Apr 13, 2021 Work + Life

6 Ways Design Agencies Can Get New Clients

Clients are clearly essential to a design agency’s success. But bringing in a consistent stream of new business – especially during times of economic uncertainty – can often seem like a daunting task. To build a healthy pipeline of new business takes dedicated planning. You’ll need to focus your services, showcase your expertise, invest in key relationships, and more.

These six tips will help you make this year your best yet.

1. Find Your Niche

It’s tempting to offer a bit of everything to all clients, but finding your niche and specializing in a particular industry or vertical is a much more efficient and lucrative approach. According to a recent B2B Buyers Survey Report, 97% of businesses search for a specific service rather than a particular brand. You’d do well to market yourself as a specialist in the type of products and services your targeted clients are searching for.

Once you build a core of devoted customers in a specific niche, their association with other professionals in that industry will help build your following and fill your portfolio. Take a specialized approach and fine-tune your expertise to set yourself apart from the competition. Clients respond much better to brands that stand out as leaders in their field.

2. Create Content That Highlights Your Expertise

Another great way to get new clients is to connect with your desired audience by creating content that both answers their questions and aligns with your expertise.

Clients are extremely web savvy, and roughly 73% spend time researching new vendors through various sources before hiring. Not only do they consult Google, but they also check social media (53%), read blogs and reviews, and ask around on LinkedIn.

Potential new clients want to see that you have the expertise they may lack internally. You can use informative guides, helpful blogs, and other insightful tips on social media to demonstrate your knowledge to entice clients in the door. Post expert advice on forums like Reddit and Q&A websites like Quora. When people have questions, they take to the internet to find the answers. Ensure that you show up in the places they’re searching now so that you’re the one they turn to when they need design and web development services.

You want to set yourself apart as an industry leader or expert, and creating great content will do that for you. Putting expert advice online for free builds trust and brand recognition.

3. Showcase Your Work

As an agency, you know it’s essential to have a great work portfolio to demonstrate the best work you do. Video and eye-catching images are crucial to the story.

When highlighting successful projects, be sure to include notes around the context of the project so any potential new clients can see themselves in it. It’s all about relating to your audience and meeting them where they are. This extra information can help prospects envision how you will approach their project and what it’s like to work with you.

Business professionals spend a lot of time researching before they buy (roughly 12 searches before engaging with a specific brand), so make sure your portfolio includes project specifics and targeted keywords to help you connect with clients through SEO.

4. Treat Yourself Like a Client

Many agencies focus on clients but skimp on themselves. Treat yourself like a high-level client and put together an online presence worthy of a hefty price tag. If you don’t value your presentation, your clients won’t either.

When your website looks cheap or incomplete, potential clients will often judge your work based on that. Be sure not to cut corners. Take the time to flesh out your agency story and use high-quality images, video, and design elements that show you care about every project you work on. Think of your website as a conversation: What are you saying to your potential clients?

5. Connect with the Right Prospects

Do a deep dive into your ideal client persona and create a detailed description of who this person is, what they do, how they work, and how you can help. Know who you want to connect with will drive your marketing plan. Show up where your clients are. If your demographic lives on Instagram, create posts to get their attention. You won’t find them if you’re creating great content on a platform they aren’t visiting.

It’s also important to engage with clients at local meetups, professional organizations (in person or LinkedIn), and other venues. For example, if you specialize in app development, connect with tech startup networks in your local area.

6. Ask for Referrals

At the end of every project, be sure to ask clients to pass along your name. Referrals are easy to overlook, but they can drive a lot of traffic to your door. Business associates share resources all the time, and you don’t want to miss out on that opportunity.

Be sure to ask for testimonials from those clients who already know how excellent your service is and love working with you. Offer incentives to existing clients for any new referrals. You cannot overlook the power of referrals and good testimonials.

Want More Help Growing Your Agency?

At Media Temple, we understand that every detail matters when you’re growing your business. That’s why we created our Agency Partner Program, offering reduced prices and a more personalized support experience for our partners. Join today by applying here.

About the Author Mike Martens makes words happen for Media Temple’s UX and Creative teams. Over the past decade, he’s crafted copy across every medium for a lengthy list of iconic brands. Meanwhile, he's photographically documented Creative Morning speakers and The Moth storytellers, plus designed weird roleplaying games. More by this Author