One of the reasons you hear people telling you to focus on fewer things in your life is because when you do, you find ways to get more from less. When you spend more time specializing you become more and more of an expert. Being an expert results in great pay, industry recognition, and the ability to choose who you work with. This has direct implications for the value you can provide the world and the compensation you receive.
What does this have to do with getting more from a website design company? Well, does your website design company take everything it can from every client while meeting their needs and providing great value? Do you provide long term service contracts? Do you also run a hosting business? Do you also refer them for technology purchases?
See? There are some opportunities here that you can leverage to make more from the websites you’re already building. If the lifetime value of a client is based on the number of new websites they need, or the number of modifications they need after you lock them in to customized technology, then you’re really missing out.
Here are some ideas for what you can do to up lifetime customer value of your website design company:
- Run a web hosting company (or at least become a hosting affiliate)
- Provide internet marketing & SEO services
- Providing writing services
- Provide IT consulting and “technology guru” services
- Setup an affiliate system with your client, to help them generate business for you
Lets cover each in a little more detail.
Web Hosting Company
If you’re already internet savvy enough to be creating websites for clients then you are also savvy enough to be running a hosting company. Why would you do this? Well, with a hosting company your clients can get more of what they want form one place and you get more lifetime value. Here are the key value changes:
- Recurring income from monthly hosting payments
- Ability to continue interacting with your client after the website is delivered
- Ability to bundle hosting with the website and add value or lock-in more clients
Jeff uses and recommends ResellerClub.com as a hosting company platform. Their plans include an auto-provisioning platform and automatic billing for your customers.
Tip: If you don’t want to go this far you should at least refer your customers to a hosting company that you are an affiliate of. I personally use HostGator as an affiliate referral.
Internet Marketing And SEO Services
By adding these services to your offering you can help clients one time or on an ongoing basis. The ongoing part is really what you’re going for since SEO and marketing improvements often take time to realize. Maybe you provide a combination of forums engagement, link building, and press engagement. This extra service offering is about:
- Increasing lifetime value
- Generating more recurring monthly clients
- Having more ways to work with your clients over time
- Having the ability to bundle services to differentiate your company
Content Writing Services
If you’re going to build websites you might as well offer to write for your clients too. Some will want new page layouts and new content on their pages. Some of them will do it themselves and others will be very happy that you offer this help to them.
Also, if you’re doing SEO or Internet Marketing then including periodic writing and new-style writing will be very helpful as you work to improve the search engine position and awareness in their customer base.
IT Consulting and Technology Guru Services
Small businesses and non-profits generally do not have anyone on staff with strong technology and internet research skills. This means that simple IT work on their computers, phones, website, and other online tools is just not something they know how to do. You can provide monthly, hourly, or one-time services contracts to your website clients if they fit the size and skill limitations that make this a good fit.
Benefits of providing Technology Guru services:
- Greater lifetime value
- Possibility for recurring income
- Ability to make additional money from referrals and affiliate programs based on your client’s needs
Client Referral Program
This is a little twist on the lifetime value increase we’re working to improve. In this case what you add to your business is a referral kickback where when your current clients referr a new client they get a lead commission or a client commission. This doesn’t exactly help you with the lifetime value of the client you already have but it does get your best customers marketing for you… and that is golden. You can provide services credit to your existing client or simply write them a check.
If you want help getting any of these setup be sure to let me know.