- Marshall Fox
6 Steps Toward a Six-Figure Wix Business
Updated: Jan 7, 2021
Making Six-Figures on Wix isn’t as hard as you may think it is. In fact, if you stop doing a lot of the things you may already be doing, it will be easier to reach that milestone. Read on for six quick tips on how to better position your Wix business as a premium service and grab more of that money that you’re leaving on the table.
1. You Must Specialize.
This is the hardest, yet most critical step in your Wix business. You have to specialize. Clearly defining your target market is a critical step in any business. You have to have a clear audience and speak their language. As web designers, it’s easy to do everything for everybody, especially when you’re looking at the dollar signs attached to it and you don’t know when the next project is coming your way. The fact of the matter is, when you specialize, you effectively eliminate a lot of your competition, making it easier to win business and have a steady flow of projects in the pipeline.
A quick example is my business, 120 Design Studio. We primarily serve Speakers, Authors, Coaches in the professional development space. If you take a look at our website, you’ll see everything from our promotional video to the copy is tailored to that audience. Do we serve clients whose businesses don’t fall in that niche? If it’s a good fit for both parties, absolutely. But we primarily highlight those in our target market.
There are countless benefits to specializing. When people in different online Professional Speaker communities ask for recommendations on the infamous, “Who does websites?” post, we’re always tagged, but so are 47 other people, right? The difference is, we’re so dialed-in to that market, we rise to the top automatically and always get the first look. Always. If they move forward with us, great! If not, I’m willing to bet they gave us a hard look compared to the others that were tagged. And in many cases, they’ll come back to us later when we least expect it and say they’ve been saving up and now they’re ready. This has also opened doors for affiliate partnerships from some professional speaker organizations. Aside from increased leads, just highlighting those partnerships on our website further drives home our specialization.
“Okay, specialize. I’ve got it. But how?”
What clients do I enjoy working with the most?
Who are my most profitable clients?
Who else serves that niche?
Google, “Web Design for _______” And see who pops up.
How crowded is that market?
Where are they found?
Online, what’s the best way to reach them?
Do they have Facebook groups?
Are they mostly on Instagram, LinkedIn, or somewhere else?
When you specialize, you automatically become the cream of the crop. If you don’t do this or fail to do this the right way you’re fighting an uphill battle. If you take the necessary time to do this right, this is the most beneficial step in clearing your path to a six-figure Wix business.
2. Do Phenomenal Work.
If you combine this is #1, it’s the perfect 1-2 punch. Specializing will get you noticed. Your work, which should speak for itself, in most instances, will seal the deal. Doing phenomenal work is a prerequisite for being able to charge more for your Wix sites. Not the other way around. When people land on your sites, do they just scream, 'DIY Builder'? You don’t want to build a site that the client could likely accomplish on their own with enough time and patience. Not if you want to get PAID. Take a look at other sites that you like. Push the limits of your creativity by trying to emulate their aesthetic. Take a look at other Wix Designers on the arena to see what they’re able to accomplish with the platform. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they’ve achieved certain functionality.
Get creative with animations but don’t overdo it. I’ve been guilty of this. Too many animations can “cheapen” the site. Use them sparingly yet thoughtfully. Get creative with the parallax feature. Something as simple as clever use of animations will drastically improve the perceived value of your work.
3. Charge More
Once you have a good handle on step #’s 2 and 3, now you can confidently and justifiably increase your rates. “But how do I charge more?” you ask. Here it is... *drumroll please*: Increase your prices. It sounds simple right? That’s because it is. I wish I could say that I’ve had the guts to do this on my own, but the truth is, I’ve been lucky enough to have a colleague who pushed me to do this and it has added thousands to the bottom line. He works for an organization in New York and he shared with me that they paid a freelance designer $50k for a site and it was nowhere near the level of quality that I was putting out on Wix. Now look, I’m not charging $50k for sites just yet but it definitely made me feel more comfortable about increasing my prices.
A good rule of thumb is, if you’re not sweating when you increase your prices, they’re probably too low. It should make you uncomfortable. Give yourself permission. There are plenty of businesses out there who have the budgets to pay your higher fees. Charging what you’re worth can be the difference between a $60k/year Wix business and a Six-Figure Wix business, affording you the opportunity to make more money with less clients, make a great living, and create opportunities for others.
4. Don’t be an “Order-Taker”
A quote I love is, “Amateurs give advice, Experts Diagnose.” In an effort to spend less time on the phone with “Tire Kickers”, I’ve been guilty of being an “order-taker” designer. A client would come to me and tell me what they need like ordering off a menu. I’d say, “Okay,” give them a price and we’d get going. But doing this has them in control from the beginning. In many cases, you run into scope creep and end up feeling like an employee vs. someone who works for themselves.
Don’t be an order-taker. Instead, position yourself as an expert. People may come to you for one thing not realizing they don’t need that or they need something else in addition to what they thought they needed. At 120 Design Studio, we’ve recently started offering Brand Strategy. We dissect the client's current brand and prescribe a solution based on our strategy session and our own research. In most cases, we’ll create their logo and digital design assets before moving into the web design. If they already have a logo and just need a website, in most cases, we'll turn that down. This has allowed us to charge double the average rate per project even though the branding piece takes less time. That’s largely due to the perceived value of both services together. It’s an entire solution versus an item off of a list.
When you position yourself as an expert, you further eliminate a lot of the potential competition that just take orders. Think about it like this. You head into a Good Burger. You know what you want to eat so you order it. If it's not exactly what you ordered, you get upset. And rightfully so. That establishment is there to give you exactly what you want. Don't be a Good Burger.
Now, think about going to visit a Doctor. You may even arrive thinking you know what your ailment is. But you let the doctor challenge your assumptions, evaluate you, give you her expert diagnosis, and prescribe a solution. You trust her because 'Doctor knows best' (and gets paid a bit more than the Good Burger employee as well). They are an expert, having spent countless years in school and practice to treat you. Be a Doctor, not an order-taker.
5. Position your business as a premium agency, even before it is.
A fellow web designer and I were discussing reasons why so many Wix designers seem to have issues landing high-paying gigs. He said, "They're walking into a Toyota dealership and designers expect them to pay $50k. But if they walk into a Lexus dealership, they won't expect to pay less than $50k." I told him that was the perfect analogy. I knew why so many Wix designers struggle but hadn't thought of it quite like that.
Stop positioning yourself as a Toyota dealership if you want to make Lexus money. What does that mean? When you have 'Wix this', and 'Wix that' plastered all over your website, you're devaluing your service. Think about this, if organic search traffic lands on your site from searching "Wix" in Google, they likely don't have a sizable budget for web design. I'm just sayin'.
Don’t lead the initial sales calls with Wix. I’m not saying be dishonest. But find out what their challenges and goals are and present the solution which happens to be accomplished with Wix. If you lead with "Hey, I'm a Wix Designer!", the potential client may be put off and wonder why you’re charging so much for a “Wix" site. Don’t get me wrong, I love Wix and don’t use any other platform by choice. But the truth still exists, until Wix is no longer marketed as a free DIY builder that anyone can use to build their own site in minutes, there’s just a perception that we have to stay one step ahead of. This is the reason I’m sure the client feedback portal is not on a Wix domain.
Prior to diving into strategy, when a potential client would reach out, we'd schedule a discovery call to uncover their challenges and define their goals. I'd present my proposed solution and give them other sites to look at. As we started discussing the design, feedback and revision process, email list functionality, and post-launch maintenance, I'd introduce Wix. I'd say, "The platform the site is built on is called Wix, are you familiar with Wix?” If they are, it’s never a deal breaker. It’s usually just a pleasant surprise. In most cases, they’re relieved that they can achieve a site of such quality on Wix and they’re less intimidated about making future updates on their own if they choose to. If they aren’t familiar with Wix, I'd just give them a brief overview and move on. If they didn't want to use Wix OR if I couldn't reasonably accomplish what they need with Wix, which is a raririty, I'd refer them elsewhere. No biggie, life goes on. Since we've transitioned to a design consultancy, all of this still happens, but during our strategy session rather than the discovery call.
How’s the rest of your process? Are you having discovery calls with your potential clients? Do you have a contract that protects them just as much as it protects you? Do you make it easy for them to provide you with content? If you give them as much transparency into the process, timeline and deliverables up front, this helps to increase the perceived value of your service vs. less expensive options. You’d be surprised how easy it is to impress potential clients with your sales and onboarding process simply by having one clearly defined. Many of them may have gotten burned in the past and need reassurance that it won’t happen with you. Having a rock solid process will quickly quell any fears and misconceptions they may have.
If you do a good enough job during the discovery process, you'll quickly find that having their site built on Wix is a non-issue. It's just a means to an end.
6. Use the Arena to get started, not to build your business around.
This one may be a little controversial. In fact, this article was originally requested and written for the official Wix Community blog, but wasn't green-lit due to this final tip. Before I get into it, I know Wix puts a lot into the Arena and has for over a decade. But, I’m willing to bet that there aren’t many 6 and 7-figure Wix agencies using the arena, unless they’re a high-volume agency. There’s a reason for this. How do potential clients land in the Arena? They signed up for Wix with the intention of building a site on their own and then were presented with the Arena. If they’re looking to build their own site, they likely either don’t have a large budget, or don’t see the value in spending a few grand on a website.
I’ve found that when using the Arena, it’s not easy to stay within my target market. I also waste time competing with others. If the goal is to eliminate the competition, why purposely go where the competition is? It’s called the Arena for a reason. And what are you really fighting for, anyway? I’ve noticed this leads to a lot of frustration with other designers who voice their issues in public forums (which is a waste of time but that's another article for another day). Frankly, the time and energy they spend complaining about the Arena could be better used getting higher quality clients outside of the Arena.
The Arena is there to help those who need help building a site and putting them in contact with capable designers. I'm not saying everyone should leave the Arena. Only those who are looking to make six figures and aren't doing this as a hobby or something to make extra cash. There’s just too much competition and the average value of those leads is very low. It can certainly give your business a kickstart and if you do phenomenal work, you can use that for your portfolio, get great reviews and referrals. But I would take the training wheels off as soon as humanly possible to start to increase the average value of your projects.
I’m willing to bet that the highest grossing (per project) Wix-based agencies have their Arena profiles as unavailable or are not on the Arena at all. Unless you’re set up to be a high-volume designer or team, you’d be better served to not rely so much on the Arena if you’re looking to build a six-figure business.
Everyone’s Wix business is different, but the steps outlined above will lay a solid foundation for your six-figure Wix agency.