Until very recently I got most of my clients via referrals as email forwards that were very warm.

I had been talked up by the other contractor/company as the absolute best fit for the client.

Rarely did I have any contacts through my website forms.

But that changed this summer.

My ‘business’ site was my personal

For all the time I’ve been running my business and telling clients how to run successful business sites, I had been using my personal site as my business site.

Sure this is a great blog on how to run a business, but it’s not a great site to entice clients to hire me to build their site.

That all changed when I launched SFNdesign.ca which has always been my company and has never had a site.

I put some work in over a few weekends on the content and purchased, then tweaked a theme and the leads have started to really come in strong.

Yup that’s what I said, I spent about 15 hours on the site to really try and make it awesome and I more than doubled my good client contacts. Clients went from emailing me asking for a quote to talking about cycling and how they’d fit in to my services well.

They stopped talking about me being a code pusher and started talking about partnerships with me.

So why do you only get referrals?

Of course you don’t get much traffic from your site, it’s freaking terrible just like mine was until very recently. You don’t write about anything that your potential clients are interested in.

Why on earth would anyone come to you?

All your work is referrals, because one look at your site and anyone else runs away screaming. They need to be warm awesome leads that have had your services talked up lots to even consider you for their work.

So put some time in to your site. Purchase a theme from a great theme shop like Array or CR3ATIV or The Theme Foundry make some tweaks to it.

Write some content that clients will actually read, introduce yourself and your services. Explain your process to them.

Put some actual time in to your business site so it’s more than a mess of “something I’ll get to…eventually” so that new clients that find your site will see if they’re a good fit and work with you.

photo credit: nanagyei cc

6 responses to “Of course you only get referrals, your business site sucks”

  1. Andy Avatar

    If you don’t mind me asking: How are people finding your website? Are the leads local? Are they coming from Google? From your blog?

    I’m mulling over a revamp of my business website, but I can’t picture how people are even going to find it.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      I get referrals to my business site from a few sources.

      1. This site after people read about how I run my business and realize that they need help with their website and trust me after my writing
      2. wpthemetutorial.com where I write about WordPress stuff
      3. Interviews/podcasts/blog posts that I happen to do for other people which send traffic my way
      4. Referrals from other WordPress people that either can’t do the job or have to much work

      I work for almost no one local. In fact I end up working for almost no one in Canada. 80% (probably more but that’s the most recent numbers I have) comes from the US. There are few local businesses that would have a site with enough traffic and earning potential that my services would be worth it for them.

      1. Andy Avatar

        Thanks, Curtis, that all makes sense.

        Regarding local: I have the same thing in northern Idaho. Nobody around here has need for what I offer, so I’m international 🙂

  2. Dorothy Hamilton Avatar

    Curtis McHale always looks at himself first – good or bad. Curtis sets an example as he builds on himself. Not only are his blogs insightful, but there is evidence that what he is doing WORKS. And all this time, he is making a contribution to us by sharing his stories. So for those who point fingers, I dare you to give what Curtis is doing for us. It will pay off for you too.

  3. Jimmy Smutek Avatar

    Dang Curtis, you just described my situation to a tee. I’d swear you wrote that specifically for me if it wasn’t for the fact that we’ve never met.

    Thanks a ton.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      The only ‘good part’ is that so many other freelancer’s/businesses are in the same boat that you don’t really need to do a bunch to stand out from them. Simply spend a weekend working on it and you’re already in the top 10%.