How to sell website design – 6 tips that don’t require 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.

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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?

Depending on where you are on the web designer salary spectrum, 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.

How to sell website design services – our tips

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
  • Sales
  • 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

5. Network

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:

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.

How to market web design services

Marketing is a big part of the sales process because it’s what gets eyes on your service. Networking is of course a great, personal way to start marketing your web design prowess and ability to deliver solutions but there’s more to it. Here are a few ways to market that won’t break the bank:

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Social media

If someone needs web design services, chances are they’re on social media. After sorting out your ideal clients or finding your niche, find out where they congregate on social and get some ads in front of them. Maybe slide into their DMs if it makes sense.

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

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Comments (48)

Matthew Luis

Matthew Luis

September 2, 2021

Thanks for sharing the blog. I really appreciate this blog. Looking forward to reading more blogs.

Faruqi Jeniri

Faruqi Jeniri

November 17, 2020

Thank you, this helps me a lot :)



November 8, 2020

Very nice article. Definitely will use some of these tips for my website business.

Engr Kabir Saleh

Engr Kabir Saleh

October 20, 2020

This is a wonderful and educating article.



October 14, 2020

Thanks for useful service


Reetika parle

August 16, 2020

Really helpful...



June 30, 2020

Thanks Jenn, appreciate your helpful guidance


Oliver Queen

June 25, 2020

Great article, Amazing Tips


Collins Amponsah Boakye

June 22, 2020

Jenn, thanks very much for your insights and I think it gonna help me a lot. I'm a marketing officer marketing Sofned incorporation in Ghana and I hope your gists will help me.

Prince Brown

Prince Brown

June 18, 2020

Awesome tips. I really enjoy reading through. Thank for sharing.

Aaron Starc

Aaron Starc

February 28, 2020

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.

Mata Puia-Huch

Mata Puia-Huch

February 5, 2020

Awesome article!! Thank you


Ed Smith

February 2, 2020

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..


Ted Heck

January 12, 2020

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!



January 8, 2020

Fantastic resource, thanks a bunch!


MLA Web Designs

January 4, 2020

Your simplicity of presentation is motivating for learning. Please keep it up for you teaming followers


MLA Web Designs

December 30, 2019

Excellent explanation, It's simple and focuses. Keep up the great work


MLA Web Designs

December 10, 2019

Excellent explanation, It's simple and focused. Keep up the great work!

Web Design Services

Web Design Services

November 22, 2019

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.

Areej fatima

Areej fatima

November 11, 2019

Amazing post! Nice work... Keep up the good good articles on web development.

Merion Rebeca

Merion Rebeca

December 11, 2019

Great Article. Keep going.


Mark Maynard

November 5, 2019

Your blog is no doubt one of the best. Very impressive :)


Richard Handson

October 23, 2019

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


Gary Gleeson

September 26, 2019

Great post.

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.



bhavik shah

September 3, 2019

Thanks for this useful content. It’s always a pleasure to read your great posts filled with tips really!

Payal sanyal

Payal sanyal

August 22, 2019

Thanks! These tips will help me to learn more about the web sales process

Rob Alex

Rob Alex

August 6, 2019

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.


August 5, 2019

Great article! Those are really good tips! I


KMC Tech Pune

August 3, 2019

Really helpful article,
I liked that point of finding particular niche and doing in it.

Rob Alex

Rob Alex

August 3, 2019

Web development agency uses these tips to get ranked



July 1, 2019

thanx its really helpfull

Bezzie Technologies

Bezzie Technologies

June 28, 2019

This is good idea and easy to implement



June 20, 2019

Thanks for sharing a useful web design blog, it's very informative

comfortfinds comfortfinds

comfortfinds comfortfinds

June 19, 2019

Brilliant!! I like Your article is amazing It is very informative.



June 14, 2019

thank you...very helpful


logo victoria

June 12, 2019

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.



May 15, 2019

Nice article and inspiring. I think you hit the nail right on the head with getting personal, etc.

Albert David

Albert David

May 3, 2019

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!


Apex Motive

April 15, 2019

This is really nice. Thanks for the enlightenment.

WordPress Website Design in Dubai

WordPress Website Design in Dubai

January 28, 2019

I appreciate your job really these web design tips is very helpful for me so thanks a lot.

Cloudi5 Technologies

Cloudi5 Technologies

January 19, 2019

This post is very much helpful for monetizing a blog. But one thing I want to know. I have read this article and it is very interesting. It will gonna help lots of people.


web development services

January 7, 2019

Pretty good submit. I became aware of your website in addition to needed to express that I have got genuinely liked looking at your website blog posts.


Vince Comfort

December 11, 2018

Awesome tips here. Thank you very much. I'm developing sales script and really got some great info. Thanks.



October 28, 2018

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.


Thyagarajan Srinivasan

May 18, 2019

Could you guide me how to identify and hire a sales person for the web design services

MM Girish

MM Girish

September 14, 2018

Thank you


Nnamani Matthew

July 19, 2018

Thank you, Rely helpful to me as a web developer

Ashish Ajani

Ashish Ajani

July 19, 2018

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.



June 28, 2018

Great article! excellent ideas. Thank you!


Hanna Frenk

February 13, 2018

Thank you for sharing useful tips about web design services. Keep it up.

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