As a web designer freelancer or agency, you must always juggle between working on projects and bringing in more projects. Business development is the key to a sustainable business with steady cash flow. As a web designer, have you ever struggled to get your next web design project? Or, do you feel blank when it comes to business development in the cut-throat competition?
If you said yes, then you have come to the right place. Getting your next web design project should not be that difficult if you read through this article till the end.
Here’s where to get your next web design project
Right now, there are countless businesses looking for a good web designer. Here’s where to find them:
1- Freelance sites
The most obvious place to land your next gig is on a freelance job board. These are two-way platforms where you can find clients and clients can find you too.
This is one of the best ways to land a web design project, since these sites connect you with people who are ready to hire.
These platforms allow businesses looking for web designers to post their requirements. At the same time, freelancers can create profiles with their expertise, rates and links to samples.
The not so good part is that competition is high on these sites, and you must really stand out to win the web design project.
Four popular platforms are:
Most of these work on a commission basis where they charge a fraction of your earnings.
Bonus Tip: Never try to become a generalist. Carefully choose the profitable niche or industry (e.g. web design for SaaS companies or web design for healthcare) for which you want to work and make your name in that niche. You can easily break through the clutter and create an edge over competition with this technique.
2- Request for proposal (RFP) sites
If you are looking to get some long-term contracts, proposal submission can help you.
Companies that are looking for web design often issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) online. That means you can submit your proposal to the RFP websites and get a chance at getting the job.
The key is to look out for new projects and have the proposal ready to submit quickly.
Here are a couple of websites where you can find RFPs:
Here’s a detailed guide on writing a winning proposal
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There are always events related to website design and development. Regardless of whether they’re online or in-person, these events can open the door to partnership and collaboration.
You should also attend events where your clients are likely to hang out. At least you will get quality leads at these events (remember, it always starts with a lead).
Here are some of the websites where you can find events to join:
Remember, you’ll have just a short time to make an impression, so prepare your elevator pitch and practice delivering it. This will help you speak effectively in a time-limited environment to potential clients.
4- Facebook Groups
Believe me, Facebook Groups are game-changers when it comes to getting a new client.
Join the groups related to web design/development that have a good number of active members.
Try to actively participate in the groups by helping and solving the problems of others. You can also rely on these groups for genuine feedback on your work.
Here are links to three popular Facebook groups:
Developing relationships with other web designers and developers will benefit you and your work — and in time also lead to more web design projects.
5- Client referrals
Another good way to get web design projects is to reach out to your current or past clients for references and testimonials. These testimonials can be added to your website and act as strong approval of your services.
This is called social proof and it’s very effective in getting clients interested in you. Humans are social creatures, and when we see that many others rate a service highly, we’re inclined to give it a try.
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6- Cold pitching
Many people shy away from the cold pitch. This is where you call or email someone you don’t know and ask if their business needs your services. But it can yield some awesome results.
To find a list of companies, you can go to yelp.com if you are targeting local businesses in North America or Justdial.com. Or, you can directly visit the Contact pages of your target customers and reach out to them there.
Although it takes a little courage, all this costs you is time.
One approach is to browse the potential client’s website carefully and send an email congratulating them on the things you feel are good about the site, as well as one or two points where you can see room for improvement.
Then pitch your service and explain how you have improved the user’s experience on the site of other similar businesses.
Follow up within a week and be confident in your conversation, as you have already done a favour to them by auditing their website for free. You can find a sample email template here.
7- Inbound marketing
Inbound marketing brings potential customers to your business with content and experiences they find online. This differs from outbound marketing such as TV commercials, cold pitches and radio and newspaper ads, where you are starting the conversation with potential customers.
Often called content marketing, this strategy includes:
- Sharing useful articles, videos and infographics on your website
- Guest posting on blogs related to your field of expertise
- Performing keyword research to target new clients
The key here is to share things that your customers will find useful. For example:
- An article called “How to choose the right web design company”
- A video explaining three things a business can do to improve its website’s performance
- An infographic showing how much more traffic a well-designed website gets
Read this post for complete instructions on how to get started with inbound marketing.
Stay ahead of the curve
In this article, we have discussed ways for you to land new web design projects. Apart from this, the other important factor to be a successful web designer is to continuously learn new technologies to stay ahead of the competition.
Getting new business is important, but it’s even more critical to provide value to your customers. A happy customer can give you repeated business as well as new business through some nice recommendations.