One of the highest paid gigs for a copywriter to get is to create an entire sales page.
They cost so much because sales pages can often contain between 20 and 120+ pages long (you can see my whole swipe file of sales pages here to see what I mean).
But even when you are done writing the copy for a sales page, you then have to design the damn thing! And that’s where 99 Designs comes in. It’s a platform where you upload some specs, and designers around the world compete for your prize.
This competition style of design is great if you don’t know exactly what you want. Since I’m not a naturally great designer at all, this is a wonderful option!
So for our Sales Page Experiment we step-by-step built out a new sales page for Kopywriting Kourse. It’s 100% written and ready to go, we just needed a designer to complete the project.
Let’s go find a designer! Read on…
Step 1.) Setup a 99 Designs Competition ($998)
For $998 we held a contest with 99 Designs that allows different designers to duke it out for the prize money:
(I put my money on the dude in red gloves)!
So we setup a contest with a few basic guidelines and 46 pages of copy:
Since we DON’T know exactly what we are looking for, it’s good to leave the guidelines relatively vague so the designers can try their own versions and be creative:
That’s all we entered in the design brief. We purposely didn’t want to provide too many guidelines, because that might squash the creativity of some designers.
Step 2.) Extend Your Competition
Not sure 99 Designs wants everyone to know this, but if you just contact support and ask for an extension on your competition, they’ll do it for free.
Instead of lasting only 4 days for the competition, we got ours extended TWICE to 12 days. This gave more freelancers time to work on the project or just see it.
In the first 4 days we got like ONE entry, which for $998 was kind of a waste.
*NOTE* Designers prefer smaller projects than sales pages usually, so for sales page competitions don’t expect crazy amounts of entries unless you bump the bounty up past $2,000.
Step 3.) Review The Entries
You’ll start getting entries coming in hopefully. For competitions for logo’s or small websites, you’ll likely get 10-30 entries!
However for something like a 80+ page sales page, that’s WAY more work for designers, so you’ll likely get ~5 entries or so (unless you bump up your bounty to $2,000+).
Here’s all the designs we got:
Step 4.) Request all the changes before picking winner
We made a couple of mistakes, and learned some tips for a successful contest, here they are:
Rate people 1-3 stars so other people don’t think they have no chance if they see a 5 star rating.
We originally rated some designs 5-star, and the designers assumed they were perfect, so they stop iterating on them.
Email designers your desired changes BEFORE ending the contest:
Call up 99 Designs and ask for an extension on your contest!
You can even ask them for more promotion and they’ll usually do it. We got 3+ more entries after we extended the contest and asked for a “little bump” of promotion through their social network.
Step 5.) Pick The Winner!
There were some other good entries, but here’s the Winning Design we chose from the competition:
Also See: Mobile Screenshot of the Sales Page
Step 6.) Now you’ve got to build the damn thing….
The most frustrating part about hiring a designer, is that THEY ONLY DESIGN!!! They don’t actually build it!!
This means you’ve got to hire a front end developer, or do the work yourself to assemble the sales page.
We were already out $998 just for the 99 Designs competition, so spending a ton more money on a front end developer didn’t seem fun. Also, if you get a hand-coded sales page, it’s hella difficult to make changes to it.
We kept this internal over here, and built the page from scratch using LeadPages (our old landing page was built using LeadPages, and it’s super easy to update, so we’ll continue that tradition).
You almost have to design TWO webpages though, as the mobile version of the sales page needs to look good also:
Step 7.) You’re finally done with the stupid thing!
I dunno about you, but by the time I’m done with a blog post or sales page, I’m DONE WITH IT.
I’ve looked at the stupid thing so many times, it starts to get a bit annoying.
Sometimes people feel bad about this, but it’s totally normal:
Sometimes for a few days after finishing a piece of copy, you will temporarily hate looking at it!