10 reasons why you NEED to start pitching your web design/development services
Coming in HOT with a blog post that is equal parts motivation and tough love :)
We’re going to talk all about pitching your web design and development services and why it’s something you need to start doing TODAY.
There’s no doubt in my mind that by the time you reach the bottom of this blog post, I’ll have you totally convinced that pitching your services is the most effective marketing strategy, and it’s something you need to implement in your own business starting today if you want to see great results.
I am a massive advocate for taking inspired action in business. Whether you want to work with dream clients - trust me, they’re out there! - , make more money, develop a swoon-worthy portfolio, or generally get the most enjoyment out of the work you do, pitching will fast-track everything.
But I’ve got to tell you, pitchin’ ain’t easy.
Yes, pitching will get you in front of the right potential clients a heck of a lot faster than other marketing methods and is known to have a higher conversion rate… but that doesn’t mean that it’s simple or straightforward work. If it was, everyone would be doing it!
The fact of the matter is that pitching is a real skill and it requires a lot of strategy, resilience and proactive behaviour. But from my own experience, I can tell you that it pays off like you wouldn’t believe.
My Guide to Pitching Your Web Design/Development Services is a fantastic and highly actionable resource that you can use and customize in your own business - everything from a “how-to” guide to customizable email pitch templates to a spreadsheet tracker, i’ve got you covered.
If you’re on the fence about pitching and wonder if it’s something you should try out, or if it could work for you, then I’m here to give you a friendly shove in the right direction. Pitching your services WILL work for you too and the fastest way to get the results you want is to simply get started.
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Download the free Pitch Your Services Roadmap to go along with this blog post, it’s a wonderful resource to help you get started.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at 10 reasons why you need to start pitching you services as a web designer/developer.
10 Reasons why you NEED to start pitching your web design & development services
Click play to watch the video on Youtube
1. It’s a great way to start working on client projects when you’re starting out.
Ok so you’re a brand new, bright eyed web designer or developer who is just itching to get started. You’ve got some basic skills and you know that you could do a whole lot more… if you only had opportunities to work on!
That’s probably the biggest problem most people have when they’re starting out in business - no one knows who they are yet, and they don’t have a proven portfolio to show off.
This is why pitching is so beneficial for anyone who’s in the early stages of their web design/development business. It’s an active marketing strategy and as such, you’ll see faster results than if you relied on passive or long-term marketing strategies such as blogging, Pinterest, participating in Twitter chats, answering questions on discussion boards, etc.
Many people build their business by starting out offering their services for free or at discounted rate, in exchange for the opportunity to get experience and build up their portfolio.
Not ideal, but normal.
Pitching is KEY here because basically you reach out to people, brands, businesses, etc. and say “Hey I want to work on this type of project with people like you but I’m still starting out. Can I do your website in exchange for experience, a portfolio piece and a testimonial?”
In my experience, you’d be shocked at how many people respond favourably to pitch requests like this - there’s basically no downside for them so why wouldn’t they?
The takeaway here is that pitching is great for anyone who’s starting out and is looking for a way to get experience, add projects to their portfolio, and collect client feedback and testimonials.
2. Grow your business faster
Let’s talk about money for a hot second. Money, income, revenue, earnings, bucks in the bank, whatever.
Pitching is something you should do if you want to grow your business faster because, again, it’s an active strategy that is requires you to put yourself out there and go after work.
With pitching, you’re creating opportunities for yourself and developing business projects where none existed before.
Let’s pretend your monthly goal is to earn $6000 but you don’t know where that money is going to come from yet. If you want to charge $3000 for a custom web design/development project, then it means that you’ll have to book 2 new clients in order to reach your goal.
2 clients at $3000 each might sound like an ambitious target but it’s also totally do-able, right?
But unless you have an audience of people who are dying to work with you, or a waitlist of people who are already interested in your services, how do you think you’re going to fill up those two open project spots?
My friend, this is where pitching comes in.
You decide that you’re going to go out and search the internet to find new business for yourself. You’re going to book out those two spots in your calendar, and no one is going to stop you.
Pitching requires you to create opportunities where none existed before, which is AWESOME but requires you to take action.
Trust me, you’ll get the results you want way faster by pitching your services compared to if you just sat around all day waiting for opportunities to fall in your lap, or for people to find you on their own.
There’s a lot of noise and distractions out there, and pitching your services ensures that you’re not getting lost or left behind.
3. Target your desired niche & industry
As a web designer/developer, one of the best things you can do is to get super clear about the industry or niche that you want to work with.
There are many different considerations to help you narrow things down :
the type of clients you’d be dealing with (who are they as people or individuals)
the work the brands/businesses do
can you work with them locally/in person or would it be online
do you have experience in that field
are they for-profit businesses or not-for-profit organizations
lots of creative freedom or more corporate, traditional designs
There’s no right or wrong answer here, it totally comes down to personal preference and the niche/industry you want to work with.
For me, I’ve narrowed it down to small/medium sized professional businesses such as law firms, accountants, consultants, etc.
Those are the type of clients I started off doing but there was a period of time about a year into my business when I thought I wanted to pivot niches and do more creative and bold web design projects. I started working with several creative entrepreneurs and holistic startups but after I had dabbled in that for a while, I decided that it just wasn’t for me (for a variety of reasons). I ended up going back to my original industries/niches and picked up my web design/development projects for those law firms, accountants, and consultants that I’d started working with in the first place.
But just because I like working on projects that serve those industries doesn’t mean it would be a good fit for everyone!
I recently helped out a friend/peer who wanted to target a new niche, working with yoga studios and wellness centres/retreats.
Another person I know builds websites almost exclusively for wedding photographers in Northern California.
See what I mean? No matter what industries or niches you’re interested in, you can pitch your web design/development services directly to them, and not worry about potential clients who don’t fit the profile.
4. Work exclusively with ideal clients
Once you’ve identified the industry/niche you want to target, the next step is to drill down on your dream or ideal clients.
Amy Porterfield has a wonderful podcast episode called “How to Identify Your Ideal Customer Avatar” and if this whole “ideal client” thing is a new concept to you, I definitely recommend you check out that episode and take a look at her free download. I have zero affiliation here, I’m just a fan and really appreciated this resource.
Before you can work exclusively with ideal clients, you must first do a whole lot of market research and start brainstorming an extensive list of people, brands and businesses that you’re going to pitch your web design/development services to. Figure out who’s out there, who would be a good fit, and who to skip.
Personally, I think this is a really fun step because I get so excited looking at all the people I can’t wait to serve or help with my web design/development projects.
Once you’ve narrowed it down and have a list of ideal clients, you can then start pitching you little heart out and securing projects with those dream teams.
This is going to have a huge effect on how satisfied you are with the work you’re doing because if you enjoy the people you’re building websites for and/or can get behind their brands/businesses, you’ll create higher quality work and will generally do a much better job. You’ll have more fun and the client will get better results. Again, take action and pitch because everyone wins from that outcome.
5. Build a stronger, more cohesive portfolio
Portfolios can be a total doozy and it’s a major challenge figuring out what projects to include and which websites you want to show off. When you are just starting off you will probably showcase every project in your portfolio (because that’s all you have to choose from), but as you get more experienced and have more projects to pull from over time, your portfolio becomes much more strategic.
Let’s go back to that idea of targeting certain industries/niches and working with ideal clients.
In this example, I want you to imagine that I’ve decided that I only want to design websites for vegan restaurants (lol). When I start pitching my web design services to potential clients, do you think that they’re going to care or be interested in the websites I did for a financial services firm or the independent home hardware store in my nighborhood?
But they will probably pay way more attention to the website that I did for a steakhouse or zero waste market - not because of the food/cuisine that they offer, but because those websites probably have many of the similar features that the vegan restaurants will want included on their own websites.
Once I’ve got a few more vegan restaurant websites under my belt, I can highlight those projects in particular in my portfolio.
This is going to make your portfolio WAY more appealing to potential clients that you’re pitching to for a multitude of reasons. First off, clients will see that you' have experience working with other people/brands/businesses like them, which is a major bonus. It shows you have experience on similar or related projects and they have a better idea of what they can expect on their own site.
Having a more cohesive portfolio also shows that you aren’t a jack of all trades web designer/developer - you know and own a niche/industry, understand their needs, concerns, marketing features, lead generating tactics, and more.
The more you pitch, the stronger your portfolio becomes.
6. Be known as the go-to web designer/developer, both by potential clients and your peers
Ahhh this is such an under-rated benefit that comes from pitching and growing your business and I’m so glad I can highlight it for you here!
The funny thing is that the more you pitch, the more referrals will come your way.
And for extra LOL’s, they’ll come from places you never expected.
Let me explain.
First of all, you’ll start getting referrals from clients that you’ve successfully pitched and worked with. Once a project wraps up, it’s very possible that the happy client will refer work your way because they’re so thrilled with your results. This is glorious because those referrals from past clients usually sell themselves, you don’t have to do a whole lot of extra work in order to secure those clients. Often time it’s friends or other people they know in the industry, so these projects often end up being exactly the kind of people you want to work with.
Next up, you’ll often get referrals from people who said “No” or “Not Now” to your pitches. For a variety of reasons, maybe you just weren’t the right fit for them at this time, but they still kept you in mind and passed along your information. I was so surprised the first time this happened because Client XYZ had ignored all of my pitch emails but then 4 months later, I got an inquiry from someone saying that they had been referred to me by Client XYZ! It was wild. But then similar things happened a few more times and I had to realize that my pitches were paying off, even if it wasn’t obvious at first.
Finally, as you pitch your services to certain types of clients/industries/niches, you will really start to stand out as the go-to web designer in your field. Potential clients will begin to find you automatically but you’ll also raise your profile with other web designers/developers. Don’t be surprised if they start referring projects to you!
For example, I’ve had several web designers send projects my way when they got inquiries from clients in my target industries/niches because they knew I’d be the best person for the job. And vice versa. I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.
7. Book out your calendar on your own terms
Pitching your services often means that you’re going after clients & projects who might otherwise not have been thinking about re-doing their websites. This can be great news for you because they’re often more flexible about when you take their website project on … it doesn’t have to happen right now. Many people who are actively searching for a web designer/developer want their website done immediately, which often means you can lose out on their business if you don’t have an opening in your schedule.
But if you’re pitching your services to clients, it might take them a few weeks or even months to get it all sorted and this can be a great thing for you!
When you pitch your services, you’re often able to book out the web design/development projects in advance. This gives you the flexibility to plan out your calendar, work around holidays, vacations, planned time off, other projects that you’re working on, etc.
8. Most people aren’t pitching their services so you stand out
Most web designers/developers don’t actively pitch their services and those who do send out basically the same ineffective emails. This is your opportunity to stand out and differentiate yourself from your peers and competitors.
Pitching isn’t something we learn how to do in school. It’s basically sales and marketing, new business development.
I see so many talented web designers/developers who never build the business of their dreams, and the biggest reason for this is that they don’t know how to sell themselves and their services. They have the skills, but they aren’t reaching potential clients and selling their value.
I don’t want you to suffer those same bad results.
Instead, I’m here to encourage you to pitch your services and take ACTION on putting yourself and your business out there.
If most of your peers or competition isn’t pitching, then you already have an advantage if you start. You can really go after your ideal clients and target your industry/niche without anyone else going after those same clients.
9. Your skills are of service and people need your work
Let’s take a minute to talk about reciprocity - let me help you.
Pitching your services is a proven way to get in front of people who need or will benefit from the work you do - they just haven’t found you yet.
Let’s imagine that company ABC knows that their website sucks and they want to update it eventually but it’s not top of their priorities. It’s a backburner project but once you approach them and pitch your web design/development services, it’s like a light goes off.
“WOW can you believe that this girl came out of nowhere and has the exact answer to our problem? It’s fate!” < - - - them, probably.
Once you approach these potential clients with your pitches, they will see the value in your offerings and the services you provide. They have crappy websites and you have the skills to solve their problems and grow their businesses - it’s a perfect pairing.
For many clients that you pitch, it’ll be a no-brainer to book you out. Other people might say “not now” but that’s OK, you can touch base with them again in a few months.
Remember, people often need a push in the right direction and an incentive to take action. When your pitch lands in their inbox, this can usually be the first step to get the ball rolling. Everyone wins.
I have gone back to this Jim Rohn video/message all about sales and motivation many times, especially whenever I have felt like I wasn’t getting results right away or that my efforts weren’t paying off. It’s all about mindset and how you can win at sales, but he presents the information with his signature touch of humour. Take a few minutes to watch/listen to it if you ever need a little pat on the back or push in the right direction.
10. Because pitching works and converts.
When I started my web design/development business, I was bursting with excitement and fresh ideas, and I was keen to work on client projects right away. I couldn’t wait to develop my skills, improve my process and make an impact on my client’s businesses.
But there was one big problem: I didn’t have any clients yet. I had a beautiful new website, was blogging every week, and posting on social media. But I still had no clients!
I didn’t want to sit around, waiting and hoping that clients would somehow find me online and book out my services on their own. I knew that building up an online audience and waitlist of potential clients through traditional marketing methods would take a longggg time and frankly, I didn’t have that kind of patience.
So I decided to take inspired action - I pitched my little heart out. And do you know what? It totally paid off. I grew my web design/development business entirely through pitching.
During my first few weeks of business, I pitched non-stop, every day.
I wasn’t the best or more experienced designer out there (far from it, in fact) but I was definitely the most resilient and driven little pitcher. I ended up securing 3 custom Squarespace website projects valued at over $5000. Heck yeah!
Since then, I’ve raised my rates considerably and rarely need to pitch my services anymore because I’m usually booked out in advance - dream clients come directly to me now.
Looking back, pitching is what allowed me to grow my business and become a leader in my field so quickly.
Pitching works and it converts.
I PITCHED SUCCESSFULLY. IT WILL WORK FOR YOU, TOO.
You could try to hack together pitch emails on your own.
Or you could purchase my proven pitch strategy and process, use the exact email templates that worked for me, and learn all my secrets and recommendations for best results. I created the Guide to Pitching Your Web Design & Development Services so that you can get started today.
I’ve done the trial and error, made the mistakes, and messed up more times than I can count. But I’ve come a long way since then and have refined the process to something that I know works.
I want you to pitch your services the right way, from the very first attempt. This how-to-pitch guide, email templates and pitch tracker spreadsheet will save you time and give you peace of mind that you’re pitching correctly and effectively, using a proven strategy.
When you invest in yourself and your business by purchasing this how-to guide, email templates and tracker spreadsheet, you’ll learn how to pitch your services effectively, quickly, and with higher conversion rates than traditional marketing methods. I can’t guarantee that you’ll have the same results that I did because success depends a lot on the action and effort you put in, but I am certain that you will have better results than if you didn’t try at all. It’s an investment to purchase this product but if it helps you book out even one extra web design/development project, it will have paid for itself many times over.
Pitching isn’t rocket science. I’m sharing what worked for me, and what will work for you too. It’s a replicable strategy and process that you can implement in your own business - starting today.
THIS DIGITAL PRODUCT INCLUDES:
22-page guide to pitching your web design & development services
Proven 3-step email pitch templates
Pitch process tracker spreadsheets
Learn more about the Guide to Pitching Your Web Design & Development Services here.
Have I convinced you that pitching your services is one of the best things you can do for your business? I sure hope so - it was a total game changer for me and many of my friends!
Pitching isn’t rocket science, but it does require strategy and follow through.
If you haven’t already, be sure to grab your free copy of my Pitch Your Services Roadmap below.
Now go forth and pitch your little heart out! I promise, it’ll be a total game-changer for your business. I can’t wait to hear what kind of results you get!
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