You would think that selling website design is possibly the easiest kind of pitch to make. But once you enter the market, you will be surprised at how rigid some clients can be when it comes to change. To get through those iron gates, you need to make yourself aware of a few basics. Let’s get started.
Here are 10 tips for selling web design services
#1 Finding a Client
The best thing about web design is that anyone with a business needs an online presence. And everyone could use a little help from professionals on building a website. So, whether you are a freelancer or running an agency, you have a real shot at making this work for you as long as you’re good at what you do.
Cold calls, word of mouth and online searches are all excellent ways to find a client, which is the tedious first barrier. If you want to start small, your local businesses are a great place to start. Check out the listings and make a pitch.
#2 Explore Online Marketplaces
Selling your website design services online is a great way to get work these days. Spaces like Envato and Creative Market can get you started on little projects like plugins. You can make products and use online marketplaces to get eyeballs.
The downside is that you may not be able to always decide your price and might have to offer a cut to the platform manager. If you sell a ton of products, you also need to keep tabs on customer service so that you don’t lose a client. When it is something like a plugin, you need to check in for updates too. This determines future sales.
But this is still a good bet for beginners who want visibility.
#3 Prep Before You Pitch
Once you have a client, you need to have a conversation about the website’s goals. But even before that, you need to do some research on your own.
Learn about their industry, business and competition. This will help you define your value proposition to the client. Make yourself aware of the design trends in their industry for website template ideas.
Audit their website and make a list of all the areas where they can improve. You might also want to list down a few questions that will help you determine their prospects. Like, where they rank their current website on a scale of 10.
This homework will make your conversation with the clients a lot easier.
#4 Only Real Talk
You are not the only one in the market. There are lots of freelancers and agencies vying for the same attention that you want. So, it is very tempting to make yourself look better. But remember that when you fail to deliver, you will have lost the client in the long run. Instead, be honest and authentic and keep their expectations realistic.
When you make your pitch, speak in the first person and be honest about your potential. This builds a relationship with the client that is worth a lot more in the future.
#5 Demonstrate the Value of Web Design
Sometimes, you need to convince the client that they have a website with a lot of potential. And not everyone is convinced by words. Sometimes, you need to break down sections of the website and point out the gaps in design. You also need to demonstrate how you can make it better and what that means to their business.
To do this, stats can be very helpful. Using examples of previous projects works quite well too. They help your client see what you already know in your mind to be a successful design.
#6 Give Your Clients Some Tips
If you are working with a small local business, it is likely that they have a lot to learn. At that point in the learning curve, it is a good idea to share some basic information with them that will help them with operations. Things like content management, newsletter sign-ups, along with bill payments and sales stuff.
These are essential features but more importantly, they also tell your client the value add that technology brings to their website. You can also make the same point by telling them about your process and why you are making certain choices. This gives them an insight into the bridge between their industry and yours.
#7 Be Your Own Sales Rep
You might think it is an obvious move to build your own website but you would be surprised to know that a lot of them outsource this too. You can build yourself up from being a nobody to a brand with planning and patience. You already know that, right?
There’s no better way to make a great first impression than building your own site and showcasing your skills. You must also consider adding a portfolio of your existing work and do a write up on each of them.
Sometimes you need to explain what you have done for a particular client so that a prospective client knows what they should be aiming for. If it works, it’s a win-win for both of you.
#8 How to Stand Out
There are tons of services offering web design solutions. This means you need to stand out in terms of pitch, presentation and process. That begins with managing expectations. You don’t want to say yes to every demand made by the client. Have a conversation, agree to certain terms and conditions and communicate that to all respective teams so that everyone is on the same page.
You will be collaborating with a range of professionals. So, make sure you have the time to look at mock ups to make suggestions and corrections before it is time to present it to the client. Keep your organizational chart smooth and the efficiency will not go unnoticed by the client.
#9 Match Designs with Businesses
Once you have the project, make sure you use your preparation research well. Part of that must have been going through design templates that are popular in your client’s industry.
This is how you keep your client from being outdated. No matter how much they like it, you need to give them fair business for the pay. So, find a template that suits their needs and improves upon their existing design.
This typically works whether you are building an e-commerce site or a corporate site or a website for a magazine.
#10 Go Beyond Web Design
Sometimes it is not enough to stay on one turf. If you have been building websites for a while, it is time to tag team with other freelancers or agencies and provide add-on services like creating social media profiles, customer service management, managing a website, graphic design, etc. these indicate to your client that you are more than a website creator.
These are some of the foundational tips of the trade to get new clients—old school and otherwise—and get them to hire you. There’s more work to do after this but to get there, you need to get your foot in the door.