6 Tips To Help Sell Web Design Services Without A Sales Rep
You make websites; and if you also sell web design services, you probably do a good job at it. The problem is, however, being able to make good websites doesn’t always mean you are able to sell your web design services. You’re a designer, not a salesperson after all!
When you sell web design services for a living, your designs become more than an artistic endeavor, they suddenly become a product that you must market, create, and deliver. It’s a tough transition for some designers, but it is one you must make if you want to survive as an independent professional.
Why it’s so hard to sell web design services.
Selling anything online can be a challenge nowadays. With so many freelance web designers in the market, it’s hard to stand out among the masses. The problem is, a few designers made a lot of money some years back, and suddenly everyone thinks they can quit their job and start freelancing. While there is opportunity for most, with so many people attempting to sell the same thing, the competition is overwhelming.
The facts are, the freelance web designer has it hard these days. Web design services are particularly challenging because although a growing number of businesses need websites, technology has made it easy for them to do it themselves. On the other end of the spectrum, those that want more customized solutions often opt to use in-house web designers, rather than outsourcing their solutions.
Even those enterprising few that are comfortable with their ability to sell web design services may find the current market challenging, to say the least.
Can you afford a sales rep?
One way for freelance and small agency designers to sell web design services is by hiring a sales rep. This way, you can focus on creating websites that outshine the competition and delight the customers. However, those sales reps aren’t cheap. Expect to pay at least $40,000 a year for a full-time sales rep. If those numbers are way outside of your budget, try these six tips instead.
6 tips for selling web design services.
Selling anything is about creating relationships. Focus on these six tips to improve the relationships you have with potential clients and sell more of your web design services.
1. Sell the utility of a website
A beautiful website is a piece of art. Unfortunately, most businesses are not interested in purchasing art. They are looking for results in the form of returns on their investment and increased customer satisfaction. Your website must solve their problems or fulfill their need, and if it looks good as well, even better.
When selling your services to a potential client, resist the urge to sell web design services strictly on the aesthetics. Instead, point out how your product (yes, product) will help them reach their business goals. Show your potential client how you can help them make more money. In the end, that is what they want to hear. Besides, when it comes to looks, your portfolio should speak for itself.
Here are some specific benefits that websites offer to businesses:
- Trackable metrics
- Personalized image
- Targeted advertising
- Enhanced productivity
Don’t be shy about pointing out these benefits, and using figures when at all possible. Common statistics such as the number of people online as well as the number of people using their phones to browse the internet can help you sell web design services.
It’s also important to remember that a website may be quite the investment for smaller companies, so it is essential to explain what they will receive. While most people are familiar with websites nowadays, and may even understand that they need them, many still do not have a proper expectation of their costs.
2. Be authentic
In an oversaturated market it is vital to do things that make you and your services stand out. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by being authentic. This means being willing to remain an individual even when it is tempting to make yourself look larger than you are.
When it’s time to sell web design services, do your best to look human. Write in the first person, be honest about who you are and what you do. Make potential customers see you, as well as your work.
Authenticity makes it easier for potential clients to connect with you, and as a result, build a relationship. These relationships will make it easier for you to sell web design services without even asking.
3. Teach your clients
Especially if you work with small businesses or market your services in a rural area, there will probably be somewhat of a learning curve for your customers. Many business owners are not aware of what they can do with a well-designed website – but you do.
Show potential and current customers some of the things they can accomplish with a professionally built website, such as:
- Bill payments
- Subscription options
- Content management
- Newsletter registrations
These types of features aren’t always available in the DIY options, and many business owners aren’t educated on how they can help their business grow. In the end, it isn’t about what features you can add to the site, so don’t just rattle off a list of options. It is about how well you understand your client’s needs and can use technology to help them.
Another way to teach your clients is by comparing yourself to the competition. Although many may shy away from pointing out competitors, if you take the time to explain the differences to a potential client, it often works in your favor – especially if you are actually better. Remember, in an industry dominated by code, the competitive advantage often comes down to the relationship.
Consider educating your prospects on your your own web development process. Be sure to provide specific details and steps to show how your own process works. Consider utilizing a website planning tool to organize your pitches by including visual sitemaps allowing for prospects to see a representation of your website ideas.
4. Make products
Even though you sell web design services, most clients prefer to buy products. Therefore, one way to sell more services is to design them to look like products.
Creating products out of your services requires some forethought. You’ll need to systemize your services and understand exactly how long it takes you to do specific tasks. Choose a few services to focus on and sell them as packages. Automate whatever you can.
It may seem a bit impersonal, but in the end, it is better for the client. Making products in the form of packages improves your efficiency, helps deliver a consistent product, and prevents you from taking on projects that are not in your scope of interests.
Products can be created around a variety of needs. You could offer your web design services by industry or even by type of website. The important thing is that you avoid marketing yourself as the all-in-one website design solution. Pick a specialty that you can excel at and focus on that.
Here are some example “products”:
- E-commerce site
- Portfolio site
- Magazine site
- Real Estate site
- Lawyer site
- Consultancy site
Networking doesn’t have to mean developing a killer elevator pitch. In fact, if you truly want to sell web design services, its probably best if you chillax on that a bit. Because businesses are looking for web designers that understand their needs, you should focus on getting to know them first.
When looking for new clients, focus on your local community. Send emails to local businesses, introducing yourself and your services. Join local business organizations and volunteer some of your services, if you can afford to. These little steps will help build relationships with the people who need your services, and if they don’t buy from you, they likely know someone that will.
When it comes to finding ways to sell web design services that actually work you’ll want to steer away from the traditional methods. Forget mass emails, cold calling or advertisements. To build relationships that lead to long-term clients, you’re going to need to get personal.
6. Offer more than web design
Even if you are only interested in making websites, you may want to consider offering additional options that help you sell web design services. You don’t have to do these additional services personally. Simply select a few agencies and freelancers that you trust and combine it with your web design services.
Some great web design add-ons include:
- Social media profile creation
- Website management and hosting
- Website customer service
- Internet marketing services
- Graphic design
- SAAS consulting
- User flow diagraming & a/b Testing
Any of these value-added services will show potential clients that you care about the success of their businesses – even if you’re only creating the website.
Before you start selling…
The six tips above will help you stand out in today’s congested web design world, but it’s worthless if you don’t have anything to show off your skills. Make sure you have a solid portfolio of work before you reach out to potential clients – including your own website. If you can create case studies, do so. Once you have established yourself to a business as a designer they can trust, you’ll want to have some quality examples that justify their decision to work with you.
Jenn Marie is a freelance copy writer and internet marketing strategist based out of the Seattle area. A true tech evangelist, Jenn previously helped individuals utilize the full potential of Dell, Microsoft and Amazon products. She now focuses on building authentic online presences for small businesses and entrepreneurs through her company, Jenn Marie Writing & Marketing. Find her on LinkedIn
Thank you, this helps me a lot :)
Very nice article. Definitely will use some of these tips for my website business.
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Thanks Jenn, appreciate your helpful guidance
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Awesome tips. I really enjoy reading through. Thank for sharing.
I think there is still room for web designers to work as the high paying tickets go for web designing agencies e.g. Branex, Maxburst etc. Anyhow, there is still room for web designers if they are doing their work efficiently.
Awesome article!! Thank you
Hello, and thanks… I have been trying to come up with Ideas for a while on how to sell web design websites.. After reading your article you have come up with everything I needed to know about making this happen for me… thanks again..
Thanks, Jenn! Your points make a lot of sense. All of the business I acquire has come through personal relationships. Your thoughtful well-informed article is a testament to your obvious genius!
Fantastic resource, thanks a bunch!
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Excellent explanation, It’s simple and focuses. Keep up the great work
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This article is informative and it truly teaches us how to sell our web design services. It is also true that we should make sure that we have a great portfolio or previous works because no client will hire us if we can’t show them any evidence that we did a great job before on doing web design services.
Amazing post! Nice work… Keep up the good good articles on web development.
Great Article. Keep going.
Your blog is no doubt one of the best. Very impressive :)
Web design and development is one of the best and important tool for marketing your business in an online market . It is the representation of your business in an online market. Web design the basic and most important part for making any website. You have explain such an important tips that can help many Customers to know about the services that any companies offer. Thanks for sharing this useful tips Regards
I’d like to add that starting off you need to market your services “face to face” as much as possible because website design work comes from referrals. Once you start getting referrals then advertise.
Thanks for this useful content. It’s always a pleasure to read your great posts filled with tips really!
Thanks! These tips will help me to learn more about the web sales process
As a freelance frontend and WordPress developer I found some of the tips very useful. Thank you very much for taking time in putting all together in web development services.
Great article! Those are really good tips! I
Really helpful article,
I liked that point of finding particular niche and doing in it.
Web development agency uses these tips to get ranked
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Agree with your thoughts. Website that are responsive, attractive, interactive, affordable, visitor and search engine friendly are essential components that create more usability by the end users. Among all, affordability is a factor that are focused by user first.
Nice article and inspiring. I think you hit the nail right on the head with getting personal, etc.
Totally agreed. Freelancing has become tough now-a-days and even that requires a pre-payment to the websites. And after that, the hassle of finding the right customer is even tougher. Love your point on teaching the clients. As a customer, small businesses only know the basic idea and honestly, most of them are not even aware of content management. These are some good ideas. Good post!
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Awesome tips here. Thank you very much. I’m developing sales script and really got some great info. Thanks.
Making the transition from web designer to salesperson can be quite a leap for most. It really helps if you are able to hire a salesperson. It isn’t cheap, but that was what made the biggest difference for us. Some very valuable advice in your tips section, as well.
Could you guide me how to identify and hire a sales person for the web design services
Thank you, Rely helpful to me as a web developer
As a freelance frontend and WordPress developer I found some of the tips very useful. Thank you very much for taking time in putting all together.
Great article! excellent ideas. Thank you!
Thank you for sharing useful tips about web design services. Keep it up.