I run a web solutions business and have helped start-ups implement their web strategies. Although, at this point it is pertinent for me to proactively approach new start-ups that are cash-rich and can afford my services. I often run into independent entrepreneurs who may or may not have the money to get started with me which doesn't help.
If you are a start-up, where would you look for a web strategy solutions company? (Not a freelancer but a full-fledged company that can manage a large project).
First, the obvious questions:
What is a web strategy solutions company? (Sounds kind of like Dilbert. It would be better if, when introducing your company, you say what you do a little more concretely)
Why would a startup need you, given that startups usually have good/sufficient in-house technical knowledge?
Why is a "full-fledged company" better than a freelancer?
I'm not a marketeer - as my coach will confirm! - and so would not give you marketing advice. However, when you find a prospect, it is not only the services you offer which will determine whether they buy from you. You might therefore find the latest post on my blog 'Using your Terms and Conditions as a Sales Tool' of interest.
Here is the link: http://abc-ltd.blogspot.com/
What do you offer that is
It seems that by focusing on startups, who I expect won't be throwing money around, as they need to be very frugal, that you would have to offer a ROI that is very high.
And if the startup is in the development (pre-first release) stage, this is an important time for them to get some web presence, but they may not have much extra money, as they have no cash coming in right now.
Besides, if a startup probably won't have a large project needed on website development.
I think you may want to change your focus a bit, or fine-tune what you are offering, and make certain it is apparent what you can offer to a startup.
I have a friend who has a similar business. The way I helped him market was to get him in touch with organizations that organize entrepreneurial events or run large blogs related to entrepreneurship and startups.
This is a pretty good route as it simplifies your marketing activities. You go to one source and if you can impressive them they can send out an email to all the startups on their list to ask them whether they require any assistance in the area's where you can help them.
So check out what sort of organizations or blogs are famous in the countries that you want to target and then start building relationships with them.
My dev shop targets a similar market and the only thing that has really worked for me is in-person networking and getting to know the local entrepreneur community. I'm not exactly in a good area for startups so it represents only part of our client base/revenue, but there are founders everywhere and there are founders with money.
I used to do more marketing/my website used to speak more to startups, but most of the people who contacted me cold/were not referred to me weren't the types of clients I wanted and I didn't/wouldn't enjoy their projects very much. So any "traditional" marketing I do is geared around established businesses, and most of my networking is geared around finding startups who need dev help.
So my advice is network, network, network. Off-line.
I've thought about trying to build up my on-line network a bit but frankly I think my time will be better spent driving to nearby cities and participating in networking events for entrepreneurs in person. There's just something about meeting people in person the leads to better referrals.