July 15, 2024

How to Get More Web Design Sales by Painting Your Nose Red

Walk into the next prospect meeting with your nose painted red and you are sure to attract a lot of attention. And why wouldn’t you? How many web designers do you think the prospect will consider that have red noses? Chances are – only one. You will certainly be memorable when its time to decide who wins the project. Ah, but painting your nose red is probably not practical, and it would have no impact on the prospect at all if the interview takes place online. So, the question is: how can you stand out from the crowd of website designers who are competing against you?

Answer: Be different.

Face it – there are plenty of talented designers out there. Allowing for the fact that you are one of them, the only differentiating factor you may have is the random chance that one particular item in your portfolio will cause the prospect to think: “YES! That’s exactly the kind of design I’m looking for. I must have this person working on my project.” Alas, eureka moments like that do not happen very often. Most times the prospect will select someone whose work is attractive and offers the fairest, not necessarily the lowest, price.

web design

Here’s where that red nose comes in. What if there were magic words you could put into your proposal that were so different, so far beyond what any other designer proposed, the prospect was almost hypnotically drawn to you as if you had a red nose? Wouldn’t that be special? There are magic words. Most designers don’t use them. You should. “I can help you increase conversions.”

Conversion is what every business web site is all about – turning browsers into buyers. The organization works hard to attract visitors with the hopes that a great number of them will convert to buyers, members, subscribers, or whatever the action is the site owner wants a visitor to take. And when you use the phrase “increase conversions”, you just showed up with a red nose.

Many designers put all of their effort into selling how attractive their work is and how “one picture is worth a thousand words.” Maybe that’s true, but you can bet that in addition to your lovely pictures, your prospect’s web site is going to have words. And links and offers. After all, that’s what business web sites are all about. So what you need to do, if you want to be different, is to convince your prospect that you understand how website design works hand-in-hand with copywriting, click stream, and all of the humans psychological triggers that have to be activated in order to reach that Holy Grail known as conversion.

Here is what you else should say to make your proposal zing.

  • I design with usability in mind. A visitor should never be left wondering what to do next. High conversion rates require a clearly defined and intuitive funnel that leads the visitor from where they are to where you want them to go.
  • I optimize for a minimum number of clicks to arrive at that destination, and provide breadcrumbs or other clear indications of the path for the user to follow.
  • I integrate my design with your web copy so the visual and written elements work together to lead the visitor to the ultimate destination.
  • I ensure that each page delivers the information a user would expect to find there. If I notice inconsistencies between the content on a page and the presumed purpose of the page, I bring those inconsistencies to your attention so you can decide what action should be taken to address the issue.
  • I avoid delivering “eye candy” graphical elements that deliver no value and do nothing to generate trust in your brand and contribute to increasing conversions. Your website will look pretty and deliver results.
  • I realize that the purpose of website design is to contribute to the conversion process and not to showcase my leading-edge design skills for ego gratification.
  • I design and place graphical elements with the goal of highlighting and calling attention to product or service features that are an important part of your offering.
  • I recognize that not all of your visitors will have 20-20 vision, so I choose font sizes and typefaces that are the most likely to be easily seen by visitors of all age group and with a variety of different eyesight issues.
  • I incorporate W3C disability design standards into the sites I create or the specific standards required by the laws of the country your web site operates in. This ensures legal compliance and a wider potential audience.
  • I understand the concepts of Search Engine Optimization and keep those concepts top of mind when I design a web site. If I observe any inherent SEO issues with your site, including copy-related issues, and I will bring them to your attention so they can be addressed.
  • I believe in teamwork. That’s why I check my ego at the door when I’m working on a project. I realize that your copywriters, SEO consultants, marketing staff and me are all “partners” who need to work together seamlessly in order to deliver a web site that raises your company’s visibility and meets your conversion goals.

Now you don’t have to use these words. Use whatever words work best for you. But do cover these topics either formally or informally. I guarantee that if you do, your proposal is going to be the one that stands out most in the prospect’s mind when it’s time for them to choose their designer.

And the best part is, you won’t have to change the color of your nose at all.

About the Author

Jeff Foster is a co-founder of WebBizIdeas, a corporate web design company specializing in internet consultancy and social networking development.


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  1. Nic Reply

    Thanks for putting it into words Jeff, they’re all things some of us ‘think’ but fail to put over to clients, I will definitely be using a few of these in my pitches . . . I might actually try the red nose thing too !

  2. Chris Mower Reply

    You make some good points in this article. As a usability designer I have to piece together copy, design, content, and processes. And sometimes it can be a real chore to help people understand that even though it’s flashy, it doesn’t contribute to the overal functionality, and in fact, it sometimes pulls people away from the reason they’re at the site.

  3. Alice Dagley Reply

    Your last list sounds like aт oath) I, the best developer, swear by the name of God to design with usability in mind optimize for a minimum number of clicks to arrive at that destination, and provide breadcrumbs or other clear indications of the path for the user to follow… etc etc etc)

    It is worth reading. The best article I’ve read last time. It’s important to know what could make the difference. What is that you can do that can make the differences to your client?

  4. Halogendesigns Reply

    Really amazing, nice article and thank you for sharing. But I think, quality web design can attract the users and give you some business. No doubt affordability is big issue and one thing which is most important is quality and back end experience of website designer and professional and creative design.

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