Here is a quick, easy and cheap method that anyone can use to give their web design business a quick shot in the arm.  With this method you can spend one or two hours worth of your time and no more than $10, and have a very good possibility of making thousands from getting just one new client.

Focus Your Web Design Marketing

Again, thinking locally, like in the last Web Design Business Builder article about Marketing for Web Design, pull out your local yellow pages or business phone directory, and choose a category like accountants, coffee shops, financial advisors, bicycle shops, attorneys, car repair, etc.  Go through a page or two of ads and pick out a dozen or so names where either 1) their website is ugly and old or 2) they don’t have a website at all (confirm it by searching Google using their name and city).

Direct Marketing On a Shoestring Budget

Next, draft several letters.  In the first letter, introduce yourself and your services.  If they did not have a website, mention how you noticed that they didn’t.  If they did, mention that it might be time to consider upgrading their website, or redesigning it.  Remember, be tactful and graceful!  No one wants to hire someone who just called their website, designed by their nephew, ugly.

In the second letter, continue to mention your services, and you might add something like, “You might not know that we also do…” Here you can mention online marketing, logo design, or another similar service you offer.  But the real point of the second letter is to announce a new 25% off sale, or some type of special, to respondents who mention this letter.  Tell them how they have been specifically chosen as an ideal match for your services, which is true, since you found their business in the phone directory and determined that they either don’t have a website or have an ugly, old one.  Sounds like a perfect match to me!

In the final letter, announce that they only have 24 hours left to claim the 25% off sale, and if they act now you will also include a free SEO package ensuring that Google will search their site and increase their chances of a high ranking (never promise ranking results with SEO).  It doesn’t have to be SEO, but throw in some kind of value-added service that you are good at and will catch their attention.  Also mention that if they aren’t convinced, they can contact you for a free, no-commitment, no-risk, half hour website consultation.

You can go all out and send the letters through physical snail mail.  It is, of course, much easier to use email, but less likely to be read. If using email DO NOT send this to more than one person at a time!  We are talking about only a dozen businesses; it won’t hurt to take a little extra time to send each email separately.  They don’t need to know that you are also targeting 11 of their competitors.  Space the messages about 2 to 3 days apart, but finish the series within one week.

Using postcards and direct phone calls is another spin on this method that I mention in this article about starting your web design business.

The advantage of using this method is that it costs little to nothing, and since you are targeting a certain industry you can personalize the template that you use for each set of letters or emails that you send out.  Also, you can do this over and over and perfect your letters or emails to be as effective as possible.

I present this as a quick way to get more business, but really it shouldn’t be used in isolation.  It is most effective as just a piece in a larger puzzle.  The larger puzzle would be made up of a holistic strategy which I am laying out in a series of blog posts.  If you would like to learn more about this, you can subscribe to my newsletter at the top right corner of this page.

In my upcoming articles I will lay out the full puzzle piece by piece, including the following:

  • Using Referrals to Get More Web Design Business
  • Maximizing the Lifetime Value of Your Clients
  • Never Lose a Customer by Keeping in Continual Contact
  • Using Social Networking to Attract More Business
  • Turn Around and Sell These Marketing Strategies to Your Clients