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Finding web dev work in tough times

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Sunday February 1, 2009 )

I received an email today from a web design company who is using an interesting strategy to drum up work.

What the company has done is to create a mockup of a new design for Taming the Beast’ in the hope that I’ll be so impressed, I’ll buy the design from them, or engage their consultancy services to build on that design.

I’m certainly not denying that TTB could do with a spruce up as some of the elements hark back to the late 90’s.While I’m not ready for a redesign just yet, the strategy was nonetheless interesting and I can see that some would certainly jump at it. The only fault in the company’s approach was that the email came across as being very, very spammy.

While the approach may turn out to be successful for them, it’s not the sort of thing that a one man web design shop can do to drum up business, unless it was very targeted towards a select group. The company using this strategy is based overseas and I’d wager it has access to very, very cheap labor or even free labor through intern type arrangements. It would need to in order to crank out hundreds of designs without any promise of being recompensed. Even more likely, their model is based on a commission setup with emerging foreign designers very hungry for work.

While many web designers may be worried about the current economic crisis making work scarce, I think it presents some great opportunities. As consumers tighten up their spending, merchants are going to need to have more attractive, functional sites in order to help woo customers away from the competition and improve on site conversions.

For merchants who don’t yet have a site, or only have just a basic online brochure, it’s even more important for them to now have a fully functional, search engine optimized and ecommerce enabled site in order to scoop up some new business that may not be walking through the door any more.

You can actually use the state of the economy as part of your sales pitch for web design and even more so for marketing – after all, when the going gets tough, the tough *have* to get marketing!

Pick up some more tips for other ways to secure web marketing contracts and development work.


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