I've been receiving many messages lately on how difficult it is to get webdesign clients. The majority of stories revolve around potential clients ignoring you or disappearing after a first promising exchange of emails.
So I decided to put together an article, listing what I do to book Webdesign clients FOR REAL. Everything in this article is based on pure practice and my personal experience.
As I always say, everything starts with research. The wrongest thing you can do is to send duplicate emails that you create in batch for everyone you want to work with.
The client needs to feel that the email is original and written just for her.
I don't know you, but I immediately spot a “copy and paste” proposal to work with me. I receive duplicate messages all the time on Linkedin, and I stop reading them after the second line.
I take into consideration just the ones I feel genuine, and the ones where I see that the person TRULY knows who I am and what I do.
That's why research is fundamental before writing the email.
Visit your addressee's website and take notes. Get familiar with what the client does. Then write the message sowing here and there information you grasped from your research.
I'm aware that this approach takes way more time than bombarding 100 clients with the same email. That's why you need to sort clients.
When I'm looking for website redesign gigs, I discard all the companies with a presentable website. Researching and pitching my service to them would be a waste of time.
I reach out just to clients who could need my help. This allows me to reduce the time I spend collecting info.
Focus on them
In case you offer Webdesign services, it's useful to highlight what are the flaws of the client's website, and how you could solve the problem.
This part is what makes your approach different from the crowd.
Clients aren't interested in your previous experiences and history. What they truly want to know is if you can be an asset to them and how motivated you are.
The fact is that usually, clients don't even know what their problem is. If you can show their website's flaws, and then you show how you can fix them, they will pay attention.
Showing what needs improvement
But what's the best way to show what you can do for the clients?
Visual explanations is the answer.
When I contact a client, I rarely write a plain text email. I use videos and images, instead. They permit me to show visually what are the parts to improve on their website.
In case I want to shoot a video, I use Loom. Loom is a great tool to film screencasts, upload them online, and share them through a private link.
If I want to attach an image to my email instead, I use Skitch to add notes on the website screenshot.
I've been using pain emails for a while before realizing that almost everyone responds better to videos and images. So why not using the same approach in my emails.
This turned out to be the right choice. Since I use videos and notes on screenshots to promote my services, I saw an increase in positive feedback.
Working before getting paid
In case you definitely want to work with a specific client, you can go a little farther with your strategy.
Instead of notes on the existing website, you can create a new version of this client's homepage.
This method needs more time and energy, but it's so far the best one I used to collect clients. If you want to impress someone, there's no better way than working for that person without getting paid.
To reduce the time it would take you to create a new mockup, you need to use website builders. They allow you to come up with a fresh design quickly, using drag-and-drop.
I've been using Elementor for years, and it made a huge difference in finding web design clients. With Elementor, I can create a webpage in a matter of an hour and send it to the client as an example of what I can create for him.
And if you don't want to invest too long creating a new template from scratch, Elementor gives you a vast list of templates you can choose from.
Tailor your service
The last advice I can give you is to be honest and specific with your clients. Promise just what you can deliver, and promote tailored services for your clients.
The more tailored they are, the better they will work.
While the majority of web designers propose a 360degrees service (blending with the background), you can be the authority in your distinct topic.
Niching down gives better results than being the all-round expert.
And if you need an extra push to convince them to hire you, offer a trial period. Propose to work together for a month in order to see if you're good for each other. If at the end of the trial, you're not a good match, no hard feelings.