If I Build It (right) They Will Come

My mother said something very powerful to me this morning. She told me that it is better to sell 100 things for $1 than 10 things for $10.

So let’s put it into context: I am starting to freelance through networking. I don’t have the time to do it full time, and I want to get comfortable and confident. No easier way to do that than through people you know, no? I have been telling everyone $30 bucks an hour. Takes me about 10 hours to put together a site, plus 5-6 hours of planning and client meetings. I know it’s low, but if I work for people through references, they will know it will be quality at a great price. And it’s 3x what I’m making now. Then I will build cred and my portfolio and charge more. I have even talked to a couple non-profits.

Do you see where I’m going with this? You can’t go into business for the money. You won’t have much for a while.

When I first thought of going out on my own with NeonTree design, I was gonna make a mint. Build a few sites and be in hog heaven. The plan was simple. Or so I thought. Almost 2 years ago.

Since then I have read a lot of material. I have talked to a lot of people that own their own business and have said time and again; You have to build your reputation. It is hard and it takes time. You’re going to be broke for a while if you don’t have backup. But it will get better. You tell people what you are doing, communicate your pricing changes.

I think it also wise to make some concessions. Keep your original customers prices the same until the second hike. Then only take theirs up the dollar amount. Not to the dollar amount. My stylist did that for me and that is the only reason I still drive to get my hair cut. I was getting $5 bucks off of a haircut. Good deal. It builds a concrete relationship.

Ahhhahahaha. I said relationships. Why you can’t go into it for the money, at least not that alone. My whole goal for this business of mine is to give some control to the smallish guys. I hear so often that the designers charge an arm and a leg every time you want a photo changed. Now I know that there will be things that I will have to maintain, or at least train someone to maintain (for a fee). Gotta keep the dough coming. But there isn’t any reason the company owner shouldn’t be able to edit their calendar or upload new photos.

You need to think of the people that are using your service. I know that I’d be pissed if I had to spend every time I needed to ask a question about how to troubleshoot my phone or develop a flash gallery. They feel the same. And if I can give them what they need, they will tell people. And come back. I just have to do it right.

So… what do YOU need?? Please let me kn0w in the comments!

xo

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