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Readers Respond: What Are Some Great Ways to Find New Web Design Clients?

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What are some of the ways you've found new clients for a Web design business? Do you find networking works best or do you prefer advertising? Have you advertised online or do you stick to postcards and flyers? Learn some of the tricks that other Web designers have used to find new clients and share your own successes.

mehhhh

just go to templatemonster and buy websites for 60 bucks.. that's why web design is a dead industry
—Guest uop

Web Designer

I think there's a LOT of speculation and false information about freelance web design. This is NOT a 8-5 job, this is more like a 8-midnight job. The truth is, and I'm a freelance web designer myself, that you will be working more on marketing and obtaining clients, then doing the actual design/coding!! I'm a chamber member in my local city, and even that hasn't provided many new clients at all. I would suggest that if you want to spread the word about your site and services, consider affordable internet marketing campaigns as these are MUCH MORE affordable then SEO. Don't waste your money on monthly SEO if you're a new business. The U.S. market is heavily populated with web design companies, so this could play on the difficulty of getting new clients. I do agree with the guest above that establishing trust and connection with a client in-person is a good way to possibly gain new clients. It takes a great deal of time in this economy!
—Guest Rob Stathem

Grand Openings and Coming soon

I look mainly for grand openings and coming soon, and check if they have web presence if not I offer my services. I work on a referral basis only, that way I am not overwelmed.
—Guest Hans J. Whitaker

Position Yourself So Clients Want You

Thanks for writing this article Jennifer. As for finding web design clients, there are many ways to do it and I don't think the career is dead. In fact, I believe the opposite. Many corporate type environments are inefficient, sloppy and the world is flattening. The talented person will be more efficiently put in a place where he or she is most useful. This person is very much the freelancer, independent or even small team partner. As for web designers, their role will evolve as technology and business evolves. But right now, there are lots of businesses that need a web designers help. The trick is how to find those clients. I, instead, encourage you to think "position." How do you position yourself so that clients are finding you and want what you have to offer.
—KennWebGuy

THE Best way to find web design clients

Thanks for writing this article Jennifer. As for finding web design clients, there are many ways to do it and I don't think the career is dead. In fact, I believe the opposite. Many corporate type environments are inefficient, sloppy and the world is flattening. The talented person will be more efficiently put in a place where he or she is most useful. This person is very much the freelancer, independent or even small team partner. As for web designers, their role will evolve as technology and business evolves. But right now, there are lots of businesses that need a web designers help. The trick is how to find those clients. I, instead, encourage you to think "position." How do you position yourself so that clients are finding you and want what you have to offer. Kenn Schroder Pro Web Designer
—Guest Kenn Schroder

I agree with No above

There is no money in web design any longer. There are just TOO many people doing it, from all over the world, for much much cheaper than is humanly possible. One might say there are so many carpenters but all of them survive - true but a carpenter in new york does not have competition from a carpenter in peking that's willing to do the work at 1/10000th of the price. Besides, everybody knows that cheap carpentry = bad image for the house: but not as many know/agree that cheap looking website = bad image for the business.
—Guest Agree with No

no

Web design is a joke industry.. there is no money in web design unless you're 16 years old and are building people web sites for $80
—Guest no

Call the cars

ive gotten 100% of my clients in the last 2 months by calling the businesses that have advertising on their cars. I simply ask what their website is, and if they say they don't have one i pitch my web practices spiel to them and I close by setting up a time to meet in person. workin wonders for me!
—Guest kyle

It's all about Google

I've run a web design firm since 1999, and 90% of my clients have come as a result of them finding me on Google when they typed in "utah web design" because our website ranked #1 for that term. Today things are a bit competitive, but one way to boost your rankings is to make sure you're listed on any of the many free web design directories out there. Just do a search for "web design directory + your location" (not literally that search, I mean like "web design directory utah", but use your own state or whatever), and see what comes up. Some directories charge a monthly fee, while others are free. If they're ranking high, and appear to be of decent quality, then definitely go for the free ones. Some of the paid ones may be worth it. If you're not sure, try one out for a month or two and see what happens. A good place to find directories for web designers is http://www.declaremedia.com/complete-list/web-design/.
—donloper

Low Price VS High Price

One thing I learned, it's not how many clients you get, it's how much you make. When I first started, I thought I should charge very little to get more clients. Turns out, if you charge too little, your potential client will think of you as a joke. I charge $500 per basic page with a 3 page minimum, but I tell my clients if they refer new people to me, i'll give them 5% commission and it's been working wonders for me now.
—Guest Chen

Keep it jargon-free

I've just started my web design business and have got a few clients. I'm not sure how things will develop but so far so good. It takes a lot of time and effort to persuade people to go to your website and make that initial contact either through the form on the website or as a response to an approach by me. I find that meeting people to be the most effective way to build your client base, but when time is limited and there's too much work, it's difficult to make time to go and meet people. So, I've been concentrating on email contact. I think the key factor, as in any relationship, is trust. If the client feels that they can trust you to do a good job without confusing them with too many technical options, then they will enjoy dealing with you. The truth is that people do actually like web design and having a website of their own built, but there's a certain amount of trepidation they might feel about talking about technical things. So I try and avoid jargon. I guess that's my approach
—dansaulbat

Ask your mommy

I've gotten lots of clients from family members. My mom isn't afraid to brag about me to her friends and that has resulted in several jobs. Plus, even my brother has gotten me work once or twice. And thease are paying gigs, not "do it for free for my friend" jobs.
—Guest Maos

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