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WEB SCHOOL How to Sell Web Design/Web Services during Coronavirus

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BizyDad

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Two titans of the forum doubt the idea. Interesting, I didn't see that coming...

I feel there are much larger problems to help people with right now.

There are businesses that need massive system changes today or they are done - they need an online website that can sell, they need the systems to run their team and business, and they need people to know they exist (ads).

Gift certs are one idea for sure but there are massive needs right now today that need to be solved.
Yes. I understand the point of the thread.

And many business are being shut down. Today.

Some of those businesses can't easily switch to providing services virtually. Like a day care center. Or a nail salon. So they will have no revenue coming in at all.

How is that not a massive need? Qualifies for the "make a change today or you're done" criteria, right?

But as you say, their websites don't have anything to sell.

One alternative for these businesses is to sell the promise of future service. In other words, sell gift cards/certs. It is an alternative to help them get through a really bad time.

It is a solution they probably have not thought of. Heck, I just heard about it yesterday, so I thought I'd share.

Yeah. I could be wrong but I don’t see people spending money on gift certificates when they’re anxious about the future.
Perhaps. But if the business has a strong following that wants to support it? And if you offer a $50 cert for $35? Some people are anxious in the short term, but they think this will be over quick and they may want their favorite business to be there when things go back to normal.

Groupon proved that offer worked in the past recession.

Maybe I'm tainted by the fact that I'm in Phoenix and a lot people believe Trump's original words that this is being blown out is proportion. Plus there is a strong "support local" movement here.

Besides, I know a lot of newer designers who lack confidence follow these threads. Ask them to sell and implement "massive changes" to a company and they might not even try. This is a solution even a beginner can do.

But it isn't just me. I know a web guy in Chicago who has sold 3 packages like this, and one in Sydney that sold 2 yesterday. So there's your proof of concept. I plan on trying to sell this idea to businesses today.

Like I said at the start, it's a thought. The intention is to help, both the little designers and the little businesses. While some might see respected figures here poo poo the idea, perhaps justifiably so, others are busy taking action.

Remember everybody, done beats doubt.
 

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No Fluff

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Great topic @Fox!

I was wondering would you say it's possible to hit up business and specifically restaurants and still make money doing websites? Would they have a problem for ex. pay 1000-1500 $ for a site at this time?
Although the effects of the coronavirus? I have been learning some UX Design too.

There are several restaurants here in my area that don't have a website so all I see is an opportunity. Would love to hear what you think!
 

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Two titans of the forum doubt the idea. Interesting, I didn't see that coming...
...
Remember everybody, done beats doubt.
Gosh, not titans - just normal folks figuring it out as we go along. This isn't about being humble, it's a genuine suggestion that people take what anyone says with a pinch of salt.

At the end of the day it's what the market says that ultimately matters. And I hadn't thought of the loyal customers who might want to keep a business afloat, or of offering a $50 future voucher for $35.

I've not personally tried it so maybe shouldn't have said anything. As with most things, someone somewhere will make it work.
 
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BizyDad

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Gosh, not titans - just normal folks figuring it out as we go along.
I have crazy respect for both of you. That wasn't sarcasm. You're titans in my book. ;)

And just to be super clear, I have no problem with people presenting other views. It is through discussion and debate that we'll all learn and grow and get through this thing. Together. Apologies if my post came across as combative or defensive. Not my intent.
 

Andy Black

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I have crazy respect for both of you. That wasn't sarcasm. You're titans in my book. ;)

And just to be super clear, I have no problem with people presenting other views. It is through discussion and debate that we'll all learn and grow and get through this thing. Together. Apologies if my post came across as combative or defensive. Not my intent.
Well, I could have expressed my doubts in a more positive way. I normally do, so my bad. It turns out my doubts were likely because I didn't understand what you meant and/or couldn't visualise it.

Can you expand on the idea? What's the Groupon examples you mentioned?
 
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I did up a video on this exact thread topic for the channel...


Just keep any questions here so it doesn't take away from forum engagement.

Ill write up some more notes here tomorrow - things are moving fast.

Was just talking to a student who has a solid lead for "picking up dairy from a distributor who’s trying to help but has no product list available and no website but 1000’s needing grocery’s".

Tons of opportunitty right now.

@BizyDadI will get back to you too - we are all on the same page. Thanks.
 
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Great topic @Fox!

I was wondering would you say it's possible to hit up business and specifically restaurants and still make money doing websites? Would they have a problem for ex. pay 1000-1500 $ for a site at this time?
Although the effects of the coronavirus? I have been learning some UX Design too.

There are several restaurants here in my area that don't have a website so all I see is an opportunity. Would love to hear what you think!
As long as you can see a real way for the website to help.
- Can they use it to get sales right now?
- Will it help them take orders and stay open?
- Is it the best use of their time and money?

Not saying it is or isn't but for any idea like this put yourself in their shoes and try like if this is a good idea and if they really would need it.

If you feel like the "need" is weak then just keep searching till you find someone that feels "they 100% could benefit from this right now".
 
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Okay some success stories/niches from my students/people on my email list:

"Helped my friend get a $2.5k photo/videography project for my current website client. This was on Monday in the US and for a client who sells large printing machines.

I think the "trick" is to find the right business owners who don't want to take passive stances. And who are in an industry that have the potential operate mostly digitally. You couldn't do a hair salon because their work is physically tied to the customer.

Then when you show them how you can not only help their business survive but to thrive, it's a no brainer. For owners with that mentality at least.

I'm looking at it as a time to be more selective about who to focus sales on and get better at being able to communicate value"


^this is from @Isaac Oh

"I had roughly 500 dollars of website updates last Friday. This has led to 2 new "maintenance" customers and I'm quoting for three new projects. I'm expecting to hear back early next week on at least 1 of them."

"Nevertheless, just asked my portfolio client and proposed the idea to set-up something new for transferring a part of the service digital to the living rooms of the customers. The client is more than very happy - otherwise there would be a full shutdown of the business. I will set something up the weekend."


I am going to ask my list directly for what works soon so I can post a lot more of these here. It is good to adjust fast right now and go with what is working.
 

CoderSales

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Good read and some good points!
 

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Good read and some good points!
I seem to be getting a few more enquiries than normal. And some clients who were quiet are asking for ad copy changes to include things like “Video Conferencing Available” or “Virtual or In-Person Events”.
 

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Here's a call to action from the FreshBooks founder & CEO:


He talks specifically about buying local businesses' gift certificates as a way to support them.
 

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Reading this thread has triggered an idea in my thick head.
What would be the best way to set up a website that allows 1:1 instant chat with email notifications? Including sending files (word doc, pics), broadcasts msgs to all, permission management? I.e 10 people can access the chat with this 1 person and answer/review it. Bonus points for being able to export the chat.

For communication and updates between business and customers/clients/patients when physical contact isn't an option and phone call updates are too time consuming ??

Thinking could create the site and offer the service in conjunction with companies (own brand) or a white label service?

I have very little code knowledge but i am stubborn as hell so could do it.

Worthwhile? Even just for the period of the outbreak/6 months maybe? Like a rental service.
 

Andy Black

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Reading this thread has triggered an idea in my thick head.
What would be the best way to set up a website that allows 1:1 instant chat with email notifications? Including sending files (word doc, pics), broadcasts msgs to all, permission management? I.e 10 people can access the chat with this 1 person and answer/review it. Bonus points for being able to export the chat.

For communication and updates between business and customers/clients/patients when physical contact isn't an option and phone call updates are too time consuming ??

Thinking could create the site and offer the service in conjunction with companies (own brand) or a white label service?

I have very little code knowledge but i am stubborn as hell so could do it.

Worthwhile? Even just for the period of the outbreak/6 months maybe? Like a rental service.
Is there something out there already that can do this that just needs configured? Slack, discord, etc?

Speaking of which, how many communities want a platform created and configured on something other than Facebook?

Can you create a service to setup and manage these on a monthly retainer?
 

mrpixel

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We have recently seen an increase in local retail stores which are now being forced to close in my country enquire for online store web design, it's their only chance of survival at this point.

On the other hand, we have a few food delivery clients who are thriving currently, they are requesting for more quotable work daily to push their marketing further during the current events.

Demand for web design IMO is booming right now from what I've experienced in the past two-three weeks.
 
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Demand for web design IMO is booming right now from what I've experienced in the past two-three weeks.
I think there were a few days where people were first focused on just making sure they were okay - very quickly the focus will be back to making sure their business is too.

Welcome to the forums.
 
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Reading this thread has triggered an idea in my thick head.
What would be the best way to set up a website that allows 1:1 instant chat with email notifications? Including sending files (word doc, pics), broadcasts msgs to all, permission management? I.e 10 people can access the chat with this 1 person and answer/review it. Bonus points for being able to export the chat.

For communication and updates between business and customers/clients/patients when physical contact isn't an option and phone call updates are too time consuming ??

Thinking could create the site and offer the service in conjunction with companies (own brand) or a white label service?

I have very little code knowledge but i am stubborn as hell so could do it.

Worthwhile? Even just for the period of the outbreak/6 months maybe? Like a rental service.
@Bradley R you are the chat expert - what do you think?
 
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Good read and some good points!
Good article.

(bold emphasis is mine)

In the coming months, businesses are going to become more reliant than ever on their digital strategy. Without wanting to sound too alarmist, in many cases it will be the deciding factor in whether they make it through the tough times ahead.

The unprecedented, almost-total disappearance of all channels related to live events and conferences, and the increasing barriers on face-to-face business, pose an enormous challenge. Key to resilience is the development of ongoing contingencies to mitigate against this loss.

B2B companies in particular
rely on the annual circuit of trade shows and exhibitions to network and build customer relations. In industries that are not digital-native, they may also be less sophisticated in their digital growth and customer relations strategies. For smaller businesses especially, used to getting new customers through word-of-mouth referrals or on the strength of a hard-won reputation, their loss is coming as a shock.

Larger companies are also now finding themselves in the position of having potentially lost millions through cancelled events. They won’t claw back the hours of time and expense spent on preparations for this year, but insurance and flexible cancellation policies will leave them with marketing budget to reassign. Digital is likely to be the clear winner here, and companies – including ones that may not so much as had a Facebook page before – will need to move into social marketing, content marketing, SEO and influencer-led campaigns.

Of course, this means there’s opportunities out there for the taking, if you are a B2B supplier in an industry that has been slow to adapt to digital marketing. A key factor in resilience is adaptability. If it’s standard in your industry to go out and meet new customers face-to-face before you do business, adapting may mean opening new channels over web or social media platforms where introductions can be made and relationships fostered. In the coming months, your prospective clients are going to be less open to the idea of letting you walk through the door and shake their hand – and no-one really has any idea how long this will last and whether this will lead to longer-term change.

As Scott Jones, CEO of 123 Internet Group, told me “We are in uncertain times, but with the increase of remote working and a collaborative approach, companies are turning to digital channels and embracing the transformation. We have seen a real spike during the last few weeks from companies wishing to create or update websites, launch new e-commerce channels and create social media campaigns focused on home-workers and a real focus on using influencers and SEO to reach new audiences.”

Being confined to the office – or even the home – rather than on the road on sales visits or at events, means marketers have more time to develop digital strategies. This means researching where your customers can be found online, and how different approaches and tactics might impact your success. If your organization previously put token efforts into digital channels – because like a lot of other businesses, you had built your networks offline and that had always seemed to work – now is the time to revisit them. That could be as simple as giving your website and social pages a refresh, or a more innovative approach.

Ratnesh Singh, head of global business at events technology agency Buzznation told me that he found out quickly that clients did not want to lose the networking opportunities provided by the conference circuit. On top of this, they are looking for new ways to spend their remaining marketing budgets. He said, “With our corporate clients, events often consume 50 to 60 per cent of their marketing budgets. They still want to spend that money and they are open to trying something new.

There’s a window of opportunity here – when things are back to normal budgets will be going back into live events and that’s what they will be spending their time on.

But if they see the benefits and opportunities that digital channels can offer, this will become part of their long-term marketing contingency plans.”

As well as offering immersive 3D virtual events, Buzznation has also found that businesses wanting to become more sophisticated in their use of live social platforms. Singh said “Clients are turning to Facebook or LinkedIn Live. Often these are platforms they have dabbled with in the past but never fully integrated into their marketing strategy. Now they see value in partnering with companies like us that know how to help them make the most of these channels, to achieve better production values and more targeted campaigns.”

It’s certainly true that the coming weeks, or months – or however long this situation lasts – will be a challenging time for any company that isn’t ready to think about how they will replace the opportunities that have been lost.

As long as businesses approach the shift to digital marketing strategically, there's no reason why it should just serve as an emergency fill-in, but could carry on providing long-term value when the world eventually gets back to normal. And of course, it would make companies more resilient to deal with any future pandemics.

****


I agree with a lot of this. I don't think it will just be websites - they need a whole strategy that connects together. I still think things are very uncertain right now but as this continues businesses and going to be thinking this way more and more.
 

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Let's look at two fictional examples to see how we could maybe help a business...

Yoga Studio

- Problem: they probably have to shut down soon and will lose all monthly membership income.

Possible solution: We bring the classes online with live broadcasts done through a Facebook group. Members can still watch their favourite instructor online and also get some morning breathing and relaxing exercises through email. New members can sign up online through the website and if needed can quickly book a 15-minute call with staff before joining.

The website can also have new content to show how to do Yoga at home and the benefits of doing so at the moment.

The quick pitch: You can reduce the loss of your monthly income while keeping your staff on payroll and also helping out your customers in a time of stress. Also, you have the added opportunity of being the only studio open in your area right now and might even create new members.

What is needed as a web designer to do this: Some very basic tech skills and a few hours of watching videos on Youtube about how to live broadcast through FB.


Legal Services

Problem: The government has said they have to close their offices and work from home. They have 8 experienced legal staff but have zero online experience.

Solution: Changes to the website (or a new website) to allow for an online meeting with a lawyer and doing all legal services 100% online. People can view the availability of different lawyers and book an initial or full consultation. There is an email system set up to tell people their meeting time after booking and how to prepare for a video call.

The website can also offer online advice on the new common legal issues that arise in a crisis to help create new customers and run new effective local ads. They can pick the top issues they see people facing and have great content to give people useful content. This link could also be shared in local business online groups and to their current email list.

The quick pitch: No need to lose a ton of potential cash, people need your legal services right now and this can be quickly set up to help them.
It also shows your business as a leader/trusted advisor in a time of crisis. Plenty of chances to land new customers and improve your brand/reputation.

Again what is needed as a web designer - very simple tech skills but simply the right mindset to creatively solve an immediate problem.
Love this idea Rob, I reached out to a few yoga studios in my area. It seems like some of them are ahead of the curve because I saw that the most popular ones are already live streaming already. Another business I feel can benefit from something similar would be realtors, allowing potential buyers to view properties through live stream. Although I'm not sure how the industry is impacted I will target some in my area and see how it goes.
 
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Nagnotme

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The target I was thinking is aged care initially (my industry).
Visitors are limited now and it's only going to get worse. We don't have the virus in nursing homes yet thank god but it is coming.

Communication between staff and families needs to stay wide open.
A lot of homes have 100-200 residents so calling around is very time consuming, whilst we also want to reassure families and keep them updated.

Staffing levels are going to plummet and it is going to get very messy. So thinking a good way to keep the communication channel open is an online chat function for non emergency updates.
But there is a privacy part to it as well, only a specific person can receive an update of that resident due to privacy laws.

Thank guys, this is a good brainstorm of a thread.
 
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Love this idea Rob, I reached out to a few yoga studios in my area. It seems like some of them are ahead of the curve because I saw that the most popular ones are already live streaming already. Another business I feel can benefit from something similar would be realtors, allowing potential buyers to view properties through live stream. Although I'm not sure how the industry is impacted I will target some in my area and see how it goes.
Cool - how are things going this week?
 
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The target I was thinking is aged care initially (my industry).
Visitors are limited now and it's only going to get worse. We don't have the virus in nursing homes yet thank god but it is coming.

Communication between staff and families needs to stay wide open.
A lot of homes have 100-200 residents so calling around is very time consuming, whilst we also want to reassure families and keep them updated.

Staffing levels are going to plummet and it is going to get very messy. So thinking a good way to keep the communication channel open is an online chat function for non emergency updates.
But there is a privacy part to it as well, only a specific person can receive an update of that resident due to privacy laws.

Thank guys, this is a good brainstorm of a thread.
Wow - ya very interesting need. Not sure what could be built here but this has a lot of potential.

Have you contracted any yet?
 

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Bigbucks

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Cool - how are things going this week?
Sent out a few cold emails to yoga studio's and realtor's no response yet. Also I am putting together a list of prospects in my area to cold call. What other industries do you think would be good to target during this time?
 

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Sent out a few cold emails to yoga studio's and realtor's no response yet. Also I am putting together a list of prospects in my area to cold call. What other industries do you think would be good to target during this time?
I have the same question!
What do you recommend to research the market guys?
 

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Excuse the title but that is exactly what this thread will be about:

How to Sell Web Design/Web Services during Coronavirus (or any major crisis)

At the summit, @ZCP had a challenge to positively impact as many people as you could and I feel this is a thread that could help out a few of you over the next few weeks or months.

The advantages right now:
- you can do this from your house
- you already got everything you need right now to start
- there is no shortage of people who need help

So let's get right into it...

The common way to think/sell web design is to focus on the design side.

This would be things like:
"I can make your website modern-looking"
"We can add more pages and make it load faster"
"I can make it more responsive for using on different devices "


The thing is no business owner cares about that stuff. That is way down the list of 1000 other things they could be focused on.

People who sell websites and web design this way struggle to close any deals, and any they do close are usually at a low price.

The much stronger way to sell a website is to find a serious business problem(s) that show web design as being a great way to fix/reduce that issue.

This creates a strong mental case in a business owners mind to invest in a solution (for 1x) that can solve a much bigger problem (10-100x)

Basically show you can solve a $10k or $100k or $10m problem and it isn't hard to close a decent web project deal.

---

Now under normal circumstances, this would be a good example of how you go about this:

- A business is not closing big contracts (problem)

Solution: The website can have better messaging to focus on what is needed to close these contracts, we can use trust-building content like reviews, awards, testimonials, case studies to build trust and authority.

We can also back this up with effective copywriting and persuasive images and/or videos.

Then on top of that, we can make the sales-system of the website very effective at meeting people where they are at and bringing them through the different sales stages needed so they are comfortable (and motivated) to take the right action.

Now when bidding you can include the website name within the contracts and also refer possible leads to your website to view past projects (which we include) and more details about your business. Instead of a normal website, we have an effective strategic selling machine that compliments and improves all your current bidding activities.

---

Now that is a fictional example but it shows the overall idea of how it is done. You don't focus on the design or visual side of things - it has to be all about what will get the business real valuable results, what is worth them investing in to solve problems, and showing why it will be effective/useful.

In short - Find real and painful business problems > show how web design can solve them in a high value (and high ROI) way.

---

So how to sell/help in Coronavirus?

You got to meet businesses where they are at right now.
The problems are clearly there at the moment and for a lot of people simple web design skills could go a long way.

Let's look at two fictional examples to see how we could maybe help a business...

Yoga Studio

- Problem: they probably have to shut down soon and will lose all monthly membership income.

Possible solution: We bring the classes online with live broadcasts done through a Facebook group. Members can still watch their favourite instructor online and also get some morning breathing and relaxing exercises through email. New members can sign up online through the website and if needed can quickly book a 15-minute call with staff before joining.

The website can also have new content to show how to do Yoga at home and the benefits of doing so at the moment.

The quick pitch: You can reduce the loss of your monthly income while keeping your staff on payroll and also helping out your customers in a time of stress. Also, you have the added opportunity of being the only studio open in your area right now and might even create new members.

What is needed as a web designer to do this: Some very basic tech skills and a few hours of watching videos on Youtube about how to live broadcast through FB.


Legal Services

Problem: The government has said they have to close their offices and work from home. They have 8 experienced legal staff but have zero online experience.

Solution: Changes to the website (or a new website) to allow for an online meeting with a lawyer and doing all legal services 100% online. People can view the availability of different lawyers and book an initial or full consultation. There is an email system set up to tell people their meeting time after booking and how to prepare for a video call.

The website can also offer online advice on the new common legal issues that arise in a crisis to help create new customers and run new effective local ads. They can pick the top issues they see people facing and have great content to give people useful content. This link could also be shared in local business online groups and to their current email list.

The quick pitch: No need to lose a ton of potential cash, people need your legal services right now and this can be quickly set up to help them.
It also shows your business as a leader/trusted advisor in a time of crisis. Plenty of chances to land new customers and improve your brand/reputation.

Again what is needed as a web designer - very simple tech skills but simply the right mindset to creatively solve an immediate problem.

---

I hope this gets some wheels spinning and shows people this is something they could be doing right now to help people.

For you newer entrepreneurs who maybe have your main biz slow right now this is something you could easily pivot into for a few weeks to keep the funds going.

It is easy enough to learn the code part and after it is much more just about your mindset and strategy on how you solve problems.

If you are interested in this thread please post up and let me know. I will be happy to post a lot of content to get you up and going with the sales side and also how to learn things on the tech side.

Anyone is able to do this and you already got what you need to get going.

Hope this helps - there is no shortage of problems right now and this is something people on here could be doing to help businesses stay going and hopefully stay growing.
Thanks. This is a gem of gold!
 
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