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5 ways to attract and nurture web design leads

Design leads: designers looking at a laptop

Key takeaways

  • Showcase your work and client testimonials on your business website to entice potential web design leads
  • Help web design leads find you by adding your business to online business platforms like Yelp
  • Use professional platforms like LinkedIn to connect with potential new clients and business partners

With so many companies online these days, there’s never been more need for your web design services. However, most web design agency work is project-based. So whether you’re a web design business owner or freelancer, it’s crucial to line up your next job even as you’re working with current customers.

But with over 240,000 website design companies operating in the U.S., the competition for those new web design leads is fierce. To make sure your company stands out, learn how to get new leads using tried and tested strategies that attract attention, build trust, and drive sales.

What are web design leads?

Before you can secure a new web design client, it’s essential to attract their attention so you can move them through your sales funnel.

When people first hear about you, they’re a cold lead—they know nothing about your business and aren’t yet ready to buy. However, as you build engagement and trust and educate them on what you do, they’ll get to know you and refine their requirements for who they want to work with. They then become high-quality, warm leads, who are happy to hear from you and much more likely to become new clients.

You could pay a lead generation company to get new leads for you, but there are less expensive—and more reliable—ways to do this. Start by looking at these design lead generation ideas and decide which ones will be easiest for you to tackle. Then set aside time each day or each week to work on generating high-quality leads.

1. Showcase your work on your business website

Video editor working on a video

When selling web design services, your own website should be a shining example of what you can do. A successful business site demonstrates why potential clients should hire you instead of going the DIY route with a template on a platform like WordPress or Wix. 

Along with having a user-friendly, professional-looking site that offers clear descriptions of your services and answers some frequently asked questions (FAQ), be sure to display your portfolio of work to build trust and show your new design leads exactly what you’re capable of. 

Share case studies of design projects you’ve worked on, including before and after photos. Or if you’re a startup, design some sample sites to make a visual impression. Categorize your designs according to different types of websites so potential clients can easily find something similar to what they have in mind.

Include testimonials from previous clients and ask them to describe how their new website has impacted business. When potential clients see the value of what they can get, they’re far more likely to work with you.

Finally, make sure to provide plenty of call-to-action buttons throughout your site to encourage impressed visitors to contact you.

2. Gather information on-site to qualify your leads

A website pop-up can be an effective tool for garnering new leads as it encourages visitors to share their contact details. But as an agency owner, it might not make sense to spend a lot of time on cold design leads who might not end up using your services.

To increase your chances of connecting with warm leads, set up a multi-step contact form that gathers contact details and asks some simple questions. This takes your site visitors through each question, one at a time, so they’re not overwhelmed to the point of leaving your site.

Some useful questions to consider are:

  • What kind of website are you looking for: a personal website, a small business website, or an e-commerce site?
  • Do you need a new website, a major overhaul of an existing website, or just some minor changes?
  • What is your budget: $500, $1,000, or $5,000?
  • How soon do you want your website project to be completed?
  • What is your email address?
  • What is your phone number?

Answering these questions will help your design leads clarify what they’re looking for, and their responses will give you a good idea of whether they have the type of project you want to work on. Follow up by responding briefly and politely to your least likely potential clients, spending more time connecting with the more qualified leads.

3. Build visibility and credibility with online business platforms

Most people start their search for the services they need online, and when it comes to making a decision, customer reviews can tip the scales in your favor. A recent Brightlocal survey found that nearly half (46%) of shoppers trust consumer reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends.

If you have a brick-and-mortar agency, build visibility and credibility for your brand by adding or claiming your Yelp Business Page. Then, fill in your business information, including business description, contact details, and business hours to help potential customers find you. Once you’ve claimed your page, upload high-quality photos and screenshots of your best web designs to impress potential new design leads.

Yelp also makes it easy for clients to leave reviews, helping you take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing. Good reviews inspire trust and help build your reputation so potential leads feel comfortable contacting you. It’s also important to respond constructively to reviews—whether they’re positive or critical—as the same survey mentioned above found that 88% of people are likely to use a business that responds to all its reviews.

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4. Use social media tools like LinkedIn to build business connections

While social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok can be excellent tools for digital marketing, LinkedIn is primarily a professional network. As such, it’s an ideal place for connecting with potential clients who own small businesses or work for larger ones that might be interested in using your web design services.

To make sure your LinkedIn business page ranks on search engines, fill out your business profile in detail and update your page regularly. Include keywords potential clients might search for, like “web design services for e-commerce sites” or “business website design.” Then include those in your tagline and About section, as well as in any content you post on your areas of expertise.

You can start building relationships by inviting people you’ve met to connect. Follow the business pages of companies you’re interested in working with and consider joining LinkedIn Groups that focus on web design.

Next, leave constructive comments or ask questions about what others in your industry post. You’ll get their attention, show your expertise as a web development professional, and potentially attract new website design leads as well as potential business partners.

5. Collaborate with freelancers to win referral work

There are many different skills involved in building a first-class website—and very few freelancers are experts at everything. Partner with others who provide complementary services, such as website developers, copywriters, and graphic designers to help gather referrals. Even other web designers might not fill the particular niche or have the same style you do.

Each of these professionals will have their own client base and can refer your services or collaborate with you on tasks that aren’t their areas of expertise. Or they may pass on extra work when they don’t have the capacity to take it on themselves. In return, you can do the same for them.

Connect with potential collaborators on social media platforms, sites like Upwork, and online groups as well as industry events. You can then build on those relationships by staying in touch and supporting each other as part of a referral network.

Attract and nurture website design leads to drive your sales

As a web designer, lining up your next client is an ongoing goal. That means regularly spending time on attracting and nurturing new web design leads.

Use your website to showcase your work and gather information from site visitors so you can prioritize who to spend the most time on when you follow up. Make the most of your online presence by claiming your Yelp Business Page and giving past clients a place to write a review. You can also use social media platforms like LinkedIn to network and collaborate with others in your industry to build relationships that can help you build your business.

When you’ve got your lead generation process in place, learn how to manage those leads to close the deal and boost your bottom line.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.