How to Sell Web Design Services

By Alzay Calhoun

Video Transcript:

How can you continue to sell premium web design services without having to start from scratch and create every project from a customized point of view. Let’s talk about that in today’s video. Hey, it’s Alzay Calhoun with Coveted Consultant and I really think that web design agencies are functioning with a flawed business model. Every project is custom, you’re always starting from zero and the client is trying to pick and choose from all these different web design elements in order to get a site to come together. I think it’s a bad deal for both parties. It quietly frustrates both parties. If you really want to be a premium level service provider for your clients, which I know you do, help them get to their final end destination without having to learn internet marketing. If you do that, you’ll be their hero. Let’s give some examples of that here on the board.

[Download] The Web-Design Clarifier Worksheet

You need water-tight internal processes to make any web-design project smooth and predictable. Use this worksheet as a starting point to build your own.

Download: Web Design Clarifier Worksheet

We know the basic idea. The basic idea is to get your client- well, first of all, acknowledge where they are and then get them to where they want to be as fast and efficiently as you can. Now, let’s assume in this scenario really quickly, that your client is building their very first website.

Possibility: Build a Client’s First Website

What they want is they want a website that basically looks good. They want it to reflect them and their company well. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you can measure this end result. There should be an objective measurement for what “look good” means. Does that mean that there is a great picture of the client on the website? A great picture of the product on the website? Should we show the website to a couple of important stakeholders and they should all give it a thumbs up? What does “look good” mean? Before we start any work we’re clear on the objective measurement at the end.

Okay, now let’s work backwards. You can’t make a website at all until you have a final draft, one that we can all look at, and approve and then decide to upload. You’ve got to get that final draft done. You shouldn’t do a final draft until you’ve wireframed it. Somewhere behind the scenes there’s a mock-up of what the site could look like if we’re all comfortable with that. And there’s no way you can get a wireframe done unless you’ve done something on paper. Scribble it out, just kind of get a sense of what it is that we actually want to do.

Your client, in general, was less concerned about all the Twitter buttons, and social media buttons, and retargeting scripts, and header images, and header code, and footer code and all those things that web designers, like you, know are involved. What they want is a site that looks good. Your job is to include all of those things in this process.[inaudible 00:02:44] When you format your paper draft, when you’re scribbling on paper, all of those items, those technical elements are inside that draft. The template that you’re working from, they’re inside that template, so when you move to the wireframing, all of the important ingredients are already there.

Now they can make sure that their picture, their product, their testimonials, whatever elements are most important, you’re working from that wireframe. When you move to final draft there are no surprises. We all know what the process has been when we get here it’s a final check, we can say, “Yes,” and then everybody can give it a thumbs up and you’re their hero. This is what they want. Now, let’s look at web design from an even deeper level.

Possibility: Helping a Client “Re-brand”

Now, let’s look at web design in the context of a rebrand, because rebrands are typically more complex projects. Again, what do we want at the end? We’ve got to know what objective measurement we’re trying to meet when we say “rebrand”. Is the site trying to be faster? Is it trying to be more colorful? What exactly does that mean? Should it convert in a certain way? Convert to what? Etc cetera. Etc cetera. Your job as the expert is to help the client understand what a quality rebrand looks like before they buy anything. Help them understand what a quality rebrand looks like.

Okay. Now, you can work backwards. You know there’s got to be a final draft. “Before we go live, is everyone clear?” “Yes, we are.” And then you can press the button. Before you do that if we’re talking about a rebrand there are certain things that they want to see in the rebrand. There are certain reasons why they even want to start a rebrand in the first place, there are certain functionality, or certain elements that they want to have in the rebrand. Be clear about those on the front end. These should be static things. They should not move. They’re must haves.

Then, prior to that, what you may want to have the client do is do some competitive research. Who are the competitors in their space? Or who do they aspire toward in their space? And what crucial things are they considering? They start here with this list. This list could be 10 things long, four, five, all the way down to 10. And then you may get them down to one, two and three and then you can build that, and then you can go ahead and press the “go live” button.

As you know, you could add much more complexity to this process. The idea is just to begin to give it some simplicity and and some elegance. What’s really important is that your client sees what happens at the end and that you know not only externally when you describe to the client what’s going to happen, but that if we’re talking about a rebrand, internally, you have a method to help a client find their top-ten competitors as quickly as possible. You have a method to help your client decide on these top-three must haves as quickly as possible. You have a methodology to help a client decide, or say, “Yes,” to that final draft so you can stay on time and stay on target when it’s time to rebrand by the deadline.

Now this process may still be 90 days. It may still be six months depending on all the parts that are moving. But at each phase your company, internally, has a methodology for how they deliver on these things so that your client does grab control of the project from you and begin to add a bunch of things that aren’t helpful to anyone. The value of prioritizing your services isn’t just so you can explain them well to your client, but it gives you and your team internal instructions on what happens when. And if you approach your client with that level of professionalism and organization, it’s just hard to say, “No”. I’ll see you in the next video.

[Download] The Web-Design Clarifier Worksheet

You need water-tight internal processes to make any web-design project smooth and predictable. Use this worksheet as a starting point to build your own.

Download: Web Design Clarifier Worksheet
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