Have you just received your degree in web design and development? Were you long working for a web design company and now you want to go your own way? Whenever you decide to work on your own, one of the toughest issues that you can face is reaching new clients.
All your efforts to create your own online business will go in vain unless you build your own client base. How to attract a wider audience to your business and keep them coming back? Let's take a look at the 5 most popular techniques that web designers and developers can make use of when they are getting started.
01. Web Studios Catalogue
This is a place where TemplateMonster has gathered together all web design studios and freelancers who have confirmed their high level of expertise of working with the company's ready-made themes. Known as one of the leading providers of quality, pre-designed website templates, the company boasts a collection of over 25,000 themes for any CMS and purpose imaginable.
With the intention to make sure that their clients who purchase website templates with be provided with quality customization services, the company launched a Certification Center. This is a place where web design beginners can learn the basics, and professionals can broaden their client base.
How does it work? As a freelancer or a web design studio, you are asked to pass a quiz that will check your knowledge and the level of expertise of working with pre-built themes from TemplateMonster. Once you complete it successfully, you are listed on the Web Studios Catalogue page, which is accessible to all TemplateMonster's clients.
The Catalogue includes advanced filters, making it possible for the users to search for a web design studio that is located somewhere nearby. There is also an option to filter all studios based on the type of CMS they work with. The more projects a freelancer/studio has launched, the higher it ranks on the chart, and the higher chances of getting hired they have.
Moreover, everyone who is listed on the chart has an opportunity to create their own profile. The profile page can be uploaded with a brief company history, a list of the latest projects, contact details, etc. This is a place where TemplateMonster and fellow customers can leave a review about a specific studio.
02. Freelance Marketplaces
This is one of the most proven ways to find new clients. On freelance marketplaces, you can create your own profiles where all of your skills will be masterfully listed. With most of such sites being free to join, those marketplaces that charge fees will most commonly provide both smaller pools to choose from, as well as the jobs of higher quality. Freelance marketplaces are also the place to find short-term jobs.
Freelance marketplaces are also the place to find short-term jobs. If that's what you are looking for, then you can use the opportunity to apply for a job over there.
Here are just a few of the most popular freelance marketplaces that you can opt for:
03. Use Social Media
This may seem quite an obvious tip, but being an active social media user means that you can broaden your business reach by offering free publicity. In the contemporary word, you will hardly find a person who doesn't use social media.
There are plenty of social networking platforms to choose from. You can pick those that match your business the most. You shouldn't necessarily create an account on all of them at a time.
When selecting a social media platform, think about the goals that you pursue.
- If you are a web designer and want to showcase your creative works in public, then Pinterest with its boards will be your best choice.
- Those of you looking for a place to network with peers, potential clients and partners should better opt for LinkedIn. This is a powerful tool for building strong relationships. This is a place where you can build a profile rich with keywords and remain active and engaged. What kind of content works better on LinkedIn? Professional and business related content will work to its full potential over here.
- Facebook is great for a more relaxed, laid-back content. This is a place where you can combine both fun content with all-that-inspirational and business-related pieces of data.
- Twitter is a good choice for those businesses looking forwards to keeping the users aware of the current state of things with short, snappy updates and anything that's a hot topic.
- Instagram is more about fun content, catchy videos, and memes. This is a perfect place to keep the users entertained and engaged.
When launching a social media account, think about your branding and the tone that you are going for. If you strive to look more serious and professional, then LinkedIn is your choice. If you want you/your brand to look more edgy and hip, then Instagram and Twitter are the way to go.
Additionally, to grow your business reach and find new clients, you need to join groups that are related to your business niche, the kind of products/services that you provide or your skills.
Running a social media profile doesn't mean sharing promotional content day till night. It's all about establishing long-lasting, friendly relationships with the audience, communicating with people, answering their questions, running polls, etc. Being an active social media user, by connecting with the users on a regular basis, you will soon see that work comes to you.
04. Create Killer Content
Content is a king. Using a well-written piece of content you can build your credibility as a person who knows a lot about web design and development and has a lot to share with the audience. A properly SEO-optimized post automatically boosts your chances of getting noticeable in the popular search engines.
You can share posts on your blog or opt for guest posting. The latter suggests you share your publications on web resources that work in the same industry as you. A well-written, relevant post can do wonders on your way to boosting a client base.
If you decide to create your content, there are several options that can help you grow your brand's online reach and boost the public interest in what you offer. In addition to publications on your web resource and guest blogging, you can opt for:
- email newsletters
- or any other form of presenting data to the online community in a way that makes you look both credible and helpful.
05. Do Free Things
How can this 4-letter word deal with reaching new clients and boosting revenue? In fact, providing certain products and services for free, you can attract crowds of new clients, who will, later on, turn into your loyal fan base. This is a trick that many freelancers and startups opted for when they were only starting to build their follower-base.
Offering some of your services for free is a proven way to get long-term clients. For example, if you develop website templates, you can create a few freebies just to let the users take a look at what's stored under the hood.
May such freebies include functionality that is very much similar to the premium products, yet it provides less modification options than paid offerings. Whenever a person tries a freebie and enjoys it, he will most likely want to attain more explicit and professional functionality. This is when he will opt for a premium item from your collection.
The trick works best for those users who are new to your business. It's also of great use to startups and sole entrepreneurs who are only taking their first steps in the industry.
Drawing a Line
In the end, we'd like to add that whatever way you choose, do not be afraid to act. Whether you have found only a few clients or a dozen, do your work good. Do not be afraid of experiments. Create branded social media profiles, optimize your written content, try to get on the Web Design Studios Catalogue, and see what works best to you.
If you are creating great work and provide top-notch services, then there is no reason why you shouldn't get new clients. Simply help them reach you by making your business more findable.