• Writer for DDI on Medium

Cheap Website Design For Small Businesses. When To Hold Them Or Fold Them.




The cost of high-end digital courses are always appreciating because it’s founders are always refining and improving on the value of what they do. So, as heavily as I can invest in those courses, to refine and improve on my own value, I take it despite the pain, because in my mind, it's a logical stepping stone towards my ability to increase my own prices.

I mean, would you earn your doctorate to afterwards take a job paying you $5000.00 a month? Probably not. And that’s how I relate to my business decisions. But, even while picking the course that’s perfect for me, there are specific transformational things (that have little to nothing to do with designing) I’m consciously looking for to justify charging a higher price.

However, when you’re not even willing to pay a premium price for professional help to grow your own business, it’s hypocritical to expect a client to pay you premium prices to grow their’s. So yes, while “web design is a high-income skill”, you may not have enough skin in the game to understand what someone willing to pay $20,000.00 for web design services is looking for.


Cheap Clients Get What They Pay For


If you’re more discerning, you may realize that cheap web design services can be like looking for love in a red-light district: you'll eventually notice you're looking for more than just instructions or help designing and launching a website.

But, maybe you’re so new in business that it isn't justifiable working with someone like me. Which means until then you'll need to accept that despite the value of your revelation, you’re not an ideal candidate just yet.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have clarity on what you’re paying for with cheap web design services. When you hire a hobbyist or a web design enthusiast, you’re paying for the ability to have someone say “you own a gorgeous website, and now people can find you online!”. Forget about clarity on who’s looking for you, and what they’re specifically seeking you out for, etcetera. You’ll have a digital platform with your


  • Home page

  • About us page

  • Services page

  • Blog page (maybe)

  • Contact page


And yes, it will save you a few dollars because it has to since you’re still finding yourself. On the "higher-end" of cheap design work, you might even get some savvy marketing tips, but honestly, it won’t be of any value since you’re not aware of what you’re selling, who needs it or the most effective way for you to talk about it.

But, if you keep going and don't bail on your business, as you continue to work with clients you'll grow in the knowledge of what you’re actually helping people accomplish, and who are the best clients for what you do. And that desire for a deeper, symbolic representation will become justifiable, and by then, paying a higher price tag logical because you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for, and your discernment of when cheap services are ok would have expanded.


High-Ticket Clients Value Strategy


Abstract ideas need room to develop. When they are validated, they also need to be authentically structured in a way that creates magical experiences online. Most importantly, that framework must also contribute to how it leaves you, the founder: fulfilled, accomplished and happy at the end of the day.

In those spaces, is where you create visual brands that play by different rules. But getting there is the intentional strategy work that designers, like myself, work on getting better at delivering by cherry-picking our jobs and strategically investing in specific skills we see coming out of our own natural abilities.

Times have changed, typical job descriptions like web designer, pedicurist, electrician, copy writer, these alone are no longer considered financially valuable skills. Value today lays in your ability to show how your big idea can change someones life. And as I have personally experienced, how well you do that doesn’t make paying more for it any less scary for the client. I once had a client fall in love with "my ability to infuse personality into my clients website", only to determined after (despite the authenticity of the design strategy, and the specific results received following the launch), that she was just too terrified to continue to publicly own her own brand personality. I tend to ask the type of questions that reveal the real essence of who’s in front of me. If I don’t, the design will lack substance and fall short of the expectations the client has. So even though personality worked in her favor, mentally, she “wasn’t prepared for the delimma of speaking your truth”. End quote. But honestly, most people just don't know how to escape the inauthentic boxes their colleagues put them into. Now, I define 'fluff' as generic, or unrelatable words or phrases. And to me, it's a language people default to when they either don't know what they speaking about or playing it safe in an effort to misguidedly please the masses. So, a good example of an inauthentic box to me will sound like "I provide braces and clear aligners. (such as Blah, blah, blah, blah®)" you may have well said "I use cutting edge technology". And using corporate language (in an industry already using corporate language) to relate to an ideal client (when the goal is to stand out) is alienating because everyone ends up looking the same. And when everyone looks the same it creates a problem for your ideal client to actually trust you.


“...But, people selling cheap services are spoiling the local creative industry.”


A few days ago a dear friend of mine (who just happens to be the go-to videographer for Coca-Cola) was complaining about this. Honestly, after being in business for myself I’ve come to understand that everything has a market it can be sold to. If you’re a professional with real solid clarity on the value of your work, cheap labor can’t hurt you unless you’re marketing to cheap clients. And as I said earlier, any potentially good client at that level (which we all start from) will need that type of service for them to even have a chance to more appreciate high-end work.

I think, web design consumers, just need to develop discernment: understand what you’re looking for so you can make better decisions instead of just blowing aimlessly in the wind. Listen attentively to what’s being said by some of these local digi-lords. Sometimes these people unknowingly contradict themselves. On the other hand, I also believe local professional web designers aren’t doing enough to position the value of their work, which is usually based on superficial stuff like the best platform, a pretty logo or a gorgeous website, which I believe is not where you begin when as a service-based business, you’ve had considerable time working with clients.

I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB. Prior to this, I worked in a variety of visual branding agencies on numerous projects for huge brands and that hands-on experience taught me one thing, your visual brand represents a deeper understanding about what you do. A lot of us know what we do, but not all of us understand what we do. I now choose to use my experience on the type of clients who not only want to answer those questions, but actually can. If you’re someone who after reading this article feels you’re a good fit for my approach to visual branding, you can do one of three things:

**You can purchase The One-Page here, if you’ve heard of me before.

**Learn more about The One-Page here **Or, Sign up to receive these weekly articles in your inbox if you’re not quite ready to work with me yet. ...And please share my article if you liked it.

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