Yes, you read that right. You need to stop selling websites now!
Why? Two main reasons:
- Everyone is selling websites.
- It is no longer necessary for a web developer to build a website. Anyone can do it with modern tools such as Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly.
I would guess that around 80% of you hate me for saying this, but it’s true. If your business focuses on selling websites, then you probably won’t see much growth.
However, the role of a web designer/developer is not dead, nor will it be anytime soon. How is this possible? How is it possible to have web designers but not sell websites?
You need to sell solutions. Yes, solutions are what you must sell.
Why Selling Websites is Wrong
Most of you (including myself) started by selling websites. We asked businesses if they needed one and tried to tell everyone they needed one. Did they listen? Some did, but certainly not the majority.
They saw no value in it. Is that their fault? Of course not! We tried to sell them something that they thought was static. It was built, and that was it.
Very few people see the value in a website from the start. Most can understand it, but we have to convey the value. We must sell a solution, not a service.
The Golden Days Are Over
Twenty years ago was the peak of selling websites. People viewed it as something new and exciting for their business. Drag and drop builders didn’t exist yet, so only someone who knew what they were doing could design it. Resulting in an easy (and most of the time expensive) sale.
Then drag and drop builders hit the scene. Now everyone could make a website!
Does that mean it was a good one?
Heck no! I’d say most drag and drop sites even today are not fantastic.
However, since then, fewer and fewer people see a need in hiring a web designer because they think they can make it on their own.
How Should You Combat This?
This brings us back to the point, you need to sell solutions, not a website.
How do you do that?
You can either keep reading or download a PDF guide here.
STEP 1: NICHE DOWN
Yes, you have heard it a bazillion times, you must niche down your business. It is a requirement.
No, “small businesses” is not a niche. Most of us aren’t going to be targeting 500+ employee companies any time soon.
Well, if you are just starting out, you really can’t. What I recommend you do is select something you are interested in (fitness, marketing, law, etc.). Then conduct a quick Google search for your interest’s businesses near you (“fitness businesses near me”). Find one without a website or one in need of improvement, and offer to create one for free.
How do you select a niche?
Yes, I said it. Create a website for FREE.
Without a portfolio, it is extremely difficult to prove that you can create a great site.
For people who have an established brand, ask yourself if you have more clients from a certain niche.
For example, you may have completed twenty projects, and eleven of them were for real-estate agents. Real-estate may be a good niche for you because you have a lot of experience in it.
STEP 2: IDENTIFY YOUR NICHE’S NEEDS
This is the reason you need a niche. To know the solutions, you need to know the problems.
Every niche has different problems, and you can’t have all of the solutions. Therefore, finding out what your selected niche’s problems entail will help you formulate solutions.
I always ask my clients, “What has been your biggest and most difficult obstacle for business growth?” Very often, you will get the same answers within the same niche.
STEP 3: FIND, IMPLEMENT, AND TEST SOLUTIONS
For this step, I will use a common problem amongst fitness trainers, proving your results. Many trainers have told me it is very difficult for them to easily prove they can help people.
This is a common problem for which you need to find a solution. As a web designer, maybe the best thing to do is create a results page or formulate a new testimonial design.
Now, implement your idea. Make sure it turns out to be a solution.
Use A/B testing and record as much data as possible.
If it works, viola, you have your new solution!
STEP 4: SELL YOUR SOLUTIONS
You did it! You can now sell your solution instead of a website. Tell your potential clients about your solution and the success you have had with it.
Creating a case study with the data collected is a very good idea. I guarantee you will sell more solutions than services.
My Question for You
How will you move away from selling websites and closer to selling solutions?
Hi! My name is Carter Stroup. I am the founder, president, web and SEO professional at Render Results. I have been a web developer for over four years and currently hold five professional certifications. My number one goal is to provide custom websites for an affordable price to help grow small businesses.