4 tips to find more website design clients siteswan

4 Tips to Find More Website Design Clients

Published on January 24, 2022

If you've recently made the switch to become a web designer, you're not alone. Just in the United States, thousands of people become web designers each year, with the field expected to grow 13% by 2030.

But a growing field brings with it a higher level of competition. Expertise alone isn't enough to bring in a client base. To grow your web design business, you'll need a more comprehensive strategy.

We've created the following guide showing you the best way to grow a web design business. In just a few minutes, you'll not only know how to find web design clients - you'll know how to find the ones you want the most.

1. Optimize Your Agency Website

Just like you wouldn't trust a hairstylist with bad hair, you wouldn't want a company to design your website if their own doesn't look on point.

What's more than that, you're likely aware as a web designer that SEO plays a large factor in attracting new clients. SEO-optimized websites will rank higher and be visible to larger, more relevant audiences. Websites that aren't Google friendly will get lost.

Optimizing your website for SEO, then, is perhaps one of the best ways to grow a web design business organically.

Not sure where to start with creating a marketing website for your web design business? We’re here to help! SiteSwan provides all of its website resellers with a professional marketing website they can use to promote their agency.

When customizing the marketing website for your business brand, be sure to add your company logo and colors.  Here are a few elements to keep in mind during the design process…

First, your website should display all of the capabilities that you give your clients: beautiful design, user-friendly experience, creative page structure, and SEO-friendly practices. Think of your website as a showcase of your talent and an inspiration board for potential clients all in one.

Make sure your website includes a portfolio of your past client work. If you've only had a few clients to date, a few mock-up websites in your portfolio will do the trick, too.

The look of your website should make your strengths apparent. Keep in mind, though, that your website isn't just about appearance. Equally important is how people will find your website. Don't spend too much time agonizing over your site's colors or nuanced design choices.

Instead, think about how you can optimize your site to get the most traffic by focusing on your SEO strategy.

Use this checklist to make sure you're setting up your website for the highest rankings on search engines.

1. Include your company name and the area you serve throughout
2. Make sure your contact information is accessible from every page
3. Craft search friendly content that speaks to your target audience
4. Format content into short lines and paragraphs for readability
5. Add meta descriptions including a title, description and keywords for every page
6. Submit your site to search engines
7. Add external and internal links
8. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly (built on SiteSwan, it will be)
9. Fix any broken links
10. Make sure your site is equipped with an SSL certificate (built on SiteSwan, it will be)

11. Avoid flash or outdated programs that aren’t compatible with today’s browsers
12. Replace any low-res images with high-quality photos

With this checklist, you'll address both the technical and content elements of your website for maximum impact on your search engine ranking positions.

2. Find Your Niche

If you visit job boards like UpWork and Fiverr, you'll see listings of web designers and freelancers promising to do it all. While this may initially seem like a tactic that will attract as many new leads as possible, it ends up making you blend into the crowd.

Identifying your niche will let you play to your strengths and generate more of the leads you want, and you have a few choices to distinguish yourself from your competitors.

First, you can market to the specific industries that interest you. Do you have experience working at a nail salon or restaurant? You can target them first. Or maybe you have a green thumb and enjoy landscaping.  You can use your knowledge of the industry to speak confidently to prospective clients and better earn their trust.

Once you decide on the industry you want to target, pitching your web design services to clients becomes much easier. You'll have a specific problem you can solve and be able to “speak their language”, making your business stand out from the generic solutions and marketing offered by everyone else.

3. Go to Your Clients

As great as it feels when your inbox is flooding with messages from new clients, it's much more likely that you'll have to seek out those new clients yourself. But going to your clients is actually a good thing; it allows you to be more selective in who you work with.

Effectively engaging prospects and generating interest can be a challenging task, but with the right approach you will find that there is substantial value in incorporating direct sales into your strategy, which can ultimately help you close more deals.

Direct sales is still one of the most effective forms of marketing today. Cold calling, email, and visiting businesses face-to-face to pitch your web design services can be extremely effective. It's all about being proactive, putting yourself out there, and staying committed.

You can also be strategic about the platforms you use to reach out to your clients, which will help you form your dream client base. Social media is one of the best ways to reach out to your audience, and almost 100% of Fortune 500 companies use social media for this reason.

Take LinkedIn, for example. It's a gold mine for B2B marketers. In fact, 92% of them use LinkedIn as their top marketing platform.

What's more, 80% of B2B leads generated from social media come from LinkedIn. If you're looking to attract new web design clients, it's time to get on Linkedin.

Now consider Facebook. Facebook is the most widely used social media network and one of the most casual.

It's a great place to post more laid-back content and talk to your clients in a more relaxed tone. The strategy here is to build a community on Facebook rather than always pursuing a hard sell.

Less popular but also effective is Pinterest. Many business owners and creatives look to Pinterest for inspiration and design tips.

Create a Pinterest profile to showcase your work in the form of images. This platform also allows you to promote ads that flow seamlessly into the rest of Pinterest's feed, which will then guide viewers to your website.

While you can take advantage of free digital strategies to attract more clients, many companies combine a strong online presence with paid strategies.

Platforms like Google Adwords and Facebook Ads are worth considering if your marketing budget allows. However, paid strategies don't come without caveats - only 15% of trackable traffic comes from paid search, and only 5% comes from paid social media. Organic is still the best way to go.

Regardless of how you communicate with your audience, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to personalize their experience. Generic posts and mass emails aren't enough in a modern landscape in which people receive hundreds of emails a day.

Instead, segment your audience based on target demographics like experience or industry. Then, write social media posts for specific audiences, send out emails to relevant recipients, and reach out to individuals based on their interests.

4. Ask For Referrals

Referrals are key for service-based businesses, especially when those services require an initial investment of thousands of dollars.

Recommendations from trusted sources are the most effective form of advertising, meaning that people will make choices based on the opinion of a close friend or family member way before they'll trust a spread in a magazine.

Ask past clients to spread the word about your business. To gain more traction, offer an incentive, like offering 15% to both your client and the person they referred.

Take a look around your business network, and don't be afraid to ask for referrals. Consider teaming up with someone from a complementary industry. For example, you could reach out to local marketing businesses and agree that you'll both send clients each other's way for your respective services.

And if you don't have a large client base built up yet, you can still leverage referrals to increase web design business clients. Instead, ask people in your professional network to refer you based on the skills you've demonstrated that show your competence as a web designer.

For instance, say that you have a longstanding relationship with a former employer who admires your attention to detail and work ethic. A referral coming from this person can still mean a lot, even without mentioning your web design skills.

You don't have to only look within professional settings, either. Look to your family and friends to support your growing business. Explain the importance of your developing business and ask if you can approach them or someone they know with a business proposal or sales pitch.

Grow Your Web Design Business With SiteSwan

While no business is an overnight success, you can follow these tips to help you land web design clients – whether it's your first or your next. After all, the success of your web design firm will depend primarily on the number of web design clients that you have. So optimize your own website, pick a niche, be proactive with sales, and as for referrals – and do it today!

For more web design business advice, articles and tips, check out the SiteSwan blog.


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