"Marketing ideas for a business selling design services/websites"
Hi there! I have enjoyed this forum immensely, but I have a question of my own.
What ideas do you have for me in the way of marketing my business? We are primarily a design firm, but have added a new website that sells ready-made websites in the past 6 months. Right now business is at a bit of a lull and I'm looking for creative or new ideas that can bring people in. I'd love to hear any suggestions you may have for me. Today I plan to go to a nearby business park and introduce myself to other small businesses and hand out my business card. I also plan to send out some mailers with a follow-up call. Any other ideas are more than welcome!
#1. "RE: Marketing ideas for a business selling design services/websites" In response to Reply # 0
What's your company vision? What are your top 5 goals for your company? Who is your ideal client? What does your marketing funnel look like? Where do your best clients come from? Do you have strategic partners?
Knowing the answers to those questions would be helpful in considering specific marketing methods.
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#2. "RE: Marketing ideas for a business selling design services/websites" In response to Reply # 1
Our company's vision is to help out other small businesses by providing them with quality design at an affordable price. Our ideal client would be other small businesses or businesses that are just starting out. Our marketing funnel is primarily Christian businesses and churches, but we do design work for anyone. Our best clients have come from a variety of places, but they are mostly like us, with just a couple employees. We don't have any strategic partners yet, but this week I plan on attending a business networking group and hope to gain some contacts there.
#3. "RE: Marketing ideas for a business selling design services/websites" In response to Reply # 2
First and foremost, I like your site, but I don't know if you tested it in other browsers. I opened it in FireFox 18.104.22.168 and it was a little slow loading the pictures. Then I checked it out in IE7 and it asked me to download Adobe Flash Player. I don't mind downloads, but for some who aren't that familiar with interacting on the net may see this as a bad thing.
In addition, it may make others wonder if the sites they purchase from you will cause the same problem. Just a thought as to why things may have gotten a little slow.
As for increasing customers maybe offering a special - considering the economy, and the number of pre-designed sites out there. I know a few that offer a trial first, and pay if the customer decides to continue, otherwise the site is discontinued. Also, offer other services like hosting (maybe become a reseller of a hosting service), domain registration, etc. Or maybe offer business cards, logo design, or fliers as a package.
You can also advertise in the Christian newspapers. Most churches have their own, but also check the communities. In S.F. they have one called The Reporter (mostly about churches). Their is also the small local newspapers like Pennysaver, The Advertiser the cater to small businesses.
I know I'm probably not the absolute best on suggestions considering I'm just starting out, but I like to help out.
#4. "RE: Marketing ideas for a business selling design services/websites" In response to Reply # 3
Hunter, thanks for your suggestions. We had tested it in other browsers, but we just added a live chat feature for people to ask us questions and I think that may be causing the slow loading of the pages. Thanks for letting me know about that.
I may think about some kind of "special" that only lasts for a limited time. We're not necessarily having a problem getting people to the site, but the problem comes in converting them to sales. Maybe if there were some kind of special as you mentioned, they would be more likely to make a decision then as opposed to waiting. I know buying a website is a big decision, so I think that's why it takes longer for a website visitor to become a sale for us.
#5. "RE: Marketing ideas for a business selling design services/websites" In response to Reply # 2
I just wanted to note that your vision statement doesn't really say anything about you or about what makes you special or why you are in business.
Your vision statement should be in essence the one statement that says everything important about how and why you want to be in business.
Since your marketing funnel is primarily Christian businesses and Churches, this ideal should be part of your vision. There is nothing wrong with cinching up the belt to be the niche market that you just said that you are.
It makes it much easier to help you target marketing concepts if we know exactly what your vision statement is, rather than just a generic phrase.
That said... what does your marketing plan have in the pipeline as places and people to target?
#6. "RE: Marketing ideas for a business selling design services/websites" In response to Reply # 5
We started this whole thing because with our design firm, we hated turning people away that couldn't afford a custom-made website. We wanted to come up with a way for them to get a website at a reasonable price, but not make it look like just a template. That's why we created the websites to be ready-made so that we can customize it to them with their logo, colors, etc. Our heart is to bless other small Christian businesses and churches with a website that looks unique to them and would be something that they could afford. I hope that helps clarify our mission
As far as a marketing plan, that is what I am trying to compile. Right now I have been going "door to door" to businesses around my area and introducing myself while handing out business cards and postcards. I've also sent out mailers to the churches and some Christian businesses in my area. Additionally, I've emailed Christian businesses in my area letting them know who we are. I'm also planning on becoming a part of a business networking group. These all seem like obvious marketing ideas, so I'm open to any out of the box ideas you may have or just normal ones that I may be missing.
#7. "RE: Marketing ideas for a business selling design services/websites" In response to Reply # 6
I think that once you know where you want to go, it'll be much easier to figure out how to get there.
What you just said that clarifies your mission tells me a lot more than your mission statement is... Start with the statement:
Our heart is to bless other small Christian businesses and churches with an affordable website that is unique to them.
That is far clearer about what you want to do than the statement you are currently working with... I would change it and run with the second one... why? It is clearer and has more meaning to what you are doing.
Going door to door is good, it's a lot of footwork, it's a lot of time, when you consider your cost for dropping a 15 cent postcard in each of those businesses mailbox via USPS or Canada Post (not sure where you are), you'll have a better hit ratio. In addition to that.. you've a better target market if you go to the local churches and find out who the active businessmen for those churches are. Some Christian groups would be great to target, such as Knights of Columbus, and others. Do some Christian Businessmen's association networking... Maybe even find yourself a Christian BNI group, there's bound to be one or several out there.
Good luck with it... I think that the more concrete you are in your thinking, the better you'll be able to sell yourself.