Are you passionate about creating websites but need more customers?

The thing is, no matter how good you are at what you do, you need to sell your web design services. Okay, some work will come to you organically via word-of-mouth from previous customers, but it’s unlikely that’s enough to keep you sufficiently busy.

When your skill is composed of a mix of creative and technical skills, trying to be a salesperson too can be a step too far.

You love what you do and get great satisfaction from the websites you create.

But in the commercial world, your websites are just products that have to be marketed, built and delivered. As a designer, this can be a tough cookie to swallow. What do you do to survive as an independent website designer? How do you find the time to sell your service whilst still working on building websites?

Others have gone before you and the truth is, selling online can be tough. There is so much competition. You also have the problem of businesses building their own websites by making use of online technology. Then you have the businesses that prefer to build their customised site in-house instead of outsourcing.

One way forward would be to employ the skills of a sales representative. They will sell your services whilst you focus on what you do best – building the sites. The problem is, you will need a decent budget for this. A full-time sales rep may cost you as much as £30k.

You may prefer to use the services of a freelancer on an ad hoc basis; the risk here is that your campaigns will not be persistent or continual enough. Making sales is all about being resilient. Once you find your niche USPs, you continue to market them to people until the leads convert.

It’s not something that you can dip into now and again. By using strong sales techniques delivered by someone who is buoyant and professional, the results will come.

How to advertise web design.

But what if this is completely beyond your budget? Then the next best thing is to advertise and sell your web design services yourself. Sales is all about creating relationships.

From that very first phone call, you need to begin creating an emotional link between you and the decision-maker.

Here are our tips on how to get started on advertising your web design services, improving and building relationships as you go:

Sell the utility, not the website.

You may see your websites as fantastic pieces of art but most businesses are looking for a powerful tool to make sales.

They want financial results in terms of improved customer satisfaction and increased lead conversions. Put yourself in their shoes and tell them how you understand their problems and that your product will enable them to achieve their goals. Show that the investment will pay for itself over time.

Don’t forget to point out the inbuilt trackable metrics, showcasing of their brand and targeted advertising. If you have figures to support your claims, use them. A good example would be the percentage of people using their mobile line to browse the internet (their site included).

Get personal.

The only way to cope in such a saturated market is to stand out. You can do this by being authentic and personal. Sell yourself as an individual rather than the company brand. Tell clients about what makes you tick. You may be encompassed in a technical world but it’s important to keep it human.

Show your clients how powerful a good website can be.

If you work predominantly with SMEs, there will be some that don’t know a lot about websites. You need to teach them, but not in a superior way. They need to understand that even when they are not working, the website will be.

It is there for customers 24/7, enabling them to make purchases, pay invoices, and subscribe to newsletter or emails. If they go with a DIY site, it is unlikely to offer these features nor will it fare so well when it comes to SEO (search engine optimisation).

It is pointless having a pretty home-built website out there if people don’t find it. Explain how you can take care of this too. Give examples of other websites you have built for people within their sector.

Turn your services into products.

Although you are selling web design services, people find it easier to buy products. Look at what you offer and then create offers or packages. Think about how long it will take to do something and work out a price. Make them available to buy online automatically. A good example would be: ‘5 Page Website £’ ‘Basic Ecommerce site £’.

Other things that work well are: ‘Estate Agent Website £’, ‘Consultancy Website £’. Make it simple, think out of the box and use these as hooks to catch bigger fish. You may start talking to someone about a basic website and find that it converts to a full eCommerce site.

You can niche down further and target specific keywords for example, let’s say you want to sell web design services to local estate agents, then you may target keywords such as like “estate agent web design” or “estate agent web designer” as well as putting out relevant content around your target niche.

Make networking normal.

That is, make it a part of your daily routine. Be relaxed. Use your social media to tell people about what you do. Join local business organisations. Get your name out there so that people start to link it to website design. Sending out 1000s of emails or cold calling isn’t necessary. Making it personal is what works.

Don’t focus ONLY on web design.

Offer smaller value additional services. You don’t have to do them yourself as you can use freelancers to bolster your team as and when you need them. Popular add-ons are content creation (web text and blogs), social media profile creation, managing and hosting websites, graphic design etc.

By making yourself a literal one-stop-shop for businesses, clients will value your offering so much more. You will become their go-to person for everything they need to make their business succeed. You may be only building the website, but they won’t know that.

It goes without saying that your website should be knock-their-socks-off amazing. A great example of this is the website belonging to

Clients looking for a website are going to look at yours to see what you are capable of. Don’t be shy of showing off your skills. Have a detailed portfolio with lots of variation includes. Add case studies and testimonials.

Make the ABOUT page all about you and your results for clients, the person behind the name. Once people began to like you and get interested in what you are doing, it won’t be long before they start talking business.