As a website designer building an agency, you spend most of your time marketing and working on your client projects.
It’s all too common to miss these basic business building strategies, that could skyrocket your growth faster than 90% of other web designers.
In this post, I go over the simple steps you can take now to build relationships and attract new customers.
I’ll also tell you the key to scalability and how to make this process quicker and easier.
1) Reply to all emails within 24 hours
Your clients may love your work, but if you annoy them by not communicating afterward, they’re not going to refer you.
There are other digital agencies they can send their best referrals to, instead of yours. That means you’re losing both new prospective clients and revenue streams to your competitors.
Why would a client make a recommendation they’re not 100% happy with?
They simply won’t.
Successful small business owners know that growth is all about building relationships.
You can fix that by deciding to make a 24-hour rule to reply to emails. And stick with it consistently.
Block out time to read and respond to emails at the beginning and end of every workday. Create whatever schedule fits your business, and stick to it.
A brief email to your own client, sent in a timely matter, will go a long way towards client satisfaction. Avoid the habit of putting off a response in order to write a long detailed email when a quick one will do.
This is especially important when you are corresponding with new clients or potential clients. While they wait for your delayed email response, another digital agency will get their business.
Give clients ample notice when you know you’ll be unavailable to respond quickly due to travel or other personal commitments. Let them know when they can expect a response.
2) Hit your deadlines, every time
“All you have in business is your reputation — so it’s very important that you keep your word.” – Richard Branson
Referrals happen when people love what you do and how you do it. Your clients and fellow agencies will only refer clients to you when they can trust you will stand by your word.
One of the simplest ways to demonstrate your trustworthiness is to put a clear timeline in place during the client onboarding process, and to meet those milestones and deadlines, every time.
That’s what will get you those positive reviews, new leads, and that steady stream of business you want to grow your agency faster than the competition.
With a reputation for meeting your deadlines, and keeping clients happy, your agency’s growth will be faster than most agencies out there.
3) Thank your clients to grow your web design agency
A genuine “thank you” says a lot to a client after the invoice. Making that effort to express your thanks, shows your client you weren’t just after the invoice.
Saying thank you shows that you care about building ongoing relationships with your clients.
Let them know you enjoy working with them.
Be friendly and personable in your thank you note. Add a personal touch that’s meaningful to your customer and lets them know you’ve been listening.
For example, you might add, “Enjoy that weekend away” or “Have fun at your daughter’s wedding”.
Take time as well to thank your referral partners. When appropriate, you might reward a referral with payment, a gift, or at the very least, a kind thank you note.
For more on getting new clients read How to Get New Web Design Clients.
4) Ask for referrals to grow faster
Remind your best clients that you appreciate their referrals. It’s a simple step but goes a long way as a reminder.
Send out an “If you know someone, I’d be happy to help” email after their first monthly service invoice.
Consistently remind current clients of the services you offer, and that you welcome their referrals.
By taking great care of your clients, they will feel good sharing your agency with their friends and colleagues.
Consistent referrals means you don’t have to rely on cold emails to identify opportunities, and can instead welcome new leads from website design clients who are already happy with your work.
Content marketing, lead magnets, social media, video content, and other specific marketing strategies can grow your agency, but nothing is as easy and satisfying as a great referral.
5) Build systems to grow faster than the competition
The truth is, 90% of web design agencies miss all these strategies. Can you guess why?
Instead of systems, a web designer might have excuses such as:
- My inbox is already a blur of spam, complaints, and time-sucking requests
- Hitting deadlines is inconvenient, I need flexibility
- I have no process in place to follow up with anyone
- Referrals just sound like more work and I’m already swamped
What they don’t realize is that systems are the key to scalability.
Ready to scale your agency faster than 90% of designers?
Anything you do manually more than once a month can easily become a system.
Anything that brings results every time you do it can be a system.
Building systems can be a system!
It sounds robotic (and quite boring to a person who is built on creativity) but it’s the only solution to scale.
The Starbucks empire couldn’t have been built with the CEO still pouring every coffee and measuring every portion, or ordering cups and manning the drive-thru.
Not sure how to start building agency growth systems?
Let’s talk about which system you can start with to scale your agency – send me an email.
Leave a comment so we can learn from each other.
You’ll also want to check out my 31-Point WordPress Website Launch Checklist to help you create processes to ensure you’re always doing your best work and keeping clients happy.