Graphic Design Clients Are Everywhere
With Internet connectivity everywhere in homes, offices, mobile devices, and even watches, web design has grown into a $24 billion a year industry that is only expected to expand between now and 2020, according to IBISWorld’s latest report. Over 150,000 web design businesses now employ over 215,000 employees, and annual growth is projected to continue expanding at 4.9 percent each year. Demand for graphic designers has grown alongside the web design industry, with over 108,000 companies now employing over 139,000 workers and generating over $11 billion a year. IBISWorld expects expansion here as well, fueled by increased ad spending and demand for digital design. But this growth has also brought greater competition, both from the increasing number of businesses vying for clients and from automated solutions that appeal to technophobic, cash-strapped customers. If you want your design firm to share in the growth your competitors are enjoying, you need to take steps to consolidate your customer base.
Define Your Ideal Client
IDXCentral currently holds the top Google organic search spot for “real estate web design,” positioning itself as offering real estate Internet solutions built on WordPress with Internet Data Exchange integration. By focusing its marketing on a specific need within a specific industry, IDXCentral occupies an ideal position to attract a niche target market, while simultaneously outflanking competitors who might advertise broader design services. You can position yourself to attract graphic design clients ideally suited for your services by focusing your marketing in this manner. Gearing your promotions toward a specific industry, demographic, geographic market or need can help you focus your promotional efforts. For example, IBISWorld’s report identifies growing demand for graphic design in the educational, financial services, healthcare, gaming, mobile and technology industries. Who is your ideal client?
Form Strategic Promotional Partnerships
Designer Peter Vukovic from 99designs says working with a non-competing partner who shares your client base is one of the best ways to find web design and graphic design clients. A marketing campaign needs a wide range of services, which can include web and graphic design as well as web hosting services, copywriting, video production, paid advertising, SEO marketing, social media management and publicity. Forming partnerships with freelancers and agencies in these fields can help you attract a stream of steady web design and graphic design clients.
Protect Your Best Customer Relationships
In any design business, certain clients will bring in a higher percentage of your revenue. Identifying your top customers and keeping them happy will protect your relationship with these customers as well as your business. Dun & Bradstreet says that the first step to identifying your best customers is to define your criteria. Ways to evaluate customers include calculating the lifetime value of how much a client purchases from you over the years or how much profit they bring in, reviewing how long customers have been buying from you and identifying which customers buy your highest-priced products. After you identify your best customers, take extra steps to make sure they’re highly satisfied with your service.
Deliver Superior Customer Service
Customer service will soon become the key differentiator that sets competing brands apart, overtaking price and product by 2020, a Walker Information report projects. Today’s customers expect a variety of contact options from live chat to phone service with quick response time. One way to meet this demand for quick, multichannel availability is deploying a contact center solution such as Aspect Cloud, which uses a cloud-based platform to provide small businesses with the same omnichannel customer service capability characteristic of larger enterprises. A cloud contact center provides a cost-efficient way to manage incoming customer service requests and streamline your internal response to provide your clients with quicker solutions. You can also use tools to track your performance and how your market is talking about your customer service online.
Cultivate Repeat Business
WP Curve co-founder Dan Norris says one of the keys to building his successful web design business has been cultivating recurring relationships with clients. Selling services to existing clients is far easier and more cost-efficient than recruiting new prospects. Norris keeps his clients as customers by using strategies such as offering monthly support packages with additional benefits, providing hosting and SEO services and delivering monthly reports.