Module 09 – What to Charge Pt2


Okay. In this module, I’m going to be once again covering what to charge but this time I’m going to focus in on web design, and how I handle a payments and rates and so forth for that particular service. And this is kind of outside of SEO, so even though it’s part of my process, the way in which I handle rates and my pricing and everything else is very, very similar to SEO, except there are a couple of slight differences which I’ll get into now.

Rule number one, again, always get paid first. If I quote someone, $9,000 for a web build, then that’s the invoice that I send – $9,000. I just, I find it interesting that so many freelancers … and I’ve even seen people that run agencies do this for whatever reason, they … The client doesn’t ask for part payment, they just offer it. And I certainly don’t do that. If I quote 9,000 and I say, yes, go ahead, I send an invoice for $9,000.

I’m not interested in part payment.

There are some exceptions to that rule, and I’ll cover those in just, in a second. But again, I always just throw the invoice and say, hey, once this is paid, we can get started. Very, very rarely do I ever have any problems doing that. Look, no more cheap shit. You can’t be building shit sites and charging seven, eight, $10,000, and you definitely don’t want to be, you know, providing building sites of bloody 800 bucks or something like that. Again, you’re just gonna be attracting the wrong types of clients, and it’s just not worth it. And it’s not money to be made.

It’s interesting. I was thinking before I started shooting these slides, I was thinking about how when I first started, I used to charge, I think when I first started doing building websites, I used to charge about between two and $3,000. And even back then, I thought that was a bit rude. Only because of my … I had self-confidence issues and I didn’t, you know, I didn’t back myself. But you know, you soon snap out of that sort of nonsense once you find yourself working, you know, 10, 12 hours straight till two or three o’clock in the morning building out a site, and you’ve made absolutely no money off it.

So you’ve got to start bringing out the quality first to match the prices, but also improving your rates. But just getting back to what I was saying, one thing that I’ve found is that whatever you generally quote is what you get paid, you know, and I was asking for two or $3,000 for a web build.

That’s what I got paid. Jacked my prices up. Started quoting five, six. That’s what I got paid. You know, I now charge in and around seven and a half for most web builds. And there are simple wordpress legion sites. There’s nothing fancy to them at all. But you know, I charge … In fact, I just closed, a Woocommerce job, I think there’s about 300 products, and it was a $10,000 job. And you know, my web guy will probably bang that out for about a thousand bucks. So I mean, there’s good money here.

There’s good profits, and I guess this is something that I haven’t touched on previously. But yeah, I’ve got a web guy that works at about 20 bucks an hour. He does exceptional work. A lot of the stuff that we do is cookie cutter type stuff where, you know, it’s just a matter of re-skinning the site, you know, fixing up any sort of problems, assisting the client, making sure everything’s functional, and then going live.

Of course, that’s a very simple eye view of what’s involved in. If you have been involved in web design, you’ll always know that there are things that pop up that aren’t expected. Two big problems are scope creep and change requests. You’ve got to stamp that shit out fast at the very beginning of the project. And that’s all about setting expectations and something that I’ll cover later on.

But one thing that I like to do, apart from getting paid first, you know, I want to provide quality, but at the same time, I don’t want to muck around. And I make that very clear at the beginning of the bill. I say, look, make sure you get me the information that I require. I don’t want to muck around here. I wanna have this thing done in no longer than, you know, between two and three weeks. I want it done. Because the longer it drags out, the longer it’s just going to tear you down and cause stress.

And you know, it’s even if you do make five or six grand, it’s not gonna be worth it. So I like to move quickly; because as soon as I get that bill done, then I can start billing them for monthly SEO. Here’s a quick snapshot of … This is one of any PowerPoint presentation slides or a pitch for the job. And you can see here, quoted this particular job as a website rebuild as part of onboarding the SEO services that are provided, in this case $2,000 a month.

So this client probably come to me expecting to pay $1500 or $2,000 a month or whatever it may have been at the time. And I’ve up sold it with the web build. And I go through the benefits of doing that within the sales presentation, which I’ll cover in an upcoming video. But you can see right there, I’ve made $9,000 right out of the gate.

It’s great profit margins. You know, that might cost me 1500 bucks. Money to pay my web guy 1500 bucks. I’ve just made seven and a half thousand dollars sitting down at the local cafe having a late breakfast. So that’s where the money is. It’s, you know, web design … If I could do without it, if it wasn’t so profitable, then I would certainly get rid of it. But yeah, it’s definitely, there’s definitely good money there. Okay. Now, unlike a SEO where I say work at hourly rate, I certainly don’t do that with web builds. I usually always work at a fixed rate. So I usually get on a call with my web guy. We go through the existing site. We take a look at the requirements. I always take notes from the client. This is what he wants.

This is sort of the sites that he’s got in mind. This is the work that needs to be done. What do you think? We’ll work out a pricing point. And then of course, I’ll always usually over quote. And I do that, not to be an asshole, but I just know through experience cause I’ve been building sites for almost 20 years, or had some experience with building sites rather. I always know that things can, you know, spiral out of control. So I want to allow for that. I want to give myself some wiggle room. I want to know that, you know, if the client comes back and says, oh, we need to add this in, or this isn’t right and we need to change that, I’ve allowed for that within my quote. So never, ever under-quote always over quote. Always work at a fixed rate.

Again, full payment in advance. 100%. Can’t stress this enough. There’s no need to start negotiating or offering discounts or incentives or part payments or any of that sort of nonsense. Now for insistent clients, and this happens every now and then, you’ll get a client that says, look, you know, we’ve got a real problem paying $10,000 up front. We don’t know you. We’ve never worked with you before. Look, we’ve been ripped off in the past. Whatever the reason might be, they might have a problem, and they might say, listen, we can’t move forward unless it’s, you know, part payment. Fifty percent now, and we’ll pay the 50% upon completion.

Now the way I’ve solved this problem is ensuring, and you can see I’ve broken it down here in this simple graph. And I’ve got point one, two and three. The initial deposit, let’s say, that it’s going to cost you, I don’t know, let’s keep it simple. It’s a $10,000 quote. It’s going to cost you $2,000 to pay your web guy. You’re gonna make $8,000 profit. Let’s say, the initial deposit … The initial deposit needs to move you into an immediate profit point. So if you see here, my … The wording I’ve got.

The percentage you choose is up to you, but it should put you into immediate profit. This is important in case they fail to make the final payment. So let’s say everything goes really, you know, the wheels fall off, and it goes pear shaped, and they bail on you. And for whatever reason, they don’t make the second payment. You can still pay your web guy, and you still make some profits. That’s worst case scenario. So again, if it’s a $10,000 web build, you gotta pay your web guy $2,000 to build a site.

You make that initial deposit, $5,000. So fifty percent. You’ve made $3,000. Even if they don’t come back, worst case scenario, you’ve made $3,000. You know, fuck, it’s not the ideal outcome, but that initial deposit should put you into immediate profit. I mean, you should not be hanging out or severely dependent upon the final payment to, you know, to make some money. And that’s what my second point is a cost.

So cost is obviously your expenses, time, and staff and everything else. And then of course, the point three, final payment. And this is really important. And this is something that I make my clients well aware of before we start. And this puts a whole stop to their, sort of, never ending web build that goes on and on and on. And you can be six months down the track thinking, fuck, I just want to get this finished and get paid.

So I always put this into … you can put into a contract. I usually include it into an email along with the invoice, but I’ll say something like, the final payment should be made either upon completion or 30 days from the commencement of project. And that puts a nice cap on getting that final part payment, because I’ve been involved in a lot of web jobs where you’ll start the project, and you’re waiting on something from the client, and you’ve done everything that you, that’s required at your end. And you’re waiting on photos, or you’re waiting on content, or you’re waiting on something from the client.

And I just don’t get back to you. It just goes on and on and on. So in this case, he’s saying, look, if I do everything that I need to do and I get this job finished, then you pay me. And that’s it. That’s the final percentage of that still outstanding or 30 days from when we start, because I know that I’m going to get this thing finished before a 30 day period or a month period. So that puts a nice cap on it.

And if they agree to it, say, yep, that’s not a problem, then, you know, you send them the invoice. You say, look, I’ve done my bit. I can’t wait any longer. You guys need to pay this. And I’ve had great success doing that. And usually they come back and say, oh so sorry, we’ve just made payment. Then we’ll make sure that we’ll get those photos or those PDFs or whatever it is over to you so that we can get the site launched. And it’s funny. I’ve had sites that are being paid for, and they’re still waiting … I’m still waiting on photos or a logo or something silly that have been sitting on my test server, 100% paid for, just sitting there, and they sat there for another month before the clients actually gathered up the information or whatever it is that they need to get me before the site goes live.

You want to put yourself … What I’m saying is this, you want to put yourself in really good positioning, so that you get paid, and you’re not left wondering, when am I going to get paid? Or, you know, these people have ripped me off. That’s a really shit place to be in, especially when you’re just starting out and every dollar counts. So hope those things have given you definitely something to think about. But definitely … certainly, rule number one is always get paid first and only offer part payments for web stuff if it’s requested. Otherwise, send the invoice and, you know, ask for full payment upfront.