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#EspressoMonday Nr.7 – How Do You Really Get Web Design Clients?

#EspressoMonday Episode Nr.7

Clients and Coffee

This a special #EspressoMonday Episode because instead of three, we are going in-depth with only one question – how to get more clients – which is often the concern of every freelance designer/developer, who runs his web design business. If you are wondering how to do it and where to look for, all you need to do is a cup of coffee and a few minutes of your time.

I have observed that projects, especially on Elance and Freelancer, have become a bidding war where 99% of projects goes to those who bid the lowest. On the other hand, big agencies are getting big projects worth $5,000-$10,000, even $50,000 – $100,000-worth projects. Where do I look for these? What other sources would you suggest?

Is Web Design Becoming All About Bidding Wars – Cheap Web Design?

It is a fact that job search sites, like Elance, Freelancer, and PeopleperHour, are built for bidding wars and the clients that go there are looking for cheap web design providers because they also want to save as much money as they can. As a freelance web designer, it might be the most logical step to do and the best place to look for clients quickly. However, you should not even be there in the first place. You should never be involved in that kind of race, which is a race for the bottom because YOU are WORTH more than what is offered in these sites.

For web design agencies that have the power to charge $25,000+ for a certain project are agencies that are full of web design experts, coding professionals with various skills, and years of experience. Clients, on the other hand, are interested how many people will actually work in a project. They want to know the different kinds of skills and expertise that would go into it and they are willing to pay more.

As an individual freelancer web designer, however, you should hit the middle ground which is between $5,000 and $10,000 per project. In fact, this should be how much you as a web designer should charge per project. How do you do this or how do you even begin? Here’s a three-step formula how to start looking for more higher paying clients and charging what you are worth for.

1. You have to be READY to be worth the money you are asking for.

The keyword is READY. With ready, we are not just talking about your skills but it refers to everything about you. You should know how much you are really worth. However, it does not stop there – the physical things should match the mindset you have. The physical things should also manifest that you are ready to ask your money’s worth. It means that your website should reflect the skills you have and they type of expertise you offer.

In short, your website design should already show that. In addition, your website should also include your pricing so that they have an idea how much monetary reward you are expecting for providing your design services. Pricing also reflects that you already know how much you are worth and are confident about it.

2. Find out who makes the decisions and controls the budget. 

Projects which range between $50,000 and $100,000 are usually by large companies who have a CMO or Chief Marketing Officer, who is responsible for the overall budget and strategy of the company. They are also in-charge of the advertising strategies and branding initiatives of the company. In short, they are the ones in charge who should be involved in the project as well as how much should be spent in that project. These are the people you should be in touch with. If it is not the CMO, know the person who is responsible for this in a company. Take the time to know them and talk to them.

After figuring out the person in-charge, the next step you need to find out is the place where they hang out. Where can you find these people? If you know where they are in the first place, you know who to talk to and all the more you will have higher chances to get noticed. In addition, part of knowing the places where these people hang out is to also know what their interests are – the websites they visit, the books or articles they read, the conferences they attend, and more.

3. Grab their attention – find the way to stand out from the crowd between other web designers.

There are thousands of web designers and developers out there – this is the reality that you should always remember. These web designers might have similar skills and talents as you or even much better than you. With this in mind, you simply cannot write a letter to a company saying “I am a web designer and I can build you a website,” because thousands of others can also do that and maybe at a much lower price than you.

Therefore, it is very important that you need to find your unique angle – something that will make you stand out among the others. It could be a particular technology you have or a certain expertise/specialization you offer. Standing out can also mean finding your niche and work for it to make things happen.

After you figure out your unique angle, you also need to find the right format to deliver this difference. For example, if the person-in-charge of the project you are eyeing visits websites, such as Forbes, INC., or Business Insider, you might want to do a guest post to these sites. You might not get paid for your contribution but they will have a massive return of investment to you because you will be able to showcase your skills and expertise through these blog posts.

Another format can be podcast interviews. Find out the kind of podcasts in the industry that would want to feature you. You can also shoot a video, like this #EspressoMonday videos, and address a certain issue that would show what you got.

And….a BONUS fourth step that is very important ….

4. Repetitive appearance matters instead of a single effort.

Studies have shown that a person does not decide after seeing the product once. Instead, a buying decision is always made after the consumer has been exposed to a repetitive campaign of a certain product. This is the trick big companies use to amass huge sales.

That is why companies spend a big amount of their time, money, and effort in marketing campaigns. That is why you get a barrage of advertisements and commercials of products in every media platform  every minute, everywhere you go. These companies are creating a want and a desire in you to actually like a product even though you don’t initially like it.

You can use this same trick. Which means doing one guest post is not enough. Instead, you need to widen your exposure by using different formats and platforms to show your expertise. One good example of this is Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. Before he or even his blog became famous, he approached companies and provided solutions for free. All he asked was to record a Screencast of him pointing out the problems and offering solutions. Then, he put up these videos on YouTube until he got noticed.

So invest your time to show off your expertise repetitively, even for free. Take your time to expose your skills and the return of investment will be huge.

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