How to Effectively Price Your Services as a Freelance Web Designer

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Hi, I'm Chris and I'm super glad you're here. 7 years ago I taught my self-web design and freelancing. Now, I do my best to teach others what I've learned so they don't have to struggle as much as I did.

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There’s a lot of fear behind the question, “How do I price my services as a freelance web designer?”

I can feel it everyone time someone asks me.

And, I get it.

In the early days of being a freelance web designer, it feels like most of what you’re doing is just guessing followed up by an immense amount of googling. Or, is that just me?

After all, you don’t have a ton of experience in this area just yet and so it’s easy to feel unsure about most things ESPECIALLY when it comes to money.

Pricing your services right as a freelance web designer can be the difference between being successful and giving up on freelancing all together.

If only there was a simple way to know exactly how much to charge as a freelancer no matter what the situation!

But, wait…there is ?

Michael Janda: Freelance Pricing Guide Professional

Michael Janda has been freelance as a web designer before it was even called Web Design not to mention more modern job descriptions like UX/UI designer.

He started in the late ’90s and went on to build a thriving agency that served top-tier clients like Disney. He later sold his agency and began coaching freelancers to try and help them overcome the same struggles he experienced building his business. Sound familiar?

Michael wrote the book on how to price your services as a freelancer. No, like literally, he wrote a book about it.

And, he’s got a great course that is the Ultimate Guide to Freelancing.

And, he shares that with us on this week’s episode of the Self-Made Web Designer Podcast

Three Factors to Help You Determine How to Price Your Services as a Freelance Web Designer

Michael teaches us that there are three factors to consider most when pricing your services as a freelancer:

  1. Production Costs
  2. Market Value
  3. Client Budget

Production cost is how much it would cost YOU to build the project the client is wanting to hire you for. This is where you look at what you would charge for your hourly rate.

When I was first getting started I looked at how much money I could make if I went and got a job at Starbucks. You would take whatever you charge hourly or what you know what you could easily make if you were to go get a job somewhere.

Then you look at the market value of that project. Market value is how much other’s are charging for a similar project. You learn this just by asking. If you have friends that are freelancers you ask them. OR you can do like I did and pretend that you are a potential client and ask web designers how much they would charge you for a website ??‍♂️

No, don’t do that. I shouldn’t have but hey I was stupid and just getting started. You can ask freelancers that you find online how much they charge BUT just be honest about your intentions.

Finally, you determine what the clients budget is for the project. If you determine that you need to charge $4k for a website but a client only has $2k you’ve got more work to do in winning this one.

Just because the client doesn’t “have the budget” for what you’re asking doesn’t necessarily mean that you should part ways. It means you might want to dig a little deeper as to why they have the budget they do AND maybe you need to express your value a little bit better as a freelancer.

All of this is weighed against how busy you are. If you’re super busy you can charge more because, HEY, you don’t really need the work. On the other hand, if you’re not very busy it might be a good idea to lower your prices closer to your production cost.

I love Michael’s formula because it really validates the ups and downs that every freelancer sometimes feels.

The Truth About How to Price Your Services as a Freelance Web Designer

The truth is you should never look at your prices as a freelance web designer as set in stone. They will go up and down.

Learning how to price your services as a freelance web designer the right way is pivotal to making sure your prices go up more than they come down.

I know you’re going to love this episode with Michael AND it’s a two parter. So, he’ll be back next week to tell us even more.

You’ll Learn:

  • How to prices your services as a freelance web designer
  • How to convince your client to increase their budget
  • How to sell your freelance services by your value rather than your hourly rate
  • How to overcome objections from clients when it comes to pricing


Chris: [00:00:00] Today's guest is going to give you an exact formula that will tell you how to price your freelance services. It's so simple and so good. I wish I would have known about this a long time ago. Are you ready? Let's go

What's up, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the self-made web designer podcast. My name is Chris and I'm your host. And I'm so glad that you're here with us this week for a lot of reasons. But one of the biggest ones is that the guest this week is phenomenal. His name is Michael. Janda. And he's going to be given us a ton of great insight on how to price your services as a freelancer in such a way that you'll make more and more money over time.

You know, pricing is something that strikes fear. In the heart of every freelancer, no matter how much or how long you have been doing the freelancing that you're doing, whether it's building websites or web development or whatever it is that you do, there's just a little bit of idle. No, like what if they say no to me?

What if I get rejected? What if I'm not asking enough? What if I could have gotten more? Well, we're going to, we're going to cancel all those fears today on this very episode, you're gonna live fear-free when it comes to pricing, what you do as a freelancer from this point. On, we're just, we're getting all that crazy fierce stuff out of our lives and we're growing our free Lance web design businesses.

It's going to be great. You're going to learn so much from Mr. Michael Janda, and I also want to give a big shout-out to everyone. Who wrote a comment on the self-made web designer podcast that left a review. So thank you, Casey T for saying it doesn't get better than this. That makes my heart feel really good.

Casey. I appreciate that. Thank you, Mr. JC Western 20, who said Chris is awesome. I never missed it. An episode ever since I discovered this podcast a couple of months ago. Thank you, JC. And if you had a podcast, I would listen to it because I feel like we have a real close connection. Hey, if you leave a comment on whatever podcast platform you are listening to this episode on and give me a rating and subscribe.

I want to, I want to share some love with you. I want to give you a free hologram self-made web designer sticker. It's pretty, it's shines in the light and it can make you as a web designer, beacon for all of your friends, you can hold it high and proud and watch as more and more clients just come rushing.

To your door now, I don't know if that's actually going to happen. I hope it does. And if it does, please tell me because I'd like to pass that along to other people, but it's cool. It's a great sticker. I love it. I, uh, adorn it on many, uh, apparel in many things that I owned. So if you want to leave a comment, leave a rating.

Take a screenshot of that and send me an email along with your address to Chris at self-made web designer. And you too can be the proud owner of a self-made web designer, hologram sticker. All right. Enough of that. Are you ready to hear. From Mr. Michael GENDA about how to price your freelancing services in such a way to make more money.

Okay, let's go well. Hey Michael, thanks so much for being on the self-made web designer podcast. Super honored to have you, man.

Michael: [00:04:01] I'm super excited to be here. The self-made web designer. That is, um, my life man. I started. Back in 1996 when it was the start of webdesign. And, and so it's been my whole career from the very first websites in the world until now.

So. I've been through that whole journey.

Chris: [00:04:24] That's awesome. And I've loved so much your content on Instagram and everything that you have to offer on, on your website. And it sounds like now you're focusing a lot more on YouTube and so really appreciate you being here. And I'm sure you've got a lot of great stuff to share with the audience.

I wonder if you could just take us back to that, you know, the nineties, when you started the progression of where you were and how you got to where you are now.

Michael: [00:04:51] You know, what's so interesting, I think is that when I started my career, I didn't know that it was such a pivotal time in the design world, but I literally had one little mini mini lesson about HTML my very last semester of my very last design class, because it was all so new.

So this is probably March of 1996. And back in the day, You know, you were building things on mosaic. I don't even think Netscape was a browser option. Back then, we, we learned how to tell net onto the server and code on the live server. It wasn't even like you're uploading junk like you do now. You're not uploading an HTML page.

You are just coding it, hard, coding it right on the server. So that was my, my very start. And that dates me, I suppose, uh, in age, but. At the time I didn't, you know, I was so new and it was so new, the internet in general that I don't know, I don't think any of us had the vision of what was going to come over the next couple of decades and how it was going to really change the world forever.

This. The website world that we're in. So it's been fun. It's been a fun journey. I've seen it go from, you know, when you were called the webmaster at a business, because you were the only person who knew anything about websites. So they'd call you the webmaster and you have to design it, code it, build it, launch it, manage the server, the whole deal.

And then see the evolution of responsive websites and apps and how that took over some of what websites used to do became downloadable apps for your, your smart device. Uh, the, the start of calling it UX. Design user experience design. That was a term that didn't even exist for the old people like me that started designing websites in the early days, you were just the web guy, the web, the web person.

And then all of a sudden, you know, people start fancy and up the term calling it user experience, design and user interface, design and stuff. But, uh, it was, I predated all that stuff and saw the, the, all the changes happen all along. I guess my background, um, in 2002, I started at a creative agency called riser.

I built that up over 13 years and sold it in 2015. My client list was a who's who in great clients. Disney was my biggest client overall. My entire run. Google was a big client. The last couple of years, ABC and NBC Fox studios, Warner brothers AOL. Um, national geographic down the list of great companies that we had the privilege to work with.

Um, so that was, it's a great run. And I sold my agency in 2015 and then I stayed at the agency I sold to for a couple of years during my buyout years, then I launched into doing what I do now, which is mentoring, training, teaching creatives, how to level up their career. Uh, in a less painful way than it was for me, for me, it was trial and error and experimentation and no YouTube channels and no business coaches and no access to people that we have now.

And so I'm on a mission to be the person that I wished I would have had. In those early painful years of growing my agency.

Chris: [00:08:26] You know, I always encourage people like it's, it is one of the easiest times to build a business as a freelancer because of the amount of opportunity for connection, you know, like my, my story is.

I, when I ran out of, uh, uh, network of people that I knew personally, to build websites for, I went to Upwork and it was still in its early days. And so just thinking about not being able to have those avenues of connection is. It's probably like a whole nother realm of figuring stuff out.

Michael: [00:09:01] It was, it was, I mean, finding clients meant you had to get out of your house and go and meet people out there and build a reputation out there.

Face-to-face with clients because it wasn't happening any other way. And now, you know, these, these great things about Upwork and their, their pros and cons about it, but you can. It brings the buyer and the seller together on one platform. And so the whole trying to build relationships and find people who want to buy your services out there in the random world is, is really challenging.

And Upwork just takes it all away with that connection. Now that I've as a practice weighed down because you're competing against people all over the world and Upwork did a big piece of the problem was finding the person who wants to buy your service. That's a big problem. In the sales cycle and they solved it.

And so you, you discount your rates as a result of them solving it, but, uh, yeah, it's, it's a different world today for sure. And it's never been easier to, to build a business of creativity.

Chris: [00:10:11] Yeah. So one of the most consistent. Questions. I get it, especially recently for folks who are kind of just getting started is, you know, how do I determine how to price myself?

How do I determine what's what's not taking advantage of somebody, but also not allowing myself to be taken advantage. And then what's the progression look like going from starting here and getting to where I'm serving those big name, clients like Disney. So what did that look like for you? I know you've got a lot of content around that idea.

Michael: [00:10:43] Yeah. I mean, pricing was always, uh, an interesting animal and I, a lot of my content stems from the fact that as I figured out how to price my services, I was doing it all in my brain. And then a couple years ago I decided to write a book. Well, I actually started, I decided to write a blog post about how my pricing methodology was going to be and reverse engineer.

What I did my head when I was pricing creative work. And that blog post ended up becoming a 200 page book because I realized, Oh man, this is. The, the psychology behind what I do when I price a project was way bigger than what was going to fit in just the blog posts. So it became a book and it's in and as part of my freelance course as well, uh, the methodology there, but I'll just give you the, the summation.

Of when I went to sit down and say, okay, what do I do to go and figure out how do I price something? What is it that I look at? And it, and it stemmed from three main variables that I analyze. The first variable is production cost. How much is it going to produce? How much is it going to cost me to produce the work?

So let's say that somebody wants me to design a logo for them. I would say, okay, my. My hourly rate and I don't recommend going by the hour on billing. So this is just to come up with this one variable production cost. I would say my hourly rate is say $75 per hour, and I'm going to spend 20 hours in this logo project.

Well, that gives me a price of what, $1,500. That's my production cost variable. That's not my price that I give the client. That's just one variable that I analyze. The next variable that I need to look at is what is the market value of a logo? What do other people like me charge for a logo? I know my production cost is 1500, but then I would look and say, okay, what do people like me charge?

Well, I have a bunch of friends that are designers. I'll ask them. What are you charging for a logo these days? And one will say, well, I charge 1500. I charged 2001 will say, well, I just did a logo project for somebody. And it was $3,000, whatever I try and engage and understand what the market. Value is meaning what do other people charge for this same type of service?

Other people like me. So you can get that information from surveys, AIG publishes surveys on pricing. The graphic artists Guild handbook comes out every few years and has a bunch of pricing survey information. So you can kind of understand market value. That's the second variable that I analyzed. And the third variable that I analyze is what is the client's budget?

What do they really want to spend on this? Because I could say all day long, that $3,000 is the market value of my production cost is 1500, but if the client's budget is $700, Then I'm never going to get them to pay the 3000 that is market value. And maybe we're not a good fit for each other in that situation.

So yeah, analyze the client's budget and the easiest way to get the client's budget is to ask them the client, the budget. Just ask them in your discovery calls, how much are you wanting to invest in this project? What is your budget that you're trying to play in now? Um, I take those three variables and then I weigh those against a variety of different scenarios.

If I'm. If I have no work, then I'm probably going to be closer to my production cost. I'm going to discount my rate down, not try and have a ton of profit in the project, but I'm just going to price it in a, in a place that gets me the work, if I'm slammed and super busy. And I can't. Get the work done, then I'm probably gonna push that up into the market value that other people are charging three grand.

Other people are charging five grand. If I've got so much demand for logo design, I may say, you know, what, if somebody else wants a logo for me, they're going to have to pay $5,000 for this because my time is minuscule and my demand is high. So they have to pay more to get my time. It's a supply and demand mindset.

So I look at those variables in the scenarios that I'm in and make that educated decision on where I'm going to price work, but it really stems back to those three variables. And the big problem that so many creatives have is they have no variables. They sit down, somebody says, okay, do I want you to do a logo?

And they sit down and they're like, Oh, well, I don't even know. But I charge $300. Do I charge $3,000? They have no data that they're analyzing to try and arrive at their price. So they're just pulling it out of the sky. It makes a huge difference. If you have some data that you're looking at, and then you're making an analytical decision based on that data.

Chris: [00:16:00] Yeah, that's such a great, comprehensive way to look at it. It, it always hurts me a little bit. When I hear freelancing coaches or gurus, tell people to, you know, stick to your prices, stick to your guns at all costs, because the practicality of that is that there are seasons where. You could very well not have any work.

And if you're sticking to your prices, then you might go without money for a long period of time and it might, it might pay off, but it might hurt you in the long run.

Michael: [00:16:34] I've been thinking and a lot about supply and demand, and I've had a couple little contents snippets on this, but at some point I'm going to give the, the full breakdown on supply and demand and how it affects your pricing.

But if you've got no work, And demand is low. You have all your supply, your 40 or 50 hours a week of available time and demand is low well supply and demand. Economic principle. Number one says, reduce your price to increase demand, but if you're slammed, then yeah, stick to your price. You've got 50 hours a week of logo design work and, and fitting in another client.

Is like, uh, no way I can fit them in my time. My available time then demand is higher than the supply and you can increase your price as a result of this. And I saw this happen at my agency, you know, in the early years I was doing. Work for way cheaper than what I was in the later years. It organically grew over time because my demand for our services became so big that I was able to raise my prices as a result of that.

And I think that some of the, the guru mindset that you hear is stick to your price, charged $10,000 for a logo. That's your new price, and you got to get it. Well, man, if you have no demand for $10,000 logos and you stick to your price, C a as an employee at a business in about six months, because that's going to be the end of it for you.

So you've got to create demand at $500 logos. And once your demand for $500 logos makes it so that you have no time available to you anymore, then you increase your price to reduce demand. And you increase your price to $1,000 logos. And then once your $1,000 logos demand all your time, then you increase your price to $1,500 logos.

And it organically goes over time and different designers find that threshold at different times in their, in their business. So you just keep pushing up that price barrier. Until you start getting nos and then, you know, well, that's where my price is today. Once I get nos. Then that's where I have to be

Chris: [00:19:12] And so many questions, um, to kind of walk through this thing, but maybe one that's not so much evergreen as it is real specific to the season that we're in. I think.

What COVID did for web designers or, you know, freelancers in general is it actually increased the amount of work, um, that people have. I know a lot of my friends, I personally I've, I've had more opportunities to do work than I have ever since I first started, you know, all because people went to their homes, they couldn't do it.

They're actual businesses. So they thought, okay, I need to go online and make my online presence much stronger. And so I imagine that. It'll it'll flop once the world kind of starts setting right. And goes back to normal and we'll start to see those same clients go out and try to get actual business like they were before.

So I think there's going to be a little bit of a reduction.

Michael: [00:20:04] Yeah. It'll be interesting to see what happens. You know, one thing that I think we're going to see is a boom in entrepreneurship as a result of COVID. Uh, people sitting at home with a lot more idle time and idle time, sometimes sparks the most creative, interesting ideas.

And we also see a world of challenge where people are having to think outside the box to use the ultimate cliche, but they're having to think outside the box to keep their business alive or to. So to replace their income because they were let go from somewhere that was struggling and that out of the box, thinking, I can only imagine the amount of creative, cool ideas that have happened in the past year of a global pandemic that we're going to see come to fruition in the next five years of time.

So we might see. Before a risky pullback idea, like you mentioned, which could happen. We might see a boom in some amazingly creative, uh, businesses that come that emerge out of this. Yeah, absolutely. I kind of tend to be optimistic. So I, I like the perspective of, Oh man, I can't wait to see what all these people invented while they were sitting at home worried about how they're going to feed their family.

Uh, they invented the next great, whatever. It'll be fun to see,

Chris: [00:21:30] you know, in web design and freelance in general, the variation between one freelancers pricing to another can be incredibly drastic. Like you mentioned, one, one person can charge a couple hundred bucks for a website. Another person can charge $20,000 for this.

The same website. So given that situation, how would you encourage somebody to justify their pricing? If like this has happened to me before where a client's like, Oh my gosh, you're so expensive. The other person just said they were going to do it for 500 bucks. Like, what's your response to those clients?

Michael: [00:22:05] Yeah. Well, you're always competing, eating against the cost of the best alternative. That's the, the sales. Um, phrasing for it. And I haven't made any content on this, but I'm going to in the future, uh, the cost of the best alternative is something that we're comparing against. So a client is looking at you working with you for $5,000, and then they have.

The cost of the best alternative is somebody at $500. So now they're looking at it. You have to somehow sell them on $4,500 more value than the person at $500. Even if in the end, you both do similar amount of work. They they're undercutting you by a dramatic margin. So you've, you've got to play that game and the best way to approach that is to make their decision.

Not have to do with price. You've got to convert a price. Decision-maker a price-based decision maker into a value based decision maker or into a quality-based decision-maker or into a, um, customer service based decision maker. Now. There, there are various reasons why somebody buys from you. The, the ultimate reason is because they trust you more than they trust the other person.

So they choose the person they trust the most. That's the reality of, of why somebody is going to make that purchase decision. If you can't convince the person to trust you more than the lower cost alternative. They're going to pick the lower cost alternative every single time. So the way to get them to trust you more is all through that sales process.

And what I would do at my agency. I would start with the qualification phone call. We're talking through the needs that they have. We're having a 15 minute call to get to know each other a little bit. And then I would transition that to, okay. This sounds like a project that we're a great fit for. We love doing this kind of work.

Let me get a discovery call set up with you, me and Sally from my agency. And we want to walk you through the process that we're going to take to execute on your project. And the client says, okay, that's great. Okay, good. So now I'm bringing Sally to the table and now we have one hour in-person or a one hour zoom call where we walk the client.

Through our process and we show the client the methodical way that we're going to operate and the way that we're going to arrive at what they're buying from us. And when we walked them through our process, by the end of that, they're sitting there so often thinking, man, I want this. There's no way that this isn't going to.

Deliver for us. So organized. I've never seen an agency so organized because we had visuals and we gave them the step-by-step phase one. We're going to do this phase two. We're going to do this phase three. We're going to do this. And in phase three, we're going to watch out for this and we're going to do some user testing and blah, blah, blah.

And we walk them through that process by the end of that, the clients so often is not sitting there thinking. Oh, they better come down in price. The client is sitting there thinking, I hope that I can afford to work with them. Their price is going up, up, up as they go. I just had somebody do this to me last summer and I loved it when it happened.

And I don't think that they knew exactly that it was happening, but we bought a new house last summer. And we wanted to completely re overhaul the landscaping had a tiny backyard and we were used to a huge backyard. We bought it because it has a small lot. It's a big house on a small lot. That's perfect for me as I head into the next phase of my life and hopefully live here until I die.

So we wanted a small lot, but we also wanted a really nice. Lot of nice yard that we could enjoy. So we hired a landscaper or we, we met with the landscaper and my budget at the start was 30 grand. That's what I wanted to spend on my yard. So they take me through the sales process and the sales process to them was come to our yard, meet with us, talk about what we want.

We walked through it. We said, well, we really want this. We had this at our last house and we want this blah, blah, blah. And then he went back and I don't recommend pitching design. I don't like that. Um, but they did. And they showed us, he made a little 3d model of what. Our yard could look like, and he put in water features and a built-in grill and all this stuff and showed it all.

And by the end, he goes and prices it. And it was three times what my original budget was, but I loved it. So much. And so I go, um, back to him and I was like, okay, well originally we were hoping to spend like 30 grand had to redo this yard, but what can we get? Can you, can you design the $50,000 version of the, of what you showed us?

What is the $50,000 version look like? And so he went back to his little 3d model and changed out some plants and made the fireplace smaller and made the. Over the pergola smaller. And he, you know, he made things smaller and it looked like crap. I was like, man, I don't want that. What did we end up doing?

We ended up spending three times our original budget, and I didn't even talk to any other landscapers. I was so sold on what he envisioned for our yard and what he sold me on that I didn't even ask anybody else for other prices. I wanted him. To do it. And I wanted the design that he showed me and at the cost of triple what I originally had budgeted.

So this is an example of changing a price shopper into a value shopper. And that's what he did to me. I wanted. I wanted the vision that he painted for me. Uh, and I was willing to increase my budget to make that happen. Yeah. So you got to do the same thing when you're coming in, you've got this competitive world, low costs, your costs.

How do you transition them? You've got to paint the picture that you're going to be so much better than the cost of the best alternative. That there's no way they're going to choose that person. And that's, that's one of the keys to unlocking these bigger engagements that tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollar engagements is.

Doing that sales process, right.

Chris: [00:29:10] Such a good illustration. And I think it kind of brings up the idea of a budget for a lot of clients is, is probably not a static number. And, you know, it probably depends greatly on who the client is. You've got your companies that are, you know, three tiers of people, making decisions that somebody just came up with a nut number.

They looked at the budget that they had, and that's what they felt comfortable with. But then there's the folks who probably a lot of guys listening are there. They're doing it to folks who are just getting started and maybe they, they literally don't have the budget. Take to go up. So, so what should somebody do in that scenario?

Michael: [00:29:51] Yeah. So in that scenario, I, and I do think there's both. I think that was a good question. Um, I think that sometimes the client comes back, comes to you and they say that their budget is X and they really don't have X plus one. They give you their number. It's a fixed budget. That's all they have. That's all they're willing to invest.

And then there are other times like me with the backyard where yeah, I could find the extra money if I wanted to part with it, to buy the thing that they, that they pitched and, um, was able to increase the budget to, to make that happen. So in the case of the client who only has X and they don't have X plus one.

What you do is you reduce the scope of the project to fit the budget instead of just caving and giving it to the client for whatever the budget is. Okay. They want a five page website. You tell them it's going to be $5,000 and they're like, Oh, I don't have five grand. All I have is 2,500. Can you do it for that instead of you doing it for that you in caving and saying, okay, we'll do the five page website for 2,500.

You would transition and say, you know what, let's just do a landing page for 2,500. I think we can do that. We can, we can reach 80% of the objectives that you wanted to have in the five-page website. And we can do it inside of your budget. Would you be okay with a one page or landing page and you reduced the scope of the project to meet the client's budget.

That's the better way to go, rather than just caving on your price, which is what a lot of designers do. They just cave. To get the work and then they're stuck in this low priced project that isn't generating enough revenue to, to match the amount of work that they're doing.

Chris: [00:31:48] And you mentioned, and I think, uh, just kind of briefly glanced over pitching design and, and I think that's probably is something that people are kind of wondering what, what you meant when you said that.

Yeah. So, so talk through that and why you discourage people from doing that.

Michael: [00:32:02] Yeah. So it's the idea of, of showing the. Customer the potential client design work that you did custom for them to try and win the project. And I discouraged that it's, I'm not a fan of you. Designing client wants a new logo.

Just its logos, almost the easiest example, always to, to you. So the client wants a new logo. So in order to try and land the client, you designed three logos for them. And you include that in your pitch. When you sit with them and say, okay, you want a new logo? Well, here's three different logo ideas that we have.

And if you like one of these, then hire us and we'll refine it for you. Now that's pitching with some free design. It's it's, um, it D values the work that you're doing for the clients. So I'm never a fan of that in if the client doesn't like those initial logos, then they're never going to hire you. So you take a big risk there.

And part of the process. In any creative engagement of creating something design related should be a collaborative process between you and the client. You should start with researching their competitors and doing some in-depth interviews with them to talk about what their business really does and who their competitors are and who their target customer is and all those kinds of things.

And that should be a paid phase of the project. And if you just jumped the design. Without having this deep dive discovery session session with them, where you analyze all that stuff, then you're just skipping one of the most important, important parts of the entire project. So going to write to the design and pitching with the design and never encourage that.

I encourage pitching with your process, walking the client through your process, that is going to yield the results that they want, and then showing them examples of how that process has resulted in other successful projects that you've had. And then the client has to buy from you based on your potential to do for them, what you did for someone else.

Taking them through that same process.

Chris: [00:34:30] Yeah, that's, that's really good. And I think my mindset on that has kind of changed over time. Realizing the times when I have pitched with the design never actually got accepted, you know, because it is such a huge risk of going, I don't know anything about you at all, but here's an idea that I think will work for you.

And it's almost like, you know, trying to propose. To somebody that you've never met based on what you think they'll like about you and good luck, you know, you're not going to get married. It's not going to happen, you know? Um, so, but what do you do if, you know, like, cause I've had a few clients who were like, well, let's try this and if I like it, then we'll keep going.

You know, how do you, how do you discourage clients from having that mindset when they approach you?

Michael: [00:35:16] Well, um, a client, if a client dictates the process. Then you have not done an effective job of positioning yourself as an expert in the sales flow. So in that situation, I would say you already messed up somewhere and the client is now feeling like they have some kind of control over dictating to you how this is going to go now, go back in time.

And what should you change? Well, You qualify the client first 15 minutes, discussing, trying to determine if you're a good fit to work together, then you transition to a discovery phase. And in that discovery phase, you walk them through your process and you tell them. We're going to do research. We're going to do this.

We're going to do mood boards. We're going to look at your competitors, blah, blah, blah. And we're going to take it through initial design concept thing. And then we're going to refine the design and then we're going to do prepress production or pre-web or whatever. We're going to roll it into the family package of logos or.

Whatever that phase is, you're walking them through that process. And by the end of that, if, if you do that in an organized, structured professional manner, then you have very few clients who at the end of that say to you, Oh, Can you just skip that, that research phase and go on to phase two, because we really don't want that re research phase.

I don't, I don't ever remember a client ever doing that. Once we started pitching with our structured methodical process. People follow that man. As humans, we are preconditioned. Over the whole life from grade school on to follow structure. Okay. Kindergarteners, let's get in line, everybody line up against the wall and we're going to walk in single file.

We teach our people humans to follow these structures, go to Disneyland. You'll see it. You go in the turnstile, put your card under the thing, blah, blah, blah. You're doing structure. And then you go to the ride and you're going to go follow in the line. Nobody it's not chaos people follow structure and your clients will too.

If you sell them on your structure, if you haven't effectively sold them on the structure, they're going to want to put their own structure in and tell you. How, how you're going to run the project. Uh, so that, that to me is the answer is going go back in time and fix your sales process. And you're going to have very few clients that are telling you that they want comps.

And if they like them, then they'll keep going with you. Yeah. If you're professional and structured, they're going to follow it, man.

Chris: [00:38:13] So much good information in that interview that I'm I'm I myself, I'm going to have to listen to that episode multiple times, just to take as much as I can from it, but here's even better news.

There is a part two to this episode, Mr. Michael Janda is joining us next week. We have the second half. Of this fantastic interview, where he's talking about how to develop your processes and how to pitch your value to your clients with your processes. It's fantastic. It's a lot of great insight and you're not going to want to miss out on it.

So stay tuned. Well, I hope you got a lot from this, in fact, I'm pretty sure you did because how could you not? And I hope you have another fantastic week just killing it, crushing it as a freelance web designer out there in the world today. So stay tuned until next week when we've got Mr. Michael Janda coming back with us.

And as always, don't forget, if you don't quit, you win.

How to price your services as a freelance web designer|| A sign at a hotel that says "Best Rates"


Hi, I'm Chris and I'm super glad you're here. 7 years ago I taught my self-web design and freelancing. Now, I do my best to teach others what I've learned so they don't have to struggle as much as I did.

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