Business Development Strategies For Your Design Business

A Web design business is not about design but about business. There are dozens of innovative and inexpensive strategies to ensure the profitability of your business amongst competition. Market your site effectively to make the business profitable and expand the client base. Provide a great portfolio on your site to attract prospective clients. Here are a few tips to stand out in a sea of web designers.

Marketing your web design business:

1. Make your site professional. Be innovative and creative to create an amazing site. Let your website reflect your personality and reveal your talents. The design of your site should hold a customer’s attention so that he does not move on to the next web design service.

2. Add your portfolio. After creating an exceptional site, add your portfolio to one of your pages. Let the clients view the samples of your work to build curiosity and appreciation of your work.

3. Do trial design for popular sites. This is important especially if you are a beginner with a small portfolio. In addition to building your own site attractively, the client site may commit more projects for them. The Webmaster is happy to get free promotion on your site and, in turn, tell his sources of your great design abilities.

4. Make business cards. It is an essential tool of marketing. Have a unique color business card and send it to other companies for more job opportunities.

5. Network. Join up with other popular design sites to plan a common marketing strategy. Promote one another through link exchanges. The more back links you have from other websites, the better ranking you will get on a search engine like Google.

6. Expand your marketing skills. Your website should be a part of every interesting design forum. Include your services in your signature to any e-mail you send to increase your client base. Talk about your service at forums, chat rooms and even write articles about your web design. This will get you even more back links.

Building the next level of business

Once you have established your web design business, take it to the next level. A few tips for this:

o Build in multiple streams of ongoing revenue from each web design client.

o With near zero marketing cost, leverage clients into a continuous stream of referral business.

o Hire and train people to grow your business.

o Manage multiple projects, in a given period and budget.

o Conduct follow-ups so that the client always seeks your service in future projects.

o Incorporate specific tools into your proposals to widen client base.

o Attract clients with add-on services.

o Focus on exact needs of clients to please them.

Have a competitively priced site. Focus on successful marketing strategy, conduct needs analysis to cater to exact need of the client, add a few freebies to existing services and always follow up on work done. It will not only broaden your client base but also earn you a good name in the web design market.

Small Business Development – It’s Time To Dream!

As I have written in the past, if you build your business around your core values you will attract like-minded people in the form of customers, business partners, and employees.

This month we have the opportunity to reflect on the core values of one Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered for so many incredible and positive things, but it is his, “I have a dream!” speech that we think of most.

His speech is the culmination of one man’s wonderful example of understanding what you believe, working towards that end, and attracting like-minded people to support you in your quest to serve the greater good.

There is another lesson here for us to reflect on. Martin Luther King’s life’s work was from the perspective of service, not of sales. In other words, everything he said, thought and accomplished was to “serve” the people he was meant to serve.

His life was not about personal gain (how can I sell more, earn more, grow more, etc.), but rather how much more can I help others (customers, employees, stakeholders, community) live better lives. His “I have a Dream” speech talks about his vision of the future where everyone is better served – not just African-Americans.

To facilitate the transition to wealth, one must stop chasing sales, and customers, but look for more opportunities to serve the people you are meant to serve. Martin Luther King reminded us that our gifts are not for us. the gifts we have are to serve the greater good. In the same light, your business is not for you. It is for the greater good of the people you are meant to serve. You are the conduit that moves your idea into reality for the people you serve, and going forward for the people they serve and ultimately for the greater good of all.

I urge you to spend some time considering the people you are meant to serve, and stop thinking of ways to sell them more, but rather ways to serve them more. If you focus on the many ways you can contribute to their greater good, you will never have to worry about “selling” them more.

Do you have a dream? What is the dream you have for your business? More importantly, what is the dream you have for the people you are meant to serve? (hint: pretend there are no limits to what you can do – because there aren’t.)

Business Development For Leaders

Lawyers with whom I speak are often uncomfortable in rainmaking, especially in moving from a general conversation to one in which the lawyer might ask for a potential client’s business. No one wants to appear pushy or desperate, and most lawyers have a natural aversion to selling themselves. A lawyer who’s always self-promoting and trying to get business is not appealing. Nobody wants to talk with that kind of lawyer, and most of us don’t want to be him or her.

It seems to me that there’s a parallel here with political fundraising. After all, what’s less appealing than a lawyer who sees everyone he or she meets as potential stepping-stone to wealth? Must be a political candidate who always has a hand out and puts on the hard sell.

President Obama’s campaign received more donations and more money than any other in the country’s history. Accusations of fraud are certainly a serious concern, and how those charges have been answered presents another leadership lesson, but there’s something more subtle here. How did Obama’s campaign generate so much money? He offered something that donors found to be of value, and they literally bought into it. A visit to Obama’s website even now starts with a “landing page” that offers readers the opportunity to donate or to go into the main website. There is (and, as pre-election, was) no pressure to donate, but the opportunity is apparent. No one could charge that the Obama campaign neglected to let its supporters know – smoothly and tactfully – that financial support would be welcome.

Obama outlined his vision and millions decided to come along for the ride because they saw what was in his vision for them. They believed that his vision was about him. Yes, he might get the glory and the big salary, but they believed he was doing it for the people he would be representing. Though reasonable people may hold different interpretations of his authenticity or his ability to deliver the promised beneficial changes, the people who donated and who voted for him believed that by choosing him, they were choosing a better future for themselves.

Let’s look back for a moment to see how Obama came to his political career and candidacy. He received a strong education from well-regarded schools, and most people who read The Audacity of Hope seem to agree that he is a deep and critical thinker. Do you suppose he sprang straight from his education and legal career into political leadership? Certainly not.

Though Obama presumably had his ideas about what was going well and poorly with our government, he started by talking with the people he sought to represent. I suspect that he had thousands of conversations, probably starting one-on-one and eventually expanding to town hall meetings, where he listened to what was worrying those who would one day be his constituency, and where he eventually offered his solutions to see how they might land. Those conversations shaped his thoughts and ideas, and his political career was born. But that isn’t unusual: I suspect that most successful politicians have followed a similar developmental path.

Do you see the parallel with legal rainmaking yet? The best rainmakers, and the best leaders, strive to put the focus and attention on those they seek to serve. They begin with determining the potential client’s areas of concern, and they seek to understand before trying to get the client to understand them. A lawyer may storm into a meeting with a potential client eager to tell stories of triumphs obtained through great legal skill and savvy strategy developed through years of experience and study. How do you suppose the potential clients will react? My bet is that while they might be impressed by skill and experience, they’d find those qualifications relevant only to the degree that the lawyer understands their needs.

So, let’s return to lawyers’ fears of being pushy or appearing desperate. The easiest and most effective way to avoid those is to focus on the potential client. But there’s another critical step: offering to meet the client’s needs once thoroughly understood. That’s where the fear of sounding like a sleazy or pushy used car salesman usually arises. Here’s a surprising truth: it is selfish to have a solution to a problem and to be unwilling to share it, and failing to ask for the potential client’s business represents exactly the same selfishness. If a lawyer has the skill and knowledge to assist a client but doesn’t offer it, the client goes without that help (or is forced to look elsewhere), all because the lawyer was too fearful of being pushy. That’s a lose/lose proposition.

Obama’s campaign and election teach us two leadership lessons in this context: first, listen. Understand. Then, and only then, offer solutions. And second, ask for the business. It’s a short but critical step from, “Yes, I understand what you need, I’ve done that work before, let me tell you about other clients I represented in similar situations and how they fared” to “May I help you with this matter?” When the first step is firmly in place, the second is a natural and gracious extension.

Social Networking As a Business Development Tool

Social Networking can be leveraged as an innovative opportunity to generate new business and drive sales. It generates opportunities that are additional to, and supportive of the results of more traditional selling methodologies. It does this by leveraging the capabilities and characteristics of social media platforms to virally propagate the personal and product identity of the agent. It significantly increases the capability of existing clients to deliver high quality leads and introductions while effectively distributing the work associated maintaining multiple relationships over time.

Socially networked selling becomes particularly powerful when targeting customers in technical and start-up companies where familiarity with social network platforms is the greatest. This community is already sharing information and insights within this space as well as using it to organize, communicate and create face to face networking opportunities. The agent can develop a virtual identity that exponentially increases his exposure and visibility within his targeted community. This identity will take on the characteristics of an actual brand and, as such, can be search engine optimized, shared, re-tweeted and otherwise rewarded for quality products and services that are well delivered. Face to face networking is supplemented by its digital footprint in communities like Twitter, Facebook and Plancast and allows for the establishment of relationships to validate the highly mobile, virtual identity.

Of course bad news travels as quickly as good but the real relationship that is established by the agent and the client mitigates the risk of negative press and allows for effective issue tracking and trouble shooting within a highly transparent and real time virtual environment.