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Hello, I'm 24 and starting my own web design & marketing company. As with any new business, you have to figure out who your target audience and customer is. In my case, it would be anyone needing a new website or marketing services. But the problem with that versus someone with an actual product is I'm not sure who to best spend my time targeting in my own advertising efforts. Is there any advice or words of wisdom from someone who has more past experience in this than I do? I'm always trying to self-improve so any discussion is welcome. The site I am starting is www.codecrater.com if anyone is interested in offering feedback. Cheers, Dom

  • NL

    Nick Lock

    about 4 years ago #

    Hi Dom,

    Who do you want to work with?
    Do you want to target certain verticals?
    If yes, what verticals lack good design?

    What kind of sites do you want to build?

    Those are just a couple questions to think about before you get started.

    Since there is so much competition in your space I would recommend picking a niche and pursuing it.
    Most startups don't have the luxury of choosing their customers. If you do I recommend first creating a portfolio to help prospects visualize what you can do for them.

    Once that is made start networking or finding sites that could use some visual improvement. Reach out to them and share your portfolio.

    • DM

      Dom Maiocchi

      about 4 years ago #

      Wow, some great insights there Nick! It may seem simple but I sure do appreciate it!

  • RC

    Ryan Charnov

    about 4 years ago #

    Hey Dom - I agree with just about everything Nick said so definitely think about his questions. One thing to add would be to find what verticals would be willing to pay for premium design. Some industries traditionally spend much more on website development while others have tighter budgets. Some companies may have poor design because they are unwilling to pay for premium services. In that case you can either try to create a low cost alternative for them, but you may be better off just looking for industries that have plenty of money to spend on your services

    • DM

      Dom Maiocchi

      about 4 years ago #

      Thank you Ryan, that is definitely something I will now take into consideration! I appreciate it.

  • NB

    Nick Boariu

    about 4 years ago #

    I think Nick Lock and Ryan Charnov have provided some answers.

    I was thinking of sharing my experience of when I started a boutique digital marketing agency as I asked the same questions you are.

    After I built my website showcasing all the wonderful things I can do to help a business grow, I went out for walks.

    I started walking around the nearest business plaza. There were restaurants, retailers, service companies, etc. As I walked along, I searched up the company on my phone to see what kind of web presence they had. Some would have great websites and ads. Some would have nothing. For the one's that had nothing or a poor web presence, I would jot down those on a notepad.

    After building a small list of companies, I decided it's time to start talking to them. Some of them I called and tried to get a hold of a manager or owner. Some of them I visited in person.

    When I talked to them, I didn't sell them on my awesome services. I wanted to listen. I asked them about their business. How long they've been around, how things were going, and eventually asked them about what they thought about websites and advertising. I was essentially prospecting to see if there was a need and an opportunity.

    Anyway, long story short, this is how I landed my first few clients and it helped me find my target audience. It turned out to be real estate, rental agencies, security, and restaurants.

    Some of them got tremendous discounts because I was starting out and they were giving me a chance, but over time I was able to start charging more and more as my portfolio grew. It worked for me, it could work for you. Give it a shot.