Building an agency can be overwhelming from the number of things that need to be done in order to have a fully-functioning agency, but I would suggest that the first task necessary is to build a “customer’s journey”; the steps a customer will take from being interested in your service plan to get their website live to serving them so well they provide referrals.
Here’s what your Website As A Service Blueprint looks like:
- Marketing Website
- Quote Request Form
- Sales Call Script
- Send Service Agreement
- Client Onboarding Form
- Populate the template with the onboarding form
- Submit to the client for approval
- Launch the website
- Let the client know the website is live and how to request service.
- Ask for referrals
Visiting your website is the first interaction someone takes with your agency when considering working with you. Sure, they may have seen a post on social media or received an email forwarded from a friend or asked you questions at a networking event, or found you through Google, but if they’re taking the time to be on your website, then they’re considering you as an option.
Your website needs to do three things:
- Help them understand that you target ONE industry specifically. They need to feel like you’re the expert in serving them because you know their industry inside and out, from your pictures to your catchphrases. Check out CoffeeShopWebsites.net (a sample website I built for online training) and see that the catchphrases, photos, portfolio, and explanations go together with your industry (in this example, coffee shops) like cream and sugar.
- Explain your service-based model over and over. Mention it. Go into detail. Reference it in every section. They need to understand BEFORE they contact you that this is a service-based website model. I’m a fan of putting your pricing on the website with “Good/Better/Best” options depending on the complexity of services you offer.
- A clear call to action. I would recommend a Quote request form where they’ll fill out some information about their business so that when you make the sales call, you have more than a name and phone number – you’ll understand a bit about their business ahead of your call with them.
Quote Request Form:
This is the CTA on your marketing website – everything needs to point to your quote request form. This form will have 8-10 fields and include things like their personal contact info (name, phone number, email), where their business is located, the name of their business, if they currently have a website, etc. This can be tailored to your industry and needs just enough information to make you feel informed going into the sales conversation.
This quote request form is also a deterrent for tire kickers. Anyone who can’t take 4-5 minutes to fill out a few fields isn’t ready to be pursued with a sales call.
Add a redirection on completion to a page with a video explaining websites as a service and introducing yourself so the client gets to know you before you call them to make the sale.
Sales Call Script:
Sales calls don’t have to be a daunting task, and you’ll build confidence for yourself as well as with your potential client when you have a script. I don’t mean a robotic conversation, but something like:
“Hi, Client. This is Adam calling from CoffeeShopWebsites.net. Thanks for requesting a quote.”
<Wait for them to respond>
“I’ve got three questions to help you choose the best service package for your coffee shop, and then I’d love to answer any questions you have for me, but first I’d love to hear about your coffee shop and what makes it unique in your city.”
<Let them respond>
Ask your three questions – could be “What makes your coffee shop unique?” / “How have your been advertising your coffee shop so far without a website?” / “Why are you looking to make a change from your current website?” / “What results are you hoping your website will create for your business?”
The main purpose of these three questions is to determine if this client is someone you’d like to build a long-term relationship with. Listen for red flags. If you’re not sure what to listen for, here are some of the most common red flags I hear: <red flags blog post>
Thanks for sharing those answers. You may notice that our website agency is slightly different from what you might expect from a website designer. Instead of charging a large lump sum for your website design, our website service is $0 upfront and $X/month. Part of your monthly service package includes updating your website for you if and when you need a change, and background services like keeping your software updated so your website fits in all current devices and new device sizes that come out in the future and securing your website to reduce the change of a compromise.
Do you have any questions for me?
<Listen and answer questions. BuildThatAgency.com digs deep into the most common sales objections of websites as a service and how to explain those to clients so their objection ends up benefiting the client.>
Thanks for chatting today. Our next step is for me to send over our service agreement. It will include a list of everything included in our service so you can make your decision. When you’re ready to move forward, just sign the agreement and send it back, and I’ll get you a list of our next steps to get your new website live.
I just want to confirm the best email address for you. On the form, you put in: _________@_____.com is that the best address?
Thanks! Look for the service agreement in the next few minutes, and let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!
Send Service Agreement (contract):
You said you were going to, so do it. Start building trust immediately by sending the service agreement within a few minutes.
Web designers have a bad reputation of not being responsive, so be as quick as possible to follow up to the phone call to start your business relationship off on the right foot and let the client know you’re not going to make a promise you can’t keep.
I keep my service agreement to a single page. It outlines the client’s contact information, a bulletpoint list of the services that we provide on a monthly basis, the amount of their monthly service contact, and their minimum term, and a spot for them to sign that they agree.
In this email (have something written that you can copy and paste every time), let the client know there are 3 steps to building their website once they’re ready:
- Sign and send back the service agreement (contract)
- Complete the onboarding form (include a link)
- Upload their photos (we use wetransfer.com to avoid the client sending a pile of emails with sporadic photos of varying quality) – This may not be relevant to your target industry, but most industries might have a “Staff” page or “About us” page with a picture of the owners and a photo of the front or interior of the buinsess.
Client Onboarding Form:
Since the website-as-a-service model works best with templates for a specific industry, have the client complete an onboarding form that will collect ALL of the information you need to populate their website template.
This could be their business address, phone number, hours, a place to upload their logo and menu, the products they serve, the services they provide, the brands they retail, their current website login credentials (so you can transfer the domain to your registrar when you’re ready to go live), and whatever else you need specific to the industry that you serve to complete their website template.
Try and be complete without being redundant. In some cases, it will be faster for clients to check boxes than to type out a list, or to choose an option from a dropdown menu, so try and make the onboarding form as efficient as possible for your client.
For the confirmation page of the onboarding form, remind the client of the link for wetransfer.com if they haven’t already uploaded their photos).
Populate your template with the content from the onboarding form:
Build out a staging subdomain with the clients new website: something like XYZ.coffeeshopwebsites.net
Since the onboarding form has collected all of the infomation you need to populate your client’s website (and assuming the client has sent over the necessary photos), this is simply filling in the information from one to the other. In BuildThatAgency.com we cover the process of outsourcing this portion of the product. Since your templates are already built and your onboarding form has collected all of the necessary infomration, then outsourcing this portion is the simplest part of the project.
Submit the website for approval:
Send the client the subdomain of their new website with a copy-and-paste email that’s the same every time with the customization of their name and subdomain link.
Let them know you’re almost there and would like them to review the website for accuracy as we’re also reviewing on our end for typos and getting some background technical details in place.
Careful how you word this. If you say, “Look it over and let us know if you want to see any changes…” then this is going to turn into “customize this” and “Change that color” or “Add a section about” etc. Remember that your service is most efficient when you execute the template with as few changes as possible.
Instead, ask the client to “Review the website for accuracy” since they know the business better than you do. Now the client is checking for things like their hours or their phone number, not “Can we try a new color scheme?”
There still may be a photo that gets replaced or “we decided to change our office hours since we filled out the onboarding form” but you’re not asking the client to send the link to their cousin to brainstorm some creative ideas on reformating the home page.
Once the client gives you approval, let them know about the process of paying for their monthly service – something like “You’ll receive an email on the first of the next month with an invoice. There will be a link to put in your credit card details and then future monthly invoices will automatically go directly on that credit card.”
Launch the website:
Now that the cleint has reviewd for accuracy, let them know you’ll take the website live within a few days. During that time, use this checklist to make sure you haven’t missed anything in pre or post launch. (insert gumroad link)
“Congratulations! Your New Website is live” email:
This is another “Copy and paste” email that lets the client know their website is live.
You could include:
- In the next few days, we’ll be reviewing the entire website again on our end and submitting it to Google’s search engine.
- It may take 60-90 days for Google to “settle in” to their decision on how and where the website ranks.
- Suggestions for how clients can help their website perform at its best
Clients often ask the question “What can I do to help my website show up in Google?” This is a checklist that you can copy and paste for new clients so they feel like they’re contributing to the success of their website.
End your email with:
As always, please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. When you need an update to your website, please send an email to email@example.com and our team will be happy to make that change for you.
Ask for referrals:
About a month after their website has gone live, send a “Copy and paste” email to the client reminding them about your ongoing service, and your referral or review program.
“Hi Client. Thanks again for choosing us. We’ve added your website to our portfolio so other business owners can check out your website to see our work. As always, if you have a change to your website, please send the request to firstname.lastname@example.org – Our portfolio shows itself off best when someone clicks and sees that the websites in the portfolio are up-to-date so you’re actually doing us a favor when you request an update to your website.
I also wanted to mention our referral program. If you know other business owners in your industry who need a website, when their website goes live and their monthly service starts, your business will get a free month of service as a thank you for your referral.
As always, if you have any questions, I’m happy to help.”
While you’ll be able to figure out the specifics to each of these 10 steps yourself, I’d love to speed up the process. BuildThatAgency.com includes 40 videos that go through each of these in detail with copy and paste scripts to save you time (and effort if writing isn’t really your thing).
If you have a question about what’s included in the BuildThatAgency.com online training, send me a DM on twitter: twitter.com/adam_mclaughlin or send me an email: email@example.com
Looking forward to helping you Build That Agency!