I changed my outlook years ago, and perhaps if you change yours you might find some more success. I focused on providing absolute value for my clients. How can I provide them so much value that they would be a complete moron to choose not to do business with me?
Let's take an example of a website build. We have a completely different value proposition to our clients. Everyone else focuses in on we'll build you a website with 10 pages for $500. Instead we educate them that building a website isn't a one stop thing, it's a matter of testing and tweaking. Anyone who offers to give you a flat rate for a website to be done in two weeks is NOT the person you should hire. We talk about how we're going to do split testing on every singe page of the website. All of the content will be written by professional copywriters whose only job is to pre-sell the website visitors. We tell them how 92% of web visitors click on a site and within 2 seconds if they don't like what they see they immediately click off. We scientifically have tested all of the best methods to grab the users eyes and suck them into our copy. What colors work best? What types of graphics/pictures/etc work best? Where is the optimal placement of a phone number? We teach them how to get the absolute best testimonials and quotes from prior customers, what should it say, how, and in what format?
See we completely redefine what a website means and make it into a process that can pay huge dividends. Where other web designers have portfolios of their work and their pretty websites we instead have testimonials from customers whose business directly attributable to the internet has improved 1,000-3,000%. It's why you can be damn sure I don't charge $500 for a website.
My point is focus less on what you can get from your potential clients and focus like a laser on how you can help them. If you put all of your effort and focus into creating value for your clients, people will be beating a path down to your door and begging to give you money. No one is going to bang down your door asking for a mobile website, but if you can educate them on how to get a proper mobile site so that the 30% of their web visitors who are visiting on mobile phones can now be captured they might be interested in that.
If you're doing website design, you might have a few ideas from above. Are you doing research into what is helpful for your clients? Not just what will pay you the most money, but what will actually help them to make money? How much do you know about their business? Where are their pain points?
I'm rebuilding my business this year, as I'm brainstorming "What I want to be when I grow up", I'm focusing on providing value. Currently I have over 23 services that I can provide to my clients, things that they need, things that they will desperately want that no one else is providing them. What will you have to learn this year so that you can provide more value to your clients? Who will you have to become to be essential to your clients?
Here's to a great 2013