Design/Development. Is it my credibility??

by snidge 5 replies
Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to get the input of the Warrior forum on what I may be doing wrong...

I have many sources of income online. Nothing too great, but enough to get by for now. Let me get right to it. I am doing web design/development plus flash games etc... I get a lot of interest from the sites/projects I have done. I know I can do a better job than many of the design firms out there. The problem comes down to getting people to actually go through with getting a site done. I will get so many potential clients from ads or sites showcasing what I have previously done, but it just never follows through lately. I will even have people say they are ready to get started and send me everything I need, and as soon as I ask for payment they get all worried like I am going to bail on them! It is extremely frustrating because it is very time consuming working with the potential clients constantly only to hear back from them that they ended up going with a friend, or sucked it up, and used a designer they were originally trying to get away with. What could it be that I am doing wrong? Half of the people end up thinking I am trying to just scam them from their previous experiences. I need to take 50% - 60% down to protect myself, but it seems like noone trusts me. How can I build up my credibility and start nailing these sales? Is that even the problem?? Any clients I have had only have good things to say about me and my work. I do the small things to make a client happy, and my prices are reasonable for the quality of work that I provide. No project is ever over until the client is completely happy, and I understand the value of a happy customer. I don't try any quick stuff on my clients even if I know I could. It just seems unfair that I am in this rut! lol. I hear about so many people in the business that just take the customers money and start the project then run with the money never to be heard from again! I am offering real quality work and can't seem to catch a break.

Please let me know if anyone has any ideas for me or anything positive to keep me going lol! Thanks everyone! I LOVE this forum. I'm sorry this was so long.

Matt
#main internet marketing discussion forum #credibility #design #design or development #development #flash #services #web
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  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    My suggestions:

    Get a trust seal of some sort on your website

    Use an escrow service and ask for deposits in advance

    Post your projects over at eBay, plenty of work there
    for customized storefronts and auction templates
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  • Profile picture of the author trafficwave
    Just some quick thoughts:

    Add testimonials from your clients to your web site with links to their sites and the work you've done for them.

    Ask your previous and existing clients for referrals. When you have a direct referral, you can get past the credibility issue very quickly.

    Have a formal Agreement drawn up that clearly details the terms including payments, any recourse, etc...

    Unfortunately, the Internet is littered with scam artists so people are going to be skeptical and cautious. The hard cold reality of doing business online is that people ARE going to shop.

    Your job when selling is to help guide them to the conclusion that working with you is their best option. This is a skill that can be learned over time with much practice.
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    Brian Rooney
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    Email Marketing Blog

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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      In addition to the suggestions you've received so far, you may want to look again at your pricing.

      Then look at the pricing for the outfits that are getting the business instead of you.

      You say "...and my prices are reasonable for the quality of work that I provide."

      One possibility is, your prices may indeed be too high for the people responding to your ads. You might be seeing the same folks who want high-quality, original articles for $2 each.

      Another is that your prices are too low, and some people lose confidence in your ability to deliver.

      Or, if your prices are lower than most, they may simply be using your work and quote as a bargaining tool to get a lower bid from the designer they prefer.

      No guarantees, but this may be something to look at.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
        Matt...

        Just a general thought on sales...

        People prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust.
        Your #1 selling job is selling yourself to them as someone they can
        rely on to get the job done... on time... on budget... in a manner
        that serves their emotional as well as product needs.

        Price isn't everything... not even on the internet. They will go with a
        competitor whose price is higher if they feel some personal connection
        to them.

        This is where effective copywriting and video can help... especially
        video. And by video I mean you... on the screen... displaying your
        warmth and trustworthiness... even a little humor... not a Camtasia
        presentation of your work.

        You need to show them your work... but you need to show them you first.

        Know... like... trust... those are the keys.

        Tsnyder
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        If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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        • Profile picture of the author Billy Deakin
          Hi Matt

          I remember very clearly feeling exactly the same a few years ago when I was trying to get started as a web designer and it's very frustrating.

          As has already been said, getting some testimonials up on your site is the first thing I would do in your situation.

          I have always found most of my new customers through referals so get networking. People are far more likely to trust you and choose you as their developer if they get a recommendation from someone they know, rather than find you through advertising. There are bound to be some business networking events in your area so get along with a big pile of cards!

          Also, you might want to consider asking for a smaller deposit. I know you say you want to protect yourself, but your potential clients are probably thinking the same. If they have to stump 50% and then aren't happy they lose out. Maybe consider asking for a smaller deposit (I normally get 20%) and use a contract so that both of you are covered, or use an escrow service. That may helop to develop trust.

          The other point, which has already been made but IMO is worth mentoining again, is that your prices may actually be too low! Again I found this myself since people see what you consider to be a 'bargain' price as 'too good to be true'. You can often increase the percieved value of what you are offering simply by asking a higher price!

          Lastly, if you want to get some work quickly try the freelancing sites. You certainly don't want to try and compete on price there as you'll always get undercut to a crazy degree, so focus on service. I picked up a nice little contract from Sweden this week which everyone else was bidding over $1000 less than me for just becuase I communicated clearly and gave good service, even before they accepted my bid.

          Anyway hope some of the pointers you've been getting here help, and good luck!

          Bill
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