You’ve managed to land your first few web design clients and are wondering what the next steps are to successfully scale your web design business.
The best tip I can give you is to stay in motion as it’s easier to make pivotal decisions in your business while you’re already moving versus having to spend time ramping things up again.
Read on to learn more helpful tips you can start using right now to help bring in more customers and, ultimately, scale your web design business effectively.
1. Leverage Your Current Clients for Reviews
Word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to get new business.
Positive client reviews are a great way to build your reputation.
Don’t hesitate to ask clients for reviews that you can feature on your website.
If they send an appreciative email, ask for permission to use it as a testimonial.
Also, you can direct them to your Google My Business or Facebook page to leave a review.
Good reviews there will be a great boost for your visibility and make potential clients feel confident in your services.
2. Try to Upsell Your Current Clients
Once you’ve earned the trust of your current clients with a solid web design service, it will be much easier to sell them on additional services.
If you’ve already put together a functional, beautiful website that meets your client’s needs, they’ll be more likely to listen when you explain how SEO will help their site, the benefits of social media marketing and pay-per-click advertising, and any other services you offer.
This is also the opportunity to learn new skills yourself.
Once you start to see what the clients in your chosen niche tend to need, you can focus on these services and start adding them to your pitches.
3. Create a Portfolio
A strong portfolio is important for landing new business.
While it may not be as necessary when you’re first starting out, it’s important to utilize the work you’ve done to build social proof and rapport within your industry.
Once you’ve had a few clients, build a portfolio section on your website that features screenshots of the websites you’ve built, client testimonials, and anything else that features your work.
Having one place that you can send potential clients to see your work will help sell your business.
Keep it updated with your best work and feature the kinds of sites that you’d like to do more.
Leave out anything that you’re not entirely happy with or wouldn’t want to do again in the future.
Your portfolio will help clients decide if you’re right for them, so make sure it will attract the kind of clients that you’re looking for.
4. Position Yourself as an Authority in Your Niche
Once you’ve found your niche, you can begin to position yourself as an authority in designing websites for your chosen industry.
Demonstrate that you understand the industry you’re designing for with blog posts that include information about the industry you’re targeting.
If you’re targeting “veterinarian web design” for example, discuss features that are relevant to vets, like appointment scheduling, new patient information and forms, and educational information for pet owners.
If you’re targeting entertainment venues, you can talk about event calendars and online ticket sales.
Optional: Outsource Your Blog Posts
If you’re not a writer yourself, you can hire freelance writers that are familiar with SEO copywriting to help you with your own site’s content (and keep this in mind for client sites, too).
At least one new post a month is usually good for SEO – but more great content is always better!
5. Run PPC Ads
PPC (pay-per-click) advertising can help get people to your site by targeting the specific terms that people are searching for.
One of the most common forms of PPC advertising, and the one that will probably serve you best is Google Ads.
You’ve seen the ads at the top of search results: those are PPC ads. The way that these ads work is that you will bid for the keywords that you’re targeting for a certain period of time, and when your bid is highest for that specific search term, your ad will appear at the top of those search results.
Then, every time someone clicks on your ad, you’ll pay your bid amount for that click. When these clicks convert to clients, you’ll come out ahead.
If you’re interested in running an ad campaign for your business, or for your clients, there are plenty of resources for learning more, as well as tools that will help you make the most of your advertising dollars.
6. Run Facebook Ads
Facebook advertising is another way to target the specific audience you’re looking for.
Once you’ve created a Facebook page for your business, you can use their Audience Insights tool to find your audience and then target ads to them.
With Facebook Audience Insights, you can get demographic information as well as page likes, locations and languages, Facebook usage, and purchase activity for Facebook users.
These filters will help you build a custom audience comprised of the people who match your criteria, and then you’ll be able to design ads that are displayed to these users giving you the best chance of getting a lead.
One of the benefits of running Facebook ads is that the Ads Manager tracks your ad’s performance and makes it easy to make adjustments.
You can run more than one version of your ads to see what works best all in one place.
This is a great way to target a local niche and raise your visibility.
Stay in Motion and Don’t Be Discouraged
It takes a lot to start a business: congratulations on making it this far!
Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and put your struggles in perspective.
There are ups and downs in business, just as in life, and it takes motivation and perseverance to get through the tough times.
Remember to stay in the right mindset: keep an eye on your long-term goals, and stay the course.
Keep polishing your current skills and learning new ones.
Don’t be afraid to try something new if you hit a wall, but don’t throw everything out at the first failure.
The clients are out there – go get ’em!