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How Do You Convince Clients to Pay Higher Prices

#EspressoMonday Episode Nr.12

How do you convince your web design clients to pay you higher prices?

Welcome to another #EspressoMonday episode. This time, a new James Richman drinking espresso in a real espresso cup will answer your question.

This episode is short and sweet but, nonetheless, meaty. It answers the dilemma of a lot of web designers as well as other freelancers who struggle with pricing. To give you a much needed boost this Monday, James has invited Brent Weaver of Ugurus to answer the question. So take a few minutes of your time to learn from Brent but don’t forget your espresso.

Here’s a very common scenario – You’ve been putting a lot of time and effort in building your clients’ websites that you feel that it’s time to increase your fees or rates. However, you are afraid that if you do, you will lose a client or worse, you can’t get any more clients. So how do you do it?

How do you convince your clients that you are more valuable than what they pay?

Swimming Against the Current

Swimming against the current can be exhausting and challenging. It takes extra effort and there’s also a price to pay.

Then why swim against the current? Because even dead fish go with current.

So if you don’t want to be counted as one of the dead fish or even just another fish in the ocean, you need to do something and that is to swim against the current.

You have to be aware of the fact, that the web design marketplace is a competitive and crowded one. Thus, you can’t simply be as good as the other designer around the corner. One of the first thing you need to do if you really want to put value in what you do is to stop thinking of yourself as a commodity. A commodity is something that you can easily find – very common, nothing special.When clients see that, they will not think of you as anyone different from the rest. They will think that you are like the rest who is easy to find on the Web and in other marketplaces, such as Elance.

Thinking of your service as a commodity is also the worst disservice you can do to yourself. Why? Because when you think of youself as this, you are sending out a message that your service can easily be exchanged for another provider of the same service who offers a lower price.

However, you are not a commodity. You just haven’t defined your value add-on yet. In order to put value on yourself and what you do, you need to be very strategic because this is where it all starts. In terms of being strategic, the first thing you need to do is to quantify the benefits you’re bringing to your clients’ businesses. In order to do this, you need to communicate what the ROI or Return of Investment is.

How do you do that?

First you need to clearly define what the “Return” is as well as what the “Investment” is. In order to define what “Return” is, you need to understand where your client is getting value from. What gives them the money? What increases your influence or your power to them?

You need to clearly define what kind of return do they need to do and how do they get it? Does it mean selling more stuff? Or do they have to find more customers to buy their stuff?

In web design, what is it that they are looking for – SEO, Analytics, design, CMS? You need to figure them out so that you will be able to get the high investment you want from your clients.

Another important thing to remember is that you Don’t need to Convince your clients about the value they’re getting in order for them to invest. Instead, you show them what the value is because when they see the positive return they will get, you don’t need to say anything but they will have the initiative to invest more.


There’s nothing wrong in being a commodity. If you are satisfied in just paying your bills and getting paid on time, then go for it. However, if you are looking for more value and for higher income, you should not be afraid of discussing ROIs. Instead, you should start positioning yourself where you can communicate what your ROI is to your clients.

Moreover, you have to know where your value comes from and the real value of what you’re providing. That is where the real value equation comes from. That’e where your real value lies.

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