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3 Keys to a Profitable Web Design Business

Are you ready to stop undercharging and overdelivering and finally create a full-time income as a web designer?

The three keys I’m about to share with you are going to transform your entire web design business! I wish I would’ve known this information when I started mine back in 2014, because I struggled so much in the beginning!

  • I had zero boundaries and said yes to everything (and worked 24/7).
  • I didn’t know how to value my skillset (and as a result had no idea how much to charge).
  • I knew how to build a great website, but I had zero systems and processes to market myself, book clients or manage clients!

That’s why I want every single web designer to understand these 3 keys to a profitable web design business!

If you’re a web designer who is undercharging, overdelivering, and maxed out, read on!


🔑 Key #1 – Sustainable Pricing

Sustainable pricing means that you are charging enough so that you’re able to pay your business expenses, pay taxes, and pay yourself a full-time income.

Most people who start a web design business don’t want to do it as a side hustle forever. They want it to be their full-time gig and they want to replace their paycheck. To do that, you have to charge enough!!!

One of the things that I see so many web designers do is charge really, really cheap pricing for websites and think, “I’ll make it up by booking a lot of clients!”

They think that if they want to make $10,000 a month, all they gotta do is get 5 web design clients every month at $2,000, then that’s their $10,000.

The thing is…

It’s really, really hard to not only book 5 projects a month, but also to complete five whole websites every single month. And that’s if your clients actually cooperate so that you can start and end your projects on time!

Every web designer I’ve talked to has been in a situation where projects drag on forever because they are waiting on the client to provide content. If you don’t have solid systems and boundaries in place to get one client to cooperate, how are you ever gonna get 5 to cooperate every single month???

The solution? Increase your prices and decrease the number of clients you’re working with.

Imagine what would be possible for you if you only had to book two clients a month at $5,000 each, and you structured it so that you could start and complete an entire $5,000 website in one month because you had solid boundaries in place and weren’t spread too thin.


Most web designers undercharge and overdeliver because they think people can’t afford to pay more, and they fear they won’t have ANY clients if they raise their prices.

Undercharging not only harms your bank account – it’s also is bad for your clients. The truth is that when you undercharge, you can’t give your clients your best because you’re a maxed-out, burnt-out web designer who becomes resentful and says yes to everything the client asks just to get the project over with!

If any of that resonates with you, sign up to watch my free Pricing Mindset Workshop! After watching you’ll:

  • Know exactly how much you need to charge to make a full-time living as a web designer.
  • Understand how to apply the Rule of 10 to figure out the true value of a website to your clients.
  • Have an upgraded belief system around all the reasons you think you can’t charge that much, you know… things like “I need more experience… I’m self taught… my clients can’t afford to pay more…”
  • Be aware of the 3 most common places web design businesses break down and leak time and money (and what to do to prevent or fix it).

🔑 Key #2 – Boundaries

The second key to a profitable web design business is boundaries.

When you don’t have boundaries, you leak money. Your projects don’t start on time, they don’t end on time, you end up with a ton of scope creep and doing a bunch of work you don’t get paid for.

Boundaries are critical to the success of your web design business. They make the difference between a burnt-out, resentful and broke web designer and an energetic, content, and profitable web designer.

The mistake I see most people make is they wait until something has gone wrong and then try to establish boundaries while they’re on the defensive, in self-protection mode, but by then the damage is already done. The project is already off-track, you’re unhappy, the client is unhappy and you both can’t wait for it to be over. You end up doing work for free just to be done!

It doesn’t have to be this way!! Because here’s the thing:

You run the show!!!

You are not a pixel-pusher for hire! You’re a consultative, collaborative partner who leads clients through the process of turning their business vision into a website.

Being a collaborative partner instead of a pixel-pusher means taking ownership of the project. It means that you establish the boundaries from day one and lead your clients through the entire process instead of asking them to tell you what they want at every step of the way and then doing it and waiting for them to tell you what else they want!

The key to setting solid boundaries that keep the project moving forward is to take the lead from the very first interaction with the client. From how you set up your consultation and booking process all the way through to how you close your projects, when you have your boundaries clearly defined and built into each step of the project, it’s empowering for you and it’s empowering for your client.

The way we teach setting up boundaries is never punitive, but it is designed to help you weed out nightmare clients before your projects ever begin.

Someone who is not willing to follow the process that you put in place before they book a project with you is someone who is not going to respect your entire project management and development process from beginning to end. Those are what we call red-flag clients, and those are the projects we decline before they even get started!

When you have clear boundaries that you’ve established from the very first interaction with the client, it’s easy to say, “I’d love to add that work onto your project. Per our contract, here’s how much that will cost and per my development schedule, here’s when we can get that done. Would you like to move forward?”

🔑 Key #3 – Scalable Revenue

Did you know that the skills you bring to your projects, the process that you go through with your clients, and the strategy behind what you do is your intellectual property that can be packaged up and sold as a digital product?

Yep, that’s right! You can sell more than just the service of web design. You can package up that unique thing you do in any number of creative ways and sell it to people who aren’t ready to hire a web designer.

Here’s the thing: there will come a time when you are maxed-out on your pricing for 1:1 web design projects.

Don’t get me wrong – you could probably charge 10 to 20 times more than what you’re charging if you’re pricing mindset is like our typical students BEFORE they come to work with us and we upgrade their pricing mindset and help them re-tool their packages, pricing and offers.

I know right now it might be hard to imagine yourself selling a $20,000 web design project… but it’s possible!

But even then, your time is still required (unless you’re running an agency and have other people doing the work, but you’re still involved).

I wanted to create an offer that didn’t require any of my time to deliver once I had validated it and created it. I wanted to package up everything I knew about building websites that convert and show people how to do it themselves, and give them tools to shortcut the work – and I wanted the only time I spent on it to be the time spent marketing it.

Because it takes the same amount of time to market something to one person as it does to 1000 people. If I can create something once that can be bought thousands of times, the amount of money I’m able to make is untied from how much time I have to work.

Web designers are so smart! You’re constantly solving problems for people every day. That’s your intellectual property!

Package up the solutions you create for your clients and sell them as digital products so that you can scale beyond time for money and create consistent revenue in your business – even when you’re not working!

We would love to help you implement these 3 keys in your web design business!

🔑 Key #1 – Sustainable Pricing: You do NOT have to “work your way up” before you can increase your prices. The value of a website to your client has nothing to do with how many websites you’ve built in the past. And you don’t need work for free to build a portfolio either (please don’t do that)!

🔑 Key #2 – Boundaries: Set boundaries from moment one. Don’t wait until something’s gone wrong! Bake your boundaries into your website, your consultation process, your project management process, and every conversation you have with a client.

🔑 Key #3 – Scalability: You don’t have to do one-on-one client work exclusively – or forever! I want you to have multiple streams of revenue for your web design business. Then, no matter what’s going on in life, you can take time off from clients and still have money coming in.

So I wanna invite you to watch a replay of a Pricing Mindset Workshop I recently hosted just for web designers – and you can sign up to watch the replay NOW! 

After watching you’ll:

  • Know exactly how much you need to charge to make a full-time living as a web designer.
  • Understand how to apply the Rule of 10 to figure out the true value of a website to your clients.
  • Have an upgraded belief system around all the reasons you think you can’t charge that much, you know… things like “I need more experience… I’m self-taught… my clients can’t afford to pay more…”
  • Be aware of the 3 most common places web design businesses break down and leak time and money (and what to do to prevent or fix it).

Sign up here.

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Hi, I'm Shannon!

I’ve been coaching + mentoring web designers for 6+ years… it’s time to forget everything you think you know about selling web design projects.

Apply now to get access to our free 5P FRAMEWORK training for selling premium web design projects + increasing your revenue where I’ll break down our unique strategies for making more money as a web designer that no one else is teaching.

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