8 Ways To Get New Clients For Your WordPress Web Development Business…And Keep Them Happy!

8 Ways To Get New Clients For Your WordPress Web Development Business…And Keep Them Happy!

Your WordPress development business is up and running. You’re open and ready to start taking on projects. All you need now are… clients! Let’s show you eight ways to get them and eight ways to keep them happy.

“Get it done, be early to rise, build like crazy…and advertize!” – Web Developer’s Credo

Adopting the above credo and having a “client-getting process” in place for your web development business is vitally important, as it will ensure a steady pipeline of work and revenue.

However, while this might sound simple on the surface, with so many strategies and techniques out there for finding good clients, sometimes it can be impossible to know where to start.

Fortunately, we have a member community of 50,000+ web developers at our disposal.

So naturally we asked them how and where they find their clients!

We then broke down and analyzed their answers and grouped the methods that have worked for them into eight categories.

In this post, we’ll explore each of these methods and show you how to drive more clients to your website and get more business.

After reading this article, you’ll know the eight best methods to get clients for your web development business and (BONUS!) 8 tips for keeping them happy.

Skip ahead to any section of the article:

    1. Word-of-Mouth
    2. Google Search/SEO
    3. 3rd Party Prospecting Sites
    4. Social Media
    5. Networking Events
    6. Social Media Groups
    7. Facebook Ads
    8. Cold Calling

Finding New Clients – The Eight Best Methods To Use

We’ve written about how to get your first client before; however, we’re going to dive a little deeper in this article by hearing from people in the WordPress development community about their proven ways for getting new clients.

We surveyed hundreds of web developers in our member community and found a few standard practices for obtaining new clients.

Everything from paid ads, LinkedIn groups, marketing funnels, cold emails, in-person meetups and networking events, and word-of-mouth.

So, we’ve graphed their responses into different groups based on their most popular methods for getting a new client…

These are the most effective methods our members found to get new clients.

The most effective ways web developers obtain new customers boils down to:

  1. Word-of-Mouth
  2. Google Search/SEO
  3. 3rd Party Prospecting Sites (e.g. Upwork)
  4. Social Media
  5. Networking Events
  6. Social Media Groups
  7. Facebook Ads
  8. Cold Calling

Let’s look at these in a bit more detail.

1. Word-of-Mouth

word of mouth image.Word-of-mouth is the most popular and effective way to get your business going and land new clients.

45% of all members who participated in our surveys and discussions said that word-of-mouth is how most of them initially get clients.

Here are some of the responses we received:

“It’s usually a personal contact due to personal mutual interest.” – Fabio F

“We have good luck with word of mouth/referrals from other clients. We do not do much advertising for ourselves. We have also landed a number of jobs through google searches and interested parties filling out contact forms.” – Mike

“Referrals have been the best source of new clients. I did good work for small and medium businesses in my area, and they referred me to their friends and sister companies.” – Phil

“Word of mouth. Awkwardly, I don’t even have a website of my own right now because I haven’t had any breaks between projects in years. But although it’s a nice problem to have, I need to set aside some time to get something more scalable together, at which point I’ll focus on organic reach and some social media advertising.” – Greg

“I personally leverage on my network and word of mouth (referral) as the trust and confidence level is up, which then I will focus on the solution rather than “selling my brand.” – Jay C

“I pay my website users money for referring their friends who eventually make a purchase. The money paid is actually a fraction of the purchase.” – Chris

These quotes are just a small sample of responses we received.

How to Get Clients Through Word-of-Mouth

Word-of-Mouth is so effective, marketers even have a word for it. It’s called…wait for it…

Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOM)

Here are just some of the steps you can take to get a client through word-of-mouth marketing (WOM):

Many successful businesses start with the help of family and friends (i.e. your warm market).

So, start there. Tell them about your new business and ask them to start spreading the word to everyone they know (and keep reminding them!)

If you have a colleague or friend, you can get them to talk about your services by helping them with a project. This can translate into new business.

Also, you can set up a referral program. This will motivate people you know to talk about you and your business.

WPMU DEV's WOM referral toolAutomate word-of-mouth referrals using tools like ‘refer a friend’ scripts.

The more people know about your WordPress business, the more chances you’ll have of getting new clients, so just chat about your business in social situations and every opportunity you get…conferences, networking events, functions, kids parties, barmitzvahs (funerals can be a little tricky…if you notice people getting stiff while you’re telling them about your business, just back away!)

Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOM) is the most effective way to generate clients, so…start spreading the word about your business.

Then, it’s just a matter of closing your client, and you’re on a roll.

2. Google Search/SEO

Google search image.Good SEO practices will benefit your WordPress business and help you find new clients.

Next on our list of effective client-getting strategies is Google Search/SEO at 18%

“Organic SEO and word of mouth!” Phil — WPMU DEV Member

When it comes to ranking high in the SERPs, there are many things you can do.

As a web developer, you’re probably familiar with SEO practices that best serve your client. However, are you optimizing your own website for best results?

Implementing good SEO practices on your own site can help drive more customers to your business and get more customers knocking on your door.

WPMU DEV provides a whole suite of sweet tools to help you refine your SEO practices and ensure that your own site and your services are up to par.

For example, you can use our SEO Checklist. It covers keyword optimization, title tags, internal linking, and much more. Plus, there’s our Startup Guide to SEO.

Beyond helpful articles, we have also developed plugins that can seriously boost your and your clients’ sites’ performance.

SmartCrawl helps with SEO in many ways. For example, you can use our free SmartCrawl plugin to add localized schema types that can help to attract and bring in clients from your area.

You don’t want potential clients thinking that your own website is too slow, do you? That’s why we created Smush to handle your image optimization for faster loading pages and better search results, and our Hummingbird plugin.

Smush is WordPress’s most popular image optimization plugin – with over a million+ active installs and a 5-star rating. Hummingbird helps your site fly by boosting its speed to ensure your visitors get a quality top-notch experience.

Use Smush + Hummingbird + our blazing fast hosting to impress clients when they land on your website and you will create a “me too” hunger for your services.

Final tip: Try to focus on your niche and use best local SEO practices for your WordPress services.

3. 3rd Party Prospecting Sites

Upwork banner.3rd-party sites like Upwork are an effective way to promote your business and find work.

9% of web developers we talked with and surveyed mentioned that they get their start and find clients by promoting their services on freelancer sites like Upwork.

We’ve mentioned Upwork in several of our other articles. However, judging by our members’ responses it appears that Upwork is a great place to look for clients.

“I get a ton of visits from customers on Upwork.” Wolf B – WPMU DEV Member

Upwork is free, and it’s easy to set up a profile. You can specify your location, rate, bio, and more on your profile.

Upwork developers.Lots of WordPress developers promote their services on Upwork…you may want to as well!

As we suggested with SEO, with 3rd-party sites, try to narrow down the playing field by focusing on a niche market and mention your specialty on your profile (e.g. WordPress website development for businesses in the XYZ niche).

While this strategy may put your business in front of less people, it can result in you bidding on more projects and pitching to more targeted clients.

Eventually, you will start getting rates and ratings. Your earnings will appear on the site and build your credibility. So, the more you earn, the more you’ll earn.

Note: Sites like Upwork take care of all your client billing for a cut of the profit.

As your business grows and you rely less on 3rd-party sites like Upwork to find clients, we recommend using WPMU DEV’s Client Billing…we charge 0% client processing fees for members!

You can learn more about Upwork on their website.

Another popular site mentioned by our web developer community is Fiverr.

Similar to Upwork, it’s free to set up a profile, add your skills, your rate, and more information.

Fiverr profilesIf you’re promoting your business on freelance sites, remember to check out Fiverr too!

The downside of promoting your business on 3rd-party sites is that you are competing against thousands of other freelancers.

Also, your customization options are limited compared to having your own website.

Additionally, most 3rd-party sites frown upon adding external links to a portfolio with your contact information.

They want you to run all of your business on their platform. After all, it’s how they make money.

So, transferring your clients from a platform like Upwork to your own business model may prove difficult.

That being said, you can always use testimonials from clients you get from 3rd-party sites on your own site.

Many developers swear by places like Upwork, Fiverr, and Codeur, so it does work when it comes to getting a client.

You can start collecting testimonials from these various platforms, generate some buzz, and eventually lose some of your dependency on 3rd-party sites as you evolve and establish your business.

Social media banner.Don’t be shy about letting people get to know you and your business on social media.

At an equal share of 9%, the web developers we’ve surveyed turn to social media to find new clients and get work.

“I do a ton of social network posts. Twitter, FB, YT, TikTok, etc.” Wolf B – WPMU DEV Member

“The method that has best worked for me is having my own website optimized and my offerings extremely clear for my ideal customer. On my website, I have a website quote calculator and also have a portfolio to showcase my designs. I then share my website across social platforms and to google regularly. This, along with word of mouth, has helped me get new clients.” Marianna – WPMU DEV Member

Building up your business profile on social media can be a long game but if you persist, you’ll slowly but surely establish a social presence for your WordPress business and get clients.

Here are just some of the basic things you can and should be doing and focusing on to attract new clients through social media:

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