Welcome to part 3 of 5 of our Divi mini series How to Become a Successful Divi Web Designer. In this series, we’re showing you a proven path that you can take from learning to build websites to becoming a professional web designer. We’ll provide you with actionable steps that you can apply no matter if you’re just starting out or if you’re already an established web designer wanting to go to the next level.
Once you’ve prepared to be a web designer and have started getting some clients, the next step is growing your web design business into something sustainable. In this post, we’re going to look at 5 practical ways I grew my business that you can implement too!
There seems to be a universal agreement in business that there are essentially 3 ways to grow any business:
- Get More Clients
- Charge More
- Increase the Number of Transactions
I go into this in a little more detail on “how” to do this for your reference here but keep in mind that you can apply these 3 ways to grow your business in the 5 points that we’ll discuss below.
What did this look like practically for my web design business growth?
- I went from getting a client every 1 to 2 months or so to getting 2-3 clients a month.
- As I became more experienced and more valuable, I started raising my rates and going from charging ballparks of $500 per website to $1,500, to 2K, 3K, etc.
- I created a website security/maintenance plan, on-going services, SEO and consulting services that increased the number of times my clients purchased a service from me every year.
In short, those 3 universal ways of growing any business are what I employed and continue to employ as my business continues to grow. Now, let’s explore some ways you can grow your Divi web design business!
How to Grow your Divi Web Design Business
1) Add More Services
I offer nearly 3 times as many services now than I did when I started. This includes my Website Security/Maintenance Plan, basic SEO Plans, Web Hosting, Marketing Strategies, Consulting and more. You will find that as your business begins to grow, you’ll automatically learn more about all these services. But I encourage you to be intentional about learning new, potential services you could offer. You can also partner and surround yourself with people who may have complementary skills and areas of expertise.
That leads me to one big lesson I learned and want to offer to you: A Problem = An Opportunity.
Case in point, a couple years ago many of my websites started getting hacked. I didn’t understand why and was scrambling for solutions for my clients. This eventually led to me creating my Website Security/Maintenance Plan which I now offer to ALL my clients. What this also meant was that I needed to understand security, maintenance and preventative measures for my web design projects. I was intentional about learning about this and turned a problem (website hacks) into a profitable solution which is a win, win for me and my clients.
Side note: we’ll go over setting up a security plan for your business in a little more detail in tomorrow’s post.
Another example was basic SEO services. I neglected getting into SEO because I was intimidated by an ever-changing, confusing, shady industry. But nearly all my clients were asking about SEO and how to get better rankings on Google. I took this problem and acted on a solution. I partnered with a local friend who does SEO and I’ve gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about SEO, Google Analytics and Google Webmaster services by just working alongside him.
What problems have you faced that you may be able to turn into a service of some kind?
2) Market Your Services
Once you begin to offer more services (SEO, Website Security, Hosting, etc) no one is going to know about them unless you promote and market them. I truly believe that word of mouth and client referrals are the best form of marketing, but it’s still on you to get the word out initially.
Here are a couple practical ways to do so:
Tell People – Calling some good clients up, emailing them directly or better yet, meeting with them in person to let them know that you started a new service and how it can benefit them is a great place to start. That’s what I’ve done every time I’ve offered a new service that I think certain clients could use and the conversion rate is much higher than if they received a postcard in the mail or saw an ad online.
Create Ads – While we’re on the subject of ads, there’s no harm in creating some Facebook or other social media ads to promote your new product or service. Facebook Ads in particular are about the most affordable form of online marketing there is. Maybe consider offering a trial period or discount sign up rate, etc for some of your newer services. Explain why and how these services could benefit the client in simple clarity.
Those are the 2 methods I employ when I launch new services. I always try to do a personal meeting, call or email first THEN back it up with online advertising.
3) Show Off Your Work
Once your business is on the move, it’s important to show off your work. You can do this by adding projects to your website portfolio, adding them to your social media and asking your client to show off their new site to their social media networks, email lists, etc.
When I display a recently finished project, I have a bit of a system in place. It looks like this:
Post to my website – If it’s one I’m particularly proud of, assigning it on the front page as well as my web portfolio page. I post a featured image with the new design, a short blurb about the project and if possible, a testimonial from the client.
Post to social media – I try to make it a win, win for not only me but my clients as well. I do this by tagging their business or my personal contact in the business to help drive traffic to their site. I’ll generally post to my business Facebook page THEN if I feel so inclined, share that via my personal page with a call to action or something to help promote the business.
Show before/afters – I have a before and after page on my site that is one of my most frequently visited pages. I’d recommend doing that as well if your new designs looks much better than the old ones 🙂
4) Get Testimonials and Reviews
When it comes to growing your web design business, I’ve found that potential clients are going to look at a few things initially:
- Your portfolio
- What you do
- What clients are saying
That’s the typical behavior path that all my potential clients take. I know that because it’s the main behavior flow on my Google Analytics and the majority of my potential clients say something to the effect of:
“I saw this project and like it,” or “I saw you also do SEO?” or “I see you have some really good testimonials,” etc.
So be sure to make getting testimonials a priority for you when you finish projects. And do so immediately. I can’t stress this enough. If you let a client go after a project is live, good luck getting a review. You need to strike while the iron’s hot and while they’re feeling good and excited about their new website.
For years, I just got testimonials via email but since I just recently set up a Google Profile page for my business, I try to get all my reviews there since that’s what people are often going to see when googling “In Transit Studios” or “Josh Hall Web Designer.” Now I get reviews there first, THEN copy them and put them on my website.
You can use this tool to create a Google Review link that your clients can use to link direclty to your google profile and leave a review. Don’t be afraid of Facebook reviews either. Those are looked at more and more and can also be put on your site.
Blogging has done wonders for me and my business since starting it in the Summer of 2015. You can find out in detail how it’s helped grow my business and how it can help you here but in short, creating a blog on your site has some serious benefits. Here are just a few:
It helps you communicate better and articulate more clearly – I’ve found that since blogging, it’s helped me write quicker and more clearly and has helped me cut out the fluff. This is across all mediums – emailing, client communications, ads, sales, Facebook group discussions, etc.
It opens doors for new opportunities – I wouldn’t be writing for Elegant Themes today if I had not started my own blog on my site first. Blogging can open up many doors for you with new opportunities to blog as a contributor for a larger audience, speak at events, and more.
It drives website traffic – It’s no secret that one of the best SEO practices you can employ is having a blog that is engaging readers. Google loves seeing traffic, engagement and new content. Blog posts that are intentional, engaging and helpful are the best way to keep people on your site and to keep them coming back.
It leads to sales – A blog is essentially a collection of free resources for potential clients that goes a long way. It helps them to view you as an expert in your field and will likely influence them to choose you over competitors if they feel like you know your stuff and are offering your expertise in a blog post.
Consider starting a blog on your site, taking the time to make it worth reading and who knows where it’ll take you!
I hope these ideas and recommendations on growing your Divi Web Design business have inspired and encouraged you with some actionable items you can implement. These methods have worked for me very well and I’m continuing to apply them to my business on a daily basis.
Tomorrow: Maintaining your Divi Web Design Business and How to Keep Clients Coming Back
It’s easy to focus on getting new clients and growing your business. What’s often overlooked is how to maintain your business and how to keep your current clients happy and coming back. Tomorrow, I’ll explain what I do to maintain my business and will give you some actionable steps so you can too!