Finding clients in webdesign is not the easiest thing to do. It is not enough to send your portfolio everywhere and hope for a return. If you are lucky, this method could work. But that's not necessarily the case.
In reality, finding customers requires a certain strategy.
This is what we are going to discuss in this guide. I'm going to tell you about the 5 best ways to find clients in webdesign. But before I do, I'd like you to take the following survey...
How would you like to find your clients in webdesign?
They come to you because they've seen your expertise on your social network or your website.
They're asking for your cooperation because they heard about you through word of mouth...
You're the one looking for them, by cold canvassing...
Any other ideas? Feel free to share your idea as a comment!
Be visible to potential customers
How will your future clients know you exist if you're not even visible? So that's the first thing to do: make yourself visible, make yourself known to your prospects. How do you do that?
Join the Social Networks
Yes, but what social networks?
One, there's LinkedIn. I mention him first because he's known as the professional social network. Thus, recruiters or professionals looking for their future collaborator go on it to look for the rare pearl.
Then there's Instagram. I think for web designers, it's one of the best places to show their expertise and creativity.
I don't need to tell you about the others either: Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter... They're all equally effective. Of course, you don't have to sign up on all of them. Start with the one you feel most comfortable with, and that you already know.
Once you sign up, you don't have to wait for missions to come along.
Joining the networks is already a big step, especially if you've never been there. But I'm sorry to tell you that it's by no means enough! Once again, how will your prospects get to know you if you stay in the shadows, even if you're on social networks?
As this is a "social" network, you have to try to "socialize" yourself, to create a community, a network. It's not easy, but it's not as complicated 😉
Start with easy steps: follow people, comment on them, like their posts... And in return, other people will also follow you, and voila, you have your first community. That's where you need to take it to the next level: create your own posts on a regular basis.
This is not just any publication. They need to be focused and relevant to get your target audience interested enough. Then, and only then, do you start to be visible.
Create your own site
Another way to make yourself known is to create your own website. However, you must be aware that this requires a lot of work: the choice of domain name, all the studies to be carried out before the creation of the site, the work of natural referencing...
The principle is the same as that of social networks: you must animate your site regularly, if it has a blog. Preferably, I would opt for a dynamic site, but nothing prevents you from creating a portfolio site.
From an SEO point of view, dynamic sites are more privileged.
How to animate a site? By writing blog posts regularly, for example.😏
Here is another very effective method: BUILD A SALES TUNNEL
Offer free content
A sales tunnel consists of converting a prospect into a customer. It takes a lot of work to achieve this, but at least it's more reassuring than (cold) email prospecting - I'll explain it a little later, at the end of this article.
Moreover, by following the advice I'm about to give you, you can be sure to reap good results over time.
So the first thing to do is to offer something that interests them in exchange for his contact information (his email, among others). Since you're supposed to know your target well, you know what would attract them:
- a royalty-free website template
- an ebook on a specific subject
- a series of videos that address a subject they like
- a promotion on your services
The list is not exhaustive. In any case, the objective is to show them that you master what you do, that you are an expert in the field.
The form to be filled in also plays a role in this. It has to be simple, attractive and original enough. Get straight to the point, i.e. ask for their e-mail address and first name. No need to ask for their phone number, address, etc. It will scare them away.
You're going to have to use some special tools for this email harvest. Mailchimp is a very good example. You just have to integrate it on the relevant part of your site. By the way, I recently showed you a few handy embed webflow that you can put on your webflow site.
Now that you've gotten the e-mails from your future customers, the conversion work begins in earnest. You will try to build a relationship with your audience by sending them interesting e-mails on a regular basis. Every time you publish a new blog article, you can also inform them. From time to time, offering them gifts (free content, ebooks, etc.) would also be a good idea!
No matter how you plan to do it, your mission is to build trust between you and your audience. After all, if they've agreed to give you their email, it means they'll be waiting to hear from you.
Here are some techniques I find effective for communicating with your subscriber list:
- Be personal, you can talk to them in the first person and address them as if you were talking to a friend.
- Favours the exchange, and therefore avoids no-reply. At the end of your emails, you can even ask questions that will encourage them to answer your email.
- Try to involve your readers as much as possible. How do you do that? Well, by talking about them, by putting some pizzazz in your e-mail...
- Attract the curiosity of your prospects
Even if you manage to get 1 or 2 customers by this method, don't forget that you must continually build up your audience loyalty by continuing to send out regular emails.
Gaining the confidence of prospects
To succeed here, you need to know your prospects: what are their problems, their expectations, the issues they face? Those who want to have a precise answer decide to create a survey or poll and share it with potential customers. Others, for their part, prefer to base themselves on the data they already have. Let's say you already have a website connected to Google Analytics. A ton of information about your visitors is already there. With a little analysis and research, you'll end up finding relevant information.
Once you know your prospects better, you can then adapt your services to their real needs and blockages.
When you post on social networks or blog posts, you are more likely to arouse their curiosity. Each post has a purpose, and therefore a specific topic to address. Obviously, these posts are related to your services.
Look out! The post must have a real added value. Don't just throw a post around like that. Spontaneity is interesting, but not always. I suggest you do this: a post = a solution for your prospects.
They should not perceive your publications as a service proposal, but rather as a solution.
I come back in particular to the blog posts. Publishing regularly is already interesting, but it is only effective if the article in question is more than 500 words long. The longer your article is, the more easily you can spread out on a particular subject, and the more you manage to prove that you are really an expert in your field. You will easily gain the trust of your potential clients.
As they see your posts, they'll come to trust you.
At the same time, when you are active on social networks and forums, commenting on other people who write an interesting post about webdesign, take the opportunity to share your opinion. Make sure you write a relevant opinion, so that you are noticed, but above all, so that people trust you and your expertise.
I told you about Instagram earlier. I think this social network is a great tool for web designers. We only share visuals. Why don't you create original visuals and share them? That way, your future clients will already be able to see your level.
To top it all off, whatever method you use, focus on quality! It's about your image. So imagine what your customers will say if your publication, blog posts or comments are full of spelling mistakes?
Prove your expertise
The only way to prove your expertise is to create a portfolio. It is a medium in which you group all your professional achievements. You can also exhibit somewhere, in this same medium you share:
- Your skills
- Your experience
- Your rewards
- Your trainings
In short, anything you think is important that clients need to know. Don't overdo it, though, or you'll devalue the examples of projects you've already completed.
Don't hesitate to reserve a whole page for your portfolio, on your website. If you don't have a site yet, it doesn't matter. There are other platforms dedicated to portfolio presentation.
Will all your projects have to be in this portfolio?
No, that would be pointless. Take only those who make you particularly proud. The ones that give you confidence. The way you present each achievement should also be done tactfully. Remember, your goal is to convince the client.
As he navigates through your page, he must be thinking: wow, that's good. It's not bad at all! It's impressive... He must never remain impassive.
Also, if you've done a lot of sites in the past, but want to specialize in a niche, now is the time. Show only the types of projects you would like to continue working on.
Showing all your work is a bad idea, especially if you've already done a lot of it. Potential clients will only see the bad ones," said one design professional.
But if you're a beginner, it's a different matter.
By the way, you might ask yourself: what projects will I put in my portfolio? Well, during your training (self-taught or not), you must have done some exercises. Not to mention your website (if you already have one).
Then optimize your portfolio as best as you can. Unfortunately, very few people do this at the moment. They just show pictures. However, clients need to be reassured. They need more details about each project you present. Remember: your goal is to close a deal!
So, to optimize the portfolio, you need to explain the why of the how.
- In what context did you create the site
- What is the objective of the creation of this site?
- What was the challenge
- What were the expected results
- Were these results achieved
- What KPIs did you rely on
- Otherwise, what else could have explained it
- Customer testimonials will even be welcome (but not mandatory).
How to sell your webdesign services
The first question you have to ask yourself is: who do you want to sell your services to? We have already seen this step at the very beginning of this article. Take the characteristics of your ideal client. Then, do your research and make a list (managers of companies that don't yet have a website, in a certain field, among others; or entrepreneur who already has a site, but it needs to be relocated...).
Once you have that list, let's go prospecting! We focused on hot canvassing earlier (when I told you to make yourself visible on social networks, on your website...). Now we're going to focus on cold prospecting. You will then have to contact a prospect who may never have heard of your services. This is precisely where you need to know how to sell your webdesigner services.
So you're going to tell yourself that you're a webdesigner, but not a salesman. Which is not untrue.
But if you really want to make a living from your job, and quickly, you have to know how to sell!
Nobody is born a salesman. There's still a lot of chances for you to become a good salesman.
The secret? Is not to sell your services (contradictory, no?).
Indeed,...You're going to sell solutions instead !
Instead of falling into the common mistake of only talking about your product, talk about your client, his problems, his needs... Make him feel that you care about him before you even care about you and your services.
In the end, you're gonna be able to sell him a solution, not a service.
Moreover, this technique is also recommended for hot prospecting. "You" should not be the main topic of discussion. You focus on the prospect's problems and then propose a solution.
Here's a technique for getting there: get to the point.
Whether you exchange by e-mail, telephone, video conference, or face-to-face with your future client, you should know that he does not necessarily have a lot of time to devote to you. That's why it's important to prepare well before each appointment.
Don't get ready to talk about anything but the basics. Once again, don't waste time bragging about your services. Explain only the broad outlines: its problems and possible solutions. Nothing more. If he has any questions, good for you. And that's a good sign. It proves that he is interested in your services.
Stand out from the competition
Now that you're visible, inspire confidence, have managed to prove your skills, know how to sell yourself, does that mean it's over? That by following this path, you are sure to find webdesign clients?
Not at all. In fact, all webdesigners reading this article currently have about the same skills (if they followed my advice). All this to tell you that you have to stand out. Do not melt into this great mass of webdesigners.
As I often say, it is a profession with a future. It is obvious that many people are going down this path. So, if you don't have anything original to offer, you risk not finding your clients easily.
Here's what I suggest you do: Specialize in a niche. Every person is unique. So are you. You have your own taste and most importantly, your own style. Try to showcase that style. When people see one of your creations, they will immediately know who created it. It's not about producing the same sites. On the contrary, it's quite possible to remain original while having your own style. It's up to you to put your creativity to work!
Also, having an additional web design skill is an asset for webdesigners. When I talk about it, it's the SEO that comes to mind. What good is a beautiful site if it is never visited, simply because its SEO is not well done? Marketing is another very interesting part if you want to add something to your skills. Some web designers even specialize in web development.
Fortunately for us (and those who make 2 with the codes), Webflow is there! By the way, you know very well that I'm specialized in the creation of design websites on Webflow.
In short, marketing, SEO, web development... are only proposals, but you are the only one who knows what you really want and what your target probably needs.
Anyway, don't make the mistake of giving up your webdesign skills. Improve them continuously. Especially since the web world is constantly evolving. You risk losing customers if you don't train continuously.
It is therefore important to keep a technological watch. This consists in following very closely the news related to your domain (and therefore, to webdesign). For example, you can subscribe to blogs specialised in webdesign. Or follow these blogs or other influential people in the field, on social networks. You are sure not to miss anything in this case.
Finding clients in webdesign is a real job. Not only you have to be visible to your future customers, but as that wasn't enough, you have to gain their trust. You will also have to try to prove your true values.
However, this method only brings in customers in the long term. Perhaps you'll want short-term results? In that case, try to control the sale. After all, as a web designer you sell services. But if you have followed this, you will see that I have approached this question from a different angle: you don't sell services, you sell solutions.
Finally, whatever method you choose, you'll have to stand out from your other webdesigner colleagues. You're probably as good as they are, but there's one thing that sets you apart from them. And this thing is up to you to define it.