June 19, 2022

How to Find Web Design Clients without Selling


In today’s video, I’m talking about getting clients for your web design business–or service-based business–without selling. Let’s go!

1. Show Your Work

Before we get right into the video, I don’t wanna get you guys into any kind of buffer. First things first–and this is the number one thing you can do to get clients on autopilot–is to show your work. Three words–there’s a book by Austin Kleon called Show Your Work, where he definitively goes through how you can showcase your work while you’re doing it.

So for us, while work’s designing, conceptualizing, creating wireframes, I create a daily video called Show Your Work and I post on Instagram and other platforms. And what I do in that video is that I show folks projects that we’re working on. I dive in, I look at the wireframes we’re working on and issues we run into, calls with clients.

You can keep it transparent without showcasing actual specifics to that client, and what you’re doing is you’re instilling the daily process where people can see exactly what you’re doing.

So not only do they know that you’re a web designer, they’re continuously seeing you do that day-to-day. So what’s happening is you start to become a value-based individual.

Now, when people see your content, they’re automatically going to think, “Okay, whenever I need web design or development projects, I’m gonna hit up John and his agency because I’m seeing his content on daily, I’m looking at his processes, his systems, the quality of his work,” and you stay top-of-mind.

And then, what eventually happens is you become a thought leader in the space. So by jumping on Instagram and showing your work like this, walking people through the process, making it real simple and easy, you’re creating this UGC or user generated content and it’s really easy for people to:

  1. Ask you questions and want to collab with you, and
  2. See you on a continuous level and you become a thought leader in the space, where they ultimately want to work with you.

2. Create Social Proof

You need to start creating social proof. So one, make sure that you create a folder on your Google Drive, your Notion whenever, and then collect any testimonials from your existing clients. This can be screenshots of conversations you’ve had, maybe they sent you a direct message, maybe it’s a Slack message, screenshot every single document you have from clients or folks that you work with and start to create this repository or folder of those items.

Now what you can do is you can use that on your website, you can use that in social media content, you can use that in tweets and posts, so make sure that you learn how to leverage that because social proof is crucial to you getting clients on autopilot.

The next thing you also want to do is create a Google review page. I can’t tell you how many agencies don’t even have one of these. And so you can go into Google and you can create a listing, and what can happen is locally, as you rank, you’ll start to show up in the organic search engines.

If you go on Google, there’s what they call a five map pack. And in that map pack it’ll have the top five agencies or companies in that area. Now even if you’re working with nationwide clients, you can still pick up some local clientele from having that listing and you can compete with big agencies.

Let’s say you have five agencies. One has seven reviews, one has thirty reviews, one has three, you’re most likely to go with the one that has the most reviews. Now we have a lot on our agency site, and that really helps us be able to get more clients because it’s social proof that they can see, they can check out the reviews, and know exactly what we provide.

So again, make sure that you’re:

  1. Collecting all your testimonials and information, putting that in a Google Drive or Notion doc, so you have a repository.
  2. Make sure that you sign up for Google reviews and definitely ask your clients for reviews.

3. Find Communities and Participate

Last one–and this is the secret sauce right here–is find communities and participate in them as much as possible.

First things first, Facebook groups are amazing places to meet and collab. You can show that you’re a thought leader in the space by answering questions. So a few times a week, go into your favorite Facebook groups, check them out and then just communicate, right?

Answer questions, respond to folks–Facebook groups and Twitter are a gold mine for this. Just make sure that you’re joining communities that you’re a part of. So for me, I love to be in the UI/UX communities, Webflow, design–and if anyone asks a question, I’m happy to jump in and respond to it.

A lot of times, by providing that added value on a continuous basis, you start to, again, become a thought leader in the space. And once you become a thought leader, the leads start to trickle in like crazy.


So just wanted to recap everything for you all: these are three ways that you can go in and get clients without selling:

  1. Show your work. (I’ll link to an example below of what that looks like.)
  2. Make sure that you’re leveraging social proof. (I’ll include links to that as well.)
  3. Make sure that you’re communicating in groups, joining communities, and helping others by answering questions.

I guarantee: you do this for 30 days, you’ll start to see leads trickle in. And then as those leads grow and you start to get referral business, you’ll see that thing snowball into a full-fledged, successful agency.

I hope this helped y’all, and I wish you all the best. I’ll see y’all soon. Peace!

A web designer on laptop waving at computer

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