12 Tips for Marketing Your Web Design Freelance Business for Success

Starting a web design business you will likely come to the same conclusion I did; if you don’t market your business somehow, it’s pretty much guaranteed that nobody’s going to knock down your door to hire you. It doesn’t matter how good your work is either, people who need You can’t see them without marketing. 

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to do it. Today I’m going to give you a bit of insight into how I’ve been marketing my web design freelance business which has helped me get my foot in the door with Fortune 500 clients.

1. Get A Website

If you want to take yourself seriously as a freelance web designer, then you need to have a website that does the same. Given how many people access the internet from their phones these days, be sure your website is accessible from mobile devices. Your website should be simple and clear. 

It should also be easy to navigate, whether it’s on a phone or a laptop. Make sure your contact information is clearly visible and easily found you’d be surprised how often this step is overlooked by freelancers! Also, make sure there’s an easy-to-find link to your portfolio so clients can see the quality of your work before they get in touch with you (and because it makes for good self-promotion).

2. Start Blogging Right Away

Blogging will help you to create a portfolio of work, establish an online presence, and be seen as an expert in your field and a thought leader. Even if you don’t have much experience and don’t feel like you’re a good writer yet, start blogging right away.

Here’s how:

Make sure your blog is connected to both a social media account (Facebook or Twitter) and Google Analytics. You can write the most genius content ever, but if no one reads it then it won’t make an impact on your business.

Blog about the things that interest you about web design! If you’re passionate about that topic, then someone else is bound to find it interesting too.

Don’t worry about writing every day once a week is fine as long as you stick with it consistently over time.

3. Speak At Local Conferences And Events

Find conferences in your area by looking up “tech events” or “tech conferences” on Google, or reach out to a coworking space in your city to see if they have any upcoming tech events listed.

Once you find an event that seems like a good fit for speaking, reach out to the organizers with an idea for a talk that fits one of their categories. If you don’t feel comfortable with any of their topics, it’s okay! You can be more creative and figure out something related to them. 

For example, if it’s a conference about machine learning and AI, but you only know how to do front-end development (and are therefore not interested in speaking at the conference), think about what topics you might be interested in relating to your web design business or freelance career.

Maybe there is an opportunity to speak about building websites for startups that use machine learning or AI. Once you have an idea for your topic, reach back out to the organizers and pitch your idea they may be able to give some guidance on potential talk titles or descriptions.

Prepare your presentation ahead of time so that it runs smoothly on the day of the event. Make sure that you’ve practiced enough so that you feel comfortable delivering it in front of others.

Don’t worry too much about what other people at the event will think once they hear your talk you’re probably going to learn more from other speakers than they would from yours anyway!

4. Create Useful Content For Free Giveaways

You don’t have to give away your best work for free, but you should make sure that your giveaway is useful to the people you’re trying to reach.

For example, if you sell a popular WordPress theme, think about what buyers are looking for when they first use it. Are they having trouble customizing their site using your theme? Do they need help finding plugins that work with it? Think about how new customers struggle to get started and create content that will help them overcome those struggles.

Or if you specialize in web design for small businesses, offer a checklist of the ten most important pages every small business website should have. You could even take it one step further and offer an optional audit of their current site after they sign up. By giving them something useful and relevant, you can continue talking with them as a potential client even after you send over your freebie and there’s nothing better than an already-converted lead!

5. Provide Free Resources To Clients

One of the most rewarding things about working alone or as part of a small team is the flexibility and freedom it provides. Instead of being forced to offer every single service under the sun, you can hand-pick each client you work with, select projects your portfolio will benefit from, and explore new techniques.

You’re not tied down to one particular business model either – if something isn’t working for you, you have the power to change it!

While this can be daunting at first, this flexibility means there are plenty of different ways to make money as a freelance web designer.

5. Publish Your Best Work On Dribble Or Behance

These sites can help you get noticed and build a good reputation. Designers you’ve worked with can recommend your work, and the design community will view your profile and comment on it. This is a good way to get exposure.

By publishing your best work on Dribble or Behance, you’ll give other designers an opportunity to contribute their thoughts to your creative process. You’ll also have a place where potential clients can see the type of websites you like to make, along with testimonials from people who have hired you in the past.

6. Advertise In Local Publications And Magazines

You should always be on the lookout for advertising opportunities, especially ones in your local area. You can use online tools like Adbeat and What Runs Where to find publications that are running ads for companies in your industry. Local publications will often be less expensive than national ones, and they can help you target a more specific client base if you want to specialize in a particular niche.

When you do run ads, offer discounts or some other incentive to generate leads. Also, make sure to track the results of each of your campaigns so you know which ads are most effective.

Finally, don’t forget the importance of including a call to action (CTA) in all the ads you run. Use the same CTA message in all your ads so that it becomes instantly recognizable to anyone who has seen it before—this will help build brand recognition as well as encourage people to take action.

7. Join And Network At Local Groups

If you’re in the web design business, join and network with other local groups to build your business. There are many opportunities available locally to become part of an organization that meets regularly and provides a structured environment for networking and learning. You can’t find them all, but here’s a list to get you thinking:

  • Chamber of commerce
  • Trade association
  • Community organization
  • Church or religious group
  • Social club (such as a running club)
  • Professional organization (such as AIGA)
  • Gym or sports/athletic group
  • Book club, film club, or other arts group (or start one yourself!)
  • Civic organizations like Kiwanis or Rotary International.

8. Get Certified As A Professional In Your Field

Getting certified in your field can help you stand out from the competition and is a great way to show clients that you have the expertise they need. This includes any official certification or legal permit you need to do business in your state. If there are options for professional certifications in your area, it’s worth looking into what’s involved and finding out whether it’s right for you.

Sometimes, you may be required by law to obtain certain certificates before you can start freelancing (for example, if you do work for a company that deals with private information about its clients). If this applies to your business model, be sure to get all the paperwork ready before trying to launch your website or start marketing yourself as a web designer.

Even if getting certified isn’t legally required, it could still be beneficial. In some fields of design (like logo design), there are organizations where professional designers can earn certification by demonstrating their skills and expertise; having one of these certifications on display could help attract potential clients who want a designer with proven experience handling similar projects.

9. Send Out Mailers Advertising Your Business

Mailers are a great way to draw attention to your freelance web design business. The mailer should include a special offer or discount that can be redeemed on your website, especially if you have an e-commerce website as well. 

A clear call to action is also important, so state something like “Call for more information!” or “Visit our website for an exclusive discount!” You should also include a unique selling proposition (USP) and a brief description of your web design business. 

Include contact information such as your phone number and website URL, and don’t forget to add in your logo or any other relevant graphics. Finally, the mailer should state a deadline by which the recipient must use the offer. This way they won’t put it off and forget about it!

10. Offer Referral Bonuses

Offering a referral bonus is a great way to get more word-of-mouth business. It’s also a fun way to interact with your clients, and it gives them a reason to talk about you. You can offer a discount on their next service, or even give them an entirely free service. 

You can offer a cash reward or some other kind of gift card. The options are endless! Just make sure that you choose something that will appeal to your current client base, so you don’t end up spending extra money for no reason.

11. Join Online Freelance Sites, Like Upwork Or Freelancer.Com

There are a number of ways to find freelance work online, but perhaps the most common is through online marketplaces. These sites allow businesses and individuals to post job ads that freelancers can then apply for. You can also search for and bid on projects if you know what type of work you’re looking for. There are several marketplaces out there, including Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk), Freelancer.com, and Guru.

To get started as a freelancer, create a profile where prospective clients will learn more about your experience, skills, and services. This can include writing copy, graphic design, web design or development, SEO services, and social media management.

You’ll also want to list your experience level in the marketplace: entry-level, intermediate or expert. Some sites require testers to pass certain tests before working for clients; our guide on how to become a freelance writer highlights the skills you’ll need in order to become an online freelance writer.

Once you’ve selected some specialized areas of expertise and listed any qualifications or experience related to them, it’s time to create your first project bid! After all, getting leads is just one part of starting a successful home-based business—you also have to successfully close the deal once you have interested prospects contacting you via email or phone call requests.

12. Promote Yourself On Twitter And Facebook, And Other Social Media Sites

Social media is a great way to connect with potential clients. Post about your work and post about things that interest you. Don’t forget to also post about your business, like when you do a rebrand or have a new website design up!

Promote yourself and your business on social media. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites to get the word out about your services. You can also use these platforms to connect with other web designers who may be able to help you find jobs or guide you in the right direction if you are having problems finding work.

Create an email marketing campaign detailing your business offerings and success stories.  Don’t forget to ask satisfied customers if you can use their quotes as testimonials!

There’s no better way to market your web design business than by showing off your previous successes, and email marketing is the perfect way to do that. Creating content that’s specific to your target audience will help you better connect with potential clients, and including quotes and testimonials from satisfied customers will go a long way toward building confidence in your business.

Make sure you give contact information as well as a call to action at the end of every piece of content (whether it’s a newsletter or just an email).

Final Thought

Finally, you and I can change the way we think – the way we approach each new project. We can move pieces around a board, even an imaginary one if necessary until we create that perfect formula for us. From there, it is up to us to find what makes our business different from others. Then and only then do we have the tools needed to convince someone.

Ultimately, marketing your freelance services is a matter of building trust and credibility with potential clients. All the “tricks” and tips in the world won’t do you any good if you aren’t building that crucial rapport with potential clients. So be genuine, keep things simple, and stay consistent and you should find that marketing your web design freelance business doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Get My First Client?

Once you have a website and an online presence, it’s easier to attract potential clients. You can reach out to potential clients directly or network with other freelancers and professionals in your industry, who may refer you to new clients. It’s important to be diligent when networking in order to find the right connections that will help you land new clients.

What Makes A Good Portfolio?

A good portfolio will showcase your best work. It should highlight your areas of expertise, like WordPress development or logo designs. Include work that is unique and visually appealing

Why Should I Freelance As A Web Designer?

Freelance web design is an excellent way to gain experience working on different types of projects while making money at the same time. Freelancing also gives you the chance to work with clients in a variety of industries, giving you a broader range of experience than you would likely get by working in-house.

What Are Some Companies That Hire Freelance Web Designers?

A few companies that often hire freelance web designers include start-ups, small businesses looking for an affordable redesign, non-profit organizations, and any business that is not currently working with an in-house designer. 

If you have your own business (such as your own blog or e-commerce site), it’s always good to hire a freelancer from time to time to keep your website fresh and updated.

What Kind Of Projects Do Freelance Web Designers Work On?

Freelance web designers typically do not work on flash animations or open-source software but may work on redesigns of existing websites or HTML emails.

How Much Does Web Design Cost?

The short answer is that it depends on what you’re looking for. The longer answer is that it depends on your budget, your needs, your desired features, and what you have available in terms of time and resources. If you want some help deciding how much to spend on your project, take a look at this article we wrote where we go into greater detail about what to expect as far as pricing goes. 

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