I just answered a question very similar to this under on Quora under “How do I build an effective marketing strategy for my business?” You may want to check it out.
Marketing a web design start up
I think you first need to decide how you want to position yourself in the marketplace. Do you want to serve marketing agencies and business consultants as their web design team? If so, Upwork and Fiverr is a perfect place to keep leads flowing in. But, I think you’ll quickly find a cap in how much revenue you can bring in, as their are only so many hours in a day that you can sell at such a discount. But, it’s a good launch pad, I guess.
Marketing an online marketing start up
If you have the marketing knowledge and experience on your team to position yourself as the business consultant or marketing agency itself, you’ll find a much more rewarding experience in all regards- starting with the respect that you’ll receive from your clients, not to mention better rates. In this case, I strongly suggest this marketing approach:
- Make as many relationships as possible in local networking groups/chambers of commerce. Ask them for their business cards. Ask them if you can add them to your small, special email group where you share like ideas.
- Ask these people what obstacles they met when trying to build a website – these are your content ideas. Write really good articles (and share others) about the solutions to those problems NON-SPAMMY. Don’t look at them as prospects. Look at them as referrers. When trust is built, they will refer you.
- Establish your online presence of a great website, FB, LinkedIn presence (especially LI groups) and share this same incredible content there.
- You will receive jobs. Create forms on your website to ask for thorough testimonials. Put these case studies on your website. You’ll continue to grow.
In order to do this business consultant approach, you’ll need to know how to write (or have someone that can write) really compelling copy – from problem to resistance to solution. You need to be able to confidently tell a potential client what kind of content they need, how to identify their audience and how to implement it. All of those are involved subjects in and of themselves. Good luck!