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#1 pfar54  Icon User is offline

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How do you obtain new clients

Posted 28 January 2016 - 12:08 PM

I decided I want to start my own small website design company. For now it will be only myself until I start picking up good clients. I got this idea because, I was posting some ads on Facebook groups about needing services done and then I thought, I don't really want to pay for this, but I need it done, so I thought, "hey, why not trade my service of a web design for their service". I was able to obtain a client this way. I have not started the job yet, but the contract was sent out and it should be signed and back to me any day with him starting the service first any day.

Then I thought, "why not make some money doing this, rather than just trading services." I started putting ads up on Facebook group sites, many of those groups were For sale sites, which I realized is the wrong target market. I get inquires all of the time, but most people want a website for a small product they make on the side. They want a huge website design for like $100. Though, I have gotten a couple of inquires from businesses to update/create a new site for them. This has some promise, but for the most part I am wasting my time speaking with the small household businesses or individuals.

I realized, for me to get a real client, like I want, I need to design a very nice website. For the last three weeks I have been doing that and I will probably be done in 3 weeks or so.


Now this brings me to my question. How should I go about obtaining clients. Cold-calling, knock on doors, or what? I won't have a portfolio to show them, only my website and possibly the one website I will be designing for my service trade, but I matched the values for this, so it won't be a top notch design like I would do for a higher paying client.

How do you all find new clients? I am sure once you get going referrals take place, but what helped you get your first few clients? Was it a great website design from you, tenacious follow up and effort for sales, what?

An idea I had was to approach a large eye clinic around my area to again, trade my service for theirs and for them to provide me with lasik. Though, that is only another service approach, but it would help me be able to expand my portfolio and show the work I could do, with a reputable company.


Any help or insight would be appreciated.

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Replies To: How do you obtain new clients

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you obtain new clients

Posted 28 January 2016 - 12:15 PM

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but for the most part I am wasting my time speaking with the small household businesses or individuals

Or you can streamline your process so you have a generic template already and you can knock out the specifics as required.

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How should I go about obtaining clients.

Advertise, word of mouth, hunt them down, networking, local bartering groups, find on local help wanted sites, talk to headhunters for contract work, etc

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Cold-calling, knock on doors, or what?

That's certainly ways of doing it. Local sales sites like Craigslist, referral programs, freelance boards, etc.

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I won't have a portfolio to show them,

.. and yet you turn down smaller sites that would help build up that portfolio? STrange.
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#3 pfar54  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you obtain new clients

Posted 28 January 2016 - 12:23 PM

mod: removed giant post. Please just use the 'reply' button


Thanks for the insight. I have tried Craigslist, but I have tried the general for sale section because it draws more views, but at the same time I am not targeting the correct market I need to be going after. I will adjust that.

As far as the templates go for Social Media groups. I have a general template, but I should be more specific. I should also try different groups. With for sale sights, I am going after people wanting stuff for dirt cheap and that is what I am getting. I am not turning away anyone seriously interested who doesn't want my services for nothing. Many people want me to design them an ecommcerce site/blog for like $50. That is just smart to turn those down. I am not going to spend hours and hours for $50. Now if it was for charity for an organization I believed in, I would gladly do it for cheap or free. Not people who are wanting to gain a lot of money with the site and expect to pay me dirt. I would honestly like to work with smaller companies more because it really matters to them, but again they can't expect to have someone do this for close to free.


Any other tips?

This post has been edited by modi123_1: 28 January 2016 - 12:25 PM
Reason for edit:: remove giant quote. Please use the 'reply' button

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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you obtain new clients

Posted 28 January 2016 - 12:29 PM

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I am not targeting the correct market I need to be going after.

What market are you going after?

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Many people want me to design them an ecommcerce site/blog for like $50. That is just smart to turn those down.

Well, yeah. Everyone wants crap for free. Peep at the 'post a job' site here and see how many people have asinine requirements in exchange for "credit" or a pittance of money if the project ever leaves the ground.

What you can do is put on your sales hat, explain the level of work needed, why your hours are fair, and make them comfortable getting the idea that this cost time and money. Flip folk who just have a skewed idea.

Then network with head hunters for 'contract' jobs.
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#5 pfar54  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you obtain new clients

Posted 28 January 2016 - 12:44 PM

mod: Like I said - there's no need to quote the entire post above yours.

I do not have an exact market I am going after right now. I wish I did and I am sure I will find that as I proceed. Up to this point I have been posting on Facebook groups that range from construction sites (this got me the service job and I have had three other potential clients message me from there, at least from this source there are established contractors with some money to spend), Local for sale groups, local garage sale sites (the same as for sale sights - this has gotten me two prospective clients, one with a photography studio located in the heart of a very busy part of town, so it is a profitable business). Then other than that, just Craigslist. I have not tried going to any businesses yet because I don't even have a website to showcase anything I can do, so I want to be ready for them.

The people I have been talking to are the direct decision makers for what they want done, so I felt it was a good starting point without having any showcase.


My idea for the medium/small businesses with actual roof-top locations is to browse many different businesses and look to see if they have websites and if they do, the quality of them. Then if the quality is old and out-dated to proceed and contact them and introduce myself.

I can definitely put my sales hat on. It is a part of my job and my title is market development, so I have a fundamental background to get this going. I am just struggling trying to find who I can market out to. I have a limitation in what I know so far with coding. I am great with front-end, but back-end I am not the best yet. So, I have to find businesses who need limited back-end work and sell them as to why my cost out-weighs a cheap $10 month subscription to an online template website.

This post has been edited by modi123_1: 28 January 2016 - 12:52 PM
Reason for edit:: removed giant quote

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#6 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you obtain new clients

Posted 28 January 2016 - 01:10 PM

Welcome to freelancing. Unfortunately, you get what you can get until you make a name that is out there. Send me a PM, I may have something to discuss with you.
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#7 pfar54  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you obtain new clients

Posted 28 January 2016 - 01:23 PM

There has to be a better approach than just that. Business is business. I understand I will take a hit initially and for a little while. There has to be a sound approach that works or else people would never make it.
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#8 carloborja  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you obtain new clients

Posted 24 February 2016 - 08:07 PM

First of all, I think your website should be your portfolio. You need to invest time in this as this is like your online calling card.

Try to improve it by showcasing what you can do and what you have done.

This includes having your past clients write testimonials for you as a social proof.

Other than that, you have to be more proactive. One thing that works is to get referrals from your past clients. This won't be hard if you always make your clients happy -- not to mention they would come back again and again for your service.
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#9 PreciousReed  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you obtain new clients

Posted 20 April 2016 - 12:55 PM

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They want a huge website design for like $100.


So cheap. A lot of companies will pay more if you're a good web developer/designer.


To get more clients, you need to create your presence. You canjoin groups, communities forums, mingle around and promote yourself. Aside from, you can make your own website as your portfolio showcasing your web projects and other web designing tasks. This will be the basis for your clients in hiring/contracting you.
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