Web Designer needs marketing ideas

by TwoPointZero 17 replies
Hello. I am a web designer in the US. I have been reading these forums for years and have decided to start getting into the discussions. I need some ideas from the forum to help me figure out how to market my business offline to get more clients. I have read through posts here and tried a few strategies and thought I would ask the forum for some ideas.

My work is very good and professional and my prices are low which basically helps sell the packages on its own. I just need ideas on how to get my prices in front of more people. I charge a very low price for a mobile responsive website with up to ten pages which is perfect for small business owners and organizations that have a small budget or thought that they could not afford a website. I tried listing the price here but mods kept deleting my thread though I am only trying to explain the type of budget customer I am trying to market towards. The price is way lower than most competition in my experience. My problem is getting business owners to contact me.

I have tried craigslist but my posts get deleted. I joined the local chamber of commerce but have not had many sales from it. I am not very good at networking in person. I tried cold emailing but had problems with getting labeled a spammer which caused email problems. I have a great portfolio and a great price so would think this would be easier.

I really appreciate any ideas you may have that can help. I need to get some sales quickly so I am hoping someone has some ideas that can help. Thank you for your time!
#offline marketing #designer #ideas #web
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

    My work is very good and professional and my prices are low which basically helps sell the packages on its own. !
    Lets start here, if this statement were true.. then you wouldn't be making this post.. so NO, the package is NOT selling on its own.

    Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

    I just need ideas on how to get my prices in front of more people.
    Stay at home and do nothing.. but seriously you literally have to get your prices in front of more people, that's the only way. Start at one end of a business district in your community, and go from door to door to the other end


    Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

    I charge a very low price for a mobile responsive website with up to ten pages which is perfect for small business owners and organizations that have a small budget or thought that they could not afford a website
    Again.. its so perfect your not selling any


    Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

    The price is way lower than most competition in my experience.
    So your saying the competition isn't building sites because they cost more than you.. so no sites in your community are being built?

    Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

    I have tried craigslist but my posts get deleted. I joined the local chamber of commerce but have not had many sales from it. I am not very good at networking in person. I tried cold emailing but had problems with getting labeled a spammer which caused email problems.
    no sales from craigslist.. but sales from chamber events.. and no sales from cold emailing... You have to stop with the whoa is me cycle, and go where there has been success. The work you pulled from the chamber.. have you asked your clients for referals?

    Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

    I have a great portfolio and a great price so would think this would be easier.
    Great portfolio and an unreasonably low price sounds to me to be more accurate.

    Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

    I really appreciate any ideas you may have that can help. I need to get some sales quickly so I am hoping someone has some ideas that can help. Thank you for your time!
    With the advice above.. pound pavement and get in front of your potential clients, along with increasing your price to match the experience you can display with your portfolio sounds like a good place to start. become active today in your future.. sitting at home and whining because you are scared of getting out... will lead you to a path of broke... the only sales that you mention in this post is from going to chamber events.. something you say you are not good at.. you got sales from doing this correct? more than any of the other avenues you have tried correct? then maybe your not so bad at it.

    Raise your prices.. go in with your head held high and let your portfolio justify the expense. Business owner cant afford NOT TO have a web site. The ones that see the value, WILL PAY.
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  • Profile picture of the author TwoPointZero
    Thank you for your post. This is some great advice that I will definitely try.

    What I meant by the price basically sells itself is that when I actually get the potential client on the phone I do not have to do a lot of selling. They see the portfolio and the quality of the work and the low price and it helps me sell to those people I actually talk to. I have a high rate of making sales to those people I actually talk to on the phone or in email.

    I have been doing websites for clients for over 7 years. I have gotten most of my work from Craigslist over the years. From people responding to my posts but that is hit or miss because often Craigslist deletes my posts. It is quite hard to keep posts up in enough cities to get a decent amount of business from it. If I could post in lots of cities without getting so many deleted posts I would probably have quite a bit of work from it.

    I did this thing with the chamber that lets you pay a fee to send a flyer to their email list. I did this three times and got three clients from it so it paid for itself. I will continue to do that but I want to get enough volume to make this a bigger business. I do not really like doing sales in person and have tried networking in the past with very little success. I do not want to sound like I am whining it just is not my strong point.

    I get a somewhat decent amount of referrals from previous clients. Do you think I should offer like a $100 commission to past clients that refer new clients to me. My price is already low. Right under five hundred but I can afford to pay that to people that refer new clients to me because the websites do not really take much time. Would offering a referral reward like that be helpful in your opinion to incentivize those people to try to refer people to me?

    For my price. I did try raising my prices significantly. I actually used to sell most of my websites for half the price I charge now. I even did a few in the 1000 to 2000 range but when you get in that price range you are competing with the bigger firms that spend a ton more in advertising so I figured I could take my price to a lower amount to help compete better. I did not get enough work with that much higher price so I figured I would go for quantity instead. I do not do much seo work. I tend to install the tools and let the clients do that themselves. I feel like there are more than enough people selling seo and I wanted to go for the low budget customers that could not afford to pay the higher prices most firms charge. Sure the big firms get good business but they have teams of developers and pour a lot more time into their projects than I do. I actually outrank the other firms from nearby bigger cities in my hometown in search results and compete pretty well in search results for the cities they are in. But that has not turned into much business.

    Like you recommended I will try the networking events again. I will try most anything at this point because I really want this to be successful. Thanks again and I would love to hear more tips and feedback from anyone else that has ideas that they think may help.
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Sorry, been a little busy...

    1. Do you have any B2B clients? e.g. Accountant, Web hosting, Printer, Secretarial Services? If so, would they be prepared to send out a special offer to their customers? Far more effective than cold calling.

    2. Can you partner up with SEO, PPC, Copywriters, etc and share customers?

    3. Create a free giveaway - report or digital course - which you can offer to other B2B businesses as a freebie for their customers. Here's a couple of examples written by a Marketing Consultant and given away by an Accountant.

    Zippyshare.com - Attracting-New-Clients.7z
    (if you have trouble downloading from zippy, PM an email address and I'll email them across)

    Notice the customised introduction including an endorsement of the Marketing Consultant by the Accountant. Notice his website address at the bottom of each page. Notice the offer on the last page in the A4 version.

    Again, this type of marketing is far more effective than cold calling because you're getting an endorsement from someone the recipients already trust.

    Also the marketing tips in those freebie books are effective and worth following up for your own business...

    4. Referrals. Get comfortable asking for referrals. Get Bill Cates' book. IMHO referrals are by far the best way to get customers.

    That's all I have time for right now...
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post


      Zippyshare.com - Attracting-New-Clients.7z
      (if you have trouble downloading from zippy, PM an email address and I'll email them across)
      Why not just use a Google doc...you can still choose
      who can access it?

      People don't feel safe downloading things these days.

      Best,
      Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author PatriciaS
      I was interested in that download but Malwarebytes blocked it -- do you have another download site?
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  • Profile picture of the author TwoPointZero
    Thank you for the great ideas and input animal. For the B2B clients. I have actually been thinking about something along those lines. I did not think to ask them to contact their clients. How would I go about asking that? Feels like asking for a favor and I don't know how they would take it. I have been thinking about offering my previous clients a $100.00 referral commission to refer new clients to me for my $499.00 package or higher. Do you think that would be a good idea? I also am thinking about contacting more B2B businesses like accountants etc. and offering that same deal. Give them an incentive to send me clients.

    The type of clients I have typically have low budgets and I do not know how many customers I can refer to businesses to partner with but I can offer them the referral payment instead.

    I have been curious about mailing lists. I do not understand how growing a mailing list would work for a web designer. For web design it is mostly a one time payment. There is sometimes more work in the future but not something I would think people would want to be signed up to a list for plus once I work with them why would they want to buy another website from me so I do not know how mailing them later would bring in more sales. How would a web designer that does not do much ongoing maintenance or seo work build a mailing list? What could I offer on a monthly basis that would make people want to sign up? I see the report you linked and that could be something that may work though that looks like it is more for marketing professionals while I simply build websites. What kind of things could I have a list for that I can give tips on? Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author animal44
      Lots of questions for a forum post :-)

      Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

      For the B2B clients. I have actually been thinking about something along those lines. I did not think to ask them to contact their clients. How would I go about asking that?

      Feels like asking for a favor and I don't know how they would take it.
      Not at all. You're giving them something of value for free to give to their customers and prospects so they look like a star and attract more prospects to them. You're the one doing them a favour. If someone did that for you, would you turn them down...?

      Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

      I have been thinking about offering my previous clients a $100.00 referral commission to refer new clients to me for my $499.00 package or higher. Do you think that would be a good idea? I also am thinking about contacting more B2B businesses like accountants etc. and offering that same deal. Give them an incentive to send me clients.
      IMHO cash incentives are the worst way to get referrals. Think about it. If your closest friend referred you to someone, then you found out that they'd done so for cash, how would that affect your relationship? You want something else as the incentive. Also many "professionals" like Accountants and Lawyers etc will turn their nose up at a cash incentive. They're professionals and don't do things like that. And in some cases it's illegal for them to accept cash incentives.

      If you package it up as a benefit to them and their customers and as a BTW, here's a cash reward. Even better, if you can get them giving referrals and surprise them with a cash payment, or even better and often cheaper, something that appeals personally. e.g. tickets to a show that you know they would like. The more personal the reward the more impact and the more referrals you'll likely get.

      Also, people who offer referrals solely for money tend to give you all and sundry. Really, you only want your ideal customers.

      You pitch referrals as them doing a favour for people they know. You've produced something of value for them, why wouldn't they want to tell their buddies about it? Reward those who do give you referrals by thank you notes, personalised gifts, discounts on future purchases and cash as last resort.

      Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

      What could I offer on a monthly basis that would make people want to sign up?
      Obvious answer is hosting. Ongoing monthly/annual fee. Reseller hosting is 25/month. Just sell 4 people at 7/month and subsequent sales are all profit.

      I would partner up with (good) SEO and PPC guys in a profit share arrangement. You're already in there making a sale, so if just a small percentage signed up it's extra ongoing profit with no overhead for you.

      I'll try and answer other questions later...
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  • Profile picture of the author Leadsupply
    Hi TwoPointZero,

    I should give a disclaimer first that I work for RankLeads.com, so I'm at least a little bit partial to paid leads. But I did build up a 6 Mil a year web design and SEO agency from the ground up before this, and I have a lot of experience with various different lead types, both paid and free.

    To market without spending any money:
    Your best leads are going to be the ones that you get through referrals. If you're low on business right now I would contact the people that you've build sites for and ask them if they have any needs or if they know anyone who does.
    Don't give up on Craigslist or other local classified sites. Figure out what's going on and keep them going. Next steps are to start reaching out via phone, email and social media to local companies and start forming relationships. The larger your network of friends, family, and business associates is, the busier you'll stay. The tough part is that doing all of the things that you need to do on the marketing end is a full time job in itself.

    Paid leads and advertisements
    Free marketing can only take you so far. If you want to really grow you'll have to start going out on a limb a little bit more.
    Pay per click is really expensive but can start bringing traffic to your site right away and if people like what they see, they'll call. PPC is generally the fastest way to start getting interested people to your site.
    Buying leads from lead generation companies such as ours can be really good if you take the leads seriously and nurture them well, or a complete waste of money if you don't. What I mean by that is that you have to follow up really well and not just give up after leaving a couple of voicemails. The same could be said for any other lead type as well, but it becomes more evident in paid leads than it is with referrals.
    Striking up relationships with SEO companies, marketing companies, consultants, etc... and giving them a cut of each sale works well also. In my experience, the cut needs to be around 20% to really keep them interested in referring business to you.
    If you don't like doing marketing on your own, or don't have the time, or you want to grow your business larger than a 1 or 2 man show, then you can hire people in-house to do marketing for you, or hire outside consultants to do it. This is always kind of a crap shoot. If you get the right person or right company, you're golden, but it's pretty hard to find.

    The most important thing is to always keep moving. Keep trying new things and solving marketing problems. You really want to have several good sources for sales leads. If you rely on just 1 or 2, they'll fail on you at some point and put your business in real jeopardy.
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  • Profile picture of the author TwoPointZero
    Thank you for the input and ideas Leadsupply. I will definitely give this some thought and see what may work for me. I like the idea of contacting companies to offer them a referral payment for referring people to me. I have thought of buying leads from companies like the one you mentioned though they often require purchasing a large amount of leads up front before trying them out. I would like to find one where I can buy maybe 3 leads to try and then if that works out I can see buying a large number of leads on an ongoing basis.
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  • Profile picture of the author TwoPointZero
    Thank you for your help. That is a great idea. Tell the referrer that I will deliver a quality product to help the referrals that buy a website from me to where the referrer feels it is a service to the referrals. I will think about things I can offer instead of cash. I do try to sell hosting to customers. I typically do a few months free then offer the option to renew for a fee. I will look into working out partnerships with b2b companies that can help increase profits. Thanks again!
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Here's Ewan's web developer Ad

    http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...5k-2-days.html

    Read the whole thread...

    Also about pricing. Have Gold, silver and bronze pricing. Typically a percentage will go for the gold and your average sale price goes up...
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  • Profile picture of the author TwoPointZero
    Thank you very much for this info. I have read the entire post you linked and it is very interesting. I do quite a bit of advertising on craigslist. This is something I will try out to see how well it works for me. For the three levels of pricing. That is very interesting as well. I have actually thought of doing something like that. You think I should post that pricing on my website or in the quote I email clients and in advertisements? I had thought about putting it on my website but then if I have a client with a bigger budget that wants something more if the client looks on my website then sees the prices in the three tiers they may not want to pay more. I think you may mean in my advertisements and quotes but wanted to confirm. Thanks again for all your help. This is outstanding information and I am sure it will be a huge help to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author animal44
      Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

      I have read the entire post you linked and it is very interesting.
      It's also the basis for a (or multiple) report(s) to get people to signup. You can then feed them further testing results via your autoresponder. Few business owners will want to do this themselves, so guess who they'll want to hire...

      Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

      For the three levels of pricing. That is very interesting as well. I have actually thought of doing something like that. You think I should post that pricing on my website or in the quote I email clients and in advertisements?
      I could give an opinion, but split testing will be more valuable...

      Indeed, split testing would be a great upsell to your websites as you'll be able to
      1. Directly attribute work you do to an increase in sales.
      2. Use case studies of work you've done to an increase in sales in order to sell to others.
      And split testing could potentially be ongoing forever.

      My guess with your current market is to display prices. If you decide to go for a more affluent market, then prices (and indeed, packages) are less important.

      Originally Posted by TwoPointZero View Post

      I had thought about putting it on my website but then if I have a client with a bigger budget that wants something more if the client looks on my website then sees the prices in the three tiers they may not want to pay more.
      Clearly define what the three options are for. Then have a fourth option "custom quotes". I'd separate the "custom quotes" and maybe even have a separate page as the message will be different...
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