Are you looking to shift your services from primarily branding and design to web design as your main service?

If so, are you worried that you’ll lose most of your ongoing work and all your existing clients?

Fine questions and fears my friend. I understand.

As someone who came from the graphic and print design world before dipping my toes into web design, I remember those feelings well.

I also remember hanging onto my “not-so-profitable” design services for WAAAAAAAY too long until finally making the leap to making web design my sole service and focus.

And you know what happened? My biz exploded and I was able to scale to 6-figures consistently.

Now, I do think there’s a time and place for branding/design and website services because they go hand in hand. And if you’re content with doing both 50/50, awesome. More power to ya.

But if you’re ready to make the transition from brand strategies to web designer, this podcast episode is for you.

It’s my top strategies that I used personally and that I’ve helped many of my students implement to make this vital pivot in their business.

P.S. You likely won’t lose many clients and better yet, you can use this opportunity to upsell your new web design services by going full on websites

Listen to find out how 🙂

In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
01:34 – The reason why
02:09 – 1) Secondary Service
05:22 – Make it premium
08:00 – Don’t advertise
09:52 – 2) Phase it out
11:57 – Put limitations
12:18 – Time constraints
13:57 – Partner with others
15:23 – 3) Remove completely
16:10 – Alert clients
16:39 – An upsell opportunity
18:09 – Referrals
21:24 – Final recap
22:19 – Bonus tip

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #202 Full Transcription

[00:00:00] Josh: Hello friends. Welcome into the podcast. It’s just me here with you in this one. This is episode 202, where I wanna share some tips. Some strategies and some advice for going from branding and design services to web design.

[00:00:17] Josh: The reason I wanna make this a podcast episode is I have found myself over the last probably at least six months to maybe a year repeating these same things over and over and over and over again. And one thing I’ve learned in my journey as an online entrepreneur is if you have to repeat yourself over and over.

[00:00:35] Josh: Make it a piece of content, make it a podcast episode, make it a blog post, make it a video, whatever. Um, I think this is really common and I know that I’m repeating myself on this topic because so many of you. Come from a branding and design background, and you’re looking to make web design your primary service.

[00:00:54] Josh: So if that’s you, I think this episode is gonna be right down your alley, cuz I’m gonna share my top three main recommendations for how to do this successfully. This is based off of what I learned. And if you don’t know, I came from a graphic design and print design background. Then eventually I eased in web design as a part of my services.

[00:01:13] Josh: And once I learned web design, well, I made that my main service. And then eventually I phased out graphic and branding and, and design services completely. And I just did website design. So maybe that’s you, maybe you’re headed that direction or in some cases, maybe you are. Taking more and more website projects on and you just want to have a healthy balance of the two.

[00:01:34] Josh: I think this is gonna help as well. So this, these, these top three tips that I’m about to share. Or from my personal experience. And I think what’s interesting. And the reason I end up repeating myself with a lot of these tips and recommendations is I have so many students who either are going through this right now, or have recently gone through it and have done a really good job.

[00:01:55] Josh: So the things I’m also gonna mention are things that I’ve seen. Some of my students do to really great success that I’m happy to pass on to you as a listener of the show. So my top three main tips for going brand strategists and, and graphic design into web design.

1) Make it a Secondary Service

[00:02:09] Josh: First off, if you want web design to be your main service, the good news, you do not have to make a massive change in your business. You do not have to make a RA, a brash decision and go cold Turkey, no more design services, just web design. You can, you can cut out branding and graphic design if you want to, but we’ll get to that later on. I do not recommend generally doing that right away. What I recommend tip number one is to make your branding services, a secondary service.

[00:02:41] Josh: And practically, literally how you can do that is on your website, make your like top three services website related. So I always recommend in the, in regards to web design to have three main buckets of services, which would be what, this is something I teach to my business course, which is build, maintain, and grow build would be website design.

[00:03:06] Josh: Maintain would be hosting and maintenance and grow would be any other services that you use to help your clients grow their business with their website, like email marketing, social media, SEO, et cetera. Now, if you are doing branding. In a lot of cases that will be in the build bucket if it is a main service.

[00:03:25] Josh: But again, we wanna kind of get out of the, the service of branding as one of your main services in this case. And that’s the best way to do it is not to put it in your main service offerings. What I recommend doing is have your top three main services be web design related. And then number two, uh, the, the second section down I should say is to have like secondary or ancillary services.

[00:03:49] Josh: This is where you can put your branding services because I’m very well aware. That branding and web design go very hand in hand. Sometimes I guarantee you as a branding, strategist or designer, when you’re working on a brand package for a client, I know nine times outta 10, cuz I experienced this myself as a graphic designer that clients are asking you like this looks great.

[00:04:13] Josh: Thank you so much. Can you build my website or do you know somebody who can build my. I understand that that’s really common. And these two go hand in hand, but branding and design services of all kinds are very different than website stuff. However, they do compliment each other. Like there’s nothing worse than building a website with a client with a terrible brand.

[00:04:36] Josh: I know that very well. So there are some times where having it as a secondary service could be really beneficial. Now I got a couple other like SubT tips under this idea of making it a secondary service, like practically number one is to have web design, like your top three main buckets of services up there, your secondary services.

[00:04:57] Josh: That’s where branding can come in. And actually I have a, a couple students doing this right now, where they came from graphic design and branding, and they’ve done exactly this to great effect, main services, web design related secondary services. Are your branding are your style guide? It’s logo, design it’s graphic design, print design, and those are secondary services. So that’s the, the most practical tip is to make it a secondary service.

[00:05:22] Josh: However, you kind of need to go one step further if you truly wanna phase it out. And there’s a couple different things you can do here with the idea of a secondary service. One thing you can do. Is make it a premium service, meaning you just raise your rates dramatically.

[00:05:38] Josh: So if you’re charging, I don’t know what typical branding packages are going for these days, but if you charge on average $2,500 for a branding package, Then maybe you make it $5,000, like double your pricing for your branding services. Why? Because you want to take less clients doing your branding services.

[00:05:58] Josh: It doesn’t mean that you need to turn everyone away, but it just means that this service, because it is not your main service anymore, it’s, there’s really no harm or foul with this. There’s the, the liability is not on you when, and that, I guess the truth. The ball is kind of in your court and you have all the power with a secondary service because it’s not gonna make or break your business.

[00:06:19] Josh: So why not charge premium for it? You’ll get less clients taking it. But I sure as heck know how time consuming graphic design and print design was and logo design. And I only did full branding guides partially throughout a season of my business. And I had help with that. So if you are gonna take those services on still, while you grow web design, you almost have to make it a premium service.

[00:06:40] Josh: You have to focus on quality. Over quantity, you cannot take on a ton of brand new clients and take on a ton of web design clients. It’s just too much, especially if it’s a one guy or one gal shop. It is just it’s too much. Even if you have attorney a team, sometimes it can be tricky having a ton of different standard operating procedures and different sets of services.

[00:07:01] Josh: Yes. They marry with one another, but my recommendation is to make that a premium service. So again, you might get less clients, but in some cases it can work out really well. If you have a website design, but the brand is maybe established, but it just doesn’t look great. And they’re interested in a revised logo and a new color palette and new brand style guides.

[00:07:20] Josh: Then they may be very open to go into a premium branding service. And you could always give a discount. You could always give like a package deal where you say, okay, in this build phase, we’re gonna do your new website. And since we’ve talked branding, I do have branding services. Since you’re a web design customer, we’re gonna lump this in together.

[00:07:37] Josh: You’ll. Say 20% off or something like that. You could 100% make it a premium service. So you take less clients on doing that, but it is more worth your while. And the old 80 20% rule, those 20% of your clients are paying 80% of your income and your revenue. That’s exactly what you’ll find here. Quality over quantity. If you make it a premium service with the idea of a secondary service.

[00:08:00] Josh: The other option here, the last point on this main point of number one, a secondary service is if you get to the point where you’re getting too many inquiries about it, or if you just really don’t want to advertise that you do this, just hide it. It’s the beautiful thing about web design, because if you were to make like back in the day, when I made a brochure of my services for my design agency, I had all my services on this like flyer and a brochure. And then if I ever changed my services or wanted to hide it as kind of a plan B or fallback type service, I had to get new brochures.

[00:08:35] Josh: But with a website, you could just take it off your menu. You could literally hide your branding services. And if it is ranking on Google, then you can just de index that page from the search engines. And there you go. You can literally hide services that you wanna be a secondary service. That way you can bring them up if needed. It’s kind of as a, as needed basis.

[00:08:57] Josh: So if you’re working with a client, great company, maybe, but terrible brand, you might say, or maybe they ask you, like, I feel like we need a new logo, then you can say, well, good news. It’s not something that we advertise, but we actually do help out with that and we can lump it in with this build and. Since you’re an awesome client here. We’ll discount this service for you and here’s the deliverables, blah, blah, blah. But again, it’s just an as an ad as needed basis.

[00:09:23] Josh: So did number one, make it a secondary service practically, just put it literally as a second line item of services with any other ancillary services that you wanna phase out. You can make it a premium service, so you’ll take less clients on doing it, but you’ll get paid more. You’ll probably be more profitable that way anyway. And you’ll probably say, dang it, I should have done that, you know, three years ago. And then you can also just hide it. Literally just hide that page, keep it bookmarked, or have it in, uh, your back pocket for when you need it.

2) Phase it out

[00:09:52] Josh: But that leads us to number two, this kind of goes into when you’re, you’re phasing it out and you really have to number two here, limit what you do. You have got to limit what you do. So number two, phase it out. Um, in order to start phasing, any type of services out secondary services, you generally have to adjust the service itself.

[00:10:16] Josh: Now you can keep the same service, make it premium and hide it, but those are still gonna be time consuming projects more often than not, especially if it’s branding again, I’m very empathetic to how long branding takes. So for those of you who are like mm-hmm yep. Takes way longer than the client thinks it’s gonna take.

[00:10:34] Josh: And, uh, maybe a lot of web designers. Treat it fairly and give it enough credit where credit is due. I will tell you, uh, I understand, I understand how much work goes into braining. It’s kinda like my wife, who’s a stay at home mom. A lot of people don’t respect and understand how much work stay at home moms do. Until you as a working person, stays home all day with toddlers. And after one day you’re exhausted and you’re like, oh my gosh, how do, how do they do it? How do they do it day in and day out? I say all that to say, I’m very empathetic.

[00:11:05] Josh: Tell how much work branding is, but that leads me to this idea of phasing it out. And that means if you were going to phase it out, you gotta limit what you do. So practically what we just talked about making, making it a premium service, hiding it, and even making it a secondary service. That’s technically the start of phasing it out. But practically you gotta look at the service offering itself and you have to say, what am I going to cut out? And how can I adjust my offer?

[00:11:32] Josh: So it is more productized and it’s saving me time each time we do it. So if you’re doing branding. Your branding packages include a style guide, consultations, color, palettes fonts, typography, logo, design, all the things you might wanna reel it in to just focus on, say logo, design, and color palette, or maybe typography, which is gonna transition into web design potentially.

[00:11:57] Josh: Whatever you’re doing in your branding packages limit what you do. If you can productize it in some way. Awesome. There’s so many ways you can productize any service. Just go to Josh and type in productizing. And there’s a bunch of episodes. About how to productize web design services and technically branding and, and graphic design services.

[00:12:18] Josh: But you really have got to put constraints and limitations on what you are willing to do. And in some cases you need to literally phase those services out. Like for example, when I was doing print design and logo design, I did all the print design. I did like InDesign booklets, which were really time consuming.

[00:12:39] Josh: Um, like I literally did like pamphlet design and like small book designs. Basically. I was doing door hangers. I was doing business cards and brochures. I was doing flyers. Oh, flyers. I was doing postcards, which actually, I, I like doing a lot of postcards, but then with postcards, you gotta make room for where the stamp goes in the mail, that kind of stuff.

[00:13:01] Josh: Like there were a lot of things I was doing. And then what I realized is I looked at all my print design services. And I realized two things. The most important thing I did was like the most profitable thing were business cards in brochures because business cards usually led to website design jobs, and then brochures usually lasted a long time. And for whatever reason, Clients were generally willing to invest a lot more in brochure designs than they were like a flyer or postcard, which makes sense, because you’re likely gonna use brochures to sell products and stuff. So I realized that I also realized that I like designing those more than anything else.

[00:13:36] Josh: I did not love doing door hangers. I did not love doing flyers for obvious reasons, but brochures and business cards I kept. So what I did was I limited what I offered in my print design. And if they wanted door hangers, I would just say, I’m actually not doing that anymore. I solely do business cards, brochures, um, but here’s somebody who could ha could help out with that.

[00:13:57] Josh: And that kind of leads us to another subpoint of phasing this out. And that is to partner up with somebody. Now this is different than referring out completely. Which we’ll get to in, in the, the third step here. But what you can do is things that you are gonna cut out. Try to make connections with people who can serve your clients in those areas, because that way you can still get a client, you can still do what you wanna do.

[00:14:22] Josh: And you can partner up with somebody who does the door hangers, or who does flyer designer, maybe, you know, a junior graphic designer somewhere. I mean, you could always do it in your business, but just remember if you take it on in your business, if you have to invoice it out, it’s just gonna be more work on you. It’s almost more worthwhile if it’s a not very profitable service that you don’t want to do, just get it off your table, completely partner up with somebody who could do that kind of thing. There are so many options for you.

[00:14:49] Josh: I guarantee you right in your local area or your online communities, you’re a part of where you can partner up with somebody who’s gonna do the work that you don’t ideally wanna do. So those are some tips on how to literally phase it out, limit what you do. Again, we’ve already kind of laid the groundwork at making it a secondary service, raising your rates on it, hiding it. If you want start to phase it. Start to limit what you are willing to do. Start to limit the actual services that are inside that, and then partner up with somebody to, to do the rest. If you don’t want to, to do everything there or stuff that you wanna start to get off your table.

3) Remove the Service Completely

[00:15:23] Josh: And then the third final tip here is helping you cut it out completely. Again, I don’t necessarily recommend unless for whatever reason you’re very comfortable with doing so I don’t recommend cutting out completely often because I find that it can burn bridges with clients.

[00:15:41] Josh: Like if you’re working with a client, you did their branding, you did all their print, design and graphic design. And then all of a sudden they want to come to you for another project and like, oh, I don’t do that anymore. Sorry. Um, it just doesn’t go over well, typically, but if you say we’re kind of tightening up our services and we’re removing some things, but we will still do graphic design for certain things, or we still do logo design that will generally help you kind of in that second period of, of phasing it out.

[00:16:10] Josh: But. When it comes to cutting out completely what I would say is this is generally the time where you’ve let most of your clients know, or all of your Brandy clients know that this is something that’s been on the back burner and that you are making some changes. And if that’s the case, let your clients know cool thing is, is when you phase out a service and when you stop a service, guess what this opens the door for.

[00:16:37] Josh: Can you take a guess? I’m waiting.

[00:16:39] Josh: Yeah, you got it. You can open up the doors for a new service. This is the perfect time for an upsell. And I hate using the word upsell, cuz I don’t want you to come across salesy, but I want you to put yourself in the shoes of a client. And if you are going to stop a service, you don’t necessarily just wanna say by the way, I’m not doing branding anymore.

[00:17:01] Josh: Buy see you later. Let them know I’m not doing branding anymore because. I’m putting my attention into this. Website design maintenance and growth helping you grow your online business. Uh, one of my students, John, with graphic kitchen, uh, John, if you’re listening to this episode, you are such an inspiration for how to do this well, because I’ve seen John literally go from 90% graphic and print services and he is like flip flopped.

[00:17:28] Josh: He’s gone to now barely doing any graphic design and mostly all web design service. It was not easy. It took some courage from his, his, uh, his side of things. And it took some, hopefully some good coaching for me as a part of my web design club. Cause I told him, this is how I did it. Basically just regur hitting this episode.

[00:17:46] Josh: Um, and now he is able to let his clients know that he’s not doing much graphic design. These are the few things he’s doing. But the reason he’s cutting stuff out is because web design has made is made new thing. So if you cut something out, if you phase it out dramatically or cut it out, completely make sure you leave room for the upsell. Say, I’m cutting this out because boom, this is my new thing.

[00:18:09] Josh: And then finally, when it comes to getting rid of your branding services, the biggest biggest thing I can recommend you do is follow up on the idea of partner re partnering with somebody and refer those things out. So even, especially if your clients are used to you being a brand designer or brand strategist or a graphic designer, you will likely still get referrals from people for a very long time.

[00:18:35] Josh: I remember when I cut out my, uh, print design services, I still got. Oh, man. I got so many referrals from clients, even though I let most of my good clients know with the changes, I was still getting referrals sometimes from people from years ago, they were like, Hey Josh, I’ve got a friend. You know, you designed my business card three years ago, I got a friend’s company.

[00:18:56] Josh: They want new business cards. Can you do ’em? And I have to say, I’m actually not doing business cards anymore, but I’ve made this connection with this gal locally, who does an awesome job. Here you go. She’ll take care of. Yes. It might be a little administrative on your time, on your, on your side when you’re in a transition, but it will be so worthwhile.

[00:19:15] Josh: And when you make the well, couple reasons why it’s worthwhile one, it makes you look awesome and it makes you look like you’re somebody who’s helpful when you have a network, which is so powerful. You wanna know a really underrated trick in business, be a connector and have connections. How do you make connections?

[00:19:34] Josh: You help and you meet people and you refer them business. That’s. That is the golden rule of business. You heard it here on the web design business podcast, refer things out, partner up with people. And again, you don’t, that doesn’t mean partnering up doesn’t mean that you need to like invoice for projects yourself and keep it under your brand.

[00:19:50] Josh: I’m talking about referrals completely. And whether you wanna work out a referral partnership to get a kickback, that’s up to you. It’s not my personal style. I’d rather just refer it out because what’s really good is if you make connection. And a lot of different partnerships and connections with brand strategists and graphic designers, guess who they are gonna refer their clients to when they need a website, you, yes.

[00:20:14] Josh: You just got it. You will start getting referrals like that. So this is like, when people ask me how to get clients, there’s so many different ways. This is a prime example of how to get clients refer, workout that you don’t wanna do anymore, or that you’re phasing outta your business. And if you come to a place where you’re just free, you know, giving out clients to other people, they will take note of that.

[00:20:36] Josh: And they’ll be like, man, Josh and his team, they’ve referred us a lot of work. I don’t wanna take on this website project. Let’s give it to them. People will do. And it really all starts with you referring things out to qualified people who you think will be a good fit for your clients. And again, if you are a resource, it elevates you to just be a connector, which is so powerful these days, especially online, where clients are just desperate for working with people who they know, like and trust.

[00:21:04] Josh: So. Refer it out. So, so valuable now there’s, there’s one final bonus tip. I wanna give you which most people struggle with. I know John who I mentioned earlier, we kind of talked about this. Um, I’m gonna get to this tip, uh, next, but I wanna just recap this real quick. So my three main tips and I’ve, I kind of messed up my notes a little bit, so lemme make sure I get this straight.

[00:21:24] Josh: Number one, make it a secondary service up your rates, make it a premium service. And if you wanna hide it completely and put it in your back pocket for an as needed basis, go. Number two is to start phasing it out. Secondary service is kind of what you’ve already started doing, but you’ve got to limit the service itself.

[00:21:42] Josh: Well, you gotta limit what you do as far as your services, then you need to put constraints and limitation on your services that you are gonna keep going with for a while. And then finally partner up with somebody who is gonna be able to help with a lot of those services you’re looking to off board completely.

[00:21:57] Josh: And then three, when you are ready to cut stuff out completely. You have got to ideally let your clients know and be just really real about why, but use it as an upsell. Cut it out, use it as an upsell and then refer it. Don’t be afraid to just refer out to even competitors who do those services that you don’t wanna do anymore. So, so powerful.

[00:22:19] Josh: And then finally, my bonus tip, because John went through this, I went through this, I know a lot of other students of mine have, have kind of gone through this. And that is a bit of a, um, a personality like identity crisis. And we actually just talked about this recently was that we look back.

[00:22:36] Josh: Was it 1 97 where I talked with Sarah Massey? No, no, no. I think it was 1 99. Let me double check here. I’m looking at my podcast. I just had Sarah Massey, who is, uh, who is known as the day eight gal. Oh, it was 1 98. That’s right. So go back to 1 98, if you have not listened to this, because we talked about how to transition into a new business model or a new role in your business, because there comes a identity shift where you’re just known as a graphic designer, or you might be known as a brand strategist.

[00:23:11] Josh: I talked with a lot of my students about this and I had to resonate with them and say, listen, I get, like, I remember so well, Being the business card guy. I just, for a while I did print design and graphic design, and I was like the go-to guy for business cards in my network for a long time. Once I became much more known for web design, the biggest thing I had to do, you wanna know that?

[00:23:31] Josh: Honestly, the biggest thing I did is I adjusted my title. I went from Josh, your designer to Josh, your website designer. Sometimes, if your role, like sometimes you forget to change your role and by role, I mean, on your about page, if you have a founder’s note on your homepage, if you have something in your email signature, you, you probably need to get new business cards. If you’re going to networking events and stuff, you’ve gotta change your title.

[00:23:59] Josh: So whatever service you’re making, prevalent known, make sure it’s out there on all your things and change your title. You are no longer. Jim, the graphic designer or Sally, the brand strategist. You are Sally, the web strategist website, strategist, or Jim, the web designer or creative director, whatever your role is in your business. So you literally have to change your personal title.

[00:24:25] Josh: You will heads up, go through likely an identity crisis. You’re not, it doesn’t mean you’re gonna be wildly depressed and in up under a bridge somewhere, but you will probably have some weird moments of like, oh my gosh, I’m not the graphic design guy anymore. And then you’re gonna feel some imposter syndrome, but don’t worry. You can backtrack through a lot of episodes on the podcast that I’ve done on imposter syndrome. Um, hopefully this will be a good resource for you. But you gotta adjust your title.

[00:24:51] Josh: You literally have to become kind of a new evolved version of yourself as a business owner and all those things combined, secondary service, phasing things out, and then eventually cutting out your service. That’ll help you as you go from branding and design to website services as your main service.

[00:25:09] Josh: So. I hope you found this helpful. If it, if this episode has helped two things I would ask of you, that would be so beneficial. Number one, please consider leaving a podcast review. Um, if this episode resonate with you, or if you’ve been liking the podcast as a whole, you can go to Josh review to do that.

[00:25:28] Josh: It would mean the world to me. And what I would say is if you are in the branding realm and you know, somebody who is going through this, please consider sharing this episode with. It would, it would be awesome. Be an honor for me to be able to give them some tips here. I would love to get this message out far and wide going from branding to web design.

[00:25:47] Josh: Maybe I’ll make this a video that we could share out. Maybe I’ll make it a workshop. One. I don’t know who knows what this podcast framework could be, but I really, really have a heart for helping people with this because it’s the path that I came from going from graphic design and print design. And I will tell you, I kept those services for way too long.

[00:26:06] Josh: And then I realized one day never forget it I’m working on this $200 business card and I’ve got like several $5,000 websites on the side and I’m like, I can’t even start those websites cuz I’m working on this freaking $200 business card. Whereas if somebody would’ve told me, you need to phase that out, you need to put the systems and processes into place to get that off your table. So you can work on those big projects and make web design remain service. I would’ve. To uh, place in my business at six figures, way sooner than I did.

[00:26:35] Josh: So that’s my heart for you. That’s my hope, uh, and message for this episode that gets out there. So consider sharing it. If you’re in a group or you’ve been through this yourself, and I’d love to hear your thoughts, you can hit, you can go to the show notes, go to Josh 2 0 2. Leave me a comment. I do read all my podcast comments on there. So leave me a comment and Hey, if you think I left something out, that’s super important. Let me know. Maybe I’ll just do a follow episode and, uh, bring your point in there.

[00:27:01] Josh: I hope you’ve enjoyed this. Thank you for listening as always. Can’t wait to see ya next week on the next episode. And if I can tell you just to keep on chugging on keep, keep going forever. Who, whoever needs to hear this. If you’re in a place where you just need to hear somebody tell you, just keep going, build that momentum. Don’t stop. Maybe you’re in a dry season. Maybe you’re at a point where you’re like, ah, is web design really worth it?

[00:27:23] Josh: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes. Web design is so needed all over the world. Every industry, every business, everybody needs help online and you can be the one to do it for so many people and you can make an awesome income and you can build a life you love. So, anyway. All right, we’ll cut that one off now. Thanks for listening. See you on the next episode.

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