In the last month alone, I've spent over 50 hours speaking individually with WordPress freelancers about the challenges they are facing in their business. The #1 problem everyone wants to talk about is not being able to land new clients. This is the reason why everyone is having trouble landing new clients.
Tell Me What You Want
There are several very common approaches to how WordPress freelancers interact with their clients. First, there's the “Tell me what you want-ers.” These are the people who sit down with a new prospect and ask them what they want on their website. They are expecting to hear things like:
- How many pages their client needs
- What other sites their client likes so they can mimic the design
- Do they want a new logo or brand identity
Some of the “savvy” WordPress freelancers have even put together a questionnaire or a lengthy checklist of thing to go over to try to extract what their client wants through a painful and intense line of questioning. The problem is, most of the time the client doesn't know what they want. They haven't thought through the situation. They aren't really even able to think through their situation because they don't know what's available.
Here's a general rule for life… People don't know what they want, but they are pretty good at knowing what they do NOT want.
And, if you're beating your clients up like this, your clients are going to be pretty quick at figuring out they don't want to work with you.
Let's Talk About Me
Of course, in reality, the client's eyes glaze over and they don't hear anything the WordPress freelancer has said. The client's mind wanders to the list of things they need to do later… What's for dinner… Then, by the end of the autobiography/resume, the client is numb, distracted, and disengaged.
If you're trying to win clients by impressing them with your resume, you're barking up the wrong tree. If you are trying to work with business owners, they don't care about your resume or your portfolio. If you think they DO care about those things it's because that's all you're giving them to care about. Are you offering them any other way to quantify or qualify your services? Or, are you leaving it up to them to figure out by looking at your portfolio?
Something For Everybody
Then there is the “something for everybody” approach where you have a package for every price range. If someone wants a $250 site, you can do that. If they want a $500 site, you can do that too. If they want a $1500 site, then now maybe you can add some SEO into the mix or maybe a little ecommerce. Whatever they want, you've got them covered. So, you ask, “What's your budget?” Once the client gives you a number then you show them your corresponding package.
But here's the thing… Helping people build and scale their business is not like selling cars at CarMax. Here is why. All the cars at CarMax basically do the same exact thing. They get you from here to there. The big difference is in how much style you want to be riding in. So, if a client only has a little money, you put them in a 5-year-old Nissan Versa or something. If they've got a bit more to spend, then maybe they'd like something with a bit more space and some leather seats. Whatever their budget is, you can find the ride for them.
Developing an online platform to build and scale a business is entirely different. Not all websites do the same thing. In fact, most websites don't do anything. They just sit there feeling lonely because nobody wants to visit them. It doesn't matter if you put your client in your $250 site or the $1500 site if you treat selling websites like selling cars at CarMax, all of your clients will have the same outcome. Nothing.
Who's Making The Offer?
The common thread through all of this – whether you're asking the client to tell you what they want, you're trying to impress clients to win their business, or you've got a package for every budget – the problem is you are not making an offer. You might be sending out proposals, but you're not making an offer. You're leaving it up to your client to make the offer.
If you are doing the “Tell me what you want” thing, you are sitting there trying to decide if you're willing to do all the work your client is listing for the price they say they want to spend. Your client is making the offer.
If you are handing out your resume and listing all the things you know how to do, you're trying to put yourself in a position where you will receive an offer from your client. You aren't making the offer. You're trying to make yourself attractive enough to receive an offer from your client.
If you've got “something for everybody” you're starting the entire conversation by asking your client for their offer right up front. Whatever they offer dictates what you will do. You're not making the offer, they are.
If you want to run a high-value business YOU need to be the one making the offers.
If this is something you want to learn how to do – if you're feeling like you are stuck with one of these outdated approaches we just talked about and you want to:
- Learn how to communicate more effectively with your clients
- Establish yourself as a leader and an authority without going through your resume
- How to price your services without falling into the “something for everybody” trap
Then let's talk. You'll find my personal schedule here. Pick a time that works for you and we'll spend 45 minutes on the phone together going over these things.