Last week we talked about the Top 5 Pricing Models For High-Ticket Web Design. That opened up a great set of conversations about everything from feeling like a jack of all trades to value pricing. What was most interesting to me, however, was that the most common response to thinking about raising your prices was fear.
The primary reason web designers don't charge more is because it's too scary. So, let's take a look at the top 5 fears and how to overcome them.
Everyone Will Say No
The most common fear is the fear of universal rejection. If you ask for more money then everyone will say no – perhaps looking you in the eye and laughing while pointing at your proposal. This fear is rooted in your mindset. Your business will never outgrow your mindset. So, this is obviously an important fear to overcome if you want to build a business that's sustainable and provides the income you need.
The good news is, this one is a pretty simple (although not necessarily easy) fear to overcome. First, figure out what price you want to charge. Most people I talk to should be charging between $5,000 and $10,000 if not more. So, are you saying that nobody in the world will pay $5,000 to $10,000 for their online presence?
Of course, that's false and we all know it. This fear is a ghost. It's not real even though it feels scary. But that's what a ghost is. Something that's not real but it's still scary. You overcome it by realizing the truth. It's like turning the lights on and seeing that the scary monster blocking the door is really just your coat hanging on the doorknob.
My Clients Can't Afford To Pay More
OK, well maybe some people will pay more, but my clients can't afford to pay more. This is usually the next step people go through in overcoming their fear of raising their prices. This is a different fear from the first one because it might not be a ghost. It could be true.
Having said that, in my experience, the vast majority of people who say they can't pay more are really saying they don't want to pay more. Maybe they are confident enough in being able to get results so they don't want to get in too deep financially. Or, maybe they have a mental budget for what web sites should cost, and that limits their budget. The solution to this is to learn how to justify the value of your high-ticket work.
But, maybe it really is true and the leads you're getting are people who literally don't have the finances to be able to afford higher prices. If that's the case then the problem isn't your skillset or your confidence, it's your marketing. Change the way you post about and talk about yourself and you'll change the types of clients you attract.
If that sounds like your situation, the first and fastest thing you can do is change your website to better reflect who you are and what you deliver. To get started here are 3 Fundamental Shifts To Get Your Website To Attract High-Value Leads.
It's So Hard To Get Leads I Can't Risk Losing Them
This is one of the most dangerous fears. If you don't overcome this one you might as well shut down and go do something else because you'll never break out of the cycle of working yourself to death for unappreciative, cheap clients.
This is also a sneaky fear because it hides beneath the surface pretending to be Mr. Nice Guy. You might think that you're just trying to give people what they want at a price they can afford. But really, you're afraid that if you charge more so that you can give them what they really need (which is more comprehensive than what they think they want) then you'll lose the client.
So, now you've got a project that's not paying you what you need. Therefore you can't do your best work. That means your client isn't going to get the results they need. Everybody ends up frustrated and resentful in the end.
See how this fear will destroy your business?
I Don't Want To Overcharge People
This one is both obvious and complicated at the same time. Obviously nobody should overcharge their clients. That's the truth that this fear hides behind. The complicated part is figuring out why you think you're overcharging.
You're not charging more just for the sake of making more money. You're charging more so that you have the time and resources to truly help your client. This is such an important point it's worth emphasizing again. You're not just raising your prices. You're delivering a solution that will make a transformative impact on your client's business.
A high-value website is high-value because it delivers high-value. Business owners who want and need those types of results pay high-ticket prices for this level of help. There's no other way to achieve the goal. If you don't charge enough you won't have the time, tools, and other resources you need to serve your client. Instead, you'll be rushing, resenting, and cutting corners.
How long can you stay in business like that?
Am I Good Enough To Charge More?
This is a fear everybody battles. No matter how good you are… No matter what degrees and certifications you have (or don't have)… No matter how many years you've been honing your skills… Everybody has that little voice inside that questions if you have what it takes.
I'm not going to say that everyone has what it takes because the truth is not everybody can do what we do. But, if you've read this far, that tells me a few things about you.
- You care about your clients and getting results for them
- You are serious about wanting to create an environment where everybody wins
- You are constantly seeking to improve – your skills, your marketing, and your mindset
- You want your clients to get true, measurable value from your work
- You are resourceful. You dig in and get things done with what you have.
- You've got grit. You like hard things because they are the most fun to smash.
These are all traits I look for. When I see that in someone I'm 100% confident they can succeed if they really are committed to building their business and achieving the freedom and lifestyle they want. I've never tied to coach a person who just simply couldn't build a professional WordPress site. Of course, some people are stronger with graphic design than others, but that's an easy problem to overcome in two quick ways.
Two Quick Ways To Overcome Skill Gaps
First, outsource to fill in the gaps. For example, outsource graphic design to somebody else. That's what I do. I'm super heavy on the technical side. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in computer science, I developed a bio-terrorism surveillance platform for the United States government, I ran an e-commerce platform for over a decade, but I can't design a logo to save my life. So, if I need a logo I just head over to 99designs and $500 later I'm good to go. That's where the DoubleStack logo came from.
Second, target markets that value your best skills. If you feel like you're not as strong in graphic design then target markets that don't need Marvel Movie levels of graphic design skills. For example, rather than targeting the fashion industry focus on lawn care businesses, real estate, or dentistry. Those are markets where you need a clean, responsive, professional web site but the main thrust comes from the content. The graphic design component doesn't have to be at the level of an e-commerce fashion site like Woven Magazine (which – by the way – is built on WordPress and uses WooCommerce). Focus on the markets that allow you to leverage your best skills.
So… What If You Don't Do Overcome The Fear Of Raising Your Prices?
These are the top 5 fears for why people don't raise their prices. There are many others as well. But the most important question to ask is this: What are YOU going to do?
- How long can you keep things going the way they are now?
- Even if you had all the leads in the world, could you do enough work and deliver the number of projects you'd need in order to hit your income goals at your current pricing?
- Are you satisfied being limited to quick, shallow projects?
- Are you really building a business or are you just doing work?
- Isn't it time to start earning what you're capable of making and doing it in a way where everybody wins?
If you've got that entrepreneurial fire in you then I can help you hone your technical toolbox and how to structure your marketing. It doesn't take very long either. It does take commitment and hard work. But, if you're already committed and putting in the hard work, let's put you on the path to success.