my offline marketing tactic for getting web design clients doesn't work

by 13 replies
Hi

I'm looking for ways to get web design clients, any ideas are most welcome

This is what I have done so far and it doesn't work:
* I have made a list of 30 local companies with old websites (some seems to be updated 15 years ago, so very old design)
* I called them and asked if they wanted a demo on how their page could look like in 2017, some said yes to this question only if it was a free offer. Then they wanted the demo link sent per email, after 2 weeks I haven't heard back
* I have contacted companies via facebook (sent message), when I proposed my offer they stopped talking to me
*most of these companies have been used car dealerships.
*I have walked into such company without an appointment, but the boss didn't have time for me. He was busy attending his business.
*to companies who said they was interested I sent link to a demo of a higly converting website, but not heard back

I'm not a sales person so I've asked a professional sales guy to help me (he get 30% of the sale), but he doesn't seem to have much more luck than I have. So think there must be something wrong with our approach here. any idas?
#offline marketing #clients #design #marketing #offline #tactic #web #work
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author quadagon
    Originally Posted by loginname View Post

    * I have made a list of 30 local companies with old websites (some seems to be updated 15 years ago, so very old design)
    This part of the market is virtually impossible to crack. In their mind they've survived 15 years with the website they've got so it must be working.

    It's 2017 if they were going to upgrade they'd have done it by now.

    I'd look more towards websites that are 2-5 years old and sell them an upgrade. This is especially effective if they are advertising online.

    Alternatively look for start ups and get them at the beginning on their journey.

    Depending on your pricing charities, community groups and causes can be worth pursuing as well.

    Originally Posted by loginname View Post

    * I called them and asked if they wanted a demo on how their page could look like in 2017, some said yes to this question only if it was a free offer. Then they wanted the demo link sent per email, after 2 weeks I haven't heard back
    Why wait for them?

    I'd invest in a service like yesware which lets you see when they've opened your email. That's then the time to call them. Strike when the irons hot.

    If you don't 1001 things can come up
    Signature
    I've got 99 problems but a niche ain't one
  • Profile picture of the author umc
    Are you pitching them on the basis that their site could look better, or that it could perform better and make them more money? In other words, are you selling them on the benefit monetarily that it could bring?
  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    The assumption that a company that has an old website wants / needs a new one leads many to waste time.

    If the website is doing what they want (and, yes, some just want an online brochure), you're not going to sell them anything.

    Look for businesses that have old websites but advertise online (with a link to the site). You'd have an easier time convincing them that they're wasting good advertising money if the site is slow, repels a bunch of people who clicked on their ad.

    Don't sell how it will look, sell how it will increase calls for appointments, visits to the store.

    If they asked for a link, make a phone appointment, send the link at the time of the appointment, while you're on the phone with them, so they and you can go over the site together.

    Do not wait for them to contact you. Give them a day or two, then call them to ask them if they looked at your demo. (Most will say they did not, no time.)

    Think of it this way: you're a bridal store. You spend x on advertising and you gross enough to cover your expenses, pay your mortgage, a vacation, etc. Here comes a stranger who says your website is old and ugly. You look at the money you spend on ads, you think of the money that's left after your expenses, and you say, So what?

    But if someone comes and tells you you get to spend the same, get all the returns you're getting + some more. They will not ask for a demo, they will ask how can you be sure. And, if you say, "I've just done this for X company two towns over, wanna call them? Here's the owner's number" and if the owner backs you up, you're in business.

    If you don't have testimonials, reduce their risk-perception some other way (money back guarantee?).

    How do you know your sites convert well? What do you call converting? Do you have proof?

    If they're interested but don't do anything, they don't trust you.

    If they're not interested, you did not show them the goodies they'd get from buying your sites.

    As a business owner, I'm always interested in paying less and getting the same or paying the same and getting more in return. Can't think of any business owner I've ever encountered, and I have encountered many, who did not think the same way.

    Originally Posted by loginname View Post

    Hi

    I'm looking for ways to get web design clients, any ideas are most welcome

    This is what I have done so far and it doesn't work:
    * I have made a list of 30 local companies with old websites (some seems to be updated 15 years ago, so very old design)
    * I called them and asked if they wanted a demo on how their page could look like in 2017, some said yes to this question only if it was a free offer. Then they wanted the demo link sent per email, after 2 weeks I haven't heard back
    * I have contacted companies via facebook (sent message), when I proposed my offer they stopped talking to me
    *most of these companies have been used car dealerships.
    *I have walked into such company without an appointment, but the boss didn't have time for me. He was busy attending his business.
    *to companies who said they was interested I sent link to a demo of a higly converting website, but not heard back

    I'm not a sales person so I've asked a professional sales guy to help me (he get 30% of the sale), but he doesn't seem to have much more luck than I have. So think there must be something wrong with our approach here. any idas?
  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Get in front of people who have already decided to buy, but don't know from whom.

    Cuts all the false assumptions of they want one.

    Best,
    Ewen
  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Hi loginname,

    You need to qualify your leads better.

    You were approaching people that obviously are in need, in your opinion, but the lead isn't really qualified unless they feel a need and they are currently interested and they have the financial resources available to upgrade.

    For a lead to be qualified you need 3 things at minimum.

    1. Need
    2. Interest
    3. Financial means

    Those qualifications have to exist in the client's mind, not just yours. Don't waste your time on any prospect that isn't qualified.

    Of course there are words you can say that may trigger a feeling of need, or interest. And, if you can show someone the value exceeds the cost, many that feel they cannot afford a new website might change their mind to feel that they can no longer afford to not get a new website. Until you have those essential qualifications you are just wasting their time along with your own.

    Prospecting is a numbers game, you may need to approach far more people to find someone that is truly qualified. A list of only 30 businesses is a very small list. A ratio of 50 prospects to find a handful that are truly qualified, to get to 1 customer might be more realistic. Get a much bigger list. If you spend less time trying to sell to an unqualified prospect you will have more time to prospect for genuinely qualified leads. That would be my advice.

    HTH,

    Don Burk
  • Profile picture of the author kemdev
    I tried the whole "free demo of your homepage" thing back when I was starting out. It didn't work for me. I got a lot of people interested in the free mockup, but I don't remember any buying after I sent them one.

    In your case, the problem could be the businesses you're targeting. One, car dealerships need a website with the functionality to easily manage their inventory (homepage mockup won't show that). Two, if their website is 15 years old, that means they haven't bought a website in 15 years. Something to think about.

    I personally don't like the free mockup offer. If you're targeting cold, people will say yes to the mockup (it's free after all), but won't really care about it.Why should they? If you weren't looking to build a house, why would you care about a free set of floor plans?

    And lets say they are looking, and your sales pitch is "Hey, look how much better your website can look!" Offering a free mockup can be shooting yourself in the foot. Most business owners want some type of say in how their website is going to look, especially if your selling point is being a great graphic designer. How do you know if they like blue or red better? How do you know which layout they prefer? How do you know which parts of their current website they want changed, and which they want to keep the same? In this case, presenting an artistic vision for a product or service you know nothing about is insane. And it looks weak to the buyer.

    My advice is to first think about what you want to sell. In terms of websites, it's typically either aesthetic or results-based (leads, sales, whatever). Create a message you want your audience to hear. Keep it short, 15-30 seconds verbally or a short paragraph written down. Then put that message in front of your audience - cold calling, cold emailing, buying ad space, at meetup groups, whatever. If someone is interested, set up a meeting. Attend the meeting, and when you and your prospect are done talking, ask for a check or credit card number to get started.

    Keep doing that and you'll make sales.

    I know it sounds reasonable (if they like the mockup they'll buy!), but I believe offering a free mockup of a website is a waste of time. An argument can be made for offering one for a low, refundable fee later in the sales process, but not up front, and not to cold prospects.
  • Profile picture of the author ActionToCash
    Ok, so I've done some commercial web design in the past.

    If I was just starting to try to find clients, InfoFree.com is a leads database I used to have a membership with that I would consider taking a look at.

    One of their categories is 'New Businesses' - which enables you to find new business owners. It's a good time to try to reach them while they are trying to get setup with everything.

    If I was trying to crack the web design market that seems like it would be a great place to try.

    Randall
    Signature

    Happy Marketing!!!

  • Profile picture of the author ActionToCash
    One other idea - consider doing some gigs on Fiverr.com to get a few websites under your belt so you can tell people you've designed 20 websites or whatever the number is.

    Obviously, on Fiverr you will not get top dollar, but it will help you build a portfolio. Also, people will come to you instead of you approaching them. Finally, maybe you could offer an upgrade to maintain their websites for a monthly fee. So maybe you make a low amount on the front end, but make up for it in monthly fee's over a period of a year etc.

    Anyway, best wishes,

    Randall
    Signature

    Happy Marketing!!!

  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    I am going to agree with KemDev... you are just going after a market that is hard to get into. Here is the thing with car dealers... all those crappy sites.. most of them have back ends that link them to cars.com or the like. They pay a monthly fee for that back end. You are telling them hey your site is old and needs revamped... they know, but they are locked into a deal, they simply cant get out of. they COULD have a nicer newer front end, provided from their service provider, but they are rather expensive. I have found that generally only new car dealers go with the front end upgrade.

    Unless you can get your hands on the scripts that integrate the back end with the 3rd party service ( cars.com ) you are dead in the water. - this can be done, but its not cheap.

    The other option you have.... I will assume the 30 or so car dealers you have contacted are in close proximity? You could create a localized portal page such as Car Portal php script, auto classifieds cars software dealers trucks and then charge a monthly advert fee to each of the dealers. I have done this in the past... ( have not used the link product myself.. just displaying to show an example. )

    If you were going this route... I would incorporate a youtube channel and start videoing cars, their features.. maybe a quick test drive etc... Obviously used ones from the lots.. cars that stand out.. I would also do new cars, may not have links for them right away... but it would draw people to your page.

    Basically create a blog - write about the new ford bronco.. do a comparison from new to old.. have a search function on the page for ford broncos - because you would have your site set with local SEO.. you could probably draw some decent traffic pretty quick.

    Hope that helps!
    Signature
    Tools, Content, and Strategies to Develop Your Online Commerce Business - Coming Soon
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      I am going to agree with KemDev... you are just going after a market that is hard to get into. Here is the thing with car dealers... all those crappy sites.. most of them have back ends that link them to cars.com or the like. They pay a monthly fee for that back end. You are telling them hey your site is old and needs revamped... they know, but they are locked into a deal, they simply cant get out of. they COULD have a nicer newer front end, provided from their service provider, but they are rather expensive. I have found that generally only new car dealers go with the front end upgrade.

      Unless you can get your hands on the scripts that integrate the back end with the 3rd party service ( cars.com ) you are dead in the water. - this can be done, but its not cheap.

      The other option you have.... I will assume the 30 or so car dealers you have contacted are in close proximity? You could create a localized portal page such as Car Portal php script, auto classifieds cars software dealers trucks and then charge a monthly advert fee to each of the dealers. I have done this in the past... ( have not used the link product myself.. just displaying to show an example. )

      If you were going this route... I would incorporate a youtube channel and start videoing cars, their features.. maybe a quick test drive etc... Obviously used ones from the lots.. cars that stand out.. I would also do new cars, may not have links for them right away... but it would draw people to your page.
      I thought of doing a similar thing. Start a website about local merchants, and sell a page that has a video, their contact information, a map, and a few other things. It would last forever, and I could promote it and link to it enough to get the pages ranked highly on a local search.

      And in my local online marketing service, I never try to upgrade their existing website. I just pretend it doesn't exist. I may link to it, get content from it....but a new website will get ranked highly on Google (if done right) and that's what they seem to want.

      The reason I don't try to improve their website, is that it's often a friend or relative that built it.....and I never want to criticize a previous buying decision.
  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Originally Posted by loginname View Post

    I'm looking for ways to get web design clients, any ideas are most welcome
    How about building a website that sells your webdesign...

    If someone is ready to buy a website, or upgrade an existing site, they're not going to be sitting next to the phone waiting for you to call. They'll be on Google searching. Or more likely, asking their buddies who they can trust. You need to be in both places.

    An alternative is to choose a niche, build a "higly converting website" first, then rent it out or sell the leads. Give them a free trial so they can see what they're getting. If it's truly a "higly converting website", then you shouldn't have any trouble selling it.

    Either way, you'll have far more credibility than if you cold call...
    Signature

    I stayed up all night trying to figure out where the Sun went.
    Then it dawned on me...
    What I do for a living

  • Profile picture of the author MyCopySells
    Your niche is web design. But your moneymaking apparatus is marketing.

    So, to whom do you wish to market? Every business with a website?

    Can't. That's got FAIL written all over it.

    Your web design services have to offer *an ability to speak the language of a client's NICHE*, where they are making their money.

    Speaking web design to a hot dog vendor is not a sexy experience for the vendor. S/he wants to know if you can sell hot dogs.

    If you can sell hot dogs AND you have web design expertise then you can have an effective conversation with the Weenie Vendor.

    Boo-ya!

    The clients have to feel like you are right down in the day-to-day muck that they are in trying to sell those durned dawgz to people who want to eat healthy.

    (That's a big problem for the hot dog vendor who wants to cater picnics in the park thrown by soccer moms who eat vegan!) But your websites are so tasty they can sell ice to eskimos.

    See where I am going with this?

    Of course you do. You are bright, talented and HUNGRY.

    Now go get some expertise in an niche that you find interesting and can learn about day and night until you have some basic lingo down and can go into a local business and ask "How's business?" Shoot the chit with the owner or a knowledgeable associate, ask a lot of questions, be cheerful, avoid sounding desperate and smelling of fear---- then leave your binness card with them and check back in a week. Rinse and repeat.

    Cold calling blows. So does drive-by emailing. Set up 25 prospects to focus this boots-on-the-ground approach of establishing relationships with live human beings. They have the money to improve their businesses with better marketing---- and that is what you are going for. If they hear the word "design" they are lost to you forever. They want solutions to their overall problem: low cash flow not turning into high cash flow fast enough.

    Is that what your Web-Based ATMs can give them? (Did you catch that?)

    Wear out shoe leather in your home town. Broaden from there once you get two successful clients.

    If you want to take a walk on the wildside, take an existing website in your niche of choice and rehab it. Write a page by page analysis of its flaws and propose solutions. Spiral bind the report. Set it aside. Then build a revamped site. But have it all grounded in marketing principles that will turn the website into a cash machine.

    Make them attractive but build them to load fast and furiously to avoid the Google trap for slow loading "beautiful" websites.

    All right. Hope this has been useful.

    Anthony
    Signature
    anthony@cmenow.com Custom Vacation Travel Planning
    Free Quotes

Trending Topics