There are two different types of value. What you think is valuable, and what your clients think is valuable.
Let’s get it straight, you’re in business for yourself. You know what you need and you know what works for you. You know what brings in the money and you know what you don’t like to do.
Your clients are the same way. They run a business just like you do. They know what they need and what they don’t need.
What do you have in common? You both know you that a website is needed.
You are the service provider, they are the customer.
Service Provider Values
Well let’s start with the most valuable asset of all: TIME.
Your time is the most precious and valuable asset you have. You don’t get time back, and how you use your time effects your stress levels, profit, and a bunch other things.
As a service provider, you love your time so you need to use it wisely. Time = Value.
There’s a huge debate on pricing—whether to charge hourly, or per project. I’ll write another post on this, but just keep in mind that your time is valuable, therefore, it costs money.
You want to build a good reputation with your client, so you’re going to try as best as you can to produce quality work. Why? Because it shows you care and that you don’t look at your client as a fly by night customer. Do good work.
You want to get paid for your work! You want payments to be on time, and you value your profit, otherwise you wouldn’t be in business.
Does your client care about what’s valuable to you?
Most of the time the answer is no. Why? Because your client has their own business to worry about, and his perception of value can run contrary to what you value!
I am your most important client, so take as much time as you need to finish my work because after all, I’m paying you. I don’t value your time, I value my time. You said you can do something, I expect you do it.
I want good work, remember, I’m your most important client. If it’s going to take you awhile, it’s ok, because it has to be right and it has to be exactly how I want it.
How much!? Can you lower that? You’re just adding a few things here and there. I don’t want to spend too much money on this, I have other expenses as well. It’s just a website, I mean c’mon. We already agreed on a price, why do I have to pay you more?
Is this making you mad?
It should, and we all go through it. But you wanted to be in the web design business, and this is what you need to deal with. It’s not that bad.
What you need to understand is this:
It’s your job to get your client to understand the value in what they’re getting.
James Dalman wrote a great article on the cries that freelancers make called Why Clients and Service Work Sucks. It’s Not WHAT You Think!. Please Read that.
You have to make sure that your clients are seeing the value that you are bringing to the table. Let them know that your time is valuable. Tell them that the quality of the site will make a big difference. Convince them why you cost what you cost!
There is an enormous amount of competition in this industry, BUT there are only a handful of qualified web people who can honestly do a good job and bring value to the customer!
I’ve seen web agencies that treat the client as a number… here’s a template, content, collect payment. Treating websites like a factory and they could care less about the client. What type of value is that?
Do what you love. Communicate that what you do is worth something and make sure that the person on the other side understands it.
Next Post, what is valuable to the client?