perceive it as a
sales call; rather, they will thank you for providing such
a valuable service!

5. Ask for referrals. As soon as you land a client and
sign the contract, you should immediately ask them for 3
other businesses they know of that may be in need of your
services. Right when you’ve made the sale is the best time
to ask for referrals, don’t wait until the end of the
project. Remember, you need to keep filling up your sales
pipeline with pending projects to keep the cash coming in.
When you call your client’s referrals be sure to mention
the person that referred them and offer something additional
such as a small discount or free consultation for the
referral.

6. Write articles and free reports. Writing short articles
on Internet Business and Web Development is a great way to
get your name out and generate new clients. You can submit
articles to your local print media, Chamber of Commerce,
and business publications. You can also syndicate this
content online for online publications and websites. One
short article can go a long way in generating new business.

7. Focus on a niche. By narrowing your focus it will be
much easier for you to find new web design clients. It’s
tough to be everything to everybody. Look at your existing
client base and think about the industries your best
clients come from. Pinpoint the best two or three and then
focus your effort to only those types of businesses. It’s
easy to get leads for specific industries from list brokers
such as Info USA (http://infousa.com) and others. You can
then contact similar businesses and let them know you
specialize in creating websites just for their type of
business. Tell them about the specific tools you can install
to help their business increase profits, save money, and
gain an advantage over their competitors.

8. Smile and dial. Telemarketing can be a great way to
find new business clients when done properly. The best way
to do it is to start with a free offer that will help you
qualify the lead. For example, if you create a community
directory, you can then simply call the businesses in the
directory and let them know they are entitled to a free
listing. This will give you an opportunity to chat with
them and see what their needs are. You can then email or
fax them a brief form asking for a description of their
business to post on the community website. Let them know
when it’s up and then send them full details on your web
development services. From there it will be easy to set an
appointment.

9. Send postcards. Direct mail using postcards can be a
very effective and cheap way to get the word out about
your services. If you use full color postcards you can
even showcase screen-shots of some of the sites you’ve
designed. Always offer some type of free offer on the
postcard, such as a “FREE Website Analysis,” “FREE Search
Engine Readiness Review,” etc. in order the increase
response.

10. Follow up. Follow up. Follow up. There is an old adage
in marketing that says it takes at least seven contacts
before a prospect will purchase. This is as true in selling
web design services as it is with anything else. No matter
what marketing tactics you use, remember that you must
relentlessly follow up with people that have expressed the
need for your services. If you keep in touch, a good
percentage will eventually become clients.

There you have it, ten of the best ways to find new clients
and increase your Web Development business this year. But
remember, none of them will work unless you use them. So stop
fiddling with your computer and get marketing!

About the Author

Tom Mulkern is the CEO of OnNet Web Hosting (http://onnethosting.com), a provider of Web Hosting Services, featuring 50% discounts for Web Designers
and Resellers. They also publish the email newsletter, “Marketing
For Web Developers.” For a FREE subscription, send an email
message to: mwd-request@onnethosting.com, or visit
http://onnethosting.com/mwd.html.

Tom Mulkern