Securing a Steady Flow of Clients for Your Web Design Business

Aside from a constant lack of time and an ever-growing to-do list in life and work, finding clients can be a massive stressor for many business owners. An issue especially relevant for freelancers and smaller organizations lacking a business development team to win clients for them.

Whatever the size of your web design business, securing clients throughout the year is a top priority. Here are some powerful ways to achieve this without taking too much time away from what you do best, web design.

Research, Research, and a Little More Research

It’s market research time, folks! Maybe you already did this when you first started and now don’t see a need to repeat the process? Or you’ve never done it and don’t know where to begin. Either way, there is a point in everyone’s business journey when growth requires initial or additional research.

Research, Research

You can never know too much about your consumers’ preferences concerning your product or services. Conducting market research will keep your business strategy targeted and on track to gaining a steady flow of clients. Research also helps you to stay ahead of your competitors and identify relevant web design trends. While there are many ways to do market research, there are three common approaches.

**A quick disclaimer** Focus groups are not included in the recommendations because they require a lot of time/resources, and participants and mediators alike can easily skew results. Aka, the effort isn’t worth the return!

Surveys

Surveys are cost-effective and relatively easy to achieve as they require minimum effort from the responder. You can use platforms like SurveyMonkey or Typeform to create your survey and then capture and collate response data. Surveys are fantastic for solopreneurs/freelancers with time and budget constraints.

Interviews

A one to one conversation with someone from your target audience is one of the most effective market research methods. You can gain a powerful and unique insight into their thinking and customer experience.

Meaning you can adjust your service or product as needed and better understand how to market your business. Gaining an interview for market research can be difficult, but it’s worth it for the results. If your ideal customer can’t make a face to face interview, conduct it via video.

Useful Questions for Surveys and Interviews

Frame your questions in a way that identifies:

  • Who the customer is, e.g., a small business owner
  • Their main objective concerning your product or service, e.g., growing their business online.
  • Anything thing that is stopping them from achieving their goal, e.g., a lack of technical expertise

Here is a final tip, avoid bombarding participants with loads of questions (experts recommend three) and keep them short and sweet.

Customer Observation

Customer observation is one of the most insightful methods of market research. During an observation session, a member of your ideal customer base will interact with your product under, you guessed it, observation; in this case, a website you’ve designed.

Customer observation sessions are best when conducted in person and within a ‘natural’ environment. Meaning they are better suited to large scale web design agencies with existing resources (e.g., the office space) rather than smaller outfits. But as the results are so profound, it’s well worth consideration for every web design business at some stage.

Ensure Your Website Is Engaging

One of the first things a potential client will consider before working with you is the standard or your online space. Think of your website as an ongoing portfolio that showcases what you can do for others. Now you are armed with all that delicious market research, adopt a targeted approach to your site that converts viewers into clients.

Consider your ideal customer’s profile (who they are), potential reasons for needing a web designer (their primary objective), and how your service can help them achieve their business goals. Weave these considerations into your onsite copy — if writing isn’t your jam, hire a copywriter and provide them with the research to inform their work.

Ensure that your website is painless to navigate and choose fonts that are easy for viewers to digest. Visual elements like graphics and photos also help to engage visitors. If you are looking for something quirky, experiment with graphic design resources like SVGs from Design Bundles, or outsource some work to a graphic designer for an extra special touch.

Use Social Media To Network

Use Social Media To Network

Social media is another effective way to receive incoming business inquiries. Woo! Make your time on social media count by using that epic market research data to inform your activity and encourage inbound business by:

  • Honing in on the platform(s) where your ideal clients are likely to frequent — remember it’s better to do one social media platform well, rather than ALL of them half-heartedly.
  • Using market research results to inform your social media content — use the same method as discussed for website content.
  • Making sure the business details on your social media platforms are up to date and accurate — imagine your ideal client failing to reach you because you have listed the wrong number on Facebook, erg!

You can also engage in outreach activities via social media to actively find clients when you have gaps in your schedule. Use LinkedIn to connect with CEOs or use remote work-oriented Facebook groups to respond to advertised requests for web developers.

Provide an Amazing Service

You’ve probably heard this last piece of advice a million times already, but it bears repeating. Provide fantastic service to your customers. When you do a tremendous job, you build long-lasting customer relationships and develop an excellent business reputation.

Not only will loyal clients provide repeat business, but they are also more likely to offer word-of-mouth referrals to people in their network. Given that research shows over 90% of consumers trust referrals from people they know rather than advertising, this is a worthy pursuit.

Word-of-mouth (positive or negative) travels fast, especially in the digital age. A negative product or service experience can see you rapidly blacklisted, whereas a positive experience will see client referrals snowball throughout various business networks.

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