1. Design for Your NicheOne of the best things you can do as a web designer (or any creative freelancer, really) is to carve out a highly specific niche. For instance, you could design websites for:
- Real estate agents
- Female-owned businesses
- Restaurants in your city
- The company name sounds like it should be working for law firms.
- The design is super buttoned-up — traditionally-structured, muted color palette, and minimalism at its best.
- Copy is professional, honest, and straight to the point.
2. Answer Their QuestionsThink about how much time you spend dealing with objections as you talk to prospective clients. That’s either because their expectations haven’t been set properly before meeting with you or they’re a bad fit. If you use your website to answer those questions, though, you can significantly decrease the amount of time you spend on sales calls with prospects. One way to do this is to explain in the simplest terms what your clients get. Here’s how I handle this for prospective copywriting clients: I was frustrated that I had to explain over and over again to prospects what it meant to create optimized content. The question continued to come up on calls, so I decided to just provide the answer on my website. I now no longer get questions about my services. Prospects hop on the phone with me and ask how much they have to pay to get started. It’s been a huge time-saver. As a web designer, it might not be as simple as to say, “You’ll get a 10-page website, built using X theme, optimized for speed with caching, etc.” When it comes to websites, you’re just delivering too technical of a product. So, for you, I’d suggest taking the same basic principle of “answer their questions”, but tackle them with an FAQs like Eternity does: They’ve done such a great job of providing simple and straightforward answers to the kinds of questions I’m sure all of you get. Not only will this decrease the amount of time people have to spend with them on sales calls, but it’ll help weed out bad-fit clients.
3. Create a More Impressive PortfolioThere’s absolutely no question that your website needs to include an awesome portfolio of websites. Just make sure that any samples you include in your portfolio:
- Are 100% something you’re proud to show off;
- Are relevant to your target audience;
- Are consistently designed.
4. Establish TrustAs a web designer, you have to build trust with clients if you want them to pay top-dollar for your services. While you can certainly do that throughout the web design process, why wait? Use your website as a vehicle for establishing trust now. One way to do this is with your portfolio. Another way to do this is by including testimonials or, at the very least, logos from clients who are happy to connect their brand to yours. Interactive Strategies uses a dedicated banner on its home page to show off brands who’ve trusted them: If you don’t have a client base with recognizable names, or you’re still working to amass an impressive list of clients, don’t worry. You can use other trust marks to establish trust now as Direction.com does: Prospective clients can see all of their awards and certifications in one place — and it’s definitely something to marvel at.
5. Simplify Next StepsIf you’ve been doing this for long enough, I bet you can anticipate what prospective clients’ next steps are after they’ve visited your website. For my business, I know that they’ll see my site and then reach out for pricing. However, I know that I can’t actually answer that question during a first phone call. I have to review their needs, business, industry, and a whole host of other details before I can provide a quote. So, I give them two options:
- Fill out a contact form if you have further questions;
- Schedule a 15-minute call with me through Calendly.
Design Your Website to Sell While You WorkWould you like to stop spending so much time on job boards, social media, and in search trying to find new clients? You already know how to build websites to help your clients sell their businesses, so why aren’t you doing the same for your own?
Suzanne Scacca is a freelance writer by day, specializing in web design, marketing, and technology topics. By night, she writes about, well, pretty much the same thing, only those stories are set under strange and sometimes horrific circumstances.
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