Have you ever explained all the awesome stuff you can do for a client – They agreed it was awesome – You told them the price. Then they said, “I can't afford that.”?
This happens when your price exceeds the maximum value your client places on solving their perceived problem. The solution is NOT to lower your price. The solution is to redefine the problem you're solving.
For example, most people don't place a very high value on getting a new website. This is especially true if they already bought a website and it is not doing anything for them from a business perspective. If you approach them and ask them to double down and spend more money on something that's not working they're almost always going to say no and tell you your prices are just too high.
In this session, you'll discover how to shift the focus and redefine your offer. You'll uncover the key to telling your story and how to effectively communicate your value.
Discover how to attract high-value web design clients in the age of cheap websites.
If you are a “Jack of all trades” person who can do a lot of great stuff, are you successfully monetizing that or do you find that clients just aren't willing to pay the prices you want/need to charge?
The difference between being a “Jack of all trades” and a high-ticket consultant is huge financially but not that big of a change structurally because it's a lot easier and faster to fix your marketing than it is to develop a wide array of awesome skills.
I talk to a lot of people who tell me they've got a ton of great skills and can really do awesome work for people BUT they are really struggling financially. Their clients are all for short-term, one-off projects – like designing a flyer for $250. Or maybe just a quick update to a website. The clients they attract tend to be people with little to no budget which makes it really hard to upsell them into larger projects. They tend not to be interested in marketing retainers. They just want the one thing that's on their mind. So, they go to you because you can help a ton of different people with a lot of different things. You're the Jack of all trades.
So, here's the path to go from a Jack of all trades to a high-ticket web design consultant. It's basically a three-step process that breaks down like this:
Get clarity on all the different skills you've got in your “Jack of all trades” toolbox.
Develop a marketing story that illuminates the RESULTS you are able to deliver by combining your best skills.
Put a solid structure in place for onboarding new clients based on HOW YOU HELP THEM not just what you do for them.
Once you internalize and implement those three concepts it will dramatically change your financial situation and you'll finally be able to earn the rates you're really worth. This works because you are showing the client the VALUE you deliver to them and you POSITION yourself as an elite business consult who knows how to drive the specific outcomes your client needs.
If you feel like you have a bunch of great skills but you haven't been able to monetize them at the level you want, this session if for you!
I've seen so many people fail because they couldn't overcome this one thing.
Over the last two years, I've spoken with literally thousands of web designers and WordPress developers at WordCamps, meetups, and personally over the phone about their businesses. Now, you're about to discover the #1 thing that's holding most people back.
This is a longer session than normal, but it's that important. During the next 45 minutes, you're going to discover the most critical move you need to make if you want to build your own business as a high-ticket web design consultant. We're going step-by-step through all the details and it can save you weeks – if not months – of wasted time.
If you're only interested in technically implementing low-budget websites, this isn't for you. You have to be open to serving your clients with both your technical skillset as well as with a certain degree of business development and marketing. But, if you want to win high-value, long-term clients who value your work this is the main thing you have to get right… and nobody else is talking about it.
You do not have to have a portfolio to win great clients.
There… Feel the relief.
Building a portfolio to showcase your work and win clients is the old way to market a web design business.
Today, you need a new strategy and we're going to unpack the new strategy right now. The truth is your first client can be worth $40,000 and you don't need a portfolio to make that your reality.
I talk to so many people who feel like the first thing they need to do to get their business off the ground is to build up their portfolio. That belief stalls out their progress and oftentimes ends up burning them out altogether. They take on cheap (sometimes even free) projects to get the ball rolling. But that won't represent your best work, it's not a sustainable thing to do, and it builds the wrong brand identity for your business. You don't want to be known as the person who does great work for cheap.
If you have some work that you want to showcase, there's nothing wrong with that. But, start with building your business and your portfolio will build itself.
Here are three really important reasons why you should not focus on your portfolio and why portfolios don't win high-ticket clients.
This is especially true for people who have been in business for years and have large portfolios. So, join me for this session and discover why using your portfolio to win clients doesn't work like it used to and what you should be doing instead.
Most people I talk to would like to add at least $5,000 to $10,000 per month to their income. That's $60k to $120k per year. Can YOU earn that much?
Think about two things. First, how much money do you want your business to generate for you each month? Now, how many clients do you need to win at your current pricing to hit that goal? Is it realistic to think you can achieve your revenue goals with your current structure? Let's figure it out.
What is the #1 thing you feel like you need right now? Is it more leads? A steady flow of clients willing to pay higher prices?
If you feel like the most important thing to figure out is how to develop a strong, consistent flow of leads that should be a red flag that you are running your business on an outdated business model.
Generating leads and winning new clients is the most expensive and most time-consuming thing you can do – and you're doing all that work for free. All of those hours are non-billable hours. It also means you are establishing your business on an outdated business model.
You know that feeling when you get a lead or a referral and it's exciting. So you go and meet with the client and the meeting goes great. They love your work. You're excited to take on the project. Then it gets to the point where you talk about price and you and the client are worlds apart. You're thinking your price needs to be at least several thousand dollars in order to do all the work required to pull everything together. The client is thinking he's got a budget of just a couple hundred bucks. Why does this happen?
I frequently get asked about which online courses I like or would recommend. There are so many different online courses covering such a wide variety of topics and new ones get created all the time. So, rather than saying which courses I think are the best, here are a few critically important points to consider to help you pick the best online course for you and your needs.
If you only get one thing from this post, take this with you. The secret to attracting and winning high-ticket web design clients is to offer them what THEY want NOT the individual skills you can provide. Learn to think like your clients.
When you make that change in your thinking it will impact every area of your business.
It will change your pricing because you will start charging enough so you can afford to put the time into generating the impact they need. This lays the foundation of your 6-figure web design business.
Your marketing will change to reflect how you can help rather than highlighting your technical skills.
The structure of your business will change because you won't have to spend time constantly hunting for clients, you will have consistent, reliable income, and you'll have a system in place that can sustain the revenue goals of running a 6-figure web design business.
You will spend dramatically more time doing billable work that is fun and rewarding instead of grinding it out at meetups and on social media fighting for whatever low-budget projects you can find just to get you through the month.
This might be the most important one of all. The way other people view you will change dramatically. You'll stop being seen as the “web mechanic” who people call to fix stuff when something breaks. Now you will become a sought after consultant who can transform a business. This gives you a new, solid foundation for your business that will serve you for the rest of your career.
Just Having Skills Is Not Enough
I talk to people all day long who have amazing skills and no clients. Simply being great at your job is not enough to run your own successful business.
Having said that, you don't have to run your own business. If all you want to do is build websites or write code and you're not interested in direct client interaction, marketing, and business development that's absolutely fine. But, to be successful you're going to have to partner up with someone who will focus on business development and finding clients for you. That could be a business partner, but most likely you'll want to get hired by an agency or work with a recruiter who can find work for you.
Know Your Audience
We're talking about two very different audiences. One audience is large agencies and recruiters. The other audience is local business owners. If you want to attract agencies and recruiters then focus on highlighting your technical skills because that is what they are looking for. If you want to attract and win local businesses you have to train yourself to think like they think so you can offer them what they are looking for. This is a much harder process, but if you can do this you will set yourself apart dramatically from the competition. You will command much higher rates for your work. You will have a successful business because this is exactly what is needed in today's economy.
How To Set Yourself Apart
The wrong way to differentiate yourself is to stalk Facebook groups, blog, focus on SEO for your business, and write content… write content… Google loves content… create more content.
This was more successful in the past and now this is what everybody does. It doesn't work for two reasons. First, it doesn't set you apart because this is what everyone is doing. You're just going to be another person shouting in the echo chamber of old ideas. Second, you're not thinking like your client, your thinking like a web designer. That means you're attracting other web designers with your content NOT the business owners you're actually trying to reach.
If you don't believe this, just ask yourself right now, “Is my current strategy bearing fruit?”
The Shortest Path To Success
The right way to set yourself apart is also the most simple. Figure out how you can genuinely help someone. Then go and do it. It doesn't have to be this fancy, shiny presentation. Clients don't want shiny things. They want a return on their investment. They want results. Learn to think like your clients and couple that with what YOU know how to do. This is the shortest, most efficient path to success.
If you want to build a 6-figure web design business in less than a year, this is how you do it.
What Does This Look Like For You?
This is a brand new way of thinking for most WordPress consultants and web designers. We've spent so much time learning our skills and perfecting the technical aspects of our trade that it's hard to pull back and see the big picture from the client's perspective.
If this is approach to serving clients sounds like the direction you want to go and you want to get there as fast as possible with a pattern that has been proven to be effective and efficient then let's talk and see if DoubleStack is the right fit for you.
First, we pack your technical toolbox with the best digital marketing tools and platforms so you feel comfortable and confident in your ability to drive business results for your clients.
Second, we develope a new marketing message specifically for your business that resonates with the exact clients you know you can serve the best. This is one of the most powerful transformations you can make because by changing the way you talk about yourself you immediately change the types of people you attract.
Finally, you end up with a business structure that will enable you to hit your 6-figure income goals without having to hire subcontractors or employees and without constantly hunting for clients.
Your Next Step
So, if you're serious about building an amazing business for yourself by generating awesome results for your clients and you don't want to burn out or lose your integrity in the process, let's get on the phone.
How to transform past projects into long-term recurring revenue clients.
What you need to change on your own website to start attracting the clients you really want to be working with at the prices you're actually worth.
How you should be pricing your work so you can get away from project-based pricing and hourly billing and start getting into value-based pricing.
We'll cover all of that during our call. Then if you want to talk about working together to implement these things into your business we can talk about that. If not, that's totally fine too. Either way, you owe it to yourself and your clients to shift your thinking so that you're both on the same page. When you do that, everybody wins because you're doing your best work and your clients are getting the best results.
There are some really big changes taking place right now in the web design world especially when it comes to pricing WordPress projects. There are two fundamentally different approaches to pricing. The reason I wanted to kick off the new year talking about pricing is because the price you charge for your work represents your mindset more than anything else. Your mindset – the big picture of what you're actually doing – is the most critical component to your business because it impacts everything you do. Your mindset not only dictates your pricing but it determines your marketing, how you introduce yourself to people, what you say on your website, how you show up for client meetings, the types of referrals you get… everything. Now, more so than ever before we have two drastically different approaches to pricing WordPress projects. One leads to everybody losing while the other leads to everybody winning.
Selling Websites vs. Serving Clients
Ultimately, the two different approaches for how to price WordPress projects comes down to whether you believe you are selling websites or whether you think you are serving your clients. It used to be the case that selling websites was the same thing as serving clients, but today there is a huge distinction between the two. And, yes, I believe they are mutually exclusive in a high-level sense. In other words, given the changes that have taken place and where things stand in 2020, simply selling websites is not serving clients.
If you feel like you disagree with this, hear me out because once we look at the mindset behind selling websites versus serving clients I think you'll see what I mean.
How To Sell Websites In 2020
I talk to thousands of WordPress developers and web designers every month. By far the most common question I get asked is how to find clients who are willing to pay higher prices. I really appreciate people who have the courage to ask that question because there are so many snarky people out there who are quick to say that you just need to improve your skills or just get out there and work hard. Of course, you need good skills and a tenacious work ethic but I get this question from people who have degrees in graphic design and have been honing their skills for years. They are talented professionals and they still are having a hard time finding clients at the prices they want to charge.
The reason for this has almost nothing to do with their skills. The problem is that the economy has changed. Today it's easy, fast and very inexpensive to get a website. You can download WordPress for free. Then use a page builder like Elementor or BeaverBuilder along with Astra Sites and within a day you can have a great looking site without ever dealing with code. Or, if WordPress isn't your thing then use Wix or Squarespace. If you're not into building your own website that's fine too. If you've got a budget of around $500 you can find plenty of people on Upwork, Fiverr, or even Craigslist who will spin up a surprisingly decent WordPress site for you.
So, if you're out there trying to “sell websites” but you're charging $5,000 while all these other options are only $500 or less then you're going to have a hard time selling your websites. This is why your mindset makes all the difference! What are you really doing? Are you really just trying to sell websites? Because if you are, then you're going to need to set your prices under $1,000. Otherwise, you're going to start hearing your clients say things like:
Why does it cost so much?
Why are you so much more expensive than everyone else?
That price is way outside our budget!
I can't afford that!
The bottom line is this. If your ultimate goal is to “sell websites” then charge about $500.
The Difference Between Selling and Serving
Before we go any farther, let me clarify how I am defining selling and serving.
Selling means you have one or more skills to offer and you're essentially setting up a buffet for your services. You want people to come and pick one or more of the things you can do and then hire you. Then you show up doing the best you can to make sure the client is happy with your work. I want to underscore that there is nothing immoral or wrong with selling your services. The point to understand, however, is that the burden of success for the project as a whole is entirely on the shoulders of the client and whether or not they can ask you for what they actually need and whether or not they can generate success for their business with what you deliver.
Serving means you lead your clients to a level of measurable business success that they would not be able to achieve apart from you. Simply giving them a beautiful website is not enough because the website itself is not the end goal. Getting a website is never the client's end goal. Therefore, delivering a website is not a measure of success. If you're not delivering success then you're not serving the client. Serving the client means helping them reach their business objectives.
A Real-World Example Of Selling vs. Serving
Let's demonstrate the difference both in terms of value and in results with a real-world example but in a different context, rock climbing.
It's a cool spring day and you're walking through the mountains with a friend. You're not a rock climber. You're just out walking the trail enjoying nature and having a good time. You have spent the afternoon having a picnic in a small clearing near the top where you feel like you can look across the entire earth. It was a beautiful afternoon and now you and your friend are walking back down the trail returning to your car to head home.
Suddenly you hear a rumbling sound behind you. You and your friend both look back and to your horror you see several large boulders rolling down the trail and there's nowhere to go to get out of the way. To your left there is a steep face to the mountain and your friend is already trying to climb up and out of the way. To the right is an almost vertical drop off. You have no choice. The boulders are about to crush you so you start sliding down the cliff. Miraculously, about 20 feet down the cliff your backpack snags on the root of a tree and stops your fall.
You're OK but you're 20 feet down the side of the mountain, night if falling and you have no way to get back up to the trial. Your friend was able to run up the side of the mountain high enough to get out of the way and is safe. The dust settles. You look up and your eyes meet. You're both OK but you are stuck 20 feet down an almost vertical drop off and it is getting dark.
What do you really want right now? Let's consider two scenarios. In one scenario your friend says, “Hey! I've got a rope! I can throw it down to you if you want it.”
Or, what if your friend said, “I've got a plan! I'm going to take this rope, and tie one end to the trunk of this tree. Then I'm going to run the rope through a pulley that I'm attaching to a sling. I'll lower the sling down to you. When you get it, wrap the sling behind your back and under both of your arms. When you're secure in the sling I'll pull you up.”
Which option would you choose? Obviously option two, right? Which option would you pay the most for? How much more would you pay?
Both scenarios feature a rope as the primary tool used in the rescue. But, in the first scenario, it's all on you to figure out what to do with the rope. Even if it was the best rope in the whole world, what are YOU going to do with it? You don't know how to tie any mountain climbing knots. Furthermore, you really need more than just the rope. You need the tree, the pulley, the sling, and your friend. For your rescue to be safe and successful, you need someone with experience using the tools. For example, by adding the pulley into the mix your friend only has to pull 50% of your weight up the cliff. If you didn't know how pulleys work and that you need to attach the pulley to yourself (not the tree), you'd be stuck trying to lift 100% of your weight.
The first scenario is just selling ropes (or websites). The second scenario is serving the client. Nobody just wants the rope. They want the results that come from using the rope effectively and that involves more than just the rope. It includes additional tools, knowledge, and experience.
Why Selling Websites Is NOT Serving Clients
The rock climbing analogy illustrates very clearly why selling websites is not serving clients. Yes, you're giving the client a tool that is critical to their success. Perhaps it is even the most important component. But it's not ALL they need to reach their real objective of winning more clients or generating more sales. They need the full plan, some additional tools, and they need YOU.
Now we are getting to the heart of the matter. Today, with all the tools, plugins, and platforms available for digital marketing building a successful online presence involves far more than just building a website. Of course, there are all the technical boxes that need to be checked like making sure the site is running over SSL, you have a good mobile experience, off-site backups, fast loading servers, etc. But you also need the marketing and business development component as well. Where are the leads going to come from? How are you going to nurture those leads until they become customers? How do you keep customers coming back? If those questions aren't getting answered then you are not actually serving the client.
How To Price WordPress Projects In 2020
The key to building a successful web design business in 2020 is to stop “selling websites” and price your projects in a way that enables you to serve your clients. That means you're going to have to charge a LOT more than if you were just slapping together a quick 5-page website because you're offering a fundamentally different service that includes three major components:
Your technical and design skills
Your digital marketing skills
Your business development consulting
If you're a self-employed WordPress consultant running your own web design business, I usually recommend that you price your projects between $3,000 and $10,000 so that you have the time to do all of the work necessary to develop and execute an effective plan. This is an affordable price for small to medium-sized local businesses. As your skills grow you begin to feel more confident will start winning projects over $10,000.