Our approach is to offer a combination of on-site and offshore talent working together on software development projects. We have a few companies in Bay Area that are happy with the approach and results that they are getting.
What should we do to find more local (SF Bay Area) customers?
For software development business LinkedIn ads, content marketing and Google Adwords don't work well. The best and most cost effective method is email outreach.
Try to find the contacts of key decision makers in Bay Area from your target companies. You want to present yourselves as custom mobile and web development specialists and highlight your core competencies to get an initial call to discuss their mobile strategy or software development needs.
Attaching your case studies how you helped other similar businesses and your portfolio can be extremely helpful as well. Try to always focus on the benefits in you pitch that they can get by working with you and point their missed opportunities of not having certain types of software or apps for their business. Clients love that software development companies have not only strong execution but also ideation skills.
Hope this helps. If you have any questions I am also available on call for your convenience.
Software Development is a broad area so the first thing you should do is select specific niches you want to market to.
The Simplest Way: Think of existing projects you've worked on.. What were the customer's needs? What did they ask you? What did you respond? Make a list.
You'll likely find that the same needs and concerns pop up over and over again with clients and prospects. Now pick one specific need and do the following:
1. Create a headline that matches the need
2. List the main benefits or features
3. Set a "Call to Action" (make a call, submit their e-mail, etc)
4. Address all the possible concerns they might have in their head and answer them using a conversational writing style.(Think of how telemarketers always have the answer for your next question).
5. Always keep your call to action visible
(Repeat for every niche you pick)
You can do this in a landing page (online), brochure, or even direct mail - the same principle applies. The most important thing to keep in mind is targeting: only target people who will likely be interested in that specific product/service. You can run as many campaigns as you need, just keep each one as specific as possible.
Remember, a focused effort is way more effective than a broad one.
Give me a call if you have any additional questions!
I don't think you should be spending money on advertising. There is a faster and more direct way of getting more clients.
First consider the direction your development expertise is headed. Is there a trend? Have you used the structure you developed in a past project to give you "tilt-up" ability to kickstart the next? I worked for a developer who did this: the next project would build from the expertise developed in the previous one.
See how this guides your search for the next client? By intelligently planning out the progression of your expertise development, you filter potential clients by the problems they are experiencing. If they are in a situation that calls for the development of your solution, it's a fit. If not, you know immediately and quickly move on.
Direct conversations and referrals will be the fastest way to filter for these opportunities. "Do you have Problem X?" is all you have to ask, and as long as the prospect is being honest you will know in just a few minutes.
You can search for likely candidates...common size, industry; perhaps they typically buy something immediately before they realize they need a service like yours...
This is a way of creating a knife-edge focus to your business, instead of trying to be all things to all people and wallowing in the state of being a commodity developer. It's also much easier to get clients this way because it's ultra-clear who you are and what you do. But it takes thought, and as Henry Ford said, "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it."
Agree with all the answers posted by the others.
Additionally the relationship marketing approach may help as well. Here is a live recording of a guest lecture I did for a university to give you some ideas. Happy to answer any questions thereafter. :)