How to Win Clients in a Web Design Business? Here's How:

Web designer tools - laptop and notepad

If you run a web design agency, you know what’s keeping you up at night – The constant battle between client needs and your own needs to grow your business, winning new projects and new clients.

The result? The marketing is broken, business grows suffers, and agencies get stuck in the daily hustle.

Web design agency owner lost in projects graphics
Get lost in projects, no time to grow your own agency business?

Many agencies rely on referrals and existing customers to win new business. While this strategy helps you sustain and even grow the agency short-term, it’s deemed to fail over time.

Ambitious web agency owners work with lead generation and marketing systems so that they can take back control and work with those clients that you can best serve, filtering out the time-wasters and low-quality leads.

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Coming from a web design background ourselves (Our Co-Founder Waseem is a web agency owner), we thought about this problem quite a bit. Here are 4 simple steps that you can start today to get your web agency in a better position and start generating more quality leads that turn into clients.


Step 1: Prioritize Sales First 

Running a web design service has the challenge to continuously deliver quality work while hunting for more web leads at the projects.

Particularly, freelancers and small agencies know this problem too well.

Having been involved in a web agency myself, I understand how tricky the web design service model can be.

Is the solution to outsource work abroad to have more time to find leads and sell?

I am not convinced that outsourcing is the holy grail to solve this dilemma or to scale an agency.

After all, it would only allow you to optimize the delivery part; You wouldn't get better at prospecting and sales automatically.

Outsourcing or building systems on the operational and delivery side have no direct effect on improved sales.

A Sales First Approach to Web Design prospecting

It is a trap that many small business owners fall into: "If I only did this and this, then I will have time for sales."

The reality is you won't have more time because more problems are just about to come.

Something else will grab your attention quickly.

Prospecting and sales require focus and dedication, consistently and consciously - every day until it becomes a habit.

Action No. 1: Make a conscious decision to manage your web design leads

  • Book at least a 1-hour time slot in your calendar every day and dedicate this time to prospecting web design leads. Ideally, do the prospecting early in the morning as a priority before you get to the other things that grab your attention.

 

  • Prioritize new client acquisition and prospecting over spending time on your existing client base for up-sells and new projects.  This is another trap because it's easier to speak to customers and leads you already know. The problem is that there's a limit to it and to scale you need to bring more leads and prospects into your funnel.

 

  • If you have an established team, even a small one of just a few staff, define responsibilities for sales clearly. Make at least one person of your team accountable for lead generation and sales metrics (New leads identified, Warm leads, Calls booked, Deals closed). Use a CRM like HubSpot, Salesforce or ActiveCampaign to track those important stats. Make sure the individual/ team member is not the agency owner. Of course it's the owner's responsibility to prospect and sell, but ultimately it's about building systems that work without the help of the agency owner.


If you want to learn more about using CRM systems for web agencies, then listen to our podcast episode on Marketing Automation by our Co-Founders Chris and Waseem:

 

 


Step 2: Leverage Your Own Website 

Leverage your own website for web design clients

Now that you worked on your mindset and allocated times for sales every day, you have taken the first step.

Next, ensure that you have a professional website, no matter the size of your web design business.

Why is a website important?

Many marketers, including self-proclaimed industry experts, say that websites are no longer important.

I disagree.

It is 100% possible to build a successful business without a website. However, here's the problem with that:

Which big service brand do you know that doesn't have a website? I can't think of a single one. The "experts" that say websites are dead are either over-simplifying or just want to sell their products.

Because you are reading this post, I assume you are ambitious and want to build a bigger web agency. If that's the case, use a professional website to capture web design leads.

After all, if you are selling website design, you should probably lead by example and have one yourself, right?


Action No. 2: Showcase Project Portfolio To Catch Web Design Leads

  • On your website, have a dedicated portfolio section that will attract web leads. In there, represent your projects both visually and from the performance perspective. Performance, in this case, describes how the client website actually performs. Not only showcase your designs, but also the business impact your work as you can really differentiate yourself from other designers. Present case studies and stats like lead generation, e-commerce sales, time spent on-site in your portfolio.

 

  • Have a strong website portfolio as the key place, but also use sites like Behance and other portfolio platforms. The more visibility you get, the better.

 

  • Use an optimized website lead generation form using LeadGen. Marketers and agency owners often spend a huge amount of time in optimizing web design, copywriting, analyzing heatmaps, but forget one critical thing: Providing a user-friendly and straightforward way to capture details of interested leads that want to work with you.Web forms are the best way to generate quality leads and maximize conversion rates of your agency website. Do not rely on a simple WordPress plugin or basic form solution for your main inquiry channel, the contact form. Make your form 1) Easy to find, 2) Short & Precise and 3) Visually attractive. That will give the best possible lead conversion rates and you'll be surprised how well your website can actually convert once you take this strategy seriously.

Compare These Contact Forms

See the difference of a Basic form (above) vs. an Optimized multi-step contact form below.

Old form (used by a company that sells battery pack solutions for events):

There are a few things that can be improved with this contact form:

Firstly, it contains too many questions (Delete all irrelevant ones to simplify the process of lead capture). Secondly, it simply looks boring and is not nicely branded in company colours. The text is relatively small and hard to read. Also, the form is built with all questions on one step, causing information overload. Questions are not intuitive to answer and the form uses of inadequate question types for questions that could be presented much more user-friendly.

Try out the new contact form by going through the steps

The new form is built in a multi-step format which you can easily do with LeadGen App.

The steps help to make things a lot easier to process and easier to understand for web visitors. Also, you'll see that form is relatively short when going through it. A lead form on the website should only ask for the most important information. You'll have all kinds of chances to get information from leads later on, once you their email and phone number. However, sometimes there might be a case for lead qualification forms that intentionally add questions to filter out the best leads.

Step 3: Maximize Lead Generation Channels 

Maximise Lead generation channels

The more offers you present to your potential customers, the more likely you'll receive leads for your services.

Website contact forms are one of these channels and a must-have to win leads for web design projects.

Besides contact forms, you can also display an email address for another channel of enquiries.

Furthermore, ensure that you have a business phone number and display it via the header on every page and blog post of your website.

Now, you might think: Why don't we display such a phone number at LeadGen App?

Well, simply because we are not a service business and there is less of a need to talk to users. They can directly get started using the tool or subscribe to our newsletter.

Not everyone is going to call into your office, but the more you grow, the more inquiries you'll get. That's why you should always ensure to have your phone number prominently displayed on your site.

Contact forms, emails and phone numbers are great for web design leads that are in the mindset of being ready to work with you. Now, there are tons of more lead opportunities of those users that are not ready yet, but interested in what you can provide. This is the vast majority of website users.

Say, for example, your website has 2000 users per month, then at least 80% won't be ready to buy or inquire straight away.

That doesn't mean they can't become an opportunity for you, a little later.

That's 1600 people each month: Tremendous potential for lead capture and sales.

How can you turn your users into leads?

The trick here is to lower the barrier. To make it easy for people to get to the next step.

Here's what I mean by this:

A contact form request, phone call or consulting booking is hard. In any of these cases, the lead will need to speak with you, whether it's online, on a call or consultation.

And that is exactly what stops people to take action and inquire.

So, what you need to do is to provide valuable and easy offers such as downloadable resources, case study access, tool access and so on.

Here is one particular cool tactic: Calculators

A great thing you can create is a web design cost calculators that allows prospects to see how much a project with you/ your company would cost.

Web designer form to capture leads for design services

LeadGen Demo Form - Website Design Cost Calculator

 

 

To build a lead capture form like this, use LeadGen App which makes it extremely easy to build a calculator/ quote generator.

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Most companies simply set-up a website with some content, maybe even a blog and hope for the traffic to convert into business, e.g via placing phone numbers, emails or a simple contact form.

Now, all that is standard. Pretty much everyone does it.

An interactive quote request form like a calculator can be the answer to scale up your design leads.

Try out the calculator form here. Just go through the form to see the quote on the Thank-you message (You can keep the email field empty for demo purposes):

Web Design project cost calculator, built with LeadGen

Action No. 3: Use Different Lead Capture Streams To Generate Web Design Leads

  • Your website should become a magnet for generating leads. Don't rely on a single contact form. Instead, add contact email, phone number prominently in the website header.
  • Use Lead capture forms across web-pages and blog.
  • Create interactive quote request forms to present your audience quotes and capture web design leads at the same time.


Step 4: Last but not least: Niche Down Your Positioning

How to niche down your web design services

The key problem is that there is so much competition in web design. There are too many options for companies to find web developers.

To differentiate yourself from all the other providers of web development services, start with identifying your niche. Possibly you can pick a certain industry or vertical that you will become the specialist in, e.g. "Web design for realtors in Utah". Even if you are an existing web design company, servicing a wide range of companies, you can still "niche down". Simply have a dedicated web-page or blog post on a niche only.

Once you got clarity on your positioning, increase your visibility. Although we highlighted that the website is the key channel to generate leads, use other traffic and awareness channels as well. You can also use freelancer platforms like Upwork even if you are a small agency. Web agencies should also be listed on trusted agency listing sites. One of the leading portals is Clutch which offers both free and paid listings. Furthermore, use social channels and communities where your audience spends time on.

Furthermore, build partnerships with other complementary service providers that allow you to build a network and get yourself known in the market.


Resources

Resources for web designers

Here is a list of further resources that will help you scale your web design services with more leads and sales.

1. Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations - Very Relevant for B2B Businesses and Agencies (Audiobook)
2. Clutch: B2B Listing platform with ratings and review system. Great for more enquiries, referral traffic to website and awareness (See Website)
3. Agencynomics: The story and learnings of agency owners from Spencer Gallagher and Peter Hoole on their success story of building a sustainable agency business (See Audiobook)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


About the Author

author_image

Christopher Lier, CMO LeadGen App

Christopher is a specialist in Conversion Rate Optimisation and Lead Generation. He has a background in Corporate Sales and Marketing and is active in digital media for more than 5 Years. He pursued his passion for entrepreneurship and digital marketing and developed his first online businesses since the age of 20, while still in University. He co-founded LeadGen in 2018 and is responsible for customer success, marketing and growth.

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