5 Ways Netflix Inspired My 6-Figure Web Design Business
What we’re seeing right now with the rise of AI and the impact it’s having on web design has some interesting similarities to the advent of digital movies, where we watched the downfall of companies like Blockbuster and the rise of Netflix. For web designers, the deck is being reshuffled right now, and that’s going to separate the Blockbusters from the Netflix web designers. Here are five ways to adapt so that you come out on top.
I believe the web design industry is at an inflection point similar to Blockbuster when Netflix emerged.
Did you know that Blockbuster had the opportunity to buy Netflix, and they turned it down? At that time, Netflix was not yet a streaming movie business. This was back when Netflix was just mail-ordered DVDs.
Nevertheless, this was an inflection point, but it wasn’t the difference between physically going to rent a VHS tape and ordering a DVD through the mail. The difference was movies became digital.
Adapting To New Technology
The interesting thing to me about Netflix is that they noticed that technology had changed movies. The format of movies shifted from analog to digital, and the internet was here now. The internet didn’t have the bandwidth for online streaming, so they basically “streamed” the videos through the postal service.
The point is technology had shifted, and Netflix was trying to do something about it.
The Link Between Netflix and AI
Movies going digital was a fundamental shift in the industry that changed everything. Here’s Matt Damon talking about how streaming movies even changed the type of movies that can be produced.
Today AI is changing everything fast. But really, for the last few years, we’ve been going through a massive technological shift in the web design industry. I looked to Netflix for inspiration as I was developing our new model for web design.
Obviously, people still need websites, just like people still like watching movies. Blockbuster didn’t die because people stopped liking movies. Blockbuster died because it failed to adapt to the technological changes that were taking place. Netflix, on the other hand, adapted and wound up on top.
The same is going to be true with web design. The old-school web designers are going to fade away, and the web designers who adapt are going to rise to the top.
Identify Your Audience
The two major advancements Netflix leveraged were the shift from analog to digital movies and the increasing power of the internet. As such, their ideal customers are tech-savvy people who value on-demand content. Knowing who they are serving allows them to know what kind of content to provide, where to advertise, and even what colors to choose for their branding.
If you don’t know who you’re trying to serve, you can’t create engaging marketing. Everything is cold, flat, and forgettable.
So, step zero is identifying your niche. If you’re stuck on that, go get our new eBook called Local Market Gems. It’s the web designer’s guide to discovering profitable niches. You’ll get over 30 examples of industries that are hot right now, along with strategies for reaching them.
The first thing I noticed was the need to incorporate a recurring revenue model into the traditional “one-and-done” web design business model. This creates a win-win situation for both my clients and me. By staying connected with the client, I can produce better results for them. It also means that I don’t have to waste time and money constantly searching for new clients.
Keep It Simple
Netflix doesn’t try to tell you about every single movie they have available. We web designers tend to wander off deep into the weeds because we want to make sure the client fully understands everything they are getting – even on a technical level. Stop doing that.
People buy for simple reasons. It’s your job to find out what that reason is. Then let them know that your solution solves that specific problem for them.
For me, the main reason I keep my Netflix account is that I like to watch Seinfeld episodes before I go to bed. They are mind-numbingly relaxing and fun. I don’t care at all about horror movies. So, find out what gets me excited and only talk about Seinfeld. Ignore the horror movie features altogether.
The same exact concept applies to your web design solution. Find the hole in your client’s business and show how your solution plugs that specific hole.
Brand Your Solution
Have you noticed how the word “Netflix” encapsulates a billion different technical services? I don’t have to understand how massive data storage works, or how much bandwidth I need, or how the authentication system works. There are so many little details all working behind the scenes, but all I have to say is, “Netflix” and you know what I mean.
Brand your solution as a platform so you’re clients can see that one thing as the answer to their problem. It hides all the complexity and sets you apart.
Nobody Cares About Your Effort
How often do you think about how hard it was to actually get Netflix to work? Basically, never, right? You just want to watch the movies.
How much do you think your clients care about how hard it is to build a website? They just want more clients.
Emphasizing the time and effort your investing into the project does not inspire the client to work with you. They don’t care about your effort. They care about what’s in it for them. In fact, the faster they can get the results, the better.
This is why selling points that used to be popular, such as hand-coded websites or custom WordPress themes, now have the opposite effect. Most business owners are not interested in paying double the price and waiting twice as long for a custom, hand-coded website when they can achieve the same results with a WordPress website developed with a page builder.
We’re Not Selling Websites
Netflix isn’t selling streamed movies, and we’re not selling websites. Those are the things we’re doing, but that’s not why people are buying. Netflix is selling a better day. We are selling better businesses.
When you see ads or marketing for Netflix, you never see anything about how Netflix works on a technical level. All of their marketing is laser-focused on their customers having fun. People are hanging out with friends, laughing, and eating snacks on a couch. It’s fun. Everything is always about the outcome, never about the implementation. It would be ridiculous to see anything about what the Netflix employees are actually doing to pull all of this off.
I guarantee you’ll sell more websites if you mirror this marketing framework and focus on the results your client gets, not what you’re going to be doing. But, if you look at most web designers’ websites, the focus is almost entirely on the implementation process: discovery > development > deployment.
How To Pick Your Niche
If you haven’t already, the next thing to do is pick a niche. None of the other steps work without a niche because all of your marketing will be too broad, generic, and uninspiring. So, grab this free eBook and discover over 30 different profitable niches for web design that are hot right now.