It seems like every time I talk to designers about bringing in more business, the most common solution for finding more clients is dropping prices. Unless you want to make less money and be more stressed, let me offer a few alternative options to dropping your prices.
Oh. And then add your tips by leaving a comment.
Target high-income clients
The obvious alternative to dropping your prices is finding clients who are willing to pay you what you’re worth. What’s the key to success with this strategy?
Actually being worth what you charge.
Take for example, Walmart and Nordstroms. Walmart plays the price game. Their motto is essentially this: “We will charge less than anyone else, guaranteed.” In fact, recently they’ve adopted the practice of price matching any legitimate advertisement from any other store. If you are all about price, go to Walmart.
Nordstroms, on the other hand, plays the quality game. Don’t you dare take a Target ad into Nordstroms and ask them to price match. They might just haughtily laugh you out of the store. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.
Nordstroms knows that, if they sell high-quality products, they can charge more. And if they charge more they can survive on less customers. Which means less work and time spent.
Would you rather be the Walmart of the design community, or the Nordstrom’s? I’d rather have fewer, high-paying clients than a million low-paying ones.
Don’t be afraid to say “no”
Humor me for a second. Have you ever seen the web site, “People of Walmart”? The terrible site basically showcases all sorts of strange people that visit Walmart stores on a daily basis.
The kind of people you would never want as clients.
See what I mean?
They would never make a “People of Nordstroms” web site. Not only are there not as many people to choose from, but Nordstroms basically caters to one kind of person. And photos of those people don’t make for an entertaining web site.
Likewise, you don’t need to accept all sorts of people as clients. Don’t be afraid to say “no” if a potential client solicits work, but you don’t feel right about the opportunity.
If you’re wasting your time with low-paying clients, you’ll never have time to build a solid repertoire of high-paying clients.
Choose your time, and your clients, wisely.
I have gotten a little bit of grief for it in the past, but I still say specialization is a great way to get an edge up on your competition. If you’re the best wordpress developer in town, who do you think people are going to call when they need a great wordpress site done right?
Not the cheapest guy.
See, people are willing to pay for expertise. That’s why plumbers get paid so much money.
And even if one guy could fix your leaky faucet, rewire your sound system, recite the Bill of Rights, and get you a great tax refund, you probably wouldn’t hire him to do any of those things. Or if you did hire him, you wouldn’t expect to pay that much, because the minute he takes on multiple disciplines, he just becomes some guy who does a lot of things.
And when you need your taxes done perfectly, you hire the accountant. Not just some guy.
Create a solid brand for yourself
Specializing is part of creating a solid brand for yourself. It seems like this is what it all comes down to:
Walmart is the cheap brand. And they attract clients who are all about getting a great deal.
Nordstroms is an expensive brand. And they attract clients who are willing to pay more money.
Accountants brand themselves as finance specialists.
Jacks of all trades don’t really brand themselves. They are just the guy who helps you out with stuff.
So what’s your brand?
How do you brand yourself. Do you agree/disagree with what I’m talking about today? I’d love to talk with you about it, but that’s only going to happen if you leave a comment.