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12 Ways to Get Web Design Clients

Whether you’ve been building websites for years, or just starting out, finding new customers is the key to growing a successful web design business and generating a steady stream of passive income. Take the guesswork out of finding clients in your area and check out these 10 ways to generate local leads so you can start selling more websites today.
 
 
1) SiteSwan's Local Prospecting Tool
 
SiteSwan’s Local Prospecting Tool lets you search for local businesses in your area, see which businesses do and DON’T have a website, and create a ready-to-sell demo site with just a few clicks. You can even check which sites are mobile-optimized and which need improvement.

Start by entering a keyword or industry like “Restaurant”, “Painter” or “Plumber” and enter your city & state or zip code. Our Local Prospecting Tool delivers a long list of nearby businesses complete with their contact information and whether or not they currently have a website. Remember, just because a business currently has a website, doesn't mean they don't need a new one. Be sure to check out all existing websites to see which are due for a redesign. You can learn more about the Local Prospecting Tool here.
 
 
2) Current Customers or Clients
 
If you already have a business that serves small business clients, this is the perfect place to start selling websites. Complement your other products and services with an affordable web design package. Start promoting your new web design service by  getting the word out among your current clients. Call or visit some of your best clients who you think might be interested in a new website and offer them a free design demo to show them what you are capable of.

Building sites for your clients will not only increase the value of your existing services, but will strengthen your relationship and create a new revenue stream. It's also a great way to package web design with your other products and services to create even more value. Be sure to include marketing materials in your invoices, email blasts, newsletters, mailings or in your publication promoting your new website design services. 

 
3) Inner Circle of Family and Friends

We all know someone who owns a small business, whether it's a family member, friend or neighbor. Use your relationship as the foot in the door and offer to build them a new website for their business. Most business owners would prefer to work with someone they already know and trust. If deciding what to charge family and friends becomes an issue, consider offering a "friends & family discount" with a lower or zero start up fee, but keep your monthly fee the same. The initial discount will help you build your client base fast and the residual monthly income will pay off long term. Friends and family also make great sources for referrals.


4) Local Chamber of Commerce 

You might be surprised on the level of support local chambers of commerce provide to local businesses within their community. Most chambers offer regular scheduled meetings allowing you to network with other local businesses owners. This is a great way to meet business owners face-to-face, earn their trust and sell your web design services. Most members prefer to shop locally and will be happy to support a fellow community member. You may even want to consider offering a special "Chamber Member Discount" to help get the ball rolling.
 
 
5) Professional & Community Organizations 

Similar to a Chamber of Commerce, most towns offer other professional organizations that local businesses owners can join. Whether it's your local Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, or other community organization, these are all great opportunities to rub shoulders with fellow business owners and network. Membership fees are generally extremely affordable and joining can help you build your credibility within the business community.
 
 
6) Your Marketing Website

Your own marketing website is a great way to promote your business and can be a 24/7 lead machine. Professionally designed, easy to use, with a clear call-to-action and contact form, your website can provide a steady source of leads into your sales funnel. The #1 goal of your website should be to generate interest and encourage visitors to submit their information for more information or a free design demo. With a wide range of online advertising options including Google AdWords, you can create highly-targeted ad campaigns that effectively attract thousands of local businesses actively searching for a website provider, and push them to your website. 
 
 
7) Sales & Marketing Materials

Flyers, brochures, business cards, and email blasts are all great ways to promote your business and generate leads. Check out the Resources section of your SiteSwan Dashboard for a growing selection of white label sales and marketing materials that you can rebrand and hand out to local businesses.
 
 
8) Social Media

Engaging in social media is a great way to promote your business and generate leads. It's effective, proven and generally free. Whether it's Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or any other social media platform, social media enables you to network with millions of professionals and business owners around the world. Start using social media for much more than just a medium to share comments and photos with friends. With the ability to promote specials, make announcements, post coupons, and run contests, you can leverage the reach of social media to build your own web design business.
 
 
9) Host a Seminar

Hosting a local seminar or taking part in a public speaking opportunity is a great way to not only generate leads, but build your credibility and position yourself as a local expert in your field. Even local libraries allow you to host a free seminar and invite local business owners. Choose topics that will appeal to local business owners who might need a new website. Broad topics such as digital marketing ideas, benefits of a website, and using the internet to grow your business allow you to touch on your web design services while supporting it with real facts and trends.


10) Website Redesigns

Never ever pass up a business or a lead just because they already have a website. Just because a business has a website doesn't mean they are happy with it. So many small businesses fall victim to old, outdated, or just plain ugly websites. Maybe it's because they think it's too expensive, maybe their original designer disappeared or maybe they just don't know where to start.

Some businesses are paying hundreds of dollars per month for what you can do for a fraction of the price and would jump at the opportunity to save money by switching their site over to you. Just because their current site looks good, doesn’t mean you can’t sell them a more affordable solution that looks just as good.

The truth is website redesigns are often easier to sell and easier to build. You don't need to convince a small business owner they need a website if they have one already. And adding content to their new site is easy when it's already available on their old site.



11) Referrals

Getting a referral is one of the best types of leads, because they often times are already sold on your services before they talk with you. Once you get a couple of clients, you will likely find them recommending you to other business owners who are in the market for a website. You may even get referrals from non-clients - people who like what you do and your pitch, and who trust you. To maximize referrals, it's best that you ask for it. Inquire if they are close with other business owners who could benefit from a new website at an affordable price. Because referrals are a form of word-of-mouth advertising, which is very precious, you might want to incentivize people to refer your business.

12) Paid Advertising

Paid advertisements are one of the more traditional ways to get clients, and has been around for a long time. You can advertise in print by running a local ad or get postcards printed and mass-mailed. You can also invest in digital paid advertising like Google AdWords or Facebook ads, both of which let you tailor your message to a specific niche or segment, and highly target potential customers that way. The end goal of paid advertising is to get people to call you or visit your website to make contact.
 

Final Thoughts...

Fact is, nearly 50% of small businesses in the U.S. still do NOT have a website. That statistic may be hard to believe but it's true. There are plenty of potential customers right outside your door. Just start knocking. Use the tips in this article to discover opportunities in your area. Being proactive with sales and generating leads is the best way to grow your web design business and generating a significant income.

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Please free to get in touch to let us  know what you think or if you would like to learn more about SiteSwan.