Finding clients for your website design business can initially seem like it would require an expensive advertising campaign, but this is fortunately not true at all. Thanks to the Internet, there are many low cost strategies to find clients for your business; in fact, a lot of strategies will cost you nothing except some of your time. Try any combination of these strategies to earn new clients for your web design business.
Strategy 1: Network on Freelance Sites
There are a number of websites which offer clients and providers the opportunity to communicate and set up projects. Sites like RentACoder and iFreelance (both dot-com) give providers the ability to place bids on projects posted by clients who are looking for designers. By pricing your services competitively and providing a good portfolio of prior work, you can get jobs from new clients. Impress them, and they may be willing to bring their business back to you for a long-term association.
Strategy 2: Make Your Own Door-to-Door Print Campaign
Grab a phonebook and make a list of small, locally owned businesses in your area. Run a quick search on Google to see which businesses do not already have a website. These businesses are the ones you can market to.
As a designer, you should be able to create an attractive brochure which you can print off at home, or have a store like Office Depot print relatively cheaply. When you have your brochures, call the businesses you've researched to see if you can set up a meeting with the owner. Meet them in person and tell them exactly what you can do for their business and how it will help them make money. Leave them with your brochure and contact information. You may want to follow up in about a week if you don't hear back.
Strategy 3: Set Up PPC Advertising
As a web designer, you should have a website which shows off the kind of work you can do. Help drive traffic to your website by setting up PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising. Go to Google AdSense and set up an account with the instructions given. You can specify your budget, no matter how little, to run your advertisements. Even if you only budget for a dollar a day, you can get your website noticed by people who are interested in hiring a web designer. Some good keywords to bid on for advertising are "web design," "freelance web design," "web designer," "web designer for hire," "design web sites," etc.
Strategy 4: Optimize Your Website
PPC advertising is a great first step towards getting your website seen... But why pay for advertising when you can get Google and other search engines to refer customers to you for free? When writing web copy for use on your website, make sure you insert keywords here and there which are related to your business - the same keywords mentioned under Strategy 3 work well. Also, set up a blog and accounts on various social networking sites in order to create a network of links around your website. When people search for the keywords you've used, you want your website to appear near the top.
It's fairly easy to implement some different marketing strategies which will cost you very little, if anything at all. Try any one or more of these strategies to help attract new clients to your web design business.