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  1. #1
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Promoting your business within a saturated market

    Ok, so I'm sure at least 98% of the members here either run a web design/development business or a webmaster resources site. Unfortunately, no matter how great your site is, sites with the same topic are practically a dime a dozen.

    So what are your strategies for getting ahead in such a saturated market?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict LiveTronix's Avatar
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    I think webdesign is satured over the internet but in small/medium sized towns there is most likely a need for web designers. Most of them have one or two guys and their services could be much improved upon.

    So I think if new designers target more the people they know it will become a chain of happy clients doing all the marketing.

  3. #3
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    There is certainly plenty of amatuer fly-by-night web design companies out there. But I wouldn't say the professional arena is saturated.

    As for websites... well what I do is try to make a website in a field that ISN'T saturated. The best way to beat your competition is to not have any.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
    My Blog|My Webmaster Forums

  4. #4
    I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Fluffykins's Avatar
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    There's only one real way to compete in a saturated market and that's to make yourself stand out. Adapt your product or service to incorporate something no-one around you has done before.

    One thing i'm working on is sort of a standard product that the client will receive when I design a site for them. I think by delivering a "product" or standard package it'll add more value to what I do and make my sales pitch all the more effective.

    I had in mind:

    - a website
    - a hosting package (1 year)
    - a domain name
    - a back-up CD-ROM of their site and originals of all scanned images
    - a help booklet / guide on using their webspace, e-mail etc
    - ongoing technical support and advice

    Now that lot probably isn't any more than what everyone else does anyway, but because i've made a point of telling my potential clients about it and making a big deal over it I at least appear to be doing something special and new. The client appears to be getting more for their money and should, in theory, be more likely to employ me.

    The technical term for this is a USP or Unique Selling Point. Basically you're doing something unique to make yourself stand out and I think that's the way to stand head and shoulders above the rest in an already saturated market.

    Ady
    v-technologies - Freelance Goodness.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Fluffykins is close, but ultimately, USP has to be real, not just better communications. So if you're seeking differentiation, come up with a new USP - somethign competitors don't offer - and become "the one with ____" for them.

    That said, beware of touting any feature - the things you own, the things you do - because those don't make sales happen. Express everything in terms of benefits - the things (including attribures, like safety) that a customer owns as a result of the relationship with you.

    And that said, the result of oversaturation in any market is consolidation. Failure is the only option for most shoestring companies, and good management means pulling the plug at a time and in a way that makes for minimum bloodshed. Some companies can survive better through a process of merger or acquisition, so long as they are careful to discard suplication without compromising customer value. It is also a time when a big player can exercise marketing muscle and shove all the little guys into the toilet.

    Welcome to the computer industry.
    _____/\/\arty \/\/inston

  6. #6
    I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Fluffykins's Avatar
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    One day, one day I will use a proper marketing term in the correct context. One day...

    ady
    v-technologies - Freelance Goodness.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    You used USP just fine - dare I mention - in the formal definition, the P stands for Proposition.
    _____/\/\arty \/\/inston

  8. #8
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    I'll ditto LiveTronix. Coca-Cola and Allstate Insurance have their contracts and web designers. Small businesses don't or maybe they can't afford a major company to do the design. My clientele DESPERATELY needs web developers and it's a good way to start out, although going-rates are low because there's not alot of money with these guys....churches and non-profits. There are money laden churches and non-profits, but most don't have alot of money. Churches especially, and something to think about, churches that do have websites generally have sittes that SUCK and are done by hobbyists in their congregations...why? to save money! So it would be easy to do a string of relatively inexpensive sites for a series of small-medium size churches and still turn a profit. Think about having 4 "package" plans specially geared to these organizations. Anyways, I'm bringing in a ton of money on these guys and they are not getting ripped off....and I've only got 6 months experience!!!

    Sketch
    Aaron Brazell
    Technosailor



  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    One way you can be seen is to GO TO THEM. Too many web designers wait for clients to call them. Pick up a phone book and start calling them!

    I really believe that honesty and integrity are the best business practices... and by being truly sincere and not trying to sell a potential client something they don't need... they will see that you really are looking out for them.

    Being honest, even if it means losing a sale, will get you more in the long run. Truly satisfied customers will brag and brag... and reccommend you to all their friends.


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