How To Get Website Developer Leads That Convert

Nirmal WP Creative

Today we’re joined by Nirmal Gyanwali, an expert WordPress developer in Sydney

Nirmal started out as a freelance web designer and has built one of the most successful agencies in all of Australia. He works with many of Australia’s top brands. And supports other growing agencies. 

In this interview Nirmal shares the strategies and attitudes he’s adopted to drive consistent growth. And enabled his team to get over 50 quality leads a month. 

Let’s get started!

Tell us a little about WP Creative

 

WP Creative Logo

We’re a WordPress development agency based in Sydney. We help marketing teams execute faster with our website growth plans. This helps them reduce overheads, and scale more easily.

We have a team of 25 full time employees. So we have the skill sets required to manage any project without relying on external resources.

 

Was getting your first few clients difficult? How did you do it?

I started my career as a freelance website developer and worked in the industry for over 10 years in a full-time role. That time taught me a lot! 

When I felt I had enough clients who trusted me, that’s when I took the leap and started WP Creative. It felt like a natural step, thanks to the strong relationships I’d built along the way.

 

In a typical month how many leads do you get? 

In a typical month, we receive about 50-60 leads, primarily through inbound channels. 

We’re also branching out into paid media, social media, and other platforms to boost our demand generation in the upcoming months.

 

Do you see demand generation as different from ‘lead generation’. How so?

For us, it’s all about understanding that the B2B marketing teams we work with are super busy. 

They really aren’t looking for another sales call or email. Our job is to make things easier for them by helping them understand the problems they might be facing or could face. And then showing them how our expertise and solutions can help. 

It’s more about building a relationship than making a quick sale. It’s crucial, especially in a service business like ours, that people get to know who we are. We want them to understand our experience, and see if they can relate to what we’re offering.

That’s what builds brand trust, loyalty, and sets us apart as experts. We’re not just another company with salespeople.

 

How many of your web development leads convert to meetings? Clients?

Our conversion rate stands at around 6%, as we’re quite picky about the projects we take on. 

This selectiveness means we only onboard about 2-4 new clients each month.

 

50 – 60 sales leads/m is a lot! Do you qualify prospective clients before you meet?

We qualify every prospect right from the start. 

Since we work with only a handful of clients at a time and can only take on a few each month, not everyone is going to be a perfect fit for us — and we might not be for them. 

So, we ask the key questions early on to figure this out. It helps keep my calendar clear for meetings that truly matter, as most of the qualifying process is automated.

 

How does your positioning affect your ability to generate web development leads? 

Positioning significantly impacts our ability to generate web development leads. It’s something that has evolved every year since WP Creative was founded. Currently, we focus exclusively on Australia, targeting mature brands and marketing teams.

My vision is to establish WP Creative as a specialist WordPress development agency, rather than just another generalist firm. I’ve observed too many agencies attempting to be jacks-of-all-trades without leveraging their core strengths. We don’t spread ourselves too thin by chasing every opportunity. But instead focus on being a development partner who truly understands marketing, design, and development. 

This holistic yet specialized approach is rare in the development world, and it’s what we strive to offer.

 

How do you target mature brands? What about web development leads that don’t fit your ICP?

I’ve worked with all kinds of businesses, from mum-and-pop shops to large enterprises. But over time, working with hundreds of brands has shown me that we’re best suited to marketing teams. 

We understand marketing, design, and development — a rare combo in the dev companies. This saves marketing teams so much time since they don’t have to go back and forth with different teams to execute their ideas and see the results of their campaigns. 

It works out well for them and for us. We become like an extension of their internal team.

 

Do you get website development leads from partnerships?

Yes, b2b partnership marketing has been pivotal in generating new business for us. As a specialized development agency, we frequently collaborate with our partner agencies, serving as a white label development partner and referral partner.

This partnership channel is a significant source of new business for us. We mutually support each other in various ways, including referring work that falls outside our expertise, such as paid media, to our partners and supporting our clients together.

 

How do you use cold email to grow your business?

While I’ve primarily focused on inbound strategies, I have dabbled in cold emailing during the early stages of the business. I’m more inclined towards inbound marketing, given my passion for marketing and over 15 years of experience in the field. 

My use of cold emails has been mainly for initiating partnerships, which has proven effective, even bringing in one of our biggest clients in the past.

 

What types of partnerships do you use to get website development leads? How do you find synergies?

We’ve got two main types of partnerships. 

The first is with digital agencies that are great at marketing and creatives but don’t have the development capacity in-house. We work behind the scenes for them, bringing their ideas to life. 

The second type is referral partnerships. Agencies that don’t want to deal with the technical side of things refer their clients to us. We take care of everything for these clients. 

And we do the same, referring clients who need services we don’t offer, like paid media or content creation, to our partners.

 

Has your approach to lead gen evolved over time? How so?

Yes, my approach to lead generation has definitely evolved over time.

I’m a strong believer in demand generation rather than just lead generation. My focus has always been on building our brand, a strategy that has served us well in positioning ourselves as a specialized boutique agency.

With the proliferation of social media and the use of AI and content creation automation, the landscape of lead generation has become quite saturated.

Additionally, the audience we target tends to not be the biggest fans of traditional lead gen tactics. As a result, I’ve noticed our focus shifting more towards demand generation, aligning more closely with our values and the preferences of our target audience.

 

If you were starting out, would you put social media ahead of SERPs as your primary content channel?

Given the current trends, yes. 

I’d focus on establishing thought leadership on social media first but wouldn’t ignore the importance of SERPs. Both are critical and worth investing in for the long haul. But social media allows for direct engagement and quicker establishment as a thought leader.

However, diversification is key, so I’d still prioritize search engine visibility as a close second.

 

What advice would you give to a new web developer that wants to generate qualified leads?

I’d recommend focusing on thought leadership and personal branding on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

Position yourself in the right market, understand your audience and their pain points, and craft clear, sharp messaging to address those needs.

This approach can help you quickly stand out from the competition. Looking back, I wish I had embraced this strategy from the start.

 

What marketing channels are responsible for most of your wed development leads?

Most of our leads come from SEO, which is part of our service package at WP Creative.

As a website developer, I’ve always been deeply interested in understanding SEO, and fortunately, it has been our main channel for leads for over 15 years.

I enjoy diving into audience analysis, understanding their different phases, and identifying what information they seek on Google to find solutions. This approach has consistently delivered well for us.

 

What do you like most about SEO as a lead generation channel?

I absolutely love the SEO channel. 

First off, it fuels my passion for discovering what works and what doesn’t—it’s all about experimentation and learning.

Secondly, it possesses the power to solve people’s problems efficiently, saving time. 

Establishing your brand as an expert in the market through SEO can create a snowball effect, amplifying your visibility and credibility.

Most importantly, it represents a long-term investment. Unlike constantly increasing ad spends and navigating privacy regulations, SEO builds lasting value and stability in your marketing efforts.

 

Do leads typically match your target audience?

Lead quality has been a key lesson for me, one that I admittedly learned quite late.

Initially, my focus was predominantly on the quantity of leads, seeking to gather as many as possible. However, I soon realized this approach was consuming a significant amount of my time. 

As a technical person, I found myself engaging with everyone, attempting to solve their problems. While this did contribute to building our brand and trust in various ways, it also meant that a lot of my valuable time was being spent inefficiently.

Now, my focus has shifted towards the ideal target audience—those whose needs align perfectly with what we offer. 

This refined approach ensures the leads we attract are of high quality and match our target audience more closely, optimizing our time and resources.

 

What would you warn people about relying on inbound marketing to generate website development leads?

Regarding the SEO channel, there are a few things to be cautious about, despite its many advantages. 

One critical piece of advice I offer is not to rely solely on the SEO channel to run your business. To illustrate, I recently highlighted some of the SEO challenges WooCommerce faces on LinkedIn.

Diversifying your channels early on puts you in a better position. This is a lesson I learned the hard way, having been penalized in 2012 and again in 2016. The first time, I didn’t take the impact seriously because I was freelancing with a full-time job as backup. However, the second penalty hit hard right after I had started my business.

It emphasized the importance of diversifying your marketing channels as much as possible to safeguard against such vulnerabilities.

 

What’s your typical cost per lead?

The cost per lead varies across different channels, as each one delivers varying levels of lead quality. 

Generally, it ranges from $200 to $1k. Channels that produce the best-qualified leads tend to have a higher cost, but in my experience, the investment is well worth it for the quality and potential return.

 

Do you manage lead generation in-house? Or do you work with an agency?

We manage lead generation mostly in-house. An outsourced lead agency is better for certain repetitive tasks.

 

Is inbound marketing for website development lead generation scalable?

SEO is scalable if executed properly. Yet, the foundation of scalability in any marketing channel lies in brand building. Without establishing a strong market presence and positioning, it’s challenging to achieve success, whether through organic or paid channels.

Therefore, the focus should be on producing high-quality content that addresses the audience’s problems. This approach is essential in SEO and forms the core of its scalability.

 

How has SEO evolved? What will you do if it changes even more?

The SEO channel has indeed evolved, primarily due to Google’s constantly changing algorithm. AI is going to pose more challenges, leading to questions about whether people will need Google in the coming years or if it will shift to new technology.

As mentioned earlier, our strategy is to continually diversify. We’re committed to focusing on different channels to build our brand and create demand. This approach ensures that we remain adaptable and resilient, regardless of how much the SEO landscape may change.

 

If inbound marketing stopped working, how would you source new web development leads?

This year, we are heavily diversifying into thought leadership on LinkedIn, retargeting, and so on. We already have a strong customer base and brand reputation, resulting in word-of-mouth referrals. So, I believe we would be fine even if SEOl stopped working.

 

Anything else you’d like to share about lead generation for website developers? 

Thanks for the opportunity to talk about marketing. It’s one of my key passions, and I’ve been constantly learning for the last 15+ years, witnessing various challenges and exciting updates. 

I’m very keen to see how things evolve in the coming days with the evolution of AI, automation, and new tools. I believe this will herald a new era of marketing.

 

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Matthew Murray

Matthew Murray

Matthew Murray is the Managing Director of Sales Higher. He knows any company can THRIVE with enough qualified sales leads. So he’s spent the last decade helping companies meet engaged prospects and win new deals.

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