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Do you ever how some web designers are able to attract those high-paying clients and create consistently high income, month after month, while the only clients who seem to want to hire you are those cheap clients who are always penny-pinchers with a serious case of scope-creep?
It’s not that other designers necessarily have better design or development skills.
It’s not that the websites they’re making are more complex.
It’s not even that they have more experience than you.
It’s because you’re making some big mistakes when it comes to attracting clients.
Mistake #1 – You’re trying to appeal to everyone
In order to get more clients in the door, you’re trying to appeal to a wide group of people. But the problem? You’re generic. You’re boring. And potential clients don’t believe you’re able to help with their individual special-snowflake problem, because you don’t understand them.
When you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.
It seems like narrowing down your focus would limit your audience and result in less work, but it’s actually the opposite. When you narrow down who you work with and truly understand their problems, you connect with your audience in ways that being generic just can’t do.
And when you understand what your clients want and need, they want to work with you–not that generic designer who doesn’t “get” them and works with everyone. Clients will pay more for an expert who they feel can help them.
Mistake #2 – You’re focused on selling tech
I get it. You know how to use all the graphics programs and can code six different languages. That’s cool.
But it’s not what your clients care about.
The mistake you’re making is that you think clients not only understand but care about all the skills you have and all the tech you’re putting into their website. But they don’t.
In fact, high-end clients don’t even care about the website. It’s not what they want to buy.
Clients who are willing to invest top-dollar don’t see a website as what they want, they see a website as a tool to help them get what they want. Which is likely more leads, more sales, and time saving. So if you’re focused on selling a website and tech features, you’re only going to attract clients who haven’t yet reached the understanding that the website is a tool that can make them more money or save them more time. And since they don’t realize this, they’re not willing to pay much.
Instead of focusing on selling the tech, you have to focus on selling the results your website can deliver. Once you understand your audience and their problems (see mistake #1), you can offer them solutions that are worth investing in. Not the tech.
Mistake #3 – You’re not providing a great experience
What’s the difference between a cheap motel and a luxury hotel?
They both give you beds to sleep in, hopefully a private room, and a bathroom to get cleaned up in.
So why would anyone “waste” the money to spend the night at a luxury hotel instead of saving money and staying at a cheap motel?
It seems silly, right? You get the same features at each, so why would anyone spend the extra money?
The answer? The experience.
A cheap motel doesn’t provide a wonderful memorable experience the way a luxury hotel does. Sure, sometimes you just want the cheap thing. But other times? You want the experience.
If you’re attracting cheap-motel clients it’s probably because the experience you’re providing feels like a cheap motel.
If you want high-end clients, you have to create a better experience. People are willing to pay a LOT more for a great experience, so if you’re not giving it to them, you’re leaving a ton of cash on the table.
Map out the entire web design process, and look at how you can make it smoother, more enjoyable, and better for your clients. Give them that great experience so that you can charge top-dollar.
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If you’re attracting cheap clients, it’s likely because you’re making one (or more) of these mistakes.
Being generic and trying to attract everyone means you’re boring, and doesn’t instill confidence that you can help your clients because you don’t look like an expert. Narrow your niche and answer your clients’ problems. They will see you as an expert worth investing in.
Selling tech and features only attracts cheap clients who know they need a website because they read an article that said that they need a website. Offering the solution to your clients’ problems and selling the results attracts clients who are willing to invest to get their problems solved.
Don’t be a cheap motel. Poor customer service and experience hurts you, no matter how talented you are and creating websites. Provide your clients with an incredible experience that will have them talking about how great working with you was.
Originally published 3/6/19. Updated 6/12/23.