Without a doubt, getting new clients is one of the biggest challenges plenty of small business owners and web designers face in their attempt to grow their business into a successful one.
In this guide, you’ll discover 22 new ideas and ways to advertise your business and get more clients in 2022 and beyond.
Why Do Web Designers Struggle to Get More Clients?
Many web designers struggle to get more clients not because they offer poor services or don’t have enough work experience, because they just simply don’t have the time to work on their business rather than in their business. As someone who is dedicated to providing quality work and results for their clients, it’s hard to balance the work of delivering projects on time while also lining up new work.
Nowadays, it’s not enough to offer good services to attract clients, you also have to know how to sell the value you provide. As a result, you have to implement a modern marketing strategy to find your desired clients and persuade them to choose your services.
How to Get More Clients: 20 Ideas and Tips
Now that you know the importance of having a great marketing strategy to acquire more clients, it’s time to discuss some specific ideas you should keep in mind when marketing yourself and your services.
1. Have a mind-blowing, up-to-date personal website.
Since you’re a web designer, you must have a mind-blowing website that proves to your potential clients and visitors that you’re a professional in what you do and you can help them build their dream website. How can you expect someone to trust that you have excellent web design skills if you haven’t even put in the effort to create an amazing website for yourself?
Another reason you must have a great personal website is that it allows you to showcase your portfolio, reviews from previous clients, and contact information. Also, you can include a lot of helpful information about yourself and your skills or work experience that will let your potential clients understand whether you’re the right person for their project or not.
Many times, web designers struggle to keep their own personal or business websites up-to-date. Because you’re always building and caring for the websites of your clients, it’s easy to neglect your own or to make time to do needed updates to content, including updating your portfolio or adding new testimonials. Make a point to get your website up-to-date.
2. Develop your value proposition.
A good value proposition articulates why customers should invest in your services, helping to drive conversions and ultimately generate growth. Typically, a value proposition is the first thing web visitors will see on your company homepage and other relevant online entry points.
Coming up with a value proposition that truly resonates with your potential customers takes time, effort, and a whole lot of marketing savvy. Your website should display your value proposition front and center (after clearly defining what you do and what services you offer.)
Research shows that a well-written value proposition could end up reaping amazing results. Here are just a few benefits you can expect after crafting a compelling statement:
- The quality and quantity of your leads may improve – By targeting your ideal customers, a strong value proposition will help to drive quick conversions and improve profits.
- Customers will quickly understand what you’re offering – Web users often spend several minutes browsing a company website before they really understand what the business offers. This can be frustrating and time-consuming for the potential customer and, ultimately, reduce conversions. With an effective value proposition, however, you can build customer trust from the get-go.
- It will differentiate you from competitors – Standing out from the crowd can be difficult, even in niche markets. With a value proposition, you can boost your chances of getting noticed.
3. Work on your SEO.
Even if you offer SEO services for clients, you may not have been investing in your own. Work on identifying which keywords are popular at the moment and include them in the content of your website. Ultimately, this can make your website rank higher in search engines when people search for specific keywords related to web design—so more people can discover your website and find out more about how you can help them.
There are many free and paid SEO tools you can use to discover popular keywords. Once you have found top-performing keywords, you should create new website content, such as articles or blog posts. They have the purpose of advertising your business and answering your potential client’s questions about their problem.
With a solid SEO content marketing strategy, you can start generating new leads.
4. Invest in online ads.
Thanks to the Internet, nowadays, you can advertise your business to people around the world through different types of ads, such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and other social platforms.
Although all types of online ads have the same purpose (to increase brand awareness and attract new prospects), they don’t work equally well for every kind of business and client. So, it’s important to understand who is the ideal client for your product or offer before you spend your money on an advertisement campaign.
While running online ads, you should experiment with a few different ads and compare their performance to choose the best one. People also fail to understand that online ads are usually not intended to sell right away but rather make prospects aware of your business and visit your website.
5. Develop an email marketing strategy.
Now that you have optimized the SEO of your website and you’re having an increase in the number of visitors, you could get their emails and advertise your products or services to them through email marketing.
Although many people consider that email marketing is dead or it’s too disturbing to prospects, this is far from the truth. Email marketing is the marketing strategy with one of the highest ROI, and every $1 invested in it can get up to $44 in profit, representing a 4200% profit.
The first step of email marketing is gathering your prospects’ email addresses through a landing page that automatically collects and adds them to your email list. A landing page is usually a pop-up banner that appears on a website immediately when people visit your website or after a few seconds. Having a mind-blowing website also sends the message that you’re trustworthy and increases the number of emails your landing page collects.
However, if you want to get any email addresses from your website visitors, you should give them a freebie, usually called a lead magnet.
A lead magnet could be anything from videos, ebooks, or guides, up to discounts and free trials, as long as they are free and provide some type of value to your potential client.
After you collect the email addresses and send your prospects the freebie you promised them, you should regularly send them emails once a week or a few times a month to advertise your products or services and convince them to become clients. However, you shouldn’t send emails too often and make sure that they have a helpful and friendly tone but are not pushy.
6. Increase your social media presence.
In 2022, it’s not a secret that if you want to have a successful business or get new clients, you must be active on different social media platforms. Since millions of people spend multiple hours a day on their social media accounts, there’s a high chance that many of them can find out about what you do and become interested in becoming clients.
Having an active social media presence and posting helpful, relevant content will increase your audience’s trust and encourage them to work with you.
7. Publish YouTube videos.
YouTube continues to provide a powerful platform for creating an engaged audience and advertising yourself for free, but many people struggling to get more clients are still unaware of its capabilities.
One of the best types of the best YouTube videos you could publish are tutorials in which you explain to your audience and potential clients how to solve a problem they might have or teach them how to use a product you’re selling.
For example, if you’re a web designer, you could explain in your videos what are the most important design features of a website, and which are the best web design tools. You can even publish videos of how you design websites yourself. These videos help your audience understand that you’re a professional in what you do, and they might hire you for their projects.
8. Join Facebook groups.
One of the best ways to get new clients in 2022 is to be where people who need your help are. Although Facebook is no longer the most popular social media platform, Facebook groups are still a great place to find new clients.
Nowadays, there are plenty of Facebook groups where small business owners who have businesses in particular niches hang out to discuss different ideas. And almost every single small business owner knows that if they want to have more sales and grow their business, they should have a great website.
So, as a web designer, you could offer your services to those people by posting about your business on the Facebook groups or answering questions related to your area of expertise to group members.
This strategy doesn’t work for web designers only but for many other services, such as graphic design, photography, online marketing, and many other types.
9. Answer questions on different online platforms.
To take advantage of this opportunity, you should create an account on these platforms and include in your bio what you do, and add links to your website or portfolio. Next, you should search for questions related to what you’re offering at the moment (web design or other services/products) and answer as many questions as you can. You can also suggest that you might help them solve their problem.
Usually, you’re not helping only the people who have asked the question but other people who might have a similar question in the future. This way, you increase your chances of getting more clients now and in the future.
10. Provide free client consultations.
Before clients make up their minds to hire someone or use certain services, they want to be sure that they make the right choice. In this case, offering a free consultation is the best way to learn more about your potential client’s problems and what they are looking for. That allows you to give them solutions and assure them that you can solve their problem.
Clients love it when companies are genuinely interested in helping them and make an effort to understand what they want and need. And so, a free consultation is one of the most important aspects to consider to create a long-lasting relationship with your clients. Would you like to know the best questions to ask during a consultation? Here are 65 questions to ask during a client consultation.
11. Do some “pro bono” projects for free or for a lower price.
If you’re a beginner and still don’t have an impressive portfolio and struggle to get clients, this could be one of your best options. Of course, it’s not the most profitable way to get clients, but it has been very effective for many people like you at the beginning of their careers.
While offering your services for free, you shouldn’t be overworked and do a lot of work for nothing. It is acceptable to do some easy tasks for your portfolio for free, but not extensive projects. If someone asks you to do a big project for free, you should consider asking your client to pay you a lower fee or do a small part of the project for free to see if they like your work and then charge them for the rest of the project.
When doing free work, you should ask your clients to give you a review on your website, so other people who might consider hiring you in the future could see them.
12. Create an online course.
Yes, you read that right. Creating an online course can be a great idea to get new clients. An online course can serve multiple functions, such as letting your potential clients know who you’re, helping them solve a problem, and advertising your services. The best part about creating an online course is that you don’t have to be a genius to do it. You only have to write a few articles and make a few videos and use a tool to put them together into a great course.
Usually, a free course is used as a lead magnet for your landing page to collect more email addresses. You can tell your audience about your free course by posting about it on your social media accounts or YouTube videos.
Towards the end of the course, many people who have taken it might be interested in your services and should be ready to become your clients.
Using a WordPress LMS plugin like LearnDash makes the process of creating an online course quick and easy. They’ve simplified the online course setup on your website in one easy-to-use plugin, so you can offer lessons, quizzes, drip content, assignments, and much more.
13. Have a customer referral program.
Since some web designers struggle to get new clients after they complete a project for a client, they should consider asking their actual clients to refer them to other people. And so, if those people agree to become clients, your client receives a small discount. It’s a win-win situation.
This idea works well for most types of services, and it can help you have more clients and leads to creating a network of people who might hire you in the future. If you want to automate this process, you can use different WordPress plugins that help you launch a customer referral program.
14. Take a new training course.
No matter what industry you’re working in or what you do, there are many great training courses to develop your skills and teach you secrets to succeed in your career.
To make it easier for web designers to grow their freelance business and start with the right foot in this field, we created the iThemes Training WordPress training community. This platform aims to help beginner web designers master leading-edge WordPress skills to grow their business and make more money.
Each week, we host webinars to teach our members a different important topic related to web design.
As an iThemes Training member, you get:
- All-new premium courses developed and offered during your membership year
- Course replays and downloads to watch and learn at your convenience
- Exclusive members-only Slack Channel with advice, tips & feedback
- An extensive library of professional WordPress training
- WordPress basics training to help you learn WordPress
- Access to the annual WordPress Developer Course
We aim to offer beginner web designers who want to improve their skills and expand their knowledge of web design the best value for their money. Discover more about iThemes Training.
If you take any prestigious courses like ours, include this somewhere in your portfolio or website. Clients usually view this as a sign of higher qualification, and you increase your chances of getting more clients.
15. Offer website maintenance services for the websites you design.
Since many web designers have difficulties finding new clients after finishing a project, why not offer them maintenance services for their websites?
You probably already know that all websites need some maintenance to run smoothly, and you should explain to your clients why they should trust you for their WordPress maintenance services.
Before you say you don’t want to maintain many websites because you don’t have enough time to do it, you should check out iThemes Sync. iThemes Sync can help you make a steady, reliable income by helping you provide monthly WordPress maintenance services for your clients.
Individual site views in Sync let you do site-specific admin tasks, including performing WordPress plugin and theme upgrades, remote WordPress backups, and more.
To prove to your clients the value of your maintenance services, Sync sends them detailed reports of all the update actions you took, so you can justify the value of what you do.
16. Host a webinar.
Like a seminar or convention, a webinar allows business owners to share presentations and speak about their business to many people through the Internet. To host a webinar, you have to use software that lets you create virtual online conference rooms for you and your attendees to observe and follow your presentation. During a webinar, you can share your desktop screen, files, PowerPoint presentations, and other applications with your audience. Also, you can have a live Q&A section that allows your audience to ask you specific questions.
The advantage of webinars compared to individual meetings with potential clients is that business owners can interact with a large audience at once rather than having many particular meetings with their prospects.
Webinars are usually planned a few weeks in advance, and you should send a few reminders to your email list to increase their attendance.
17. Reach out to previous clients.
For many businesses, the key to success is having long-term partnerships with their clients and giving them the best services to make them come back again. Because of this, it’s a lot easier to convince previous clients to work with you again rather than look for new ones.
As a web designer, you could contact some of your previous clients for whom you have done projects a long time ago and ask them if they want to make any adjustments or have someone maintain their websites to make them run smoothly again.
18. Run limited-time discounts.
Sometimes, many people in your email list are ready to become clients, but they are still hesitant about it. Sometimes, it might be because they would like to get a discount. In this case, you should create some scarcity around your offer. Nothing makes more interest in something like the scarcity of a limited-time deal people might lose if they don’t take action quickly.
One of the things you can do to get more clients in this situation is to promise those people that you will give them a discount if they buy a certain package or two lower price packages at one.
Some businesses create scarcity by telling their email list that they will increase the price of their services or products soon, and this strategy works very well.
19. Publish guest posts on different blogs.
Even in 2022, people are still reading blogs to discover more about things they are interested in. And most blog owners send emails to their email list every time they post a new blog post on their websites to increase the number of readers of their blog.
Publishing guest posts makes it possible to share your knowledge with someone else’s audience and create awareness of your business, perhaps increasing traffic to your website and the chance to have more clients. Send an email to a blogger who has an audience that might be interested in your services to see if they’d be interested in publishing your guest post.
A blog post shouldn’t be something fancy or overly complicated. Instead, it should be helpful for the reader, clearly explaining the topic you’re writing about, and maybe have some references to your business.
20. Ask your clients to write a testimonial for you.
Before most people spend their hard-earned money on different services or products, they want to see some social proof that your services are valuable. And so, they usually look on your website to read testimonials from your previous clients to create an impression about your business.
By asking your clients for user testimonials and publishing them on your website, you increase the likelihood that your website visitors’ first impression of you is pleasant, and they might want to become clients.
When publishing the testimonials on your website, you should include the name of your clients and a picture of them, if possible.
21. Get certified in a new area of expertise.
Adding new professional certifications can allow you to boost your rates or expand your services to new areas. Certifications are documents that show you’ve completed a course or training and successfully passed an exam. Some certifications offer badges you can add to your website.
For example, consider getting certified with these professional Google career certificates:
- Digital Marketing & Ecommerce
- IT Support
- Data Analytics
- Project Management
- UX Design
22. Offer website protection to your clients.
WordPress websites need to be protected from cyber attacks, security breaches, and security issues. Without any protection and backup plan, WordPress websites are at risk of being wiped out forever.
Because clients don’t want to lose their websites due to cyber-attacks and other security issues, they would be interested in investing a small amount of money yearly to protect their websites.
Since WordPress doesn’t offer website protection to its users, we have been offering our iThemes Security Pro WordPress security plugin since 2014. iThemes Security Pro works 24/7 to prevent WordPress hacks, WordPress security breaches, WordPress malware, and more.
Some of its best features are:
- Stops automated attacks
- Monitors for suspicious activity
- Strengthens user credentials
- Scans for vulnerable plugins and themes to apply updates
- Blocks bad bots and reduces spam
- Automatically takes actions on your behalf to secure your site
Another effective method to protect a WordPress website is to have a backup tool like BackupBuddy. BackupBuddy backs up your entire WordPress site, lets you schedule backups, send/store backups off-site, and has a method for fast and easy restoring WordPress from a backup.
By including these two plugins in the website care plans you offer to your clients, you show them that you care about the longevity of your work and could charge more for website management services.
To sum up, getting more clients takes work and trying some new strategies. Just remember that consistency is essential in growing any type of business, and as long as you keep that in mind, you will succeed.
Kristen has been writing tutorials to help WordPress users since 2011. As marketing director here at iThemes, she’s dedicated to helping you find the best ways to build, manage, and maintain effective WordPress websites. Kristen also enjoys journaling (check out her side project, The Transformation Year!), hiking and camping, step aerobics, cooking, and daily adventures with her family, hoping to live a more present life.