Remember when web designers used to be total nerds?
Back in the early 2000s, web design was a technical skill; just getting a site to function was considered an achievement in and of itself, and things like interface design, usability, and UX largely fell by the wayside.
But times have changed. In the past few years, something magical has happened: Web designers have stopped being just nerds, and have started becoming artisans.
If you’ve seen a lot of web design agency sites lately, you might have noticed that they all share a few common traits:
- Needlessly vague wording (if I have to hear "integrated solutions" or "innovative solutions" one more time, I may break).
- Clean design.
- Absolutely no pricing details whatsoever. Prospective clients are forced to fill out a quote request form to get even a general price range.
The last point is what I’ll be talking about.
An entire work day. That’s how long it took to create the 8-page project proposal you wrote, edited, and packaged to perfection for a potential client. It’s the third one you’re sending out this month.
It looks ready. It feels ready. You’re confident it’s going to blow the client’s socks off.
You wait a couple of days. The client hasn’t responded yet. Did he get the proposal? Should you send a follow-up email? Maybe send another copy of the proposal just to be sure (might have been trapped in their spam folder by accident).
With the digital landscape becoming increasingly competitive and the cost to acquire a new website project steadily growing, web designers need to be proactive in finding additional ways to create ongoing value for their clients.
To survive, web designers need to adapt and increase the revenue generated per client.
Early on, nearly every startup arrives at a crisis.
And I’m not talking about a crisis involving capital or co-founders or legal issues.
I’m talking about the company’s logo.
Most customers won’t think twice about your logo. Unless it’s hideously ugly.
The first website I ever created for money was back in 1999. I earned $900. It was a flat-file database for an import/export business. After that, I made a $500 website for a Michigan-based cookie company. I was just in the last year of my high school career, so that kind of money was pretty sweet.
I formed a partnership with a high school classmate, and a web agency was born.
When we pay for software, it’s usually because it solves a critical problem we have. It satisfies a need. It provides a certain value we’re willing to pay for.
And if we can derive value from a product or a service at no upfront cost, then we are more likely to pay later on in order to continue deriving that value.
Internet entrepreneurs need a business model that supports this notion.