How do you get clients if other people are offering similar services to yours for a lower price?
This is one of the biggest questions facing talented web designers and WordPress developers right now because there are so many low-budget alternatives. So, how do you reach clients effectively with your services when there are so many other cheaper alternatives?
Why Finding Web Design Clients Is Different Today
Today's web design market has created an environment where so many people are all offering the same services such as graphic design, branding, social media management, and WordPress development. We've reached a point where the marketplace is saturated. Even though the demand for these services is very strong, the supply is even stronger. So, we've ended up with platforms like Upwork and Fiverr where everyone is competing for the same jobs and mostly differentiating on price. If you've been able to build a reputation for yourself then you've got some additional clout. But what do you do if you don't have the reputation? Usually the pattern is to do really cheap work at first to build up your portfolio and client base. The problem is that takes a long time and it's very frustrating for people who can do great work but undercut their own prices just to generate leads.
So the big question is this. How do you differentiate yourself from the competition when you're offering essentially the same skills? There are three options. You can jump to the third choice if you want to cut to the chase. But to be clear, let's also look at two other popular approaches that don't work.
Competing On Price For Clients
The worst way to differentiate yourself is to compete on price even though this is the most tempting approach – especially for people just getting started. The idea is, “Hey, I'll just do half-priced work for now to build up my portfolio. Then I'll up my prices later.”
This approach rarely works for several reasons. The biggest reason is that most people burn out before they get to the point of raising their prices. But, there are other problems as well.
Serious Clients Aren't Interested In The Cheapest Websites
Your pricing impacts the types of clients you attract. It's not the only factor, but it is a big one. Who is looking for the cheapest websites and very low-budget web developers?
- People with no budget
- People just dabbling at an idea and not willing to invest
- People looking to outsource the “grunt work” to someone else while they interact with the client
If you're looking for high-value, long-term clients you're not going to find that type of relationship with these types of prospects.
Cutting Corners Sabotages Results
The truth is that generating meaningful business results online takes a lot of work. It also takes a variety of different skillsets. If you making less than about $3,000 on the project you're not giving yourself the opportunity to do your best work. If you're cutting corners to squeeze a project into a tiny budget you aren't able to do the things that are necessary to drive results for your clients. This is a very important point because it illustrates why competing on price is not only a bad plan for you as WordPress consultant but it's not good for the client either. This is a recipe where everybody loses.
You Get Stuck Unable To Raising Your Prices Later
One of the main reasons WordPress developers and web designers try to compete on price is that they are trying to get off the ground. They want to build up their portfolio to show people what they can do. So, they take on very low budget work just to win a few clients. The problem is that it's very difficult to raise your prices later. If your strategy for winning clients is to compete on price, then you raise your prices, what differentiates you now?
You Become Known For Offering “Affordable” Websites
Not only does raising your prices erase your differentiating quality, you also build the reputation of being someone who builds “affordable” websites. So, when you get referrals, it is usually for more clients who want affordable websites.
Winning Web Design Clients With The Quality Of Your Work
Clearly, competing on price is not sustainable. But, sometimes people don't care because they think that competing on price is just a short-term solution for finding clients. Once they have a few projects in their portfolio they will raise their prices and differentiate themselves from the competition based on the quality of their work. The problem with this approach is that low-budget websites are becoming pretty high-quality.
New, Affordable Tools Have Gotten Much Better
A few years ago producing a well designed, fast-loading, responsive website was something that required a high level of skill. Off-the-shelf WordPress themes were obviously cookie-cutter templates. The DIY platforms like Wix and Weebly were really bad as well. If you wanted a decent looking, professional website you had to pay for it. Today, that's no longer the case.
With tools like Elementor and Beaver Builder along with themes like Astra, OceanWP, etc. along with platforms like Wix and Squarespace it's just not that hard to make a decent looking website. Yes, of course a custom theme might have better organized code or load faster than an off-the-shelf solution. But clients generally don't look at the code and don't really care about shaving a few milliseconds off their load time.
So, if your “high quality” work is producing roughly the same outcome (in the eyes of the client) as the more affordable alternatives, how do you get clients to work with you?
Clients Are A Poor Judge Of Quality
People like you and I are able to look behind the curtains and see what's going on inside a website. We can look at the source and see what WordPress theme is being used, what plugins are installed, how well organized the code looks, etc. We can run a quick check to see what technology a site is built with. We can also run quick tests to check page load speed. We can see what Google thinks about the mobile experience. Clients generally don't do any of that stuff.
So, how is a client supposed to judge the quality of your work? They pretty much just use there eyes and there feelings. If they like the way the site looks and they feel happy then it's a good site. Trying to highlight the technical benefits of your work and then attempting to teach the client what those are and why they should care doesn't work.
Finding Web Design Clients By Offering Better Outcomes
If you're looking for high-value, long-term clients and you want to be able to charge the rates that will enable you to do your best work you have to win clients based on the value of the results they get by working with you. This requires a significant mindset shift for most web designers and WordPress developers because you have to take that next step beyond the technology and into business development and consulting. This is a hard step to take for a lot of people because it involves exercising two different areas of excellence at the same time.
This is the essence of what DoubleStack is all about. You develop both your tech stack AND your business development stack. This enables you to shift into the role of a business consultant to help your client get clarity on their vision and the goals they have for their business. Then you also have the technical chops to implement that vision. The end result is NOT just a better website, a powerful sales funnel, a compelling email marketing campaign, etc. The end result is the OUTCOME of having done all of those things successfully.
Differentiate Yourself By Offering What Your Clients Actually Want
Clients don't actually want websites they want customers. They are willing to buy a website if it leads to getting more customers. Start talking about what you do in the context of what you're clients are actually looking for. Change the way that you present yourself and your business and you will change the types of clients you attract. You will also rise above the noise of all the other people out there offering all of the same services.
So… How Do You Find Web Design Clients?
Don't compete on price, offer better value.
Don't compete on quality, offer better outcomes.
Are You Ready To Find High-Value Clients?
If this sounds like something you'd like to explore in more detail, let's get on the phone and talk about it. During this 45-minute session we'll take a deep dive into your business and figure out the best approach for finding clients specifically for you.
After this call you'll come away with at least three things:
- Clarity on how to position your marketing to set yourself apart from your competition.
- How to change the way you meet with clients so they see the value you offer
- How to make the shift to value-based pricing that includes monthly recurring revenue.
We do all of this in the context of your specific skills and interests so that you can add an additional $5,000 to $10,000 per month to your income. If that sounds good to you, click here to schedule your call with me.