Jenny Spring
Jenny Spring Managing Director at Spring Into Sales

How can a website designer/graphic designer attract more referrals?

Do you have suggestions as to how a website designer or graphic designer can build up their referral business?

Top voted answer
Gregory Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett, Editor at Monday Motivational Moment

Top 10% Selling Online

I am assuming you are asking for referrals from your clients and colleagues.

When you do work for a client give them two (yes two) discount vouchers. One they can use and the other for them to give to someone else. Theirs becomes active as soon as the referral voucher is used. I have seen this model work well in a retail environment where five 20% discount vouchers were given out for their customers friends and the customer was given a 100% discount voucher given to the client when all five were used - to the value of what the other five spent.

Ask for a referral. Say something like "You like the way I did this ... are you aware of any other businesses who might like the same thing for them?"

Offer a $200 consultation for free (note: always attach a value to what you offer for free) with a report attached to the consultation which will give recommendations for work for you. People love to give away $200 (or appropriate value for you) to their friends and colleagues and it costs you nothing to offer it - and if it is a service you offer then it is still something which only costs some of your time which you would have invested in sales anyway.

Develop a library of templates - like your portfolio - for a specific industry. For example, you could develop a series of templates for accountants and use these to get accountants to refer you on.

Hope this helps.

Greg Ferrett


Jenny Spring

Jenny Spring, Managing Director at Spring Into Sales

Good stuff Greg.

Jayson Rodda

Jayson Rodda, Head of Digital Marketing at Find Your Ideal Customers

A common problem for many website designers is that they provide one off transactions for clients.  

For clients on the other hand, a website is a simply a marketing tool which won't provide any value unless people find it.  

If I were a web designer I would find like minded partners that can provide these crucial complimentary services and take a commission.  This should build an ongoing revenue, keep the web designer involved with clients journey through online marketing, provide additional revenue opportunities & with the right SEO, PPC & Social Media partners you should receive referring work back through for web design work.

Providing complete solutions should allow for better margins & better conversion from leads into sale.  It might take a little bit of effort to establish, but you might have 100+ clients that can be referred through your soon to be created network.  That sounds like untapped opportunity.

Steve Osborne

Steve Osborne, director at Stephen Roger Osborne

Top 10% Branding


While the obvious time to ask for a referral is immediately after you've provided exceptional results for a happy client, there is another time within the sales cycle that asking for a sales lead can work just as well. It's during what I call the "honeymoon" period ie. immediately after you've had your proposal accepted but before you actually start work.

For example: Mary, the Mktg Mgr from ABC Apartment Developments (builders are your ideal target market) is your recently converted sale. She is completely enthused and excited about whatever it is you've proposed. She can't wait to get the program/website started and see you in action. So the conversation goes something like this:

"Mary, we're really excited to be starting this work for you. You know we specialise in the building industry, which is why we value our relationship and your judgement of our work so much. Who do you know in the marketing department of XYZ Office Developments (builder in related but non-competitive area) that would benefit from a similar relationship?"

Mary is anticipating a great result from you. She's in a bouyant mood and very likely to give you not only the name but also an introduction, should she know someone. If she doesn't know anyone at the nominated company, she'll be just as likely to make her own suggestions of other people in the industry.

Note, you must be specific about the company you wish to target. Simply asking at the outset, "do you know anyone who needs our services?" will result in a blank look, followed by a NO. Mary has no idea who needs your services. But she does know lots of people in her industry.

Jenny Spring

Jenny Spring, Managing Director at Spring Into Sales

Completely agree with the timing of the referral. Thanks Steve

Gregory Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett, Editor at Monday Motivational Moment

Good point Steve - and this is especially effective for service clients.

Andrew Nguyen

Andrew Nguyen, Business Development Manager at Advisible

Hi Jenny, this article is by Chris our Client Relations Manager, thought I would share

"How many times have you been in the process of buying something online, and in one way or another you get interrupted in the process?

You come back to it a couple of days later, and while browsing around again, you start seeing banner ads on your browser, from the same website you got interrupted on. This isn’t a coincidence. This is a powerful marketing tool called remarketing. It helps you reconnect with your audience after they have left your virtual store. Remarketing uses a code to track visitors to your site, allowing you to remarket to them. Find out more about the remarketing tag here. So to break it down, here are the five main reasons why you should use remarketing:

1. INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS Remarketing is great to market to your casual audience. Unless you have a revolutionary service or product that is represented that way by your website, it’s unlikely that a casual visitor will remember you. With the amount of competition out there, it’s highly likely that this audience may forget about you after a while of browsing the web. Targeting this audience with remarketing banners will help remind them that you’re still there and you have a product/service to offer. Even though these people will be less engaged, they’d still be more enticed to click your ad compared to someone who has never heard of you. You can choose to target all visitors to your website, people who have viewed specific pages, or shopping cart abandoners. Depending on what stage of the buying cycle the visitor is at will determine what message you should use.

2. INFORM YOUR PROSPECTS In today’s world, information & knowledge is key. Content marketing is a strong marketing tool that reaps success for many companies. The more information that you provide your prospects, the more likely they are to purchase from you. Giving away information shows that you’re an expert in your industry and simply that you know what you’re talking about. You can carefully collect data about the pages your prospects have been on before whether they completed an action or abandoned your website. This way you can determine visitors who are in the information gathering phase. Once you know who these people are and what they’re interested in, you can create highly targeted banner ads. These will give your leads the information that they’re looking for to complete an action through your site.

3. TURN BROWSERS INTO BUYERS There are always people who will browse your website and what you have to offer without completing an action. It’s pretty normal for a prospect to leave without any action on their first visit. Around 96% of website visitors do so. But this is normal, and a lot of the time, they’ll be back. But even then there will be those that continue to browse and never complete an action for one reason or another. These people need a bit of a push/incentive to complete the desired action. So incentivise them with remarketing! You can create a tailored message to these prospects that will push them to convert. A promotion or sale targeted to this audience works really well in convincing them to do what you want. Costs per click on remarketing are generally a lot cheaper than on search. You’re showing your ads to people who have already shown an interest in you, and you’re doing it at a really low cost.

4. CONVERT VISITORS WHO ABANDON SHOPPING CART Anyone who owns an ecommerce site knows that there will be people who abandon their cart.Approximately 70% of people will. I’m guilty of this myself. There are many reasons for this. I can admit that sometimes I just get distracted and never complete that action, or I’m just not enticed enough to make the purchase.

If you want these visitors to come back and complete the purchase, then remarketing works. You can create a remarketing list that tracks people who have been to your shopping cart, but have never checked out. Creating targeted banners for these leads will remind them about the purchase they nearly made, and entice them to come back and buy!

5. REMARKETING HAS A LARGE SCALE REACH Apart from all the other benefits that remarketing offers, remarketing has a large scale reach. You reach people that are on your remarketing list as they browse over 2 million sites and mobile apps that are part of the Google Display Network. As with anything on PPC, you only pay for a click on your banner ad. So when you think about all the people you’re reaching who don’t click on your banner, it’s pretty much free advertising. They still see your banner, and even if they don’t click on it, you’ll still get noticed. This ties in greatly with brand awareness. The days of using just a ppc search campaign are over. It’s now essential to run different avenues of ppc in order to achieve success online. Utilising the full scope of what is offered to you in terms of online advertising will get you one step closer to success. The possibilities are endless with what remarketing can do for you. So what are you waiting for?