One of the biggest challenges that a new web design company has (ourselves included) is how to drum up new business. Once you've established yourself and have a solid customer base then this isn't so much of an issue as you have solid foundations and lots of people to call on for referrals and recommendations.
To start getting people interested in your services, you will have to take a pro-active approach and go and promote yourself. Show people who you are, what you do and what benefit you can bring to them. Some of the ways you can do this are:
1. Search Google
This sounds fairly obvious but searching Google can produce some very good leads in terms of new prospective clients. Terms such as "Freelance Web Design Jobs" and "Freelance Website Jobs" can highlight potential avenues that you can explore and can quite often lead to work coming your way, either now or in the future.
2. Advertise on forums
Another great way to get the word out about your services is to go direct to the people who need them. You'll find that business forums such as UK Business Forums are full of people just starting out for themselves and these are a great target audience for you.
3. Referral Schemes
Once you have worked with a client, you can start to use their contacts to help build up your own business. Offer them the chance to earn part of the fee that you charge if they recommend a client to you. There's then something in it for both of you and you'll be surprised how many people only find out about your services by "word of mouth" and being referred to you by a friend or colleague.
You can also increase peoples awareness of your new company by talking to local magazines or newspapers and offering to run a competition for them. Most of them will be happy to do this for free as it helps fill out their media with quality content that people are interested in while it obviously helps you by giving your free advertising! It's worth taking the hit by offering something for free if you can get 1 or 2 sales on the back of it.
5. Freelancing Websites
Freelancing websites are where people post jobs that they want and web design companies can go and tender for the job (it's not just limited to web design but in the scope of this article that is what is relevant). Some of the ones we have used are:
6. Client Referrals
When designing a website for a client, ask if they would mind putting a link on their website back to your portfolio to show visitors who has designed their site for them. Most of them will be happy enough to do this for you so make sure you utilise this link by using keywords and phrases that are relevant (i.e. don't just use your website address).