101 ways to elevate yourself and demand higher fees

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Post on 22-Oct-2014




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This presentation was first given at WordCamp Melbourne 2013 and is designed to help WordPress developers elevate themselves above the pack and demand higher fees for their work.


# 1

Say No to initial client meetings.

Say No to co!ee and lunch requests from start-ups.

Say No to requests for quotes.

Saying No sends a clear message that you are in demand and that you do business on your terms.

Say No

# 2

Set up a simple form on your website or on wufoo.com and ask your incoming leads questions about their project.

This simple step will eliminate a large number of tyre kickers who are just "shing for quotes.

If they have not thought about their business enough to be able to "ll in a simple form then they are not ready to work with you.

Qualify Your Leads

# 3

Ask better quality questions than the average web designer and you will immediately be perceived as an above average specialist.

Asking questions about their business, their industry, their clients and their competitors shows that you take your work seriously.

Ask Quality ?s

# 4

Nobody expects you to ask why they need a new website.

So when you do, it shows that you care about their project and you are not desperate for work.

Ask Why?

# 5

Ask your prospect what a successful online strategy looks like for them in 12 months time.

Ask them to describe the impact this will have on the business and how important it is that the online strategy is a success.

Ask them how the website "ts into the overall strategy.

Define Success

# 6

The single biggest thing you can do to save yourself wasting hours writing proposals that will never get read and to start attracting bet-ter quality clients is to ask your incoming leads about their budget upfront.

This positions you as a serious business instead of a needy freelancer.

You will be surprised how many people will tell you the truth if you just ask.

Ask About Budget

# 7

Rebranding the WordPress login screen with your prospects logo is a two-minute job that goes a long way to showing them how easy you are about to make their life.

Most clients have a horror story or three about their previous web de-signers. This simple act will put their mind at ease.

Show them this rebranded login at your "rst meeting once you have quali"ed them as a serious prospect.

Rebrand Login

# 8

We all love the WordPress dashboard, however if you have never seen it before it can be a little overwhelming. Most of it is also useless to the average business owner.

Customise the dashboard to show them what it will look like if you decide to work together.

Include a Google analytics chart and a welcome video.

Useful Dashboard

# 9

When you "rst meet with a prospect let them know that you only have 45 minutes to spare.

This highlights to them that you are busy and that you value your time and theirs.

We all know that if you want something done you should ask a busy person to do it.

Value Your Time

# 10

Use a plug-in like Testimonials by WooThemes to show them how easy it is to manage di!erent types of content using WordPress.

Show Ease of Use

# 11

Do not meet in cafs, restaurants, bars or any other public place that might be noisy and full of distraction.

If you do not have an o#ce then go to your prospects o#ce or hire a meeting room for an hour at the local council or a serviced o#ce facil-ity.

Meeting in a caf will be very distracting and sends the message that you are a laid-back freelancer therefore your rates must be match that perception.

No Cafs

# 12

Insist that all decision-makers must be in the initial meeting.

There is no point getting boy wonder all excited about the project un-less Batman is prepared to foot the bill.

Decision-Makers Only

# 13

Let your prospect no that you have another meeting directly after theirs.

This allows you to get out after 45 minutes and it lets them know that you are in demand.

Tight Schedule

# 14

Its one thing to make a bit of small talk to build rapport, but it impor-tant to avoid excessive chitchat at the beginning of the meeting.

Your time is valuable and dissecting the latest sporting scandal is not going to bene"t anyone.

Avoid Chit-Chat

# 15

Dress like you mean business.

That doesnt mean you need wear a suit or even a collared shirt with nice trousers.

Just try and avoid board shorts and thongs.

Ive seen it and its not good for anyone.

Dress Well

# 16

Do not mention any plug-ins in your initial meetings with the client.

First of all, it will not mean anything to them and second of all if you are secure enough in your process and the value you add you should spend all your time talking about the bene"ts they are going to re-ceive instead of the technology you are going to use.

No Plugin Talk

# 17

Do your homework before you meet with your prospect so that you can talk to them about the speci"c problems they may have and any particular quirks within their industry.

Do Your Homework

# 18

Ask your prospect what superpower they think you bring to this project.

If they decide for themselves that you are above average it is much easier to charge above-average rates.

Try and do this with some light-hearted humour.

Claim SuperPowers

# 19

Busy people do not need business cards.

Make sure you get a business card so that you can follow them up with your process and on your terms.

Again, busy people do not need business cards.

Dont Do Cards

# 20

Record the initial client meeting on your iPhone so that nothing falls through the cracks later.

I promise you other web designers are not doing this so this will dif-ferentiate you immediately.

Record Meetings

# 21

Email your prospect a summary of the meeting from your iPhone re-cording outlining the success factors they spoke about and the an-swers to the high-quality questions you asked them.

Mention the superpowers they gave you during the meeting.

Email Summary

# 22

Reiterate the success factors they spoke about when you submit your proposal.

This demonstrates you are a good listener but it also gets everyone on the same page from the get go

Reiterate Success

# 23

Avoid writing functional speci"cation documents unless it is a deal-breaker for the IT department.

Try and avoid dealing with the IT department altogether if you can.

A website is a marketing activity not an IT activity.

Dont Bore Them

# 24

Read Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

Enough said.

Read ReWork

# 25

Use bidsketch to create beautiful and consistent proposals in a quar-ter of the time.

Your client can electronically approve the proposal or leave com-ments for clari"cation.

Use Bidsketch

# 26

Re-read your proposal and tighten it up before sending it to the cli-ent.

Take out anything that is $u! and that doesnt spell out the bene"ts of working together.

Tighten Up

# 27

Build checkpoints into your proposal so that your client must sign o! on wireframes, design and development and must pay you through-out the project.

Avoid the usual 50% upfront and 50% on delivery.

Paying you throughout the project gets greater buy-in from the client.


# 28

I know this is obvious, but I recently received a proposal from a multi-million dollar software company who repeatedly referenced my com-pany as Uber the town car service.

I do not work for Uber.


Check Grammar

# 29

This may go against everything you have ever learnt but I suggest you do not call to follow-up after you have sent a proposal.

We all know after youve been out on a date that it comes o! as a bit desperate if you call the next day.

Besides, you should be too busy to follow them up.

Do Not Call

# 30

Instead of calling, drop your prospect into an email sequence that includes a couple of testimonials from past clients or preferably refer-ences from people in their industry.

Email Proof

# 31

Do not negotiate on your process.

A little bit of knowledge is dangerous and your prospect may suggest you use a certain plug-in to speed up the process and save money.

You cannot negotiate with a doctor or your mechanic about their process.

Keep Process

# 32

Show the client timeframes and milestones.

Avoid compromising on these timelines just because the client needs things quicker.

Use gantto.com to show the milestones and dependencies for the project

Keep Time Frames

# 33

Do not discount your price just because the client asks you to or indi-cates it does not "t within their budget.

If the client really is out of budget then take something out of the project as a compromise.

Discounting your original price just lets them know that you had add-ed too much fat in the "rst place.

Do Not Discount

# 34

Drop your prospect into an email sequence that includes articles on latest trends and technology in the web design space.

This is much more e!ective than calling them and asking them what they thought of your proposal.

Keep Em Informed

# 35

Email your prospect and article that you disagree with and tell them why you disagree with it.

Write up your opinion piece as a blog post or better still should a vid-e