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As a small business owner (Web Design firm), finding clients is a huge task for me, one that takes up much of my time.  After reading blogs, ebooks, and physical books, I have found that my best form of sales is word of mouth between clients I already have and friends of mine recommending me.  Any ideas on how to increase these sales?

Tags: Advertising, Business, Clients, Design, Marketing, Small, Web

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Incentivize your clients to become your evangelists.

     You don't have to pay them a finders fee...you can provide added services as they grow your client base.

 

If each client only gives you two referrals a year that become customers, you'll double every year until you can't grow anymore.

Lee,

That's great!  I actually already do this.  But I do offer a discount for referrals.  Refer me and I'll give you xx% off your next order/month/design.  Has worked ok so far, not great, but okay.  Referrals have been some of my BEST clients though.  Easy to work with, most trusting, and kept coming back!

Let me know if you can add a plug-in, code, etc and what it would cost and I will send you a PayPal payment and an Admin p/w by email.

Lee, 

I can definitely do this.  I charge $65/hour.  This will only take me about a 1/2 hour to get in, make changes, style them (so it fits your theme) and allow for any changes you would like.  So $32.50 for the whole thing. My email address is below.  Happy to help!

Matthew,

I looked at your site, and the design is really nice - clean, elegant, and easy to navigate. You might want to consider having someone proofread your copy, though - I spotted several typos.

The one thing your site doesn't tell me is this: who are your clients? I know you have three client sites to view, but that's not what I mean. I mean, who are the clients you want to work with? What industries? What values? What personalities? There's very little on the site that screams "Matthew," and that could be hurting you. It's very professional, and very generic.

With very generic, you will find it difficult to compete with other designers who are crystal clear about their core customer base. Examples: www.menwithpens.ca, http://www.intuitivedesigns.net/, and http://outthinkgroup.com/ - each company does web design, but each puts their own spin on what types of clients they engage, and each is clearly speaking to that core group and only that core group.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but the best thing you can do for marketing is to narrow down your target market and speak to *them*. It doesn't matter if everyone thinks your site is pleasant - it matters if your target market is excited enough about what you do to plunk down some cold, hard cash. :-)

To your specific question, I'd recommend you ask your existing clients for testimonials you can put on the site. Start using twitter and/or facebook to get your name out there a bit more (I can help you with some beginner social media strategies if you like). Consider doing a series of posts on design errors that you find online - that sort of thing is likely to garner traffic, and traffic means more communication with potential clients.

Hope that helps a bit,

Kathleen

Kathleen,

Thanks!  I have already been doing some social media marketing (my wife is a PR director and has been beginning to help me).  All of these were great insights that I will be implementing soon!

Matt,

I notice that you're a Wordpress guru...

 

Please take a peek at my blog and let me know what it would take to add a chronological button to the bottom of each post.

I have the calendar, but I want to be able to read each blog and have a Prior / Next button at the bottom to read forward and backward.  (Seth Godin's blog has this and I love that feature.)

 

www.leesmithnd.com  

Lee,

Very cool site!  Adding "previous post" button will require some editing of the theme files (not sure if you know about doing this or not).  I searched for a simple plugin that would contain this functionality, but could not find one that fit your needs exactly.  Another alternative would be a "related posts" plugin which would add a list of post in the same category and with similar keywords.  If you want, I could guide you through putting the link in the theme files.  Email me at mrpritchett@matthewrpritchett.com.  

 

I also noticed a few other things.  I would tone down the green some (less bright), as it is pretty hard to read against a white background.  Also, your categories widget is displaying underneath the post rather than in the sidebar position, probably a problem in the css.  I like the site look overall though!  Interesting reading!

 

Matthew, Please feel free to create a profile for your company in our new supplier database. Anyone looking for a resource can filter by company name, state, commodity, ownership, certifications, etc.

 

The site is http://RealBusinessSolutionCenter.com and there is no cost!

 

You might consider creating a short 20 - 30 minute power point presentation on website design. Then you can contact the local Chambers, Rotary Clubs and other civic organizations to see if they will let you present to their membership. If your presentation is inviting and you come off as an expert.....it will typically lead to customers.

 

Aside of word-of-mouth speaking is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have.

Matthew,

We struggled with this as well for a bit. We offered discounts and paid referrals and it always seemed hit and miss. We finally send a survey out to our customers asking them what would motivate them the most. They answered and we changed our plan to what they said. We do photography our clients wanted to earn rewards such as specialty products and print credits. We answered their request and have really managed to make it go far.

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