3 Things to Always Keep In Mind When Selling Squarespace Websites [Part 3/4]

This is post number 3 of a 4-part blog post series about Squarespace. Read the introduction post here and the previous post here

Hopefully, you are now convinced that Squarespace isn’t such a bad idea.

But how do you get started? How is selling a Squarespace website different than selling a traditional website?

1. Make sure Squarespace is the best solution for your client

As I’ve said, Squarespace is not a silver bullet. It won’t fit all your needs and most importantly, it won’t fit all clients. When new clients comes knocking at your door, you’ll need to qualify them to see if they would be a good fit for a Squarespace.

Here are some questions I try to answer before moving forward with a Squarespace website:

What kind of business are they in?

Local businesses, nonprofits, and one-man operations such as artists, photographers, real estate agents and consultants are perfect candidate for Squarespace websites.

Are they looking to invest in marketing?

Some clients may ask you to build things that are unrelated to marketing (a new invoicing system, a private forum, a CRM, …). It’s important that you split their request into two groups: marketing expenditures and operational expenditures. Squarespace is great for the former, not so much for the latter.

What’s their total marketing budget?

I always try to guess-timate the client’s total marketing budget, including all costs related to branding, PR, advertising, business cards, etc… If you think your client’s total budget is $3.000 for a year, even a cheap $2.000 website is going to be unaffordable. On the other hand, if your client has 1 full-time employee dedicated to marketing, which depending on where you live can range between 40k-100k a year, there is a good chance that a $5.000 website will be regarded as a sound investment.

Do they already have a website?

This is often a good sign that they will have the budget for a new website. Your client already understands the value of having a website and is prepared to investing into making it better.

5.What does success look like for them?

Are they happy if they have an “online business card” which is listed on Google? Or are they looking for a way to tell a visual story online? Knowing what the real expectations of your client are will help you deliver.

2. Don’t sell your time. Sell the end product.

Client: Can you guys build websites?

Agency: Yes.

Client: How much does it cost for a simple website?

Agency: It depends on what your need…

Client: Just a simple website. How much?

Agency: It really depends…

Client: :disappointed: (emoji)

Agencies hate that question and clients hate that answer.

Yet, it keeps coming up.

Why?

Because people love to buy products but hate to pay for service.

The only reason agencies won’t give a price is because they want to estimate as perfectly as possible the number of days it will take to complete a project and multiply by their daily rate. They want the price to be as close as possible to the actual workload.

But the truth is that you don’t need the perfect price. You just need to give them a number when they ask you.

When a new client asks us how much does a new website cost, we quote them a price.

They may end up paying more or less, but at least they have a number a mind. If later in the discussion we find out that they need extra features like making the website multilingual, then we tell them there is an extra package for that.

Think of it like buying a car: The price you see on TV is rarely the same as what you end up paying. But at least, you don’t have to visit 50 different dealerships to request quotes. You know which one you can consider.

Finally, when you know the exact scope of the project, give clients a detailed quote. Again, don’t list the number of days needed to complete the project. List all the deliverables the client will get.

Here are some examples of deliverables we promise to our clients:

  • A page about your business and your services
  • A bio page about you, the founder
  • A way for people to contact you (phone number, address, email, a map)
  • A website optimized around your keywords (eg: Yoga studio in Brussels)
  • A websites listed in local directories (Google business, Yelp,…)
  • A website optimized for mobile devices for tablets and smartphones.
  • A website accessible via your URL ( www.my-yoga-studio.com)
  • A series of short videos tutorial to explain the most common tasks such as how to add and update content yourself.
  • A login and password to update your website

The most tangible the deliverables feel, the easier the sell.

3. Don’t make the client work.

As I’ve said, your job is to deliver the end product. This often requires a mindset shift from “this is what I’m supposed to do as a web designer” to “this is what needs to happen for the website to be up and running”

From experience, the biggest obstacle to keeping the project on track is getting the content right.

I remember the days of lorem ipsum where we would create a design in photoshop and use placeholder images and texts and ask the client to “fill” the website with real content. When the client did, our static and pixel-perfect design turned into a battlefield.

That’s because it’s not the client’s job to arrange his content. It’s yours.

It’s your job to understand what the client does for a living and arrange the content for him. You don’t have to create the content from scratch but you need to be willing to work with what the client provides.

If your client gives you ugly pictures, edit them, crop them or look for better ones. If the only content you receive is a paper brochure, then it’s good enough… Trim the content, re-write it, find the keywords, optimized it.

The content you created doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, almost all our clients change the copy once they get access to their admin. But it’s much easier for them to change a few words on from a body of text than to write something from a blank page.

The days of lorem ipsum days are long gone, especially with a tool like Squarespace where the content is the design.

Just because you clients isn’t able to provide you with ready-to-copy-paste content doesn’t mean the quality of your final product must be impacted.

Conclusion

Building and selling Squarespace websites requires a different approach to sales and client relationship management. Because the budget, the expectations and the deliverables are different, you need to adapt your sales approach and keep this 3 things in mind:

  • Make sure Squarespace is the best solution for your client.
  • Don’t sell your time. Sell the end product.
  • Don’t make the client work.

This is post 3 of a 4-part blog post series about Squarespace. Read the introduction post here and the next post about why you need to start selling Squarespace websites now

Also, make sure to check out Marker.io, a visual feedback tool for web professionals

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