Very few people build new websites during Thanksgiving and Christmas. This means web designers who rely on building and updating websites are going to be entering into the “seasonal famine” time of the year.
Today we're talking about what web designers can do to not only survive but actually thrive during this time of year. This is going to be an awesome training session because it can have a huge impact on the way you think of your business and the way you work with your clients even if it's not the right time to be “selling websites.”
What's A WordPress Developer To Do?
During the holidays most business owners are not looking to build a new website. This is the time of the year when they really need to be seeing the results their websites can deliver. In other words, this is where the rubber meets the road. All of the stuff that has been done up until this point needs to pay off right now. This is when people are searching, shopping, and buying things online. If their website isn't performing now, it's probably too late to do much about it. Furthermore, the last thing most business owners want to do is make a big change to their website during their peak season. So, what is a WordPress consultant to do durnig this time of the year? Here are three things to consider.
How Can Their Current Website Do Even More?
Today, a business needs more than just a website if they want to see any results online. Their entire online presence contributes to their success. That includes their social media profiles, their email marketing, maybe even their YouTube channel. What are your clients doing with all of that stuff? Are they using those tools to stay in front of their clients or are they falling behind?
Most business owners are really busy getting ready from their prime-time season. They are probably not thinking about what their next tweet will be.
Are You Going To Step Up And Lead?
So, the question is this. Are you going to step up and lead your clients or are you just going to wait for them to call you? Are you relying on them to figure out when and how they are going to use the skills that you have or are you going to make an offer for how you can help?
If you want to set yourself apart from everyone else, you do that through genuine, authentic, leadership. That does NOT mean “selling” your clients on new stuff. It means SERVING your clients by leading them into greater levels of success than they would otherwise be able to achieve if it wasn't for you.
Do you want to set yourself apart from all the other cheap alternatives like the low-budget freelancers on Upwork? Do you want specific reasons why your clients should hire and work with you rather than “save money” building their own website on Wix?
Then, step up and LEAD your clients. Offer things they haven't thought of before. Give them things that they thought would be out of reach, but because of you they now have access to them. Use your expertise and your skills and lift your client to heights HIGHER than than can achieve on their own.
What can you do with the website they already have to make it more effective? Sure, blogging is always something to offer. But blogging and content marketing is a long-term solution. It takes months for search engines to pick that stuff up. What can you do that will drive better results RIGHT NOW?
Have You Set Up Monthly Retainers?
While many business owners are not looking for new websites right now, all of them want to continually drive better results. But, you can't afford to work for free. And, if you're not there, who is leading this success? If you have monthly retainers in place that give you the opportunity to help your clients on an ongoing basis, then you have the opportunity to make a difference. If you do not have monthly retainers, then you can't afford to help even if you wanted to.
Monthly retainers are the key to both stabilizing your business and scaling your revenue. But, not all retainers are valuable. Most of the WordPress developers I talk to about retainers have a very hard time getting their clients on board. The problem is the stuff in the retainer.
The majority of the WordPress developers I talk to have retainers that include:
- Plugin updates
- WordPress security
- Maybe a few “pre-paid” hours of updates each month
Do you see the two major problems with this?
- None of these things drive any sort of tangeable business outcome
- There is no leadership
You have to wait for the client to figure out something for you to do. If they are busy, then you don't get any work. When they suddenly have a need then they need it RIGHT NOW and you're swamped. This type of retainer is unpredictable, low value, and most clients opt out. They just say, “I don't need that right now, but if anything comes up I'll call you.”
So, why not set up retainers that put you in charge? Not in a bossy way. You're not overtaking their business. But, rethink the structure of your retainers. Put stuff in there that matters to your clients. Create a WordPress Care Package that you're clients actually care about.
What Happens This Time Next Year?
If you think you are going to be feeling the pinch of the seasonal famine this year, what are you going to do about it so you don't have this problem next year? One option is to do nothing and just take a vacation until the start of the year. Another option is to start thinking about restructuring your business with high-value retainers so you don't have to rely entirely on finding new clients and building websites.
In a couple months, I'm going to be talking to you about this from the other side of the fence. What are you going to do in January when EVERYBODY wants a website? Are you going to swamp yourself and work crazy hours for nit-picky, low-budget clients? Or, are you going to decide to only work with the clients YOU want to work with while setting up long-term relationships with them? Are you going to structure your business in a way that gives you the opportunity to genuinely help and lead your clients?
Want To Talk Through Some Ideas?
If all of this is a making sense, but you feel sort of stuck about:
- How to structure your retainers
- What services you can offer
- What prices to charge that are both fair and allow you to hit your income goals
Then we can talk. We can get on the phone for 45-minutes and dive into all of this stuff. If you decide that you'd like my helping implementing these concepts into your business, then awesome! If not, that's totally fine too. But the bottom line is that if you shift the way you structure your business you can do a lot better – both for you AND your clients.