Do you ever feel like all the referrals you get are for really small projects? Or, maybe they are demanding projects but with small budgets? How do you break away from that and upgrade to clients who are serious enough to have a budget that will allow you to spend the time to actually get them results?
In the next few minutes, I'm going to tell you something that's radically different from what all the other web designers are doing. It's also hard, but it's not complicated. But, if you pull this off successfully you'll be able to land far more than enough clients to get your income up over 6-figures. You can even build an entire agency if you want. The secret is Solution First Marketing.
In this series, you're going to discover what this is, why it's so effective, and how to implement the strategy.
Solution LAST Marketing
Most web designers are stuck in the old-school approach of Solution LAST Marketing which goes like this:
- You get a lead (probably a referral from someone).
- You interview the client (usually called a discovery or strategy meeting) to figure out what they want.
- You develop a solution to meet those needs.
With this pattern, the solution is the LAST thing.
Why This Fails Today
This is a legacy system from the days when software development and web development were basically the same things. Today, software development is still software development but web development is marketing. Solving marketing problems is not at all the same as building software.
Lost In The Noise
First, it has become incredibly easy for businesses to get a website. It's been watered down to the point that a completely untrained person can spin up a pretty decent website on their own. Or, if they don't want to do it themselves, there are millions (literally) of people out there who would be happy to do it for cheap. So, if you're marketing web design services then you're just a drop in the ocean. You're just one voice in the noisy crowd all shouting for attention.
How are you going to set yourself apart? Better (lower) pricing? Isn't that making the problem worse? This is how we got into this price race to the bottom.
High Risk, Low Confidence
The business owner clients don't know what they need to get the results they want. All they know is that they want more business. So, if your solution is based on interviewing the client to find out what they want the client isn't going to have much confidence in the solution. In other words, they might say what they want but they really have no idea if it's going to work. In fact, they probably assume it is NOT going to work. Therefore the perceived RISK IS TOO HIGH to invest a lot of money. So, you wind up with scared (therefore highly demanding) clients who are going to work you to death for as cheap as possible.
Value – Can I Get The Same Thing For Less?
What if you've been doing this a long time and you're good at doing these “strategy” sessions and feel confident in your solutions? So, you decide to slap a high-ticket price on it. You don't have to be the cheapest person in town. You can get away with charging more for your experience. The problem is, you really need to be charging a LOT more – like 10X more – than everyone else. In DoubleStack, we work with $10,000 and up clients. That means you'll be charging about $15,000 while everyone else is charging $1,500.
We charge high ticket rates because that's what it takes to get results for our clients. Nobody gets results with just a $1,500 website. You have to have an integrated marketing solution. Part of the solution is a website, but there's a LOT more that goes into it.
But, when the experience of working with you is identical to the experience of working with someone else who is WAY less expensive than you then the client is going to feel like they can get the same thing from someone else for way less than what you're charging. You haven't been given the opportunity to prove that you're better than the cheap guys yet.
How many times have you lost a deal because the client chose a cheaper option only to discover that they got a trash site. Now they need your help to fix it, but they are even worse off financially than before because they just blew all that money on a terrible website.
This is the fault of Solution LAST Marketing.
In the next episode, we're going to turn this all on its head and put the solution first. This is a hard shift because you're repositioning yourself in the eyes of your clients. With Solution LAST Marketing the client is leading the project and you are an implementor of their ideas. With Solution FIRST Marketing YOU are the leader. The client is hiring you because they believe in your ideas – not because they're looking for someone with fingers who can whip up an “affordable” website.
Want To Start Finding Clients Now?
If this is already making sense and you want to start putting all of this in practice right now, schedule a one-on-one call with me and together we'll figure out what this looks like specifically for you and the types of clients you'd like to be working with. We'll get on the phone for about 45-minutes (for free) and you'll come away knowing exactly what you need to do to start hitting your income goals.
The best part of all is that by making this shift everyone ends up far better off. You will have a repeatable system where you don't have to undervalue yourself to get work. You'll probably at least double or triple your rates. And your clients will be getting the results they are counting on you for!
Then you'll be posting stuff like Robyn just shared and you'll be feeling awesome!
Solution First Marketing Part 2
Check out Solution First Marketing (part 2) and discover how to present your solution on your website.