I know it sounds crazy as a website designer to say that my outdated, “just ok” website was keeping me from making money, but it’s true. I was leaving money on the table.
A few weeks ago I wrote a bit about my trip to Cabo San Lucas for Showit‘s first official Design Summit. The minute I excitedly RSVP’d, I started browsing the websites of all the other designers that would also be attending. I was familiar with a few, but the rest were completely new names to me and I wanted to familiarize myself with them before meeting them in person.
I was immediately struck by the realization (and fear) that these designers would likely be doing the same with me. My website was SO outdated – I’m talking 3-4 years of just minor updates. It got the job done, I kept my prices and packages up to date….but the rest was just a conglomeration of pages, images, and paragraphs that didn’t make much sense and definitely didn’t reflect where I wanted to be in my business. I’ve been a Showit Design Smith/Design Partner since they first started the program (2014) and a Showit user for over 10 years. But my website looked like it was built by a beginner.
The main thing that held me back from building a new website was fear. Fear of added responsibility, fear of accountability that would come with a more professional web presence, fear of having to turn down potential clients if bookings increased, etc. Basically, a fear of leveling up.
I spent the next 6 weeks completely rebuilding my website from the ground up. I rebuilt my portfolio page to include more projects, more recent clients, and clients that better reflected the work I wanted to be booking. I’ve been in the website design/brand design business for nearly ten years now, and the work I was previously showing my prospective clients didn’t reflect that level of experience. On my old website I never once mentioned how long I had been in business, how long I had been using Showit, or even used the term “Showit Design Partner,” at all.
I had left off precisely the one thing that really made me stand out from my competition. And because of that, I was leaving money on the table.
I made a lot of other changes too…I took pricing off of my information page, but created a separate pricing page that I could send to clients when they inquired. And most importantly, I restructured my blog page (and started blogging more frequently…..hi!!!)
When I returned from my trip to Mexico, I continued to make updates. The biggest change (and biggest change in my business overall this year) was the switch from Shopify Lite to Thrivecart for my template sales. Shopify was a very limiting platform, but it was cheap, easy to use, and got the job done. Thrivecart, on the other hand, was much more expensive upfront (a one time payment rather than a monthly payment, which ends up saving money in the long run), and allowed for me to provide payment plans to my customers.
Offering payment plans changed the entire game for me. My template sales nearly quadrupled. Some of this was likely due to sales/promotions I was running and the onset of Covid, but it was clear that this is what my customers needed.
Had I still been using Shopify when the pandemic hit, I would have been leaving that money on the table.
The site will forever be a work in progress (as it should be), but I truly feel that what I have built accurately represents my business and my values, reflects my pricing structure and level of experience, and above all attracts the right people.
Do you think it might be time for a website update? Check out 7 Signs You Might Need a New Website, and cheers to the weekend!