Freelancers and self employed web designers have a great opportunity at their fingertips! I’m sure if your working in the freelance world you will be all too familiar with the positives and negatives as far as your personal cash flow goes. However, instead of trying to land your next major job to buy this weeks food shopping, why not set yourself up a method which will passively pay you each and every month without fail?
“The Key To Freelance Freedom”
Lets look at the most obvious method / path web designers take when they land themselves a project or have a website and make a sale for a website. I assume that you will naturally charge £X amount of money possibly with the opportunity to up-sell things like “Standard / Premium / Deluxe” services which differ in price depending on how much time / quality is put into building the website, but have you ever considered almost a ‘Subscription’ method?
What this means is that you could actually undercut all your competition without having to sacrifice money yourself. The way this works is by charging a smaller £X amount of money for the initial building and designing of the website to deliver to the client, but then adding on a charge per month service. If somebody wants a website building by you then theres some factors you need to consider that you might be able to get an extra slice of money from.
- Do they need hosting?
- Do they need whois security?
- Do they need website backups?
- Do they need email accounts & spam filtering?
- Do they need extra training?
- Do they need software updates? (if wordpress for example)
Say you charge a small business £300 for a simple website, all your competitors are around the same price as well. But you could actually undercut your competition resulting in more sales by selling the website for say £189 base cost, then charging a monthly cost of £32 per month for the hosting (with security), email accounts and then added up-sells of who-is security – now this for example costs about £8 a year however, whats stopping you charging the client an extra £2 a month which means you make £16 profit per year per website. Now thats not much but thats only one small part. Add the base £32 a month for the hosting you charge the client and the email addresses’ that literally took 10 minutes to set up. You could be earning an extra passive £40 per month per website. Multiply that figure by say 20 websites, you are making passively with next to no effort
“a substantial £800 per month or £9600 per year”
Thats just under £10,000 a year you are adding onto your bank balance for doing next to no work!
“Why This Method is AMAZING!”
- Your client gets the extra services that they need
- Their site cost less money than the rest of the competition
- If the work load has dried up, then theres still a nice amount of money to see you through tough times
- You can team up with the hosting companies for a little extra money so they can provide a support feature for clients, meaning clients don’t drive you wild by asking how to set up this or that when really you have next to no idea
If your asking yourself, “clients might clock onto the idea that they have to spend more money with my website package”
Well yes, they do, however its like buying an expensive car, you have two options, you either pay for the car in full at say £30,000, but who has £30,000 stashed away just to spend? Instead most people would go for a finance option which means you pay monthly in smaller payments which are a lot more realistic and are only a scratch out of your monthly earnings, but of course, that way you end up paying about £35,000 for the car over the course of the finance plan, but you still pay it for the convenience of having to pay lower prices. And thats exactly how it works with this method, some clients will understand that they have to pay more, but when you spread out the costs clients can afford to pay that extra bit of money for a convenience.
Covering Your Back
Just make sure that the client understand that they must host with you to be able to take advantage of this offer, of course you would be loosing yourself a lot of money if you was to sell a website at £189 with the understanding the client would host with you, but what if they pay the price, get the website then run? Make sure they sign a contract to say that they will host with you. If not – charge them full price!
Risks with New Businesses
Well remember this can always be risky, I myself specalise in gaphic design solutions for small businesses, so personally i do not use this method, because the risk with this method for a new business is a lot greater. The rate of failure of a new businesses is quite high and if you give them a cheap website then a recurring plan, if they fall on the ground, you have sold a cheap website, but a lot of time and effort into it and not gained enough back from the monthly subscriptions, so… Really i know that i would only use this with established businesses than i can assure myself and they can assure me that they will be around for a long time – enough for myself or you to make a decent amount of money back plus profit.
Value for Money = £££
Give the client even more value, say you have sold and built them the website, you then have set up a recurring fee every month, but they also want something extra. What is the point in having a website that doesn’t generate any sales because of poor SEO, thats right Search Engine Optimisation (Optimization for the American English). If you create a website for a local builder in your area, now getting ranked #1 for the keyword “Builder” is going to be extremely difficult, but think about it – how easy is it to rank #1 for “Builder in Sheffield” because you have just majorly decreased the competition from the whole world, just to one city, and SEO can actually be sold for quite a lot of money. So whats stopping you from chargining an extra £200 there for simple SEO, i bet your thinking that all of this sounds like your ripping off the client, yes? – NO!
The client is happy, they are getting what they want and you are getting a fair amount of money that benefits you. This method can be used in many different ways, it doesn’t just have to be websites. You could design banner ads and then offer a small hosting fee to the client to see if they want it hosted on your server.
Technically all of this is a passive income but obviously a little bit of maintenance is required, i’m sure that you will always have clients with questions, thats why you lead them to the professionals (your hosting company) who are able to work with your client and help them through the hosting part of their website.
This brings me onto my next blog post to come soon – Outsourcing, you could literally make quite a lot of money from graphic design by not doing any design work yourself, technically you could be classed as a business entrepreneur, taking orders, giving it to a graphic designer a lower cost, getting it back and selling it to your client for a higher price to gain profit. More to come on this soon!