Wondering all the ways you can make money as a web designer?
In this video/post, I’m sharing 6 profitable revenue streams to consider adding to your web design business!
Most the ideas I’ll be sharing today are meant to compliment and scale your current 1:1 services…
But if you are still struggling to land clients, or have yet to even really get started in your business, I’d love for you to hit pause, and take my 45 second quiz for designers to learn which client finding method matches your personality type.
Get personalized results delivered straight to your inbox, and discover the strategy that will have you attracting clients with ease.
Maybe your current web design services look like this…
Your client brings the brand, the copy, and the photos, and you get to work marrying them all together in one beautiful, cohesive website design.
This in itself is a complete business model, and if it brings you joy, and you have no trouble consistently filling your books with clients you love, then there’s really no need to go fixing what isn’t broke, right?
But if you’ve ever dreamed of being able to charge more for your packages, or you wish you had more creative control over the projects you are taking on, then these add-on services may be just what you need!
I’ll start by talking about the add-ons that relate specifically to the creation of their website, though I’ll also share some other complimentary services to be considering later in this video/post.
Coming up with the actual words that will go on each page of the website.
Brand design services
Creating any logos, color palettes, font pairings, moodboards, and custom graphic design elements that will set the overall vibe for their site design. You might choose to offer matching social media graphics to help them shout out about their new site.
Brand photography or professional photo-sourcing services
I can almost hear the collective eye-roll of web designers all around the world when I talk about low-quality client photos and just how much they affect the finished design.
You can be the best designer in the world, but if your client gives you grainy, low-quality, or just plain cheesy photos to work with, nothing you can do our design is going to make that website look good.
Nobody wants to have their name on an embarrassing website, so if you’re constantly running into this issue, turn it into a service! Whether you choose to source them from professional stock photographers, or learn brand photography for yourself, you’ll be guaranteed to have better looking content to work with and you’ve just added a legit way to increase the price of your packages!
Clients will love that you are a one-stop shop, and you won’t be relying on other parties to get you the content you need to get building their site!
A few more ideas that relate less to their website and more to business in general might be to offer business coaching, social media management, content creation, sales funnel design, and email marketing strategy.
Not everyone needs a new site build from scratch! You’ve got a whole sea of people out there who are all about bootstrapping their businesses, and DIY’ing their way to launch-day.
Chances are, these same people will run into things they know they desperately need on their site, but are simply outside their wheelhouse, or will take too long to learn for themselves.
This is where you come in with your designer-for-a-day type service.
For 8 hours, your clients will have unlimited access to a site-building pro so they can finally put the finishing touches on their project.
These VIP days do mean having to be a bit of a Jill of all trades, as the sticking points people will be coming to you with will range greatly from SEO, to custom coding, to writing their home page copy, to designing a killer sales page for their new product or service.
Clients tend to come with some pretty lofty goals in mind, so it’s important to establish in advance what it is you can realistically accomplish in those 8 hours, but it’s a wonderful way to help your clients experience some quick wins in their business, and fill your calendar with predictable extra income!
Your clients look to you as the go-to expert on all things web design. Why not use that hard-earned knowledge to offer paid 1:1 consultation calls and website audits?
What’s the difference between a consult and an audit?
With a consult, you are usually coming on board before they get started with their website, helping them to come up with a solid game plan for getting their business up and running online.
Whereas with a website audit, you are taking their current website and kindly picking it apart to point out all the ways they are leaving sales on the table with their current design.
The best part?
A great deal of those clients are going to be so impressed by what you were able to bring to the table, they may end up just hiring you to design their site after all instead of implementing those suggestions on their own.
Have a software or service you are constantly recommending to your clients? Find a way to become an affiliate!
Whether you are pointing clients to your favorite source for their website terms & conditions, scheduling softwares, email marketing softwares, or even to Squarespace itself, you might as well make a few bucks in the process.
It’s not a get-rich-quick plan by any means, but you’d be surprised how quickly those affiliate earnings can add up, or at least help you pay for your own subscriptions with those same companies!
Referral fees are another fabulous way to earn extra income in your web design business.
Maybe you love the idea of being able to offer it all in your business, but if you are being honest, copywriting and brand design just aren’t your jam and you know your clients would be better off working with someone else on those aspects of their site.
Find a pro who’s work you trust and collab with them to set up some sort of referral fee program.
You earn a fee for each potential client you send their way that ends up booking their services, and chances are, their branding or copy clients will also be needing a website and will be happy to return the favor of referring them to you!
When you think of passive income for designers, digital products are usually what come to mind!
And while doing the work of creating the product in the first place is anything but passive, many products can be sold infinity times without creating much if any additional work for yourself.
So for designers this could look like selling Squarespace templates, e-books, industry-related guides or mini-courses, copywriting templates, social media or branded pdf templates and more.
One thing to note about digital products is that you do need an audience to sell to.
It’s not like offering 1:1 services where you can go out and find a few clients, then rinse and repeat when you find you have space in your calendar again.
You need to have people lined up, primed and ready to purchase your thing.
So how do you do that?
The most successful digital product creators also tend to be super committed content creators.
By consistently creating valuable free content around their niche topic, they are attracting the people who are most likely to be interested in their paid product.
Another way creating free content can help you add new revenue streams to your web design business is to monetize your content through Ads!
This could look like:
allowing YouTube to play ads before or during your videos
signing up for pay-per-click ad programs for your blog where companies can use the words in your content to link to their own relevant products, or include complete ads in side your post
reaching out to other companies to let them know about advertising and sponsorship opportunities on your podcast, YouTube channel, or blog and including a partnership page on your website
Like digital products, this revenue stream requires a larger audience to work, as your sponsors and advertisers will want to know you have enough traffic and the right kind of traffic before paying to advertise on your platform.
So those are just a few ideas for how you can earn money online as a freelance web designer!
I definitely recommend getting confident with 1:1 design services to start, as much of what you’ll need to know to make these other revenue stream ideas work will come from just doing, and from practicing designing actual sites.
Plus, it can take a while for these other ideas to start generating income, so unless you have a pretty decent savings packed away, you will want to know that you have consistent client income coming in to tide you over while you build your empire.
If you need help with finding clients and booking our your current service packages before getting started with any of these new ideas, then don’t forget to get your personalized marketing strategy delivered to you by taking the 45 second quiz I created just for new and aspiring designers!