How to grow your design business through landing pages

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First: Let’s get something out of the way.

“Landing page” is not just a buzzword everyone’s using. It’s not just some recent fad or trend either. In fact – it’s an advertising tactic as old as advertising itself.

All of the greats used it – before there was even internet.

Sure – they didn’t have Google to back them up. And they couldn’t instantly publish their sales messages like we can today.

Sidenote: Once you finish, read how 4 freelancers built recurring revenue models that changed their business. You'll love it.

But nonetheless, the “landing page” was used by every great advertiser of our time, including guys like Ogilvy.

“So what the heck is a landing page then?”

Let me show you with an example…

Let’s say you’re a massage therapist.

Now, people need massage therapy for a variety of reasons:

  • They’ve had an injury and have chronic muscle pain as a result
  • They’re stressed out, causing them to cramp up and feel tense
  • They’re athletes who need to stay limber to keep performing
  • They have a medical condition that causes muscle pain
  • And so on and so forth

Enter: The Landing Page

A landing page is a hyper-targeted piece of marketing. It’s designed to reach a very niche, specific segment of your audience.

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It’s a page dedicated 100% to the problems, desires, and experiences of that market-segment only.

So with the example above, it’s a page just for people who are stressed out, or just for athletes, or just for those with injuries.

Today, that means web pages. Back in the day, it meant newspaper ads, magazine ads, radio spots, etc.

You’re still selling the same service — massage therapy — but people come to massage therapy for a variety of reasons.

On your landing page, you’re isolating one of those reasons, and going for it.

How this gets you more clients, faster than just about anything I know of

Well, imagine you’re an athlete, and you come across two ads while on Facebook:

Ad #1 says: Professional massage therapy in Portland.

3Ad #2 says: Massage therapy for athletes in Portland.

Which one are you going to click?

Pretty self explanatory, right?

There’s a rule to effective marketing that goes like this: The more personal your message gets, and the more relevant it is to an individual, the more results it’ll generate.

Good marketing is about reaching just one person. You’re connecting to them as an individual.

Then, you just do it again… a few thousand times.

2 ways to choose hyper-targeted markets to go after

There are two ways to separate your market into segments:

  1. By shared pains / goals
  2. By who or what they are

For example, sticking with our massage therapist, you might come up with these market segments based on pains / goals:

  • People with tight shoulders and necks
  • People who are very stressed out and tense as a result
  • People with lower back pain

You might come up with these segments based on who / what people are:

  • Athletes
  • Those who suffered injuries
  • The elderly (we all develop body pain as we age, after all)

Let’s ditch the massage therapist and show how this would work for a web designer

There are two easy ways to take our categories above, and apply them to design.

  1. Industry-specific landing pages (i.e. Restaurant websites, personal trainer websites, etc.)
  2. Goal or problem-based landing pages (i.e. “Have you been burnt by web designers?” or “Tired of designers who don’t really listen to your needs?” or “Do you want a website that looks good… and actually gets you more customers?”)

#1 is pretty simple. Pick popular industries in your town and go for it.

#2 is a little more complex. Here, you want to refer to client consults you’ve had. What problems did they experience with other designers? What goals do they have? Why did they choose you over others?

SquareSpace does this really well.

I Googled “restaurant websites” and they came up on page 1 with a page full of restaurant-specific examples:

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 1.33.21 PM Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 1.33.11 PM

Then, after that, they went into their usual sales pitch:

  • Make a beautiful site
  • Easy to use
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Etc., etc., etc.

See – the service / product is the same at the end of the day.

Landing pages just show different segments of your market how they apply specifically to them.

That’s really powerful for 2 reasons:

Like I demonstrated above, it’s so much easier for an athlete to click “Massage therapy for athletes” than “Professional massage therapy.”

That’s the first reason this is so powerful — it just makes it easier for prospects to say “yes” to you.

The next reason is a bigger-picture concept.

You might strike gold with a certain industry or market segment.

If your “restaurant websites” advertising takes off – you might shift the focus of your company to growing and marketing that.

That’s what these guys did who I found when Googling “startup website design company”:

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 1.34.36 PM

They created a business 100% dedicated to one market segment: Startups.

In business, you always want to flow down the path of least resistance.

If a certain niche gives you no resistance at all – pursue it.

“Okay, got it. So what do I put on my landing page?”

I’d structure it like this:

  1. Niche-specific headline – Immediately tells your visitor they’re visiting a site super-relevant to them
  2. Customer testimonial from that niche – Tells them other people can trust you, enhancing your credibility
  3. Quick intro to who you are and what you do and why you’re good at serving that niche – Tells them more about why they’re in the right place and can spend more time reading and learning about you
  4. Portfolio pieces of niche-specific items – Shows them you have experience specific to them
  5. Another testimonial (doesn’t have to be industry-specific) – Backs that experience up with more social proof
  6. A few more benefits of your services – Explains more of why you’re a great fit for them
  7. Call to action – Channels all of the above into one easy-to-take action

#3, 5, 6 and 7 are your usual sales pitch. They don’t change from industry to industry.

That means you just have to customize 3 parts of your page per industry or niche.

I hope this cleared up “landing pages” for you.

The cool thing is, you don’t have to stop with your own services. Help your clients get better results by explaining it to them and creating landing pages for them as well.

Just to recap:

  1. Landing pages call out to specific, niche segments of your bigger market and deliver a message just for them
  2. They work so well because you’d rather read, “How to grow your design business” than “How to grow your business” – am I right?
  3. Refer to the outline above for a “cheat sheet” of how to build your own

Hope you got a lot out of this. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Scroll on down and leave me a comment! Questions are welcome too 😉

 

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About David Tendrich

David Tendrich is the co-head of creative agency Unexpected Ways, as well as the co-founder of Reliable PSD: the first-ever PSD to HTML & PSD to Wordpress service run by designers, for designers. He co-runs his companies from Portland, Oregon with his lovely wife and biz partner, Lou Levit.

 

More about David’s business: David is co-founder of Reliable PSD – what happened when a group of designers got fed up with PSD to Code companies… and created their own. Check them out, and see why freelancers & agencies are head over heels for this amazing new service.

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Comments

  1. Ronald Surya says:

    Excellent and detailed explanations on landing page effectiveness!!!

  2. Great article…….This is the kind of advice I’ve been looking for. Thanks David

  3. This is truly an excellent synopsis for a great plan! I’m putting it into use today as I get started on redoing my site. Thanks David.

  4. David, it’s like you can read my mind! I was thinking about making some landing pages for my niche, and actually taking my business to the next level by finding some targeted clients, and I was hesitating, but you ensured me with this helpful article.

    Thank you for always helping us!

  5. Quick read, well-written, super rekevant. Nice. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Awesome piece! How would I get some technical information on how to set one up? I’m thinking that I could piggy back off my website server?

  7. Are these pages hidden pages within your own website or do you buy new URLs that also speak to that industry? Or do you do both?

  8. Thank you this really helps answer my questions. Think I’ll design my page now.

  9. Christyl says:

    David you always deliver great content on your blogs. Thanks so much for the clarification on landing pages. I’ll definite start working on mine.