(Guest writer: Wanda Livingstone)
There are many web design businesses and deals that are set up and shut down just as quickly because they are unable to keep the business afloat. The reasons for the demise may vary but most of them fall under the common problem of not having enough clients to sustain the business.
Web design business is just like any other business where clients are everything. To be successful, not only should you maintain a good relationship with existing clients for potential recurring projects in the future, you’ll also need to expand your network of contacts for more projects and business opportunities.
In today’s post, we are going to walk you through 5 basic tips – things you should be doing to potentially get more clients, or at least to keep those you currently have.
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1. Never stop improving your skill set
You may still use HTML 4 but if most of the designers and developers are already experimenting with HTML 5, chances are, you will eventually be outdated or replaced.
There is no way that you can nail a deal or keep your existing clients if you are not good in what you do, or worse, when your client is more updated with the latest versions than you are.
So, if you feel that you need to brush up or pick up a new skill to impress your client, by all means, go for it!
Fortunately, when it comes to picking up a new skill set or getting more information and updates related to web design, the Internet is all you need. Information, tutorials, and resources are everywhere and they are pretty much free!
And to really keep yourself busy, here are some websites we recommend, just to name a few:
2. Get your work more exposure
Your certainly need to share more about your craft to the rest of the world, for example – What you do, What you are good at, What kind of service you provide etc.
Previously we wrote about how you can get yourself out there by using the power of the blog and social media services. This time you might wanna showcase your portfolio in a blog to let your work do the talking (and selling).
On your blog, you can talk about all the good things that people stand to benefit from if they come to you for web design services. If you have been in the market for some time now and have gathered yourself a solid clientele base, leverage that to bring credibility to your work.
Ensure that you have given each of your past clients 100% in their projects and they may even be able to put in a good word for you, who knows?
3. Advertise your services
There are so many avenues ranging from free to paid ones, through which you can advertise your services to get the message across to desired clients. Let me talk about some effective advertising methods in the web design industry, starting with blog advertising.
I recommend BuySellAds, one of the best online advertising platforms for web designers. By creating an account, you gain access to advertising space of famous web design blogs, for instance, Nettuts+, Webdesigntuts+, etc. Of course, you can also choose any other blog that suits your advertising budget and plan as well.
Another effective advertising method will be paying a blogger to write a post about you. It can be a contest post or review post. If it’s a contest post, offer what people will really get interested in, like giving WordPress theme developer license, or store credit for your service.
If you prefer a paid review post, have the blogger put a notification message such as “This is a sponsored review” at the beginning of the post, then ask the blogger to review the service honestly, listing out the pros and cons of your service. Honesty sells.
4. Know and understand your clients
The best thing you can give to your clients is to understand them well. Just like how it is with your friends and family members, you may not be able to deliver the best unless you understand the person very well. Your clients also need to know and understand you well so that they may know what to expect from you.
It is good to start things that will allow you to interact with your clients more. One way is by starting a page on a social networking site such as Facebook.
You can also have your clients follow you on Twitter. This way, they will be able to post whatever they have on their minds and you will respond to them so quickly. This is actually a better way to improve the public perception of your business.
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You may also make calls to your clients not just when you want more business from them but to also know just how they are doing. You may ask them if they like the website that you have designed for them and see if they want anything modified.
Moreover, you can solicit their views about your services and use this feedback to improve on your designs or approach.
5. Maintain professionalism
Even when you are relating to your clients on a personal level, always make sure that you have maintained a professional relationship. Being friendly with your clients doesn’t mean that you can throw professionalism away and indulge in just anything. This will deal a major blow to your web design business.
In everything you do, like blog posting, advertising, or just introducing your services, be as professional as possible. This will help you to maintain a good image of your clients. You will definitely find it hard to relate to your clients when they realize that you are not professional enough.
The secret to getting more design jobs has always been the quality of your products and your service. If you keep your clients happy, give them what they expected and at times exceeding that expectation, they will keep bringing businesses back to you.
However, do remember that all it takes is one single slip-up to cause damage to your reputation and thus, your business.
(This guest post is written by Wanda Livingstone for Hongkiat.com. Wanda started off in freelance journalism, having contributed to several newspaper and magazine columns before making a move to writing web content. Other than writing, Wanda loves traveling and is a soccer fan.)