How to look for customers for a small regional web studio

Unfortunately, we didn’t have such.

I want to share our experience in attracting customers for the newly created web studio. The foundation of our web studio can officially be considered August 31, 2012, it was then that they gave me a certificate of registration of me as an individual entrepreneur. From this moment, many methods of attracting customers to our young web studio have been tried. All future employees still worked at their previous places of work and made websites in the evenings, and I, in turn, tried to find clients, combining with the encyclopedia of several small organizations (and this happens, the manager from the enikeyschik). Professionally, none of us has dealt with the development of sites before, and naturally, they did not know how or to whom to sell the sites. Everything was done through trial and error. At first there wasn’t even a programmer,
We proceed to listing what was done, how it worked, and what did not bring results:


To begin with, we went over everyone familiar with the proposal to make a site and received several small orders. At this stage, if they had found some serious order, they would not have taken it, due to the lack of experience and knowledge.
Conclusion: The method undoubtedly works, but is quickly depleted.

Kicked to the offices

I thought that in personal contact with potential customers it would be possible for them to explain why they need a site and how it can help them. Went through office centers, went into each office. But it turned out to be not so simple: the decision-makers were absent from their workplaces, and those who were were not taking me seriously. Plus, it took quite a lot of time to get around a large number of offices.
Conclusion: It’s not always possible to get into DM and you need to have the qualities of a good salesman.

Cold calls

We decided to try cold calls to the same offices. It was difficult to overpower yourself to pick up the phone and call a stranger who is often not at all happy with your call. But as it turned out, it was worth it. During the day it turned out to make quite a few calls (about 100), which gave a large sample, with 100 calls it was possible to find 3 interested and 1 ready for the meeting. There are many articles on creating cold call scripts; someone is selling them. As it turned out, even the simplest call with a question in the forehead can be effective:
- Good afternoon.
- Hello.
- Will you be interested in a proposal to create a website?
Of course, calls with the use of techniques for obtaining contact with a decision-maker, a competent proposal, working with objections, etc. are more effective. But if there is a fear of cold calls, then this simple script will help to overcome it.
Conclusion: A very good way to find new customers for studios operating in the low price segment.

Contextual advertising, targeting and SEO

Although I met in many places that for the low and medium price segment it is possible to successfully attract customers from the search - we did not succeed, as we did not try. We launched Yandex.Direct, tried advertising on VK, brought the site to the tops, failed to bring the site to the tops, redid our site 3 times and none of this gave a good result. The client who came from contextual advertising was only one, not quite adequate, which as a result had to be abandoned. Although we made a website for a window company and promoted it in search engines, both contextual advertising and SEO. Even in this highly competitive sphere, we managed to achieve high results: the site is in the top 5 for 6 high-frequency queries, contextual advertising also works well. The customer is pleased with our work.
Conclusion:Contextual advertising and targeting do not work well in the field of site development services. Maybe SEO works, but getting into the top is difficult.

Recommendations (word of mouth)

We received 2 clients according to recommendations. Both turned out to be very interesting projects in terms of site functionality. The most important thing here is to leave the maximum number of customers satisfied and ask for recommendations, no one gives right away, but in the future they will remember you.
Conclusion: Word of mouth leads very loyal customers who are easy to work with. But it cannot be controlled (when it "shoots" is not known).

Web Links

On each site, of course, it is better to leave links. Especially if the site is with good traffic. This also affects the image and recognition of the studio. We received 2 calls from people who saw our links on sites. Orders could not be received, most likely due to the selectivity and distrust of our web studio.
Conclusion: It works, for the sake of links and portfolio, you can make sites for famous companies at discounts.

Registrars IP and LLC

There are organizations that are engaged in assistance in registering new LLCs and entrepreneurs, newly-minted entrepreneurs turn to these organizations for help, according to our assumptions they needed a website for the new organization. We have agreed with 4 similar organizations in our city that they will recommend us to their customers. For this they receive 20% of the order. Not the most stable source of clients, depends on many factors: the interest of the registrar’s employees, the correct filing and recommendations of our studio, the number of registrar clients.
Conclusion: A working channel for attracting customers, you just need to find similar organizations and agree with each individually.

Third-party projects

The designer proposed a startup for the free creation of logos on request. We created a website where we accept applications and post new logos every day. One very good client came from this site, with whom we have been working closely for more than one month, and he, in turn, brought another one.
Conclusion: It is worth engaging in attracting from third-party projects, we were led by a competent and regular customer.

Office flyers

The cheapest I could find in our city was the office spacing with photo confirmation: 7.5 rubles per leaflet. We decided to make not one sheet, but a booklet of 4 sheets, which described why the site is needed, how it works and examples of our work. Printing A4 booklet of 4 sheets 46 rubles / pc. We ordered 300 pieces for testing, the result: 9 calls, 4 orders. Order value: 4012 rubles.
Conclusion: It works, the cost of the order is acceptable, we will use this method in the future.

Participation in events

Participated in 2 local IT conferences as listeners (have not yet figured out what to do). There is no result, you need to participate as partners or tell something interesting. Now there is an idea for organizing an exhibition of web design.
Conclusion: Perhaps there will be a good PR if you participate not as listeners.

Although cold calls remain the main channel of attraction, I think we have achieved significant results: given that we are not advertising anywhere, there are incoming calls; have a good portfolio; There are well-known clients in our city. We work full day in our own office. They have grown very much in terms of design and programming, in a position to take on projects that renowned studios refuse. With this post I wanted to show that only three people who do not have deep initial knowledge in marketing, management, design, programming and without start-up capital are able to create a successful web studio and work for their own pleasure.

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