Earning Clients

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Lesson Overview

In this lesson, we’ll discuss 8 ways to Earn Clients:

  1. Friends & Family
  2. Warm Calls
  3. Freelance Sites
  4. Trade Organizations
  5. Search Engine Optimization
  6. Advertising
  7. Non-Profits
  8. Network & Referral Marketing


Lesson Transcription

Welcome! I’m Leighton, your webmaster. Congratulations — You have reached the most important series of lessons in this course! By now, you’ve learned the Fundamentals of Web Design, you learned How to Build a Website, How to Create Your Brand, and you learned what Search Engine Optimization and Website Maintenance Plans are. That knowledge is incredibly valuable, and not only did you learn the knowledge, but through your homework, you took that knowledge and used it to build your skills! It’s so empowering to learn new skills, but how do you sell that knowledge? Cash in those skills?

It’s like taking a class in real estate. You learn the trade, study for your exam, earn your license… but what if you don’t sell any homes? What did that knowledge do for you? See, knowledge alone is good, but it doesn’t pay the bills. We need to implement that knowledge to build a successful business. You’ll begin generating 4, 5, 6 figure income in web design once you start marketing your skills and landing clients.

That’s what this series is all about. In fact, we’ll be learning every step of the web design process:

  • Earning Clients
  • Interviewing Clients
  • Quoting Websites
  • Sending Proposals & Contracts
  • Invoicing & Taxes
  • Onboarding Clients
  • Designing & Developing Websites
  • Polishing & Launching Websites
  • Maintaining Your Clients

So why is this series called How to Serve Clients? Because, as a webmaster, you don’t have one-and-done customers. Building and marketing a website isn’t a one-time transaction. Providing your website design services means nurturing long-term relationships. You serve your clients by promptly responding when they have questions or updates for their website. You serve them by keeping track of their website and ensuring its uptime. Your customer service can shine greater than any other skill, and that’s what your clients will talk about.

Building those long-term relationships is a process, from meeting a client to launching their website. Since 2006, I’ve refined this process, and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned. Through trial and error, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, but also how to automate and simplify your processes to save time and effort.

In fact, right out of the gate, I want to share with you 2 time-saving documents that will greatly improve your productivity.

The first I call my Projects Timeline. So let’s say you’ve had a few sales calls, land some clients and start building websites. How do you possibly keep track of all that? How do you remember which people you’ve sent proposals to, which are reviewing your contract, which clients you need to design a website for and whose websites you need to launch? You’ll save yourself a ton of time (and mental clarity) if you get the status of those clients out of your mind and onto a document. When you write something down, you free your mind from having to constantly recall the same information. What about clients who fall through the cracks? The ones you haven’t heard from in awhile? You’ll save yourself from forgetting about them if you write down the status of their project. You can achieve this through Project Management software. Have you heard of Basecamp? Trello? Asana? There is NO shortage of project management services out there. What do they do? They basically allow teams to collaborate, communicate, manage tasks and projects. If you have a team, these are invaluable services. But what about when you’re first starting out? You’re a solopreneur? Do you need an expensive project management solution, or can you effectively do this on your own? You know me! There’s always a free option! Obviously, you could just create a Word or Notes document, but Iprefer the spreadsheet format. Let me show you my trusty Projects Timeline spreadsheet.

(DEMONSTRATE Projects Timeline Spreadsheet)

So the Timeline Spreadsheet helps you map your current projects. But what about your maintenance clients? How do you keep track of your paying clients once their initial build is complete? I can’t even begin to express how important that is. Imagine if Netflix forgot you pay for their shows and movies? What if Amazon forgot you were a Prime member and charged you shipping? See, when businesses pay you to be their webmaster, they expect you to keep track of them. That might be easy for your first couple clients, but what about 10, 20, 50, 100s of clients later? How do you possibly keep track of who’s on your website hosting & maintenance plan? You guessed it — another free spreadsheet! Set yourself up now for growth. Get your systems, spreadsheets, processes in place, and you’ll be in better shape to scale and take on more clients. So what pieces of information should you include in your Clients Spreadsheet? I like to document the client’s business name and website address, my contact within the company, the amount they pay monthly, how they prefer to pay, if their site is secured with SSL, if they have written me a review and who referred them. At the bottom, I designed the spreadsheet to automatically add up the clients, the amount they pay monthly, annually, and a breakdown of my top referral sources. Let me share with you my Clients Spreadsheet.

(DEMONSTRATE Clients Spreadsheets)

So now you have your 2 project management spreadsheets and you’re all ready to boost your productivity and start earning clients! I’ll walk you through the entire process, step-by-step, from how to land clients all the way down to launching their website.

RECAP: So what have we learned?

  1. We implement & cash in our website design knowledge by landing clients.
  2. Running a successful business requires automating and simplifying your processes.
  3. The Project Timelines spreadsheet will help map your projects.
  4. The Clients spreadsheet will help you keep track of the clients on your hosting & maintenance plan.

I’m Leighton, and now you know, How To Serve Clients!


Lesson Homework

Start implementing those 8 ideas, and check out BNI.com to see if there’s a local chapter in your area. If not, do a Google search for other networking organizations in your local area.


Lesson Notes & FAQs

  • Question: Great course so far – I have a quick question about BNI. While on their website, I noticed as part of the membership process, the Membership Committee conducts an interview and does a reference check. If you’re just starting out, who do you suggest we provide for our references?
  • Answer: I wouldn’t stress over the references part. You can just do friends or colleagues who would speak well of your character. No worries! You might give your reference a heads up message that you used them as your reference so they know to expect the call. Personally, I used a couple of my best clients.