The path of a freelancer isn’t easy. Even if you work better individually than with a team, you are burdened with the responsibility of not only creating the service or product your clients need, you’re responsible for pitching, selling, pricing, and generally getting your foot out there.
Some people have learned how to achieve a balance and work successfully as a designer, but those who may find it difficult to take all types of clients on may find it easier to focus their services on one niche. If they excel in that niche, it may be more practical and profitable than serving generally everyone.
When it comes to web designers who have chosen to exclusively serve small businesses, they have the advantage of starting from scratch and working with smaller businesses that have a unique business selling point. However, the difficulty may be trying to convince small business owners with relatively small capital to invest in your services. Here is how you can convince them otherwise.
Finding the Right Client
The key to finding how to sell web design services to smaller businesses starts by spotting them and their need. Some mom and pop shops may rely on their local neighborhood to keep the revenue flowing and think they don’t need to go digital, so you may have to be the one to reach out to potential clients.
Unless you already have a network of previous clients you’ve worked for or business owners who have referred other owners to you, you’re going to have to look for the right client to start your portfolio. It helps to have a lead generator, and ideally, you’ll want to start with a business in your area.
Explain Why They Need Web Design
If you’ve seen Kickstarters and GoFundMe campaigns, you can see that several small business and startup owners recognize the importance of taking their small business online if they want to grow their network and reach out to customers. However, older business owners or even young business owners who think their network of friends in the area can carry their business along may find that they’re losing out on potential customers. This is what you have to show them.
Having a website opens the door to reaching more potential customers. In an age where more people are researching stores before they shop, it helps to have your business under the radar and a serious candidate for potential customers.
Sure, small businesses could be located in high-traffic places, but ask yourself this question: when was the last time you chose a small business in your area that you’re unsure has the product your need (because you can’t research or find out a way online to see if they do) over a mall which is farther but surely has the product you need?
And even if these businesses already have websites, you need to show them why you can make it even better. Did you know that your website has, on average, at least 10 seconds to convince potential customers that your business is worth your time? According to Google, over half of your mobile users will leave your website if it takes over three seconds to load. In a time where people want information at their fingertips in seconds, they think they can find a faster website in your competitors’ websites.
Better web design reduces the loading time and decreases the number of people likely to leave. All your clients need now is someone to provide high-quality content to fill the website – if you provide content writing as part of your freelance services, you can also use this to your advantage.
Convincing small business owners to let you work on their web design means convincing them that they need it to increase their business revenue. And even if they already have a website, there’s something that your services can do to improve their website’s traffic.