Starting a web design business can be an exciting and profitable venture.
However, it's not as easy as putting up a website and starting to take orders. Where will you get new clients from? Why would a prospective client choose you? How will you stay organized with projects and client communication? How can you grow the business and make more money?
These are really important questions you should start to answer before you start a web design business. Fortunately, the information presented below will give you a great starting point as you define your answers based on your situation.
Build Trust First
Most people starting a web design business find themselves spending a lot of time on marketing activities like creating social media posts, investing in Facebook ads, and sending cold emails. While these activities are important, they can often take up a lot of time that could be better spent designing websites.
Freelance sites like Upwork.com or Fiverr.com can help to free up some of that time by connecting you with clients who are looking for web design services. Keep in mind that these sites will take a cut of the fee you charge a client for commission. Look at it as the cost of using their marketing power to bring you new clients.
Since you are new to website design services, you will need to charge lower than the other freelance service providers. You don’t have a well-developed portfolio with client reviews. Most people will ignore your service offering, unless you give them a lower price point they can’t resist.
Showcase Your Services
Be careful with lower priced offerings. Your goal is to get to the point where you can charge a lot for your hard work as quickly as possible.
That’s why it’s important to start working right away on a strong portfolio to showcase to potential clients. A well-developed client portfolio will present your professionalism and dedication better than any service description you could create.
A high-quality portfolio can help you attract better quality job invites from potential clients on freelancing sites like UpWork.com. Additionally, it can give you higher profile views from potential clients, leading to higher paying business opportunities.
But how do you develop a portfolio when you are just starting out with your web design business?
You can register several domains and create example websites that highlight your skills. Use these example websites as your initial portfolio pieces.
You have to give potential clients something to work with when evaluating your business as a potential hire.
Invest in Customer Service Software
Getting a new client is great, but the key to long term business success is providing great customer service. A CRM, or customer relationship management system, is a software application that helps you manage your sales pipeline, keep track of current and prospective clients, and maintain good relationships with customers.
A CRM can help you to:
- Keep track of all your leads and potential customers in one place.
- Follow up with leads in a timely manner.
- Convert more leads into paying customers.
- Get insights that can help you “niche down”.
While a CRM is not absolutely essential to starting a web design business, it can be a valuable tool to help you get organized and scale your business. There are a number of different CRM software applications available, so be sure to do your research to find one that best meets your needs.
Start to Niche Down
Some people think that in order to be a successful web design business, they need to offer a wide range of services and products. But this isn't always the case. In fact, it's often better to focus on a specific niche market and identify problems you can solve for them. Here are some benefits of doing this:
- You'll have a clear target market that you can focus your marketing efforts on.
- You can become an expert in your field more easily, which will make it easier to sell your services.
- It's often easier to get started when you're starting small and then expanding later on, rather than trying to do everything at once.
If you're not sure where to start, here are a few tips.
Pay attention to the conversations you have with your initial clients and prospects. They will often leave clues or outright mention pain points specific to their industry.
Use questionnaires and feedback forms to generate more data that you can learn from. You should be using these types of forms before and after the project is done.
These are the windows of time that will help you deliver a website that accurately achieves the client’s business goals, while giving you intel on how you can stand out better than your competition. Make sure that you are using questions that help you uncover pain points.
Find forums that are either related to the;
- industries your initial clients are in, or
- in markets that you are interested in working in.
Take a look at the discussions that are taking place. What questions are people asking? What problems do they have?
Starting a web design business can be daunting, but it's important to be efficient when starting out.
Build your portfolio, and let the marketing muscle of sites like Upwork.com and Fiverr.com promote it for you.
Stay organized and focused with CRM tools like Zoho.com or Monday.com so you can stay on top of projects. That way, you will consistently deliver great customer service that will keep your clients happy and coming back for more.
Pay attention to the problems that your clients have, and you may uncover a hidden niche that you can plan to dominate.
Building a successful business takes hard work and dedication, but if you're efficient in the early stages, you'll be well on your way to success.