3 Profitable Ways To Serve Clients With Small Budgets

Here’s how to create profitable projects even if the client has a small budget.

What Problem Are They Trying To Solve?

Usually, the reason clients come to you with a small budget is that they just want a small thing. In their mind, they are thinking they just need a quick website to solve the, “I don’t want to look stupid” problem. Basically, they just need a website to add to their business card so they don’t look dumb for not having one. They don’t really believe their website will get traffic, bring in clients, or make them money.

Small problem = Small budget

Solve A Larger Problem

The solution is to present a mindset shift by opening up the possibilities for traffic, leads, and revenue. In other words, when you meet with the client, don’t jump straight into talking about how many pages they want and other tech specs for the website. Instead, ask questions that reveal the true value of your work.

I have a 1-hour video course dedicated to showing exactly what questions to ask to turn low-budget clients into high-ticket projects.

But today, let’s talk about how to handle clients who legitimately don’t have access to the funds for a high-ticket project.

3 Ways To Serve Clients With Small Budgets

The main idea is to construct the smallest possible project that will still generate a measurable business result for the client.

If you can generate results for the client, they can use the proceeds to reinvest with you into amplifying their results. In other words, put them on your value ladder even if building their website is not the first step. Here are some examples of things you can do to genuinely serve clients even if they have a budget that’s too small for a full-blown branding and marketing overhaul.

Single Page Site

Rather than building the entire website, start with a basic landing page that focuses on building an email list. In other words, make a landing page with a compelling lead magnet for the purpose of building an email list of warm leads.

To keep the scope down in an affordable range:

  • Pick one product or service (don’t talk about everything they do)
  • Develop a lead magnet that solves one small part of their customer’s problem
  • Collect an email address and send the customer the cool thing

If that’s all your client can afford right now this will at least be enough to get the ball rolling for them. They can manually follow up their leads.

Email Marketing

If there’s still a little room left in the budget, implement a lead nurturing sequence to automate the process of turning the leads from the landing page into paying customers. It’s super simple and affordable to implement a basic drip campaign. I use MailerLite which makes the process crazy easy and MailerLite only costs $10/mo. Much easier and more affordable than MailChimp for something like this.

Business Directories

Another lead generation strategy that is often overlooked – especially for clients that provide some sort of professional service (accounting, bookkeeping, lawn care, roofing, decks, fitness, etc.) is leveraging business directories to generate leads.

Get your client listed in at least one directory even if it is just a free membership on Angi.  There are a bunch of other business directories including directories that focus on niche markets like directories of local photographers. Find a good directory for your client and get them set up with a decent profile. Link that profile back to their website – or at least the one-page site you built them. That will drive traffic for free to their website and they’ll be building their email list of warm leads.


The main points are:

  1. Don’t offer anything that is too small to create a measurable result
  2. Start with a one-page landing page that collects email addresses
  3. Automate nurturing leads through a drip campaign
  4. Business directories are an affordable – sometimes even free – (and often overlooked) source of traffic and leads.

The Authority Framework

Discover the counterintuitive strategies I’ve developed over the last 20 years for landing serious, growth-oriented web design clients.

This is a modern approach to solving the most frustrating problems of running your own web design business.