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Old 16-06-2007, 16:49   #1 (permalink)
Colourscope
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Help! How can I market my web design business?

Hi,
I have been trading for about a year my web design company but am getting nowhere near as many clients as I'd like. I'm pretty well optimised for search engine ranking, am in top 30 in google for 'web design york' and No.2 in Yahoo and top 5 in MSN so I know I've got a good presence.

I am making money and getting some calls and leads but not nearly enough to keep me over the breadline.

Anyone have any suggestions/advice on how they get their clients?
I'm not really into the idea of email spamming everyone but would love to hear from others what they do to win clients.

Thanks,
Ollie
 
Old 16-06-2007, 16:58   #2 (permalink)
Rik
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There's many ways of getting more attention. here's a few i can think of:

- A bit of PR can work wonders. For instance - think of ways you can get your business talked about in the local papers.

- Think about a 'call to action' for your company website... be it a newsletter (make it interesting, please!), money off offer or competition. just something to hook folks in.

- Oh. and having some decent work to show off can help an all!
 
Old 16-06-2007, 17:23   #3 (permalink)
rfresh
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I was thinking of a newsletter too. My company has a nice no-spam (opt-in) professional newsletter product that you could use to market to your existing customers to get (1) more business or (2) referrals for new business. PM me for details if you are interested.

My business has good luck with google AdWords so you might consider that. I'm just starting to use their site-targeting campaign also but it's too early to tell how efffective it is.

RalphF
GoldRushWebHosting.com
 
Old 16-06-2007, 17:38   #4 (permalink)
Colourscope
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Newsletters sound a good idea but are you talking about me sending newsletters to my current client base or getting loads of emails addresses and sending to anyone in my area, ie. spamming or should we call it 'direct marketing'?
Ollie
 
Old 16-06-2007, 17:51   #5 (permalink)
Rik
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no spamming! just a slow build up of sign-ups through your website.

we started out sending our newsletter to about three people (including my dad) we have a good readership now.

we don't use any newletter software. just knock it together in dreamweaver and email it using thunderbird every few months.

Last edited by Rik : 16-06-2007 at 18:15.
 
Old 16-06-2007, 17:52   #6 (permalink)
Rik
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Your clients will love getting a mention!
 
Old 16-06-2007, 18:00   #7 (permalink)
Colourscope
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thanks, what's thunderbird?
and can i see your website? just to give me an idea about yourself.
also have you done cold calling? I'm just wondering if this is worth it or is this considered as spam also or an annoyance.

was thinking about writing letters to businesses telling them of my services then following up a week later with a call to ask if they were interested.

Problem is I get a bit annoyed with people doing it to me.

Ollie
 
Old 16-06-2007, 18:07   #8 (permalink)
Rik
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I hate cold calling! nothing worse in the world!

Well targeted letters (A dear sir/maddam letter usually gets chucked in the bin) with a polite follow up call work quite well but it's a grim life doing it!

our site is dogoodadvertising.com (link in my signature below) our newsletter ain't the best in the world but we do what we can... and folks like it.
 
Old 16-06-2007, 18:09   #9 (permalink)
Rik
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thunderbird is a free email app. by mozilla (who make firefox) seems to handle sending html newsletters quite well.
 
Old 16-06-2007, 18:18   #10 (permalink)
Colourscope
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thanks loved your site and it's general feel.
are you still recruiting? I'd like to offer my design services at a trade rate for you.

My web design skills are very good. I've been in the industry for ten years but only recently gone freelance and am always seeking other companies to freelance for.
 
Old 16-06-2007, 18:27   #11 (permalink)
Rik
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cheers! web design isn't our strongest skill! - but we put allot of graft into the site.. the portfolio is ages out of date though. it needs some tlc!

yep. we on the lookout. best to go the official route and punt in a email with some samples to hello .at. dogoodadvertising dot com - then me my cohort can have a look over.
 
Old 16-06-2007, 18:43   #12 (permalink)
Colourscope
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Message sent to you via dogoodadvertising.com. Hope it helps. Thanks for your advice also. Very much appreciated,
Ollie
 
Old 16-06-2007, 18:47   #13 (permalink)
Rik
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got the email thanks

will look though your stuff over a cup of tea on monday.

Last edited by Rik : 16-06-2007 at 19:29.
 
Old 18-06-2007, 03:28   #14 (permalink)
rfresh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colourscope
Newsletters sound a good idea but are you talking about me sending newsletters to my current client base or getting loads of emails addresses and sending to anyone in my area, ie. spamming or should we call it 'direct marketing'?
Ollie

Your current client base - this is an opt-in newsletter - no spam crap! Very professional looking, you can choose from many template designs. The opt-in is automatically handled for you by the program. It's called Express Email Marketing and I use myself with my customers.

RalphF
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Old 03-08-2007, 20:56   #15 (permalink)
visio
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my advice, a web site on such a competitive market as web design even one year old doesnt rate much in search engines, lets say Google, because even if you rate well in MSN or Yahoo you get nowhere, so the only one which counts is Google, and in my experience a site on web design and hosting less then 2 years and if you are not prepared to pay for pay-per-click, then you dont go anywhere, use this time to build links to your site, submit it to web design directories write some stuff and submit it to article directories, exchange or buy some relevant links.
Meanwhile go to forums and try to promote your services, digital point etc, to hang about on web design forums you will not get much customers as everyone is on web design.....

Hope it helps, and good luck.

Paul
 
Old 11-08-2007, 04:35   #16 (permalink)
bizops
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I would say your best bet is to market in forums where your customers would hang out: webmaster forums. Also, don't discount blog advertising as it will spread the word out to many people, and people tend to trust advice posted on blogs a little more than just general websites. Speaking of that too, you can buy blog posts to speed up your promotion.
 
Old 27-08-2007, 13:01   #17 (permalink)
dcypher.co.uk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visio
my advice, a web site on such a competitive market as web design even one year old doesnt rate much in search engines, lets say Google, because even if you rate well in MSN or Yahoo you get nowhere, so the only one which counts is Google, and in my experience a site on web design and hosting less then 2 years and if you are not prepared to pay for pay-per-click, then you dont go anywhere, use this time to build links to your site, submit it to web design directories write some stuff and submit it to article directories, exchange or buy some relevant links.
Meanwhile go to forums and try to promote your services, digital point etc, to hang about on web design forums you will not get much customers as everyone is on web design.....

Pauls advice is spot on, Try and follow it and you should pick up.
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Old 29-08-2007, 21:03   #18 (permalink)
Neil@WebExpress
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A brief mention to cold-calling. You might hate it, a chunk of your potential customers might hate it, but the reason it's still widely used is because it still works.

A direct mail campaign, with follow up phonecalls, is definately worth a try. If you don't want to get your hands dirty, employ somebody one day a week to cold call.

Not saying I advocate it.. but.. if it works...
 
Old 14-11-2007, 19:00   #19 (permalink)
nethawk
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I hate it too (or rather, I hate the prospect of doing it), but I'm strongly considering doing it.
 
Old 19-11-2007, 09:30   #20 (permalink)
dcypher.co.uk
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cold-calling is hard and I hate every minute of it, but when your starting out - it's a great way of picking up extra business.
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