It takes a lot of skill to successfully set up a website that loads quickly, appeals to a target market, satisfies a client’s demands and looks good on all browsers across all devices.
Yet many web designers habitually undercharge for website creation. I confess, I have made this mistake in the past. I remember charging £200 for my first website.
Why do we make this mistake?
Usually, it’s enthusiasm – we love what we can do. We’re enamoured with web publishing and we can’t wait to help others experience its power. But, hold on there, sparky! If we’re giving out power, people should pay a premium for it. But, how do you get them to? Here are a few ideas:
Branded companies look more professional and charge more. Make sure the logo, colors and fonts on your website exactly match the logo, colors and fonts on your business cards, invoices and email signature.
Make sure every outward facing part of your company is as professional as it possibly can be.
- Make sure there are no speling mistakes or grammar errors on your website or company literature
- Always dress smartly when meeting clients
- Always address clients in the same way in emails
- Don’t get too “buddy” with the client and talk about getting drunk at the weekend
Yes, there’s a typo above. Just making sure you’re paying attention.
Prepare the client
Costs and charges should be set out clearly in a new client’s contract. However, we often find ourselves working for the same client, year after year without changing the prices whilst the fuel, grocery and hosting prices around us are rising and rising for no apparent reason.
As a job is nearing completion with a regular client you may want to drop them an email
Just a note to say, as I prepare the invoice, that this time the job will cost a bit more than usual due to the extra revision changes which took more time. We are happy, of course, to do this but I have to reflect the extra work in the invoice. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Instead of creating a website for a client and doing the bare minimum there are plenty of extras you can add onto the job.
- Offer SEO services (XML sitemap, setting up Google Webmaster Tools, Google Authorship, optimizing page titles, putting them on Google Maps, setting up email and email signatures, etc.)
- Social media offers us many more avenues for client services as we can offer Twitter profile design, Facebook Page design, LinkedIn business page design, etc.
- You can also offer photography and copy writing, checking and editing services.
It’s always good to get clients on a retainer. The best way to do this is to charge yearly or monthly for website backing-up, security and maintenance.
Extra services like these should be agreed upon and specified in the contract.
Add a PayPal button to your website
Anyone with a PayPal business account can set up a PayPal button in 5 minutes. (And it doesn’t take 5 minutes to set up a PayPal business account).
So why not add a PayPal button on your site $100 for 30 minutes private Skype consultation?
Publish a minimum price
Although I always advise web and graphic designers to never publish their fees, however, I do think you can publish one price – your minimum. If you’re a web designer, say you won’t do a website for less than $3000, it discourages the time wasters and tyre kickers and raises the price expectations of the good clients.
With higher prices comes greater respect
Once you start playing with the big boys, everything changes. You get paid on time. Clients are grateful for your help. They ask intelligent questions. If they have a problem they explain it clearly so you can sort it out easily.
Rich clients are less hassle so the sooner you start offering premium services the better.
You can do it
You can start raising your prices today as long as you are confident you can provide the best possible service to the client. What do you think?