If you’ve been a website developer for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed how hard it is to acquire clients with a decent budget. At least, that’s usually true when you’re an individual and not working for a business. Many web clients tend to expect individuals to have lower fees, and clients in general seem to always want a discount. This makes it hard to run a profitable web design business.
The truth is, although there are many web clients who are just looking for a bargain, there are plenty of clients who prioritize getting a quality website.
Finding these clients requires a different game, however, and this article will help you find them.
1. Avoid cheap labor job sites
You know those job websites where people offer their professional services for $5 and up? Avoid these sites at all costs. Even though you can charge more for your services, these sites tend to attract people looking for a bargain. You’ll almost never find any high-paying clients on these sites because clients with a decent budget look elsewhere for website developers. Many people who look for website services on these sites are difficult to work with because they have unreasonable expectations.
Also, avoid those classified ad sites where you can find hundreds of people looking for what they describe as a “simple website.” In most of these ads, you’ll find people explaining that their project shouldn’t take “more than a few hours” in order to justify their $200 budget.
While it’s possible that someone’s website project might be simple enough to warrant a $200 fee, that’s rarely the case. In any case, you should never allow a client to determine how much they’ll pay for your services. You’re the professional, and you set your rates. It’s not just about getting paid by the hour. You also need to consider the time you invest in discussing the project with your client.
2. Don’t work for “portfolio” pieces
If you’re willing to take on projects just to fill your portfolio, you’ll be too busy to take on work for clients with a budget. It doesn’t make sense to spend your time working on freebies for your portfolio when you could take on projects for paying clients and build your portfolio that way.
The only time it makes sense to take on a few free projects just to build your portfolio is when you’re completely new to the industry and have little to no experience designing websites. When you’re just starting out, and you aren’t sure how to work with a client on a project, it makes sense to take on free projects for clients so you can figure out your process.
However, if you have even one or two projects to show potential clients, don’t waste your time chasing free projects. Reserve your time and energy for paid gigs.
3. Set your fees higher than what’s comfortable
People tend to undervalue themselves and feel awkward asking for fees they don’t feel they deserve. This is almost never a reflection of the person’s services and worth, but rather, a reflection of their fears and personal feelings of not being good enough. It’s normal, but staying stuck in this mindset will never get you high-paying clients.
You’ll have to set your fees higher than what you’re comfortable with if you want to get those high-paying clients. And don’t advertise low flat rates on your site. Make people sign up for a consultation to learn about your fees. For instance, if a client with a $30,000 budget sees your ad for $400 websites, they’re going to assume you can’t do the job.
Many freelance developers realize this late in the game and wish they started charging more from the beginning. In fact, when pushed to increase their fees, they see a fast, drastic increase in clients.
Don’t worry about missing out on clients by raising your fees. You don’t want to appeal to everyone. You want to skip the low-paying clients looking for deals and catch the high-paying clients who know the value of your work. There will always be clients willing to pay for good web design.
Don’t entertain the idea of taking on low-paying projects
You’ll never have time for high-paying projects if you’re constantly taking on low-paying projects. Don’t take on every project you’re offered. Be discerning. Reject low-paying projects and don’t lower your fees just to get a gig. Hold high standards and don’t waver on your fees. The right clients will see your worth and it will be worth the effort.
Article Submitted By Community Writer