Home – New Forums Marketing mastery This one’s for all the web designers and developers

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  • #970046
    Anonymous
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    Hey gang,

    This is a thread for all the fellow web designers and developers here (and there are quite a few of us on here!).

    Since we’re in a saturated industry (ie. almost anyone can claim to be a “web designer”), clients have a HUGE range of choice as to who to hire for their website needs. They can either:

    • DIY
    • go with a web design company that only charges $300 – $500 for a complete website
    • go with a web design company that charges between $1,500 – $3,000 for a complete website
    • go for a complete online marketing solution which will cost thousands of $$$

    I’m sure there are other options in between these that I haven’t mentioned, but you get the idea.

    So, my question is this:

    Since we’re in such a saturated market, what angle have you used to convince potential clients that YOU’RE the right web design/development business for them?

    Have you decided to niche right down to a particular industry? Or have you gone broad?

    Have you limited the number of services you provide, or have you increased them to offer a complete online marketing solution?

    And do you use prices to filter out the types of clients you DON’T want?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts! :)

    #1042265
    ray_223
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    Hi Adam,

    I toyed with doing freelance web development (i.e. a did a few jobs when I was building another business – but the other business took off), the 2 things that worked for me (with my limited time doing it):

    1. Become an expert in a niche market (I did some Drupal module development)

    2. Network in your local community – many people don’t go looking on the internet for web designers – as you are saying there are 1,000’s to choose from and how do they decide? The answer “they don’t!” – they ask someone they trust!

    Good luck

    #1042266
    altaimage
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    The only way to gain and maintain a client base I’ve found is just quality of service and making sure you get out what it is the client wants, not what’s easiest to develop!

    Word of mouth is key in this business and a bad site will be talked about more so than a great one. Also – redevelop your own site as the market changes – my new site is going live on friday this week.

    If you only ever develop one site for your business you’ll find it dates quickly and gets left behind the current trends on the net, and this won’t convince anyone to go through your company for their own personal web needs!

    Also Testimonials are great – I have around ten great Testimonials all backed up by clients willing to talk to others about the process I took them through, this is like a personal reference when going for a job interview – and when you have clients willing to speak up on your behalf that’s when you know you’re on the right way.

    All the best

    Scott Swinton
    http://www.altaimage.com.au
    [email protected]

    #1042267
    JohnSheppard
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    Hello there,

    I don’t know the answer :) Haven’t figured it out yet. In my experience most customers don’t have a clue (“That’ll automatically get found in Google right?”). Unfortunately, they will forever more not have a clue and there will always be noobies around in the industry foolish enough to take on the other noobies.

    In B2B the only real sales technique you have *should be* ROI. New small business don’t tend to understand ROI, if they don’t they will go broke so you don’t want those guys anyway, you can try emotional selling to them if you like but what’s the point?. I think successfully winning the right kind of customers boils down to your contract and should be based on demonstrating how you can achieve ROI for them.

    For example, in my contract (which is becoming a massive work of art:)) I put everything in it, including marketing information such as how much traffic they can expect, what keywords to use, etc, how I can justify a higher price tag, why I charge more for hosting, why I charge more for everything, why I use the CMS I use and what features it has, what the payment schedule is, what security measures are in place, what their competitors are doing, screen shots of their competitors sites, etc etc….essentially all the things they need to know that goes into a successful website and why things cost what they do….unfortunately doing all this and having the knowledge to do all this tends to shoot your price up even more, so it’s cache 22…essentially it restricts who you can work with to smart people.

    Anyway, that’s the path I’m going…there are other ways you can go….maybe someone else has better ideas…depends on who you want to target really…

    #1042268
    Anonymous
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    @Ray – good point about personal networking.


    @Scott
    – so are you saying that the main way you, personally, get clients is strictly through your website? But are you targeting a particular niche, or are you taking on anyone who comes along?


    @John
    – great point about ROI. That aspect alone probably changes the type of client one gets. Then, hopefully, you’re not getting the clients who expect a $300 “product” (rather than a full “service” – which is what web development really is).


    @Steve
    – sure, but what specific angle have you used to convince potential clients that YOU’RE the right web design/development business for them? Have you decided to niche right down to a particular industry? Or have you gone broad? Have you limited the number of services you provide, or have you increased them to offer a complete online marketing solution?

    #1042269
    sixx
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    Since we’re in such a saturated market, what angle have you used to convince potential clients that YOU’RE the right web design/development business for them?

    If people are so keen to freely share the answer to this, is it any wonder the market is so saturated?

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Suze English.
    #1042270
    altima
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    sixx, post: 51430 wrote:
    If people are so keen to freely share the answer to this, is it any wonder the market is so saturated?

    Market is saturated primarely due to low entry barriers: anyone who has a computer, Internet access and read the book like “Web design for Dummies” can claim himself as a web-designer. That is neither bad nor good, just a reality.

    #1042272
    JohnSheppard
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    sixx, post: 51436 wrote:
    No you are correct, I guess I could of constructed my question a bit better.

    I guess it just struck me as odd the point of this thread is to extract the single little thing web designers have to cling to that defines them from their business competitors. I would of thought some things could be held close to the chest.

    Rubbing my hands together nonetheless, waiting for that golden ‘conversion’ egg. :)

    lol, I think the thing is that web design/dev is a retarded industry for those with masochistic tendencies. Really letting loose with all of ones wisdom is horribly sadistic. It’s the least one can do to help other poor fools join the party. There’s seriously every sensible reason to do something else for a career.

    no just joking :)…IMO there is no golden conversion egg…..if anyone wants to make money in this industry there is only one way….Hard work…you need knowledge and skill and there is only one way to get that…all the info is a Google away anyway.

    #1042273
    JohnW
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    Hi Adam,
    The web has moved light years beyond sticking words and pretty pictures up on a monitor. It’s like what happened with desk top publishing.

    Web design and development is rapidly being commoditised to the uninformed and the seekers of cheap fixes. You cannot build a profitable business catering to this market segment and many of them will not be in business in a couple of years.

    If they are able to hang in there the first inkling they may get that their website is a waste of space, money and time is when some Google Adword seller knocks on their door and wants them to sign up for $300 per month of sponsored links.

    The starting point is this question:

    Q: Why do people invest in the web?
    A: To generate business leads and increase sales.

    What’s happening is that the web is an exploding medium with new functions and communications options emerging all the time. Web design is a very small component of what is needed.

    Here are a few of the other online marketing support services being offered…

    Copy writing – A crucial and undervalued essential service for any website. It is more important than the design because without it, very few people will see the website design. It usually costs more for a professional copywriter than a web designer because copywriting takes longer.

    SEOs are another industry group offering part of the answer to the same question. Check the revenue of this list of Aust SEO companies. http://www.topseos.com.au/rankings-of-best-search-engine-optimization-companies.
    There are tens of millions of dollars being spent on websites after they have been published just with these 30 companies.

    The cost of sponsored links. Google makes $26 billion in revenue from website owners who can’t find any other way to achieve their primary online marketing objective.

    Add to these examples the companies calling themselves interactive marketers, social media consultants and more.

    Here is a quick list of knowledge services that are needed by someone with a serious ambition to use the medium to its full advantage:

    Internet marketing audits
    Internet marketing plans
    Market research and usability testing
    Content generation services (a small part of this is web design and development)
    Applications and video generation
    Content delivery services (SEO, email marketing, Twitter, etc)
    Client education and training
    Monitoring and reporting services

    Web design and development is a very small and diminishing component in the scheme of things.

    Don’t aim at the low cost website market as sooner or later those businesses will learn that they have wasted their money and missed out on using the web to increase their business revenue. Are they going to go back to a company that put them in this position?

    What I suggest you do is define your target market then compile a service mix to satisfy its needs. When you have that together go out and promote how your mix of services can generate online sales or leads for your target market.

    Regs,

    JohnW

    #1042274
    Aidan
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    Q: Why do people invest in the web?
    A: To generate business leads and increase sales.

    Thats a rather sweeping statement John but I don’t hold it against you as you seem to deal in that particular side of the market only :)

    Now not aimed at you John:

    From a different POV, at Magicdust we deal with the smaller end of the market and day after day hear clients say they just want a simple website to use as a ‘brochure’, somewhere to send existing customers or prospective customers they are targeting offline.

    In other words they don’t need or want other folks on their websites. This is common with all sorts of small businesses who target their prospective clients offline and cannot handle the volume of calls they might otherwise have to deal with from untargeted visitors finding their websites and then taking up valuable time! I know that is a bit of a head-spin for many of us but yes there are lots of businesses like that!

    Just last weekend I had a friend in the building industry ask me to review his website. When I commented he should consider doing some SEO he was horrified at the prospect!

    You see, he targets the projects he wants to be involved in, sometimes by tender, sometimes by networking. He does not want to waste time on phonecalls from Tom, Dick or Harry who finds his site, it would be a huge waste of time for him and his now 30 staff. His site is there purely to demonstrate the type of work he does!

    Others in small business have such small localised businesses that their SEO will happen naturally if they just put some content up talking about what they do and where they do it. We see many enjoy this ‘accidental SEO’ then wonder why they spent $400 on a website when ‘young Jim next door’ could have achieved a similar result with a wordpress installation on hostgator all done for $75!

    As for the suggestion that using AdWords is somehow ‘wrong’ or ‘lazy’, I would say that is simply ridiculous. If you want traffic to your website there are several ways to get it, SEO and AdWords being just two of them. They both have their pro’s and con’s but there are hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world that thrive on the traffic they get from AdWords and actively look to spend more on it.

    Are they all wrong or lazy? Of course not, they are simply turning an investment into a return which is what all business is about!

    At the end of the day its all different strokes for different folks. We cannot dictate what is right for everyone here only put forward points of view on particular slices of the overall market.

    Some businesses need to give young Jim $75, others need to pay $25,000 to a higher end developer and another $25,000 to an SEO consultant.

    Most of the rest are in between.

    My 3 cents :)

    #1042275
    JohnW
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    Hi Aiden,
    No argument. It was an over simplification. There are lots of reasons why people want websites.

    That said, I suggest there is a very large group who are looking for their site to generate leads or sales. The point I was trying to make is that in this situation there are a wide range of services that may be required that go way beyond those needed to replicate a brochure online.

    I’m just proffering some suggestions for Adam to think about.

    The problem Adam poses is not new. When the first web page publishing software came out in the mid 90s, all those hand coders voiced the same comments.

    This is one of the fastest changing communications environments. In my humble opinion if you can’t adapt with it, you won’t survive.

    Regs,

    JohnW

    #1042276
    Aidan
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    “This is one of the fastest changing communications environments. In my humble opinion if you can’t adapt with it, you won’t survive.”

    Amen Brother John :)

    Regards
    Brother Aidan

    #1042277
    Jexley
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    SW123, post: 0 wrote:
    networking in the local community is small fry – you get small business and they tend to want to pay the least and demand the most..

    Mate, Small Business is the core of just about everything that this website and all of us are about.

    Not that I know much about you, but it’s statements like yours from bigshot web design firms that have shat me off the most in this industry.

    Hearing things like that is what fuels my desire to educate the public on what’s what in our industry and filter out those that are truly out to help people attain a good ROI (and improve their business and livelihood) from the absolute money-worshipping shysters who only see dollar signs when they talk to potential clients.

    Or maybe you didn’t mean it that way.

    #1042278
    Aidan
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    Nice to see you active on the board again Judd – we were just kicking stuff around waiting for you to come back.

    Have a good weekend :0

    #1042279
    Jexley
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    Hey! Cheers for that Aidan!

    That’ll show me to be away for a while, I come back and the whole content section shifts to below the ads and I totally miss that this thread had a whole other page. Smooth. I’m all chattering away on the last page’s posts. Der.

    So, it’s been a while, good to be back. Aidan, I’ve had several clients kickin’ things around with MagicDust sites lately mate, you guys must be doing something right.

    And I believe that tenet about adaptability applies to the same kinds of people in just about ANYTHING, not just business.

    I think ol’ Darwin even said if you can’t adapt, you can’t survive. But yeah, in web, it’s a bit faster.

    And for my 2 cents, if you can’t show at least an approximation of an ROI and treat a website as a business investment, then you can’t justify charging more than $200 or some shiz. Heh.

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