Value Added Service on Projects

In the world of freelancing, I’m finding I need to get projects done as quickly as possible, and with the maximum amount of revenue possible. This is of course depending on the client, what they need, and how much they’ll will to pay for the project they need done.

Learning how to price your services is definitely key to survival in this world. In my current experience, there’s a delicate balance between getting paid what you’re worth, and joining all the other freelancers in the world in a “race to the bottom”.

Given the unpredictable world of freelancing, what is a guy to do?

Explain to the Client What They Need

What are client wants and what they need can (and normally are) two very different things. Expectations are important to client satisfaction. Part of my job (and indeed, part of the 20 Hours Ahead approach is to know “sufficiently” more than the person you are working for. This means you know exactly what they need, either by intuition or experience.

Put another way, if you can explain the client’s problem better than they can, they will most likely assume you know how to fix it and will be willing to pay you for that solution.

While the basics to building or arranging websites for clients are the same, you cannot apply a cookie-cutter approach. Each client will require something different, specific to them.

That said, many of these solutions are very similar, either in product or service.

Don’t Discount, Do “Value Added”

One of the rules I’m beginning to work by in my services is “don’t discount, add value”. The argument goes that discounting a product or service actually exposes the inflated price you were charging for a higher margin. This also trains your client to expect a discount, which is not the best, especially if you want that client to come back.

To avoid this trap, adding value is key to your success and top line revenue.

These are several ways that I add value without decreasing my rates:

  • extra revisions, especially if the project is ahead of schedule
  • installing multiple (free) plugins that add security and backup features a client typically isn’t thinking about
  • offering to maintain several backups for a client on my Dropbox account free of charge (they will come back to me if something goes wrong
  • Affiliate offers (yes, I said it!)

While I am still learning what clients in general and in particular want and need for their sites, if I can be seen as a person who adds value, rather than gives a discount, I will be an asset and resource, rather than a tool or a means to an end.

How long did it take me to figure this out? About an hour.
How much extra work does this create for me? Plenty.
Is this a better way to serve clients and make money? I think so.

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