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For Web Designers: How to Pitch a Website

For Web Designers: How to Pitch a Website

So it’s 2015, and the web is more important than ever. The cost of a website may easily justify itself these days, but it’s still crucial that clients, customers, and colleagues understand the value of a new website. What makes it worth the cost?

Other Pitching Articles I Wrote

General Pitch Advice

A website pitch should be focused on the specific ways you will do things differently. For example:

  • The website will be designed in a unique way.
  • The website includes unique tools that can be used for marketing, sales, etc.
  • The website includes functionality that is unique to this business or area of expertise (cost savings calculator, special reference database, product design tool, etc.)
  • You offer services that help this specific client, such as help with Facebook posts or blogging.
  • You offer add-on value such as a subscription to a royalty-free photo service.
  • You have thought of specific tools you can either build or provide that will help this client make more money, get more exposure, etc.
  • You have specific industry experience that brings unique value to websites you might provide for this client.

If you need to motivate someone to want a website, remember that it’s not 1995 anymore. The web is not a novelty. See if you can figure out if there is a specific objection to getting a website before you make your pitch. Then, address that objection during your pitch.

Do not fill your pitch with generic line items like “Latest WordPress version with a template of your choice.” Lots of people saying this and doing this, so it will not strengthen your position. After lots of thought about the subject, I decided I will not declare the name and version of software I provide when I pitch to people. They can ask if they want, but most people are not techies and just want to know if you are going to build a cool, professional website on time and with minimum hassle.

And lots of websites are user-editable these days. It may feel powerful to be able to say, “YOU can manage your own website!” but think about the downsides.

Downsides of Pitching WordPress Sites

  • You have a limited amount of time for your pitch, and software like WordPress is a really common. The client probably heard about it from someone else, too.
  • What if this client has deep pockets and is disappointed that they will have to do all the updating work themselves? What if they really just want you to handle that?
  • Perhaps the client is unsure about the way edit-it-yourself works, and now they wonder if this means all the work and possibly learning HTML will be in their lap.
  • What if this person has heard bad things about WordPress or has used it before and didn’t like it?
  • Most importantly, what if the WordPress angle is distracting you from communicating even better value?

Some of my favorite projects—and lucrative ones, too—began as a discussion of “wouldn’t it be cool if?” For example:

  • Wouldn’t it be cool if I just had to press one button to accomplish key online marketing tasks?
  • Wouldn’t it be cool if a smaller project could test out some marketing approaches we’ve been considering for our big projects?
  • Wouldn’t it be cool if I could see the updates my staff are making to my website, and get alerts from the website when it’s time for key sections to be updated?
  • Wouldn’t it be cool if my sales people could use the website as a tool to help them make sales, rather than just a brochure?
  • Wouldn’t it be cool if my existing customers could share their excitement in a way that potential customers could see?

When you start to communicate value through propositions like those, people will understand why the new website is worth it. They won’t have to sit around and mull over all of your technical line items.

The web is more important this year than ever. But it’s still our job to show people why.

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Photo of Marc Carson