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7 Proven Ways to Get International Clients for Web Design: Looking to expand your web design business beyond your local area and attract clients from overseas? With the right strategy, it’s easier than ever before to find and win new international projects.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through my top tips for getting foreign clients for your web development services, based on my own experience growing a successful global design agency.
Follow these proven methods to get your services in front of an international audience, build trust across borders, and start landing high-value clients across the world.
1. Optimize Your Website for a Global Audience
The first step is making sure your own website is primed for attracting international visitors.
Focus on creating a site that conveys your services clearly, builds trust, and makes it easy for visitors to get in touch. Some key optimizations to focus on include:
- Present your services clearly – Make sure visitors understand exactly what you do and the types of websites you can build for them. Include plenty of examples and case studies.
- Build trust – Add testimonials from past clients, showcase client logos, and link out to live websites you’ve designed. This helps prove you can deliver.
- Highlight your expertise – Share credentials, awards, press features and anything else that conveys your level of skill and experience. This is especially important for attracting international clients.
- Optimize for search – Research relevant keywords and optimize pages to rank well globally. More on this later.
- Include client references – Provide easy ways for prospective clients to get in touch with your past clients to ask about your services. This helps build trust.
- Make contacting you easy – Allow visitors to get in touch via chat, contact form or phone number. Be sure to list multiple ways to contact you and your availability in multiple time zones.
Optimizing your website in this way helps convey professionalism and makes it more likely international visitors will entrust you with their business.
2. Blog to Build Your Reputation
Content marketing through blogging is powerful for attracting foreign web design clients.
By consistently publishing high-quality content that targets international audiences, you can build authority in your niche, improve your SEO, and position yourself as a thought leader. This helps win trust from overseas prospects.
Some tips for content marketing success:
- Publish tutorials – Teach readers specific web design skills and best practices. These tend to rank well and build expertise.
- Share case studies – Provide behind-the-scenes looks at projects you’ve completed successfully for clients.
- Answer FAQs – What questions do potential international clients have about hiring a web designer? Answer them!
- Discuss industry trends – Establish your insider status by talking about the latest web design trends and technologies.
- Optimize blogs for SEO – Include relevant keywords to improve findability and rank well globally.
- Promote content – Repurpose blog posts on social media, email newsletters, Quora and other channels to maximize reach.
Consistent blogging keeps you top of mind with potential clients and helps attract new business enquiries over time.
3. Get Found Through SEO
Optimizing your website and content for search is hugely important if you want to attract foreign web design clients.
The majority of people searching globally for services like web design are going to start their search on Google and other search engines. By ranking highly for relevant search queries, you can put your services directly in front of these prospective clients.
Some key SEO tips for attracting international web design leads:
- Research target keywords – Brainstorm terms potential foreign clients would search when looking to hire a web designer. Tools like Ahrefs, Semrush and Google Keyword Planner can help generate ideas.
- Optimize pages for your target keywords – Incorporate keywords naturally into crucial pages like “Services”, “About”, location pages, and service description pages. This boosts rankings.
- Create localized pages – Have versions of key pages optimized for keywords in each target country and language. This helps rankings in foreign markets.
- Build high quality backlinks – Reach out to international directories, media sites and partners to build backlinks pointing back to your website. This signals authority to Google.
- Publish translated content – Translate high-performing blog content into foreign languages or hire locals to produce it. This expands your reach.
With the right SEO strategy, you can position yourself front-of-mind for web design searches across the globe.
4. Leverage Freelance Marketplaces
Freelancing platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour and Fiverr can be great sources of international web design clients.
These sites allow businesses worldwide to easily search for and connect with skilled freelancers. By listing a compelling and keyword optimized profile, you can get your services in front of prospects across the globe.
Some tips for success:
- Fill out your profile completely – Include all key details, qualifications, portfolio samples and testimonials.
- Ace the title and overview – Use keywords clients search for so you show up in relevant searches. Summarize clearly what you offer.
- Bid competitively – Provide quotes and packages that deliver value, while still being profitable for you. Offer cheaper introductory options.
- Promote yourself and portfolio – Reach out proactively with custom proposals to clients posting relevant projects. Send follow up messages.
- Deliver great work – Go above and beyond on your first few freelance projects to get rave reviews and repeat business.
Freelancing sites provide great lead generation and let you build reviews to help win bigger contracts down the line.
5. Network and Connect Locally
While it’s tempting to focus entirely online when trying to find foreign clients, networking locally can provide key connections too.
Get involved with startup incubators, small business organizations, local meetups and events in your area. Introduce yourself to entrepreneurs and businesses that might have an international presence and need web design help as they grow.
This kind of local networking helps in a few key ways:
- You can showcase your expertise and services through presentations, workshops, etc.
- It builds relationships with businesses poised for global growth.
- You learn about problems international companies have that you can solve.
- It provides referrals and testimonials to help you win foreign business.
- You gain inside knowledge of global industry trends.
Don’t discount the power of old-fashioned local networking and relationship building. The connections can provide that trust and social proof to win international contracts down the road.
6. Attend Foreign Conferences and Events
When budget allows, consider attending web design, digital marketing or tech conferences in your target foreign countries.
Events like this allow you to network directly with prospective international clients and associated businesses. You can raise awareness for your services, collect business cards, even provide workshops or presentations showcasing exactly what you offer.
Some tips for getting the most from foreign conferences and events:
- Research the attendees – Who will be there? Look for decision makers and influencers relevant to your offering.
- Plan your pitch – Design an “elevator pitch” and talking points to describe succinctly what you do and value you provide. Refine this through practice.
- Bring marketing material – Business cards, brochures, freebie offers, etc tailored to the local market.
- Follow up – Collect business cards and reach out after with a friendly, helpful email touching on something unique from your conversation.
- Stay after – Network receptions and dinners provide more intimate time to connect with prospects.
Conferences allow you to start real relationships and put yourself on the radar of key foreign players in your industry.
7. Consider Hiring Overseas Sales Reps
As your web design business grows, consider hiring freelance sales representatives or agents based overseas, in your target foreign markets.
These sales reps would promote your services to local businesses in their country for an agreed commission on any clients acquired. They handle outreach, meetings, relationship building and closing deals, giving you a local presence.
Benefits of working with foreign sales reps:
- Gain insight into overseas markets and culture from a local.
- Allows you to scale lead generation across multiple markets.
- Sales reps nurture leads and get prospects “sales ready” for you.
- They set up introductions and meetings with qualified prospects when you visit a country.
- You focus on delivering for clients while reps handle finding new ones.
For maximum results, provide sales reps with marketing materials translated into local language and optimized for their region. Offer an attractive commission structure for signing new clients.
Attracting clients from overseas is very achievable for web design agencies who take the right approach. Use these proven strategies to get your services in front of an international audience, build trust across borders, and successfully grow your worldwide customer base.
The key takeaways are:
- Optimize your own website to appeal to a global audience. Build trust through great content, case studies, credentials, and client testimonials.
- Consistently publish high-quality blog content that establishes expertise and ranks well internationally.
- Leverage SEO to get found for relevant web design searches across the globe. Localize and translate where needed.
- List yourself on leading freelance marketplaces and proactively bid on projects. Deliver great work.
- Network locally and get involved with global startup/tech ecosystems in your city.
- Attend relevant conferences and events in your target foreign countries when possible.
- Consider hiring talented overseas sales reps who can promote your services in their local region. Offer a commission structure.
With the right digital marketing foundations and a localized, trust-building approach, you can successfully attract clients from around the world as a web design agency.