From Zero to Hero: How to Start Finding Clients for New Web Design Companies
If you run a new web design company, then your biggest challenge is going to be finding clients. Creating websites for a living is a pretty sweet deal after all; you get paid to be creative and to do something you probably would have enjoyed anyway!
The problem is that this is a very competitive market and finding opportunities is going to be hard work to begin with. So what do you do? Sure, you could try and do some SEO for your own website but that’s not going to start paying off for a while and you’re going to be going up against much bigger competitors with much greater marketing budgets.
The smarter move then is to go around those big fish and look where they’re not looking. From there, you’ll be able to start building up a reputation, generating some contacts and finding some repeat business. Here are some suggestions as to where you can begin looking…
Should You Use Freelance Sites?
One common place to start is with freelance sites which are specifically designed to help professionals find clients online. Some of the best options are:
You can even try Fiverr.com, which is a site where you can sell any service for $5 but then charge more for extended versions of that service. For example, you could charge $5 to design a logo but then charge $500 to design a full website.
Using these freelancing sites, you can then try to find work and potentially even outsource that work to companies offering white label services. Note though that you shouldn’t rely entirely on these types of sites: the value of work on offer here tends to be fairly low and the amount of work you have to put in to find a high quality client to work with.
This is why larger companies tend to shy away from freelancer sites and instead use their own in-house sales teams. But as a starting point as you’re initially growing, it’s a great place to build up some contacts and start making a name for yourself!
Webmaster and Marketing Forums
Similar to freelance sites is to try a webmaster or marketing forum like Digital Point Forums or Warrior Forum. These are sites where online businesses discuss their trade and also buy and sell services, providing a great place for you to advertise your web design.
Thinking Outside the Box
Then again though, you can also get more creative and start thinking outside the box. One less obvious place to look is Reddit over at reddit.com/r/web_design. Not only will you find other web designers here (who often share their markets) but you’ll also find people looking for web design, or people who need a little help. The same is true of many online communities on Google+ for example, or Facebook.
LinkedIn also has some relevant groups you can join and you should definitely sign up over at CrunchBase to list your organization. These are particularly good for finding high quality B2B clients.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, be sure to try contacting businesses in person. Take a stroll down your local high-street and look for small stores, restaurants and businesses that might need online representation.
The danger when growing from a small independent web designer to a big business is that you might risk taking on more than you can chew. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you should always have a contingency plan for dealing with large volumes of work. One option? Let ColorWhistle handle some of the brunt work for you in the background. We provide a wide range of design services and have low rates that ensure you won’t eat into your profit margins!