I operate a small web design business. What would be the best way to market for potential clients?

My target audience is small businesses, home-based businesses and independents, what is the best way to target these groups?

Depending on your time and skill. You could do some quick makeovers to a select few small business owners that you would like to work with.

Contact them via snail mail sending them a photo of their revamped homepage and tell them to contact you for more information. Wait a few days then contact them

Note don’t makeover sites that already look great. Start with the duds. The ones that look like a 3rd grader put together

When you get a few appointments have them sign a contract with a clause near the end that they initial stating that if you do a great job that they will introduce you to 3 other colleagues.

Explain to them that’s how you maintain your business and that you only expect them to tell their colleagues if you’ve done a great job for them.

You of course will do a great job then ask them for those references.

Another idea might be offer free hosting for 1,2,etc… years depending on how much you charge for a design. Sign up to a hosting reseller account or get your own dedicated server and host your new clients websites.

This eliminates a monthly charge for them or at very least the annual hosting bill that some companies are now offering.

Stress to them the savings of the cost of hosting

Give talks at business owners assoc. or chamber of commerce, etc. stressing the need for a quality website to project a professional image and inform their potential customers of what they have to offer.

Always get testimonials as already suggested and make sure your own site is up to par. If you could create a testimonial binder to bring to your appointments this is best

In the binder you would have before and after shots from the websites you’ve created as well as copies of testimonials from the owners.

As well you would have this on your own site. Before/After/Testimonials

I will leave you with a brainstorming session.

Think of who is in front of your potential customers on a regular basis. Then strike up a deal with them or have them suggest your design company

ex.) small business owners are going to the printers a lot strike a deal with the major printers in your area to host their sites free

You’ll have the reseller/dedicated server account anyways as per suggested above.

In exchange for inserting a flyer into every print job going out. Or better yet announcing a ‘Printer Bob’s Customer only’ web design workshop put on by you or even still better a mailing to their in house list of small business owners

The workshop would hit some of the major hot selling points to your target market for having a quality designed website

Or even on a most basic level on your site you have recommendations for the other companies you suggest and work with in exchange for their endorsement of your service

Give it a shot

Scottie Logan
Night Owl Marketing