What’s the difference between a zero-figure and a six-figure web design business? Find out here.
Uncover seven critical steps to set the right foundation for your creative empire. From choosing a name to packaging and pricing – this is your one-stop-blog to kickstart your new brand.
As a budding web designer, every fiber of your soul just wants to create. I *so* get it.
Building a business from the ground up? With all the legal stuff? And the onboarding processes? Snooze. It’s enough to suck your creative soul dry.
But getting your brand right from the start is a badass CEO move. Those with an expensive hobby might jump right in, but you’re going to scale an empire – and there are seven things you need to ensure you can do it.
Setting your foundation right from the start means you can expand worry-free (and maybe even on autopilot), with the systems, automation, and processes to cover your ass and your growth.
→ The seven must-follow steps to building a rock-solid web design business
→ Where to next
→ Reduce headaches down the track
→ Prevent costly mistakes, especially the legal and financial ones
→ Ensure you work as efficiently as possible
→ Create a well-planned, thoughtful brand you love, with the flexibility to grow as you do
Picking a brand name.
You’ve got tons of ideas and your circle loves them all. The only problem is, you’ve got to decide on JUST one you’ll be happy to remain committed to for years to come.
Do you go for your own name? Or establish a super creative company? Longer the better? Or short and sweet?
|NAME TYPE||CHARACTERISTICS AND ADVANTAGES|
I recommend starting with your name. This allows for massive expansion, with the opportunity to launch additional brands and passive offers from there.
Above all? Just be sure to make it:
2. Secure your business domain
You’ve finally decided on your dream six-figure web design business name – and it’s every bit as dreamy and bold and ‘utterly you’ as you’d hoped. But what if someone else has already claimed it? Before you starting owning your name, you’ll need to secure the domain and account handles for it first!
Having the exact domain and consistent account names across ALL social media is a crucial step for both you your clients. I mean, imagine someone else going viral under your brand name? Hot tip: Secure the name on every platform – even the ones you don’t plan on using just yet! You never know what the future holds for your marketing strategy.
Follow this checklist to make sure you don’t miss a platform:
Get those names on-lock ASAP, babe.
It’s time to have that talk, girl. The admin one.
The boring but oh so important stuff that financially and legally protects you and your clients. Contracts can make or break for a six-figure web design business, and as the powerful CEO you are, you already know how important it is to cover your butt.
Because while you can hope and pray you never encounter a dodgy client or nasty financial dispute, having watertight documents is the only way to protect what you’ve built.
Registering as an LLC detaches you from your business and ensures your personal assets will be protected in the event you have a rough financial year. It’s best to meet with an expert to discuss your state’s process, your individual requirements, and your financial goals.
This is the Tax Identification Number you’ll use when setting up PayPal or Stripe so you can get that pay (legally). Like registering as an LLC, an EIN enables you to create your own entity so nothing falls under your Social Security Number.
Keep your personal and professional financial activity separate by setting up a business account at your bank. This way, you can organize and record income and expenses within the business, and keep your personal expenditure to yourself. This way, you’ll be able to pay yourself from that account, write off a lot of purchases, and fall into a lower tax bracket as a result (meaning #lesstaxmoremoney at EOFY).
Hot tip: A Lawyer is $2500. These plug-and-play, watertight business contract templates from Nicole Cheri Oden? Are far cheaper, and the ones I’ve used myself.
4. Choosing your niche
How niched is too niched? How broad is too broad?
It may offend some marketers when I say this, but there’s no real answer. Because like everything in business? You decide.
It’s good business smarts to talk to a select group of people that’s one thing I’ll agree with. We know that when you talk to everyone, you talk to no one. But niched down to the same gender or industry? That’s not always necessary.
From the outset, my own six-figure online web design business, BoldxBoho, appears to serve an un-niched community from mindset coaches to dog walkers. But there’s a golden thread connecting them all – their values, struggles, and dreams.
Best tips for finding your niche audience:
5. Online web design packages and pricing strategy
When I first started BoldxBoho, I had no idea what to charge! I was charging $2000, making $12 an hour, because I was spending so long underpromising, overdelivering, working myself to the bone to make sure every site was perfect. Don’t let that be you.
Instead, do this to work out your pricing strategy
Next, develop three packages to keep it simple for you and your clients.
I recommend you structure your package suite like this:
One base-level service, such as branding or template customization
A VIP day or non-custom design turned around quickly.
Branding strategy and design, tailored to the client
Make your offers and packages unique from everyone else! What’s that extra bit of value you can provide over another web designer? From saving them time (eg. a VIP day) to a bonus strategy call, be flexible, dynamic, and competitive when tending to your clients’ needs.
As a potential client, there’s nothing like seeing a six-figure web design business walk the walk. And as a designer, there’s nothing like proving the importance quality branding and a show-stopping website.
Your brand strategy encompasses everything from your mission and values to brand voice. And while it will continue to evolve over time, having these identified from the beginning ensures every marketing and business move you make from here on out, is aligned with your bigger picture.
A rock-solid brand strategy for a six-figure web design business includes:
What are your short and long term goals for this brand? Do you want to expand your personal brand or sell as a company five years on? Get specific about numbers, results, projections and achievements you want to make happen.
What do you, your clients and your future team stand for? Center in on what beliefs, mindsets and working styles light your fire AND the ones that don’t. A vision board is perfect for this!
3. Dream client
Return to your niche. Who you want to serve and why? Map them out as a persona with interests, values and needs so you can visualize them everyday.
4. Brand experience
What does it feel like to work with you? If your brand was a person, how would they talk and move? Do you want an intimate feel or an agency vibe? A playful tone of voice or more professional?
Let this brand strategy grow with you, but above all keep it clear, consistent and recognizable always.
You can’t be a great web designer if you don’t have one yourself! Treat yourself as your first dream client and nail your design so it speaks to you and your future clients. Use this as your opportunity to showcase your skills and leave leads saying, “I want a website like yours”.
At a minimum, a six-figure website includes the following elements:
In addition to these most-haves, you could add extra value (and boost SEO) via a template shop, affiliate or resource directory, Podcast page or blog.
You can structure your site any way you like, but above all? Make it easy to navigate, transparent and so jaw-dropping you leave your dream clients screaming “I HAVE to work with you”.
You’ve just uncovered the seven crucial elements of a six-figure web design business. And once you’ve got this liston lock I promise you can achieve anything:
From the name that’ll be plastered on everything you do, to the snore-worthy legal stuff, this has been your go-to guide to creating a brand you love, babe. And when I tell you this is so integral for you and your clients, I mean it. So don’t just devour, but do. Take action, start implementing.
Further your learning and bring that six-figure web design business to life with the Wealthy Web Designer course.
Discover your step-by-step guide to achieve an impeccable brand and nail every element of your new empire.
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Your fave soulful, free-spirit designer & mentor. I'm a 24-year old web designer, podcaster, educator, and spicy-marg drinker with big ass dreams. Starting all from a Macbook air and a 560 sqft apartment, I've turned a small one woman show into a multiple six-figure design studio.
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