Congratulations! You've decided to venture out into the beautiful world of freelance and offer your web design services.
Right now, your brain is likely buzzing with excitement and overloaded with ideas on how to bring everything together.
You're probably somewhere between enthusiasm and freak-out mode and wondering how to market your new business to get the ball rolling and keep the clients coming.
First thing's first, don't freak out! All of the buzz and excitement is normal. And to keep you on the right track, here are a few things you can do to successfully market your web design business.
- Map out a marketing plan
- Pick a niche
- Create your Legiit profile
- Utilize your website
- Social media marketing
- Be a solutionist
#1. Map Out A Marketing Plan
Having a marketing plan is essential to your success and simple to do. So, before you jump in head first, make yourself a roadmap. Then, take some time to do a little research and answer some essential questions like:
What is your mission statement?
A mission statement provides you with a focal point of what you're offering. It doesn't have to be an epic paragraph. It can be as simple as, "My mission is to deliver solutions to customers needing web design services."
Don't over-think it, but make sure that it's something you can reference to keep yourself grounded.
What are your goals?
Stay motivated and focused by defining your goals. However, refrain from going crazy on this one. There's nothing wrong with aiming for the sky, but keeping them realistic and straightforward will help you feel less overwhelmed.
Separate your goals into long-term and short-term, and think of them as building blocks-You have to complete one to stack another.
What is your 'why'?
Maybe you decided to start this freelancing adventure because you're sick of your 9-5 and want to replace it as fast as possible.
Perhaps you want a side-hustle to help with debt and foresee slowly transitioning to a full-time freelance career.
Whatever the scenario, this is a vital piece of the marketing puzzle and can help you stay passionate about your goals.
Write your 'why' down somewhere visible to be reminded of daily. Grab a post-it and put it on your computer or log it as a recurring event in your phone calendar. Either way, make sure you revisit it often.
Where and how are you going to market services?
Brainstorm some marketing tactics you think could work for your business. For example, will you try email marketing, social media, etc.? There are a ton of avenues available, so jot down some things you think might work.
Who is your competition?
Get a good understanding of your competitors. Doing this might take little research, but it can help you expose weaknesses that you can offer to fix for your clientele.
Who is your client?
Everything in your marketing strategy will revolve around this question, so you'd be wise to spend some time putting together the perfect client profile.
Remember that this is just a guide, and nothing is permanent. Once you navigate this journey, you'll find avenues that work great and some that don't. As you become aware of issues, it’s beneficial to be open to change.
#2. Pick a niche
It's great to be a generalist in your area, but since the competition in web design is fierce, you'd be doing an excellent service to your business by niching down. Doing this is the remedy if you want to be in demand and position yourself to endless clientele and more revenue.
What does 'niche down' mean, exactly? Well, it means that instead of a generalist, you are a subject matter expert for something in your line of business. For example, you could design for any of the following companies:
You could even specialize in content management systems and online web building sites like:
- Hair Salons
A Hypothetical: You've started freelancing, and your very first client is a hair salon that desperately needs a web designer. You went back and forth with the client, worked out the kinks, did your research, and delivered impeccable results.
A few weeks later, another hair salon requested your services. You're more than willing to take on this client because you’ve done the research.
You know that stock photos don't go over well with hair salon clients, and they need to have pictures of the actual employees doing work.
You're also aware that the site needs to be user-friendly with the option to book appointments and resolve issues quickly online, among other things. And just like that, a niche is born.
#3. Create your Legiit profile
If you haven't signed up as a freelancer on legiit.com, you should do so immediately. It's simple, and doing this gets you in front of thousands of business owners worldwide who require your services.
Aside from becoming increasingly popular, Legiit was created by freelancers familiar with the gig economy and succeeded in creating a fair system for both buyers and sellers. Some of the perks include.
However, when freelancers create a system, those issues are eliminated. So, if you ever run into a dispute (and you will), you want to be with a company that will act as a fair mediator.
- Uploading a portfolio: There are many freelancing sites out there, but most of them don't have an option to upload your portfolio. This perk is highly beneficial, so the buyer can get to know your work and make an educated decision on a fit-all in one sitting.
- Customer support: If you're new to freelancing, you probably don't yet understand the woes of other platform customer dispute systems. A lack of communication is at the center of the problem, and some sites fare on the buyer's side.
Legiit has its own
full of active freelancers like yourself who ask
questions daily. You'll learn a tremendous amount about how everything works,
and promoting your business for free on certain days is a big bonus.
- Profile visibility: As a freelancer, your profile visibility is essential. Buyers can't request your services if they can't see you. Thankfully, Legiit has several options for promotion to get people from all over the world to click on your profile.
- Facebook Group: Having a community at your disposal is invaluable, especially regarding your job. There are so many questions at the beginning of this freelance journey, and it can be overwhelming and a little scary.
#4. Utilize your website
With millions of people on the internet worldwide, there are endless possibilities for marketing your services. And since your job is designing websites, put yours to good use. In other words, don't just use your site as a portfolio; make it work for your overall strategy. Here are some ideas.
- SEO- friendly website: How optimized is your website? If not, put in some work and research keywords and placement for maximum optimization. This can potentially put you on the map and pull traffic to your site.
- Email marketing: A great way to attract business is through email marketing. You can grow a list organically if you have something of value to offer. Your expertise in your niche comes into play, and you could offer things like:
- Online courses
- Discounts on services
- Blogs Posts- Add a blog to your website. It's not uncommon for sites to have them, but they are incredibly undervalued. Suppose you lack time to add this resource, outsource blog posts from legiit.com. There are a ton of writers at your disposal. Blogging consistently and with relevant, valuable information can build trust and translate into sales.
#5. Social Media Marketing
Most everyone has a social media account of some sort, and whether it's personal or business, we're all plugged in. And that's why social media marketing is such a huge deal. However, to do it effectively, you can't be a scroller- you have to engage and post consistently.
Content creation is not an easy job, especially across multiple platforms. So you want to make sure that you choose the best sites for your business and your ideal client. Here are some places to think about,
Keep in mind that social media marketing is a long-term strategy. It takes time to build a following, and engagement is essential. You have to make yourself available to answer questions and create relevant content. And don't forget that you can outsource social media management through Legiit.
#6. Be a solutionist
Remember when you made your marketing plan and researched your competition and your perfect client?
Well, here's where all that hard work and information comes in handy.
If you understand your competition and find their weaknesses, you can fill in the gaps appropriately with your services and fine-tune what you're offering.
Knowing your perfect client sets the stage for your entire marketing strategy. This person(s) is who you're targeting in your emails, social media, blogs, etc.
And if you know them well, and you have their pain points on lockdown, then you're not selling services- you're selling solutions.