Web developers with well-designed service packages land more clients for several reasons. Packages make it easy to explain your services to potential clients, and make your fees known from the start. Packages also make you look more professional. In the DIY world where everyone wants to design their own site, many clients don't see the value in hiring a website designer. To land these clients, you first must convince them your services are needed. What can you provide them with that they can't do themselves? That's hard to explain off the top of your head.
You're a problem solver offering a multitude of options to your clients; you're not just a designer filling in a template. Professional packages give you the space to document the specialty services you provide, which allows you to charge what your services are worth. If you don't have well-defined service packages to offer your clients, consider creating them today. Even if you've got a steady flow of clients, professionally designed packages will increase your ability to charge more for your services and land higher quality, and maybe even celebrity clients.
There are five main reasons you need pre-defined web design packages:
1. You won't need to remember numerous details
Imagine sitting down with a potential client who needs an involved website. You can't give them a price off the top of your head, but they're going to want to know a ballpark figure. As a developer, you know that whatever price you give them won't end up anywhere near the real cost. You can warn them about that and give them a base cost, but you'll need to remember all the additional costs for special features they might need. It's too much to remember, and it's not going to be accurate. Pre-defined packages relieve you from having to remember numerous details related to additional features and services. You won't need to get out a piece of paper and start calculating a client's website cost a-la-carte.
2. Clients expect website designers to have packages
Clients expect web developers to provide packages with services that fall outside the scope of general web design. For instance, most people have come to expect their website developer to perform SEO services as part of the development process. Clients have gotten smarter about asking what's included in their package, and the inclusion of SEO is a top question you'll get from clients. Having pre-defined packages tells clients what their options are, and allows you to provide a range of services they might want.
3. Packages make you look more professional
Pre-defined packages tell potential clients you know what you're doing. You're a professional. You've taken the time to think about the services you're providing, and you've calculated the costs. Your services and fees aren't arbitrarily created based on how much money you need to pay the rent. Even if they seem high, there's probably a reason, and you can break it down for the client if they ask. Having packages available for potential clients tells them you're prepared. You can plan where to meet, what to wear, and the questions you'll ask, but if you're not prepared to sell your services, you probably won't land the client.
4. Packages make it harder for clients to talk your fees down
There isn't a web developer on the planet who hasn't been talked down by at least one client. With so many clients talking you down, it's not easy to fairly price your services as a designer. Some designers end up setting their prices too low and undervaluing themselves because of this. Unfortunately, some people don't see website development as a worthwhile investment because anyone can build a website now. Many clients who do hire designers want their website built as quickly and as cheaply as possible. They're not always looking for the designer with the best skills. When they consult with a developer, the most important question they have is, "how much is this going to cost me?"
When you're sitting at a table with a potential client discussing their project, you need time to calculate the project cost. It's risky to give a ballpark figure off the top of your head. If you verbally tell a client what your general fees are, they'll hang onto the lowest number you tell them. Many will try to fit their project into that price range, even if it's not possible. Having pre-defined packages allows you to hand a piece of paper to a potential client for their consideration. You can tell them you don't know which package their site fits into yet, but you'll get back with them and let them know.
5. Packages clarify what services the client is paying for
Packages make it easier for you to charge for extra services fairly. For example, clients often want extras but don't know they're asking for extras. When a client expects certain things to be included, and you don't have a package to refer them to, it's difficult to tell them their request will come with an additional charge. With a package, you can refer them to the details, and they won't be as likely to argue about it. You could give them some freebies, but make sure they understand you're giving them a free service or they will take advantage and ask for more.
6. Offer Web Hosting as a Bundle
Clients love an all-inclusive service. It saves them the hassle to pay an additional invoice each month and being their designer/developer they are much more likely to trust your advice and decision when it comes to their web hosting. Not only that, this opens up an additional channel of recurring revenue for you as well. You could sign up with a reseller hosting service with a good web hosting company and create your own packages and resell them to your clients as part of their services with you.
Aim for the high-quality clients
A high-quality client is one that isn't opposed to paying a fair price for the services they're asking you to perform. These clients usually have larger projects that take a considerable amount of time and resources to complete, but they pay more, and the clients are easier to work with. Developing your service packages is one key to getting high level, high paying clients. If you're not sure where to start, shop around online as if you were hiring a developer. See what your local website developers are offering for packages. Call around and pretend you're interested in having a site designed. Have some free consultations with other developers to see how they do it.
Start somewhere. Your packages will evolve and eventually grow into the assets that will land you those high paying projects.