10 Ways for Web Designers to Upsell

New clients for your web design services are not always easy to come by. So when you have a client, being able to offer them more services can have a drastic impact on your income. Fortunately for web designers there are plenty of additional related services that your clients are likely to need. If you’re able to provide some of these services it will also be a positive experience for the client, as they won’t need to go out and find another provider.

In this article we’ll take a look at some of the different services that you can offer on top of web design to your clients. You certainly don’t need to offer them all, but focusing on one or a few that work well for you could make a big difference for your and your clients. All of these things can be offered at the time you are securing the clients business for the web design, but you can also offer them to past clients as you follow up.

1. Ongoing Maintenance

Many of your clients will have a need going forward for maintenance or minor changes to their site. Even if you provide a client with a website that includes a Content Management System, some clients will prefer to pay someone to do a lot of the work for them. Of course, this depends on the client, but there are plenty of opportunities out there for ongoing work.

Having a few regular clients that you know you’ll get work from each month can make a huge difference in your bottom line and in how much time and effort you have to dedicate to finding new clients. The more income you have from ongoing clients the less you will be reliant on securing projects with new clients. You’ll be likely to spend more time working and designing and less time trying to find and secure work.

Some designers offer ongoing maintenance at an hourly rate while others prefer to offer packages. With a package you may charge a client a flat rate per month to manage their site, and that rate will entitle them up to a certain number of hours per month of your time. Any major changes or time above the maximum allowed would possibly result in additional charges. This can be a good situation for clients who know they will have work for you on a consistent basis because they’ll be able to do a better job of budgeting and knowing what to expect. For you it’s a good situation because you know you will be making some money each month from the client and consistent work that doesn’t require any additional work each month to secure.

Some clients will approach you about ongoing maintenance, but others will not. Make sure that all of your clients know what you have to offer in this area and explain to them the benefits of having someone who is just an email or phone call away for getting help and advice any time.

2. Logo Design

Some web designers also offer logo design while others do not. Many web design clients will also need logo design services, so it is a natural thing to offer if you’re logo design skills are on par with your web design skills. Clients who are designing their first website and new businesses are likely candidates for logo design services, but even established businesses that have existing logos will look to update their logo and make minor changes from time-to-time.

If you’re offering both services make sure that you clarify what is included with any proposal or quote that you give. Some clients will assume that a web design includes a logo design, so be sure to specify.

3. Identity Sets and Other Design for Print

Some web designers are also equally adept at designing for print. Almost every business has a need for things like stationary design, business card design, and brochure design. If you’re comfortable designing for print make sure that you offer these services to your clients. They may be interested in a full identity set to match their new website, or they may be interested in just one aspect, like having a new business card designed.

As an upsell, some designers and agencies offer packages that include identity set designs in addition to web design. Another option is to offer discounted rates on your print-based design for your web design clients. Although you may make a little bit less money than if you were to charge full price you can usually close the sale much quicker with existing clients and you’ll already be familiar with their business and what they are looking for, so everything about the project is a little bit quicker and easier.

4. Marketing and SEO

Another common service offered by freelance designers and design agencies is marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Although not all clients will overlap, many design clients will also have a need for marketing and/or SEO services. It may be immediately following the design work, or it may be at some point down the road. Because of this, it can be something that should be offered at the time of the design as well as something that you follow up on with past design clients who chose not to hire for those services originally.

Once you have completed a website design for the client they’ll have a great-looking site that meets the needs of their business and their customers, but if no one is arriving at the website it really doesn’t matter how great it is. If you can explain the importance to your clients many of them will see these services as a way of protecting the money that they are spending, or have spent, on the design and development of the website.

Marketing and SEO is a pretty broad topic and there is a lot that could be offered here. It’s likely that on-page SEO is a part of your design and development process, so clients that you have just built a new website for will likely not need much in the way of on-page SEO. But they very likely could benefit from some help with building links to improve their search engine rankings. They may also need help with article writing or distribution, social media marketing, press release writing, pay-per-click campaigns, etc.

5. Email Newsletter Design

Many businesses rely on email newsletters to communicate with their customers and this is also a major means of promotion for many businesses. This presents some opportunities to for you to sell additional services for designing an email newsletter template that can be used by your clients. If you’re not up to coding the newsletter template you could do the design work yourself and outsource the coding to a company like Email Craft.

6. Hosting

Hosting is one of the most popular add-ons for designers to offer their clients. Almost every hosting company offers re-seller hosting or an affiliate program, or both. If you’re ok with providing a little bit of service you may want to purchase a re-seller account with the host of your choice and offer hosting to your clients. This is a great way to build up some residual income. Another option is to simply sign up for the affiliate program of your preferred host and recommend it to your clients. Clients who are creating their first website will often go with your recommendation, and even clients who have existing accounts with other hosts will often be interested in making a change.

7. Private Label CMS

There are a growing number of content management systems that allow you to easily private label the system and sell it to your clients as your own. Light CMS is a very popular option because it is rather easy to implement into a design and because it is user-friendly for your clients. Light CMS is a hosted solution, so your clients will be paying monthly for hosting, for use of the system, and for support. As the designer, you can set the prices that your clients are charged and you will earn a commission each month. Once you have a number of clients using the system it can provide a nice residual income.

Light CMS, of course, is not the only option. Other choices include Business Catalyst, Surreal CMS, Cushy CMS, and PageLime. Business Catalyst includes e-commerce, email marketing and some other features. Surreal CMS, Cushy CMS, and PageLime are a little more simple and are ideal for small business websites.

Most websites being built today are using a CMS of some kind, so if the features of any of these CMSs match up with the needs of your clients it could be a good way to make some additional income.

8. Template/Theme Installation and Setup

An increasing number of designers are offering templates and themes in addition to custom design work. If you’re selling templates and themes you can also offer your services for installing it and setting up the website. If you’re selling WordPress themes your customers may be happy to pay you to install WordPress on their site and to install and activate the theme for them. This can be an easy way to get more work and to make more from your sales.

9. Banner Ad Design

If your clients are doing any advertising online they may also have a need for banner design. This is a service that you can offer to your existing clients if you want to make a little bit of extra money, and it can provide some additional types of work samples for your portfolio that may help with attracting new clients.

10. Various Add-Ons

There are a lot of other little add-ons that you could offer as well. Some of these things are included in the web design process for many designers and their clients, but it varies from one designer or agency to the next. If you’re not currently offering any of these services you could consider including them in your web design process or using them as an upsell. Some of the options include Google Analytics setup, email account setup, plugin installation, upgrades (such as WordPress upgrades), social networking integration, and more.

What’s Your Experience?

Do you have experience with upselling? If so, feel free to share your thoughts and what has worked for you in the comments.

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