How do I find new clients?
I started my own web & graphics development company. Up until now I've had a lot of work with local based clients, but now my plan is to expand my client base. The last 2 month I've been surfing over the net but with little luck- I could not find a single lead. How and where should I be searching?
You should maintain your local clients and keep them happy. While doing local work start expanding your presence on Freelancing website like Guru, Freelancer, ODesk ; build-up your profile & clientèle, keep them happy. Soon you'll find bunch of client who'll stick to your services for a very long long time and you'll be their one and only trustworthy technical consultant.
That's the way I increased my reach.
Your county clerks office has a plethora of new and current business leads.
Have you looked at the opportunity to become a resource for ad agencies that need help with overflow work?
Do you have a "list tool"...i.e. ZoomInfo or TheListOnLine? You will need to spend about $5,000 to get something set up with one of these then you can target the right kind of companies.
Social Media, web site , offline , on line meeting and media
If you shoot arrows in the air you aren't likely to hit anything. I'd strongly advise investing in sales training with an emphasis on building a prospecting plan. It's not just where or who but how and a quality sales trainer will help you build a plan that will certainly help you land opportunities.
One way of getting your name out there is through your existing clients, basically Word of Mouth referrals.
You can also use your Alumni network to talk to potential clinets.
Isn't that the million dollar question? Maybe this would help, when I worked in Radio (a rural country station) we didn't try to attract advertisers to US, we went to potential advertisers, those that matched our product (our listeners) --- and we would bring them a sample of what their ad could sound like on our station, along with special introductory pricing just for them - and goals for what we'd accomplish (a number of sales) ... you know YOUR product, what you can do in your design work, and what the results could be with a well designed and attractive product. Using your past experience you bring that to a new customer. Seek out who you would like to do work FOR. Then find their "ugly" website or other graphic designs, put your spin on THEIR brand -- and present it to them, telling them the benefit of your work. In no time clients will be lined up - just like ours were.
The short answer I believe would be "inbound or content marketing". Given your marketing media will be primarily web based since you are targeting geographically diverse areas, start building helpful content around your expertise. This includes case studies, whitepapers, blogs, and newsletters on your website. They should be based around lessons learned and best practices in your core services. This should help you organically SEO your site and grow your marketing database. From their it becomes a grow/nurture/sell pipeline.
There are a lot of brick 'n mortar companies that need Good websites. Just start making connections on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Showcase some of your work that you've done for clients on these sites.
Go to Internet marketing forums like WarriorForum.com and Digital Point and post your services there (make sure you post in the right folder). You will get clients there for sure.
Having a structured approach to new business development is extremely important as it will help you to make sure you are taking the actions you need to meet your own business objectives.
The most important question to answer is "What is your offer?", what do you do, who is that service aimed at, and what is special about the service you're able to provide that makes it distinct? You might think the best solution to be successful is to be everything for everyone, but the most successful small businesses have a specific area of expert focus.
Once you have worked out your offer, you need to understand more specifically who might need that offer. A great place to start is the clients you already have. Do they have common features? Is their commonality in the services they bought from you? How did you get in contact with them?
Getting referrals is a great way to expand your client base into similar types of clients to those you are already working with. If, based on the direction you want to go in, you actually want to diversify into new types of clients, then you must invest time in expanding that network.
Incredibly important for a business in your field is to have a flawless online presence, as if you cannot create an appealing website or brand design for yourself, why would anyone else trust you to do it for them?
There are already lots of answers suggesting ways to expand your network. Just make sure the methods you use are appropriate for the offer you have and the goals you decide on for this expansion.