Home – New Forums Starting your journey FREE Website Design – Good idea??

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  • #975201
    B Cooper
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    Hey Guys,

    I’m contemplating an interesting marketing strategy for my web design services.

    If I were to offer to build a free website for businesses that were able to refer 2 clients that purchased my web design services (basically turning my clients into affiliates in which would be compensated with a full reimbursement of their web design costs) I would be effectively doubling my client base.

    So after I successfully build a website for a client, I could explain that if they’d like to refer 2 friends or colleagues in which purchase my services, then I’ll fully reimburse their costs.

    Sounds good when it’s stated as “Free Web Design Services”, however I hope that it doesn’t come across as manipulative..?

    Any feedback would be great.

    Brentis :)

    #1072913
    bluepenguin
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    Why do you need to give so much away?

    If you’re really good at what you do and people enjoy working with you, your clients would recommend you to their friends anyway, ragardless of what you “bribe” them with.

    #1072914
    B Cooper
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    • Total posts: 211
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    bluepenguin, post: 91439 wrote:
    Why do you need to give so much away?

    If you’re really good at what you do and people enjoy working with you, your clients would recommend you to their friends anyway, ragardless of what you “bribe” them with.

    Hey BP,

    Great point. I’m was thinking to provide an incentive to spread the word, but you’re right, clients will most likely spread the word regardless – of course assuming that they’re satisfied.

    I guess the question then becomes – Would offering a free upgrade, a reimbursement, or an extra benefit enhance the referrals?

    Cheers!
    Brentis :)

    #1072915
    Joakal
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    Underpromise, overdeliver if you like.

    Also, beware of creating expectations: “Hey, I told several people about you. Can you install that feature?” Then again, always unhappy clients will tend to be those you should avoid because they’re never happy.

    I would invest in SEO, linkbacks and checking out the competition (how they also do that too). Also check out your market that likely needs a website. eg restaurant conferences, etc.

    #1072916
    JohnSheppard
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    Calculate how much it costs you to get a sale via other means. If that figure is more than what a website normally sells for you would be unwise to give one away.

    The other issue is, can you scale? Is that what you want? Service businesses are difficult to scale…(If I remember your web critique thread correctly that stated at least an indication of it being a problem)

    If anyone remembers dingo blue, they had a very successful refferal scheme happening. I believe they went broke in the end trying to be too cheap. No point getting customers if you can’t make money out of them….

    #1072917
    B Cooper
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    JohnSheppard, post: 91461 wrote:
    Calculate how much it costs you to get a sale via other means. If that figure is more than what a website normally sells for you would be unwise to give one away.

    The other issue is, can you scale? Is that what you want? Service businesses are difficult to scale…(If I remember your web critique thread correctly that stated at least an indication of it being a problem)

    If anyone remembers dingo blue, they had a very successful refferal scheme happening. I believe they went broke in the end trying to be too cheap. No point getting customers if you can’t make money out of them….

    Hey John,

    Scaling was a problem yes, but I now have systems in place that will allow me to scale effectively – however you’re right, giving away websites would soak up resources for sure. I guess I could always try it, and revoke the system if it started getting to hectic, or proved to be ineffective.

    Brentis :)

    #1072918
    NathanB
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    At the risk of adding additional complexities to the referral system why not just offer a commission/credit value for each referral.

    1 referral = perhaps a $100.00 credit towards their next website/service upgrade. There is a lot of merit in creating solid referral business rewards programs but don’t give took much away…

    #1072919
    SamanthaE
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    • Total posts: 235
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    Hi Brentis,

    Maybe I am a bit off track (don’t know much about the website business industry) but what about trying to get more business from your existing customers.

    If you are offering discounts, why not offer discounts on an existing clients website updates every 6 – 12 months E.g. updated content, etc.

    Maybe through offering this great ongoing service at a good price people might refer you naturally through word of mouth.

    Sam

    #1072920
    NickHumphries
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    Brent,

    This is a bold idea! I like it, test it out and tell me how it goes!

    Great headline for marketing and PR aswell!

    #1072921
    Keeta Nova
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    • Total posts: 294
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    I understand you are trying to be innovative with your marketing ideas…

    … but web design clients don’t want an innovative marketer, they want an innovative web designer.

    What, in web design, do you offer that no one else does?

    #1072922
    Jenish Pandya
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    i agree with Keeta, the business has to be different.
    In regards to the offer, i love the idea. but what i might suggest is you could offer 50% discount for advertisement purposes and actually give 100% later on (under promise over deliver) after they have brought in two customers to be eligible for the 50% and they receive 100% they will probably refer more customers.
    You can start of with current customers who already reffered and give them a discount or a freebie.

    #1072923
    Nikita
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    I still can’t figure out why you don’t have any samples of your work on your website. In design business it works through the referrals – you’ve done a great job for one of your clients – they going to refer you to someone else. That’s the only way.

    #1072924
    Green Web Marketing
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    Hi Brentis

    Let me start off by saying I’m no expert in web design, but as a content writer I’m doing a web design course so I can better understand both sides of the design/content equation.
    And that’s how I came across Ben Hunt’s site webdesignfromscratch.com, some good advice I think on pricing: think about perceived value, if your offer is too good to be believed, it could cost you clients…
    I actually think a web designer with a good understanding of marketing would be a great asset to a client, as the actual purpose of a site is most often selling!

    Best of luck with you business,
    Cath

    #1072925
    profitclicks
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    • Total posts: 160
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    I agree with the feedback from the majority on this forum posting – I have to say that my opinion is firmly against the idea of giving away a free product in the hope that you get good referrals. A prospect could come along and say oh hey I heard you made a good site for a mate of mine and he didnt have to pay as long as I got you new business well make me a site and I’ll see what I can do.

    It seems to me that strategy would be creating unrealistic expectations in the marketplace – your work should speak for itself.

    #1072926
    B Cooper
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    • Total posts: 211
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    Hey guys,

    Thanks so much for the feedback – I totally agree, not only does giving away free services devalue them, but the benefits that I was hoping to achieve by doing so (referrals) will already be produced by satisfied customers.

    I’ll set up a formal affiliate program, so that it keeps paid referrals separate from client referrals.

    Thanks again guys,

    Brentis :)

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