Last night I had a Skype call with Ken Westgaard of KISSmedia as part of my continual research as to what real web designers are doing to find clients – what works and what doesn’t.
I love the “roadmap” approach Ken uses to get web design clients to pay him more and ensure the close. It’s nothing short of genius and you’ll learn about it below.
How he got his first client.
Ken’s first client was a photographer, a friend. And from this friend, he found more work. It was pretty straight forward and was one of his more profitable projects. To me, it’s no surprise as most web designers get their first client through a friend or colleague. It’s because these people know, like and trust you.
You should take that to heart. As part of a new web designer’s marketing strategies, take steps to get everyone you know to know about what you do. All friends, family, colleagues, past co-workers and all your networks: Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, etc.
He shared with me two key things he’s doing to grow his web design business: (1) the roadmap and (2) strategic partnering. Firstly, the road map (pure genius!)
Ken has this sweet thing he does to boost income and improve his – rate. He calls it the roadmap approach, where he has a few meetings with clients to create a plan of success for their websites. And, he charges for this.
This is such a great approach because the time he spends with clients wins their trust. And that’s a big part of the sale. He listens to them, shares a few tips, and the time spent gets the client familiar with working with him.
Clients can take the roadmap and go hire another designer if the client wishes. No problem with Ken as he’s been paid for this effort. This is something I’ve seen other successful designers do and it’s a great move.
Also, if the clients do decide to work you, you can use the roadmap fee a discount incentive, which means you say something like this, “If we end up working together, the proposal will be reduced by the roadmap fee.”
Nice move Ken. Savvy.
The second thing, strategic partnering.
Also a great move for web designers is to find a steady, strong referral source for clients and new work. He’s exploring a possible arrangement with another company that matches web designers with work. It’s a new possibility for him, but it could save him all the marketing and sales time that most of us designers just hate.
Ken also wrote an ebook which could help you price your projects to earn more. Sweet!
The book is 25 juicy pages of key concepts you just have to know. I think one of the best ways to grow your business to learn the strategies to succeed and then find your own approach to incorporating them. This book is perfect for finding a good idea to begin with. Then just apply it as you creatively see fit. Avoid over information gathering which always paralyzes you.
I read it and my favorite section is Going from Freelancer to Professional. Simply put, the better clients want a professional and will pay for one. The crappy clients want a low-cost freelancer who never sleeps. The tips in the other sections actually support this idea, specifically: pointing out all the value you bring, charging for it, and valuing your time, and finding their true pains.
Also, definitely work the simple math to finding what you need to earn. You do need real $$ numbers to get a handle on this stuff and make sure you’re being fed. He’s got a straight forward and real voice, which is good for easy reading and quick learning. Nice work for a short book Ken. Juicy.
Here are the details: What in the H*** do I Charge as a Freelancer? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! There are thousands of other struggling freelancers out there, but you never hear about their failures. I share my everyday struggles and wins while trying to be as honest as I possibly can. Freelancing can be a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t be a commodity, attract better clients and earn more.
Awesome work Ken! This is how you build your image an expert web designer who knows his stuff and not a website building slave who works for peanuts. He’s also giving back to his fellow freelancers. Good on you. Spread the good will and it will come back.
I love catching up with my fellow web designers to both share and garner business wisdom – and have a few laughs as we share our war stories and our successes. How about you? Email me and let’s have chat.