Generating Web Design Leads [Ultimate Guide]




Getting more web design leads seems simple for web designers since websites are not commodities but rather necessities among businesses. This means they are often looking for your services. However, you’ve got many competitors trying to build their brand and services as well.

Thus, to stand out, work around the right lead generation process that involves building your own website, utilizing social media, and a wide range of digital marketing strategies as well as offline ones.

Although your business is digital or more like your niche, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include traditional strategies. Networking, referrals, and even meeting face-to-face with prospects can be very good options.

You won’t be able to integrate every single lead generation strategy, and even if you can, the best idea is to narrow your plan and include the most efficient and effective ones based on budget and results.

For it, we will be going over the best lead generation strategies so you know where your focus should be placed. In addition, we will provide some tips for some methods to optimize results and bring success in having more sales qualified leads.

Don’t Be Afraid to Teach All You Know

Although it isn’t new to create and share free educational content, it is often underutilized.

Instead of convincing potential clients that you are the best web designer, you can use content marketing to show them how other business owners have done it in the past. And how you can help them do the same.

Although it might seem counterintuitive to share everything you know, it will help attract leads who are willing to pay for your knowledge and expertise to improve their businesses.

This strategy is based on building awareness and trust as well. When people notice you are not afraid of showing that you know what you are doing, they will feel relieved they are hiring someone who won’t disappoint.

Now, how can you bring this strategy to life? By sharing all types of content on your platforms, including social media and your website.

Also, although blogging seems saturated in terms of how many people utilize this option, it is a great way to boost your lead generation.

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Keep in mind that blogging is now more about quality than quantity, but it is important to continue adding new content to your blog regularly.

Regular blogging shows your credibility and reliability to your readers and helps you stay relevant in search results.

Web designers often avoid blogging because they don’t know what to write about. They don’t know how to start a blog.

Instead of trying to think up ideas, ask your prospects and clients what they want. Answer the questions repeatedly and share your answers on places you know potential clients spend time, such as LinkedIn, Quora, or other industry-relevant social media.

Of course, you can just come up with some ideas about what to do and what to talk about from time to time. But if you need some help to get started, these are some ideas to help you out:

  • What do you want to tell your clients when it comes to what you do and your work overall? Share the main details you focus on.
  • What are the most common questions clients or visitors ask?
  • Are there any success stories or case studies you can share from your past clients?
  • Which valuable resources are you able to share with potential clients?

You don’t have to be a good writer since practice makes perfect. Also, you can rely on other formats like audio, videos, or multimedia overall.

You can take this idea of content to the next level by asking past clients what formats they prefer and choosing the one you like the best or that aligns with both tastes.

But in the case of a blog, how does it help you in specific?

Here are some reasons to start a blog:

  • Your blog posts can help you position yourself as an expert in your field.
  • You can build a personal connection to visitors with each article that you write. You are more likely to sell if you establish a personal connection with your visitor.
  • Inbound leads can be obtained by blogging. This is one of the best methods to increase your website’s visitors. More visitors mean more chances of landing leads.

Your blog content should be related to your work.

Web design trends can be discussed. You could also talk about the components of a great website design.

Optimize your blog posts using keywords that web designers are interested in will search on Google or other search engines such as “web design agency,” “web design,” and “web design trends.”

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Prospecting Web Design Leads

You won’t get anyone to inquire about your services if you are just starting. Thus, prospecting for high-quality leads is essential.

This basically means finding companies that could benefit from your services, contacting them, and pitching your offer.

For a small team, you can set aside one hour each day to prospect leads. But first, create a customer persona. A customer persona can help you determine the type of business you want to target or the individual that is the perfect audience you’ve been looking for.

The next step is to compile a list with businesses or individuals that match the customer persona.

Next, make connections. LinkedIn is the top recommendation we give if you are aiming for B2B (business to business) companies.

LinkedIn allows you to connect with other people in the company you are interested in working with. It is also a good tool to content with specific individuals looking for your services, but only when utilizing it well for B2C (business to client).

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Now, what is an excellent pitch to achieve this prospecting process? A great pitch should include:

  • Give them reasons they should use your service and what they can expect from it.
  • The opportunity to choose you to provide the service. You might offer a competitive rate, have expertise in their field, or both.

You can also use freelancing job sites as a cold prospect. Check out online directories, too. As long as you find them functional, you shouldn’t have problems utilizing them.

Make sure you assign someone to manage your team. This person should also be responsible for monitoring sales metrics such as warm leads, calls booked and closed deals.

As a web agency, your focus should not be on existing clients. It is important to prioritize generating leads all the time (just in case you were wondering).

Create A Stunning Website

If your agency doesn’t yet have a website, we recommend you start one right away. In fact, what have you been waiting for?

Considering you are in the niche that specifically designs them, it is only logical to have your own that will be living proof of your skills and experience as well.

But leaving this factor aside, are websites really that important?

In case your prospects or potential clients ever ask (and to clear your doubt), over 47% of consumers visit brands’ websites before purchasing. This is a universal habit that spans generations, which is why it is vital to have yours set as soon as possible.

Your website should not be just up and running. It must be attractive and not only presentable to attract people. Remember, you’re a web design business. A company that specializes in design and doesn’t want to disappoint potential clients. This includes proper optimization.

Websites should work correctly. Even if your website looks amazing, it won’t be able to impress potential clients if it is slow to load.

Your website should reflect the services you provide.

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Social Media Is the Best

We now have many options to connect with our audience via LinkedIn and Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other online forums or platforms. After all, we know social media is a visual medium that can reach specific groups of people if needed.

It is a great way to showcase your brand to the world. You can show your web design services and your brand personality through content. These networks can be used to attract clients by building an audience or following.

But how can you do it? Not all social media platforms are the same, so it is only logical to understand how to approach each part and the content you must share based on the right format.

We will be going over the most important for your web design lead generation. Thus, keep taking notes:

  • LinkedIn.

If you are targeting business-minded people, it is the best social networking site. Join groups to meet potential clients and then contact them directly. LinkedIn Recruiter is a great place to start a business, especially if your sales team is small or by yourself.

  • Facebook. 

Facebook is the most popular social media platform with 2.7 billion active monthly users. There are many benefits it offers for businesses. These are two ways that you can get leads from it:

  1. Your existing network of friends and family: Your family and friends can create a professional Facebook page for your agency by sharing it with others. You never know who might need your web design services.
  2. Facebook Leads: It is a simple and painless way to gather contact information and data from potential clients. These forms can be customized for specific audiences at a certain stage in the buyer’s life cycle. It doesn’t matter if you want to increase brand awareness or acquire customers.

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  • Instagram. 

You can share your designs on this visual platform. This is a great place to show off your creativity and entertain people. You can inspire people with amusing images or posts.

It is important not to use social media to promote your product. This is where the idea is to spread awareness about your business and get people to come to you for your services.

With very few mentions, just let them know that you’re open to receiving clients to help them with their designs.

Search Online for Listings

An online listing is a directory of businesses that lists them according to a specific niche or category.

How can you find leads from online directories and listings? It’s quite simple.

You can go to any business listing site you choose, such as Foursquare, LinkedIn Company Directory, or Yelp. Next, search the directory to find businesses matching your criteria. If they do have a website, check that.

To see how the site is performing, perform an SEO audit. If you feel that there is an establishment in need of your assistance, then start the process of introducing yourself.

Then present your findings. Make sure you are ready to present your solution in order to pitch it right away.

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Lead Generation Software for Web Design Leads

A lead generation tool allows you to collect leads and gather information through listings or channels.

This will allow you to qualify the leads as you wish, and it is simply an automated version of the manual method. You can quickly get a list with one of the tools available only, especially since some of them allow you to choose your preferred niche or location to get the results.

Combining this with keyword research, the tools will give you more specific searches that will help to qualify your web design leads.

Usually, the process of using a lead generator isn’t that difficult. Instead, it is quite simple regardless of most platforms and the one you choose:

  • Open the software or tool you prefer.
  • In the location search box, enter the desired location and then complete the keyword or niche.
  • Click ‘Generate Leads.’ A long list of contacts will be available for you to curate and qualify.

A tool or software that helps you find leads has many advantages. It saves time, as it can take several days to find qualified leads instead of weeks. This makes it easier to find the right leads and conduct quick website audits.

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Use Web Design Proposals

Proposals can be a great way of turning cold leads into interested prospects, but your proposal should be tailored to the client to which you are pitching it.

Software like proposal makers or assistants allows you to create a proposal that meets your prospect’s needs automatically. You can click on the lead you have qualified and then create a proposal for them.

Of course, these programs can be expensive compared to doing them manually. But it can help you to save lots of time in the long run.

Now, if you are writing a proposal in a traditional manner, you should explain and expound on the process of web design and development. This will help your prospects understand their problem and the reasons you propose solutions. Make sure they fully understand your web design proposal.

A well-crafted web design proposal should address the following questions:

  • What’s your business all about? What are your business’s goals?
  • What will they get from your web designing services?
  • What are your company’s values?
  • What can you do for them?
  • What are your plans to solve the problems or challenges facing the company?
  • What will it cost the client to do this?
  • Why should they choose you over another web design agency instead?

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Make an Online Portfolio

Potential web design leads will be looking to work with you and want to see if you are able to deliver the services they promise. You can demonstrate previous work to clients through your portfolio.

A portfolio is the best way to prove your claims in a sales call. Your portfolio will be reviewed by web design leads that you don’t know.

You can create a section on your website that is exclusively for your portfolio.

Discuss the client’s briefs and how your work was delivered when you share examples of your work. Most importantly, talk about how your website helped the company grow.

This is the point: If you present case studies, make sure to include statistics and how long your agency spent on the website. To persuade them, you need to give information.

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Gateway Product Such as an eBook Or Email Course.

Showing prospects that you are able to solve their problems is the best way to demonstrate your expertise as a web designer.

Although blogging is great, creating a digital product such as an eBook or email course can establish your expertise and help you market to potential clients.

Your more expensive services can also be accessed through digital products. Your product can be priced as an impulse purchase, which makes it easier for prospects to convert into customers.

This avoids the risk of investing in high-cost services upfront. For example, buying a $5 eBook is much cheaper than purchasing a redesigned site that costs $2,000. Prospects will be more inclined to hire you if they see the value in your product.

If you want to opt for this option, it is a matter of providing value, not only ebooks. Thus, you can consider these:

  • Themes.
  • Templates.
  • Resource packs.
  • Tools.
  • Workshops and webinars.
  • Online courses.
  • eBooks.

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It’s okay to start small if your goal is to create an entry-level product that will allow you to access more lucrative freelance opportunities. You can make a lot of money selling your product, and you don’t have to invest more time.

Get an Email Newsletter

After you have created your content or gateway product, it is important to present it to potential clients.

A regular email newsletter is a great way to nurture prospects and share content. Clients will send you the best content and their email address in exchange for your attention. In return, they’ll also give you a lot of value that shows you are the right web designer.

Newsletters help you stay top of mind for clients even when they aren’t ready to work with you on a web design project.

Your list is yours to keep you updated on social media and the increasing cost of paid advertisements. The most important reason for an email newsletter to be started is to build trust.

Email allows you to have more personal conversations than ever with your subscribers. It opens up a two-way dialogue with prospects, earning their trust and allowing them to begin a project together with you.

Here are some tips to help you create a great email newsletter.

  • Newsletters need to be sent at a set time: make sure you send your newsletter every week or every month at the same time so that subscribers know what and when to expect.
  • Share a mix of personal stories, anecdotes, and educational content. Remember that people hire people, and you want to help them get to know yourself as well as what your work is.
  • Every newsletter should include a subtle call to action for web design services: Do not try to sell. Instead, let them know that you are available to help with web design projects.

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Become A Podcast Guest

Podcasting is very popular, but it takes time to build your podcast audience. This is especially true when you are looking for freelance web design leads.

Instead, you should take advantage of the audiences of others and be a guest on podcasts that your prospects already listen to.

There are many benefits to becoming a podcast host instead of starting from scratch. Podcasting can help you build credibility with potential clients, who will naturally view you as an expert.

You can increase your audience by borrowing credibility from podcast hosts. Podcasting has many SEO benefits for your business. It’s quicker than guest posting, you still get valuable backlinks to the site, and podcast hosts often promote each episode.

Podcasting is a great way to reach prequalified leads. By choosing the right channels, you can quickly reach your ideal clientele.

Find the right podcasts for your audience. Find industry-specific keywords by searching iTunes, SoundCloud, or Spotify. Next, contact each host and tell them what you do. Don’t just talk about your podcast, but focus on the benefits to their listeners.

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Be a great guest once recording day is over.

To attract your ideal clients, share valuable web design tips and stories. Each episode should end with a call to action.

Ask listeners to visit your landing page to learn more about your services. Once the episode has been published, promote it by sharing it with as many people as possible, including in your email newsletter.

You can also repurpose the content to create a blog post (with the host’s permission) and help get your voice heard. By the end, your lead scoring and the task of marketing qualified leads should be achieved.

The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Web Design Business

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All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?

The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).

Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:

The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.

Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”

You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.

The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.

The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.

To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.

Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.

To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.

By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.

An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor

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You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.

HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.

They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.

If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.

HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.

Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services.  They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).

Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?

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They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.

However, you need to remember two facts:

  1. Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
  2. They don’t generate “natural” leads.

Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.

Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.

What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.

When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.

What Is Local SEO?

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Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.

What does this mean?

Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.

To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.

If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.

Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.

“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.

Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.

Can My Web Design Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?

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If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.

Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.

Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.

How Powerful Are Organic Web Design Leads from Google?

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For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.

This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.

I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.

However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.

On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.

You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.

What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?

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Here it goes: you can work from home.

The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.

We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high.  Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.

You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.

Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.

So, let’s summarize this:

  • You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
  • You can bet on passive income.
  •  There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
  • You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.

How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?

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Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.

Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?

You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.

You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.

Learn more about local lead generation below.

Take a sneak peek into our proven strategies to build a passive income by building a local lead generation business from your laptop...