Feeling a bit burnt out by this business that you just couldn’t wait to ditch your 9-5 to start?
Are those warm and fuzzy feelings you once had about becoming your own boss starting to slip away?
In today’s video, I’m sharing the 4 most common reasons that web designers start to resent their web design business, and how to turn things around if that’s happening to you!
It’s common to offer a few free or discounted projects as a new web designer in order to build out your portfolio and get some experience under your belt…
But designers who don’t put a firm cap on that phase of their business will still be stuck months and even years later feeling like they have to price well under the industry average in order to land clients.
These same designers end up feeling burnt out, blaming their clients, and seriously considering throwing in the towel.
So how do you know if you’re undercharging?
Well, let’s start by looking at the type of client your business tends to attract!
If you’re charging $500 for a custom website design, you are going to attract the bargain-hunters…
Those clients who nickel and dime you over what’s included in your packages, and are always asking for more than what they actually paid for.
Oddly enough, these low budget clients also tend to be the nit-pickiest!
They are the ones who question your design choices and your process at every turn, and who never seem to respect your time.
Because they secretly question the value of your work.
And you can’t blame them since you were willing to accept actual peanuts for the job. ♀️
If you want to build a sustainable business, and stop dreading opening emails from your clients and feeling like you’re constantly being taken advantage of, then raising your prices is the first step!
I share two simple tips for knowing how and when to raise your prices in this post:
Nothing is worse than trying to remain all positive and helpful when your client secretly makes you want to pull your hair out.
And if that’s you, I want you to know that you’re not a bad person for feeling that, and you didn’t choose the wrong career path…
You may just be in need of some serious boundaries!
Here’s the thing about web design clients…they’ve never been web design clients before, so they don’t really know the drill.
If your client is emailing you 57 times in a day it’s because:
A) They just dropped what to them felt like a huge chunk of change on their project and are feeling a little anxious about trusting a complete stranger on the internet to help them pull off this massive milestone in their business.
B) They maybe don’t have all the information they need in order to trust that you have got things under control.
These will look a little different for every designer, but basically, just think about the way you like to work and design your process and policies around that.
Don’t like getting texts at 10:00 at night? Set some office hours.
Don’t want clients constantly peeking over your shoulder when the design clearly isn’t finished yet? Set an expectation about when and how you’ll allow client access to the site during the design phase.
♀️Tired of having to redesign entire pages every time your client sends a new email with feedback? Set a limit on how many rounds of revisions are included in each package, and how and when you’d like clients to give feedback.
Setting boundaries does not make you bossy or rude, and it won’t scare away the type of clients you actually want to be working with.
Non red-flag clients will actually appreciate that you’ve thought of all these things ahead of time and that you clearly know how to manage a project, so they can take micro-managing off their list of things to do that week. ✅
My favorite way to casually bring up boundaries is to clearly outline them in the contract clients sign before they can lock down that spot on my calendar, AND again in a super on-brand tone of voice in my client welcome package they receive immediately upon booking.
I share the why and how of creating the perfect like welcome package in this post:
The internet loves to tell us one very sneaky little lie about finding clients as a web designer…
And that is that when you are first starting out, you do not have the luxury of saying no to any client who is willing to give you their money.
There’s this weird unspoken rule that you have to pay your dues as a designer…and if you want to find your dream client, you first have to kiss a lot of frogs.
But filling your calendar with a bunch of low-quality, rock-bottom budget projects that you are not even remotely excited about is not moving you any closer to your goals.
It’s actually causing you to resent your clients, doubt your abilities, and fill your portfolio with projects that are going to attract more frogs, not princes!
♀️ Pass on the crazies.
♀️ Pass on the bargain hunters.
♀️ Pass on the tiny, underpaid one-off jobs
♀️ Pass on the projects that you know have zero business being displayed in your portfolio.
Spend that time getting serious about a legit marketing strategy instead!
One that will attract the type of work and pay you really do want (so that 6 months from now you aren’t still stuck struggling to make ends meet, and generally just hating your business!)
If that’s you, and your current marketing strategy or lack thereof is making it feel impossible to land clients and projects you are proud to show off…
Then be sure to take advantage of a free training I recently recorded for web designers just like you! It’s called ‘Finding clients as a new designer’ and in it, I share the 7 mistakes new designers make that keep them living in the land of low-quality clients, and the key shifts designers make that have their dream clients coming to them!
Ok, so things are about to get a bit real with this last reason for resenting your design business, so get ready to feel a bit awkward in the name of growth…
Have you ever got the feeling that other designers out there are just luckier than you?
That success is reserved for other people, and that good things and amazing opportunities just seem to fall in everyone else’s lap but yours?
Have you ever caught yourself thinking…
“Ugh. They are so lucky they started their business when they did. It’s harder now that the market is so oversaturated.”
“Wow. Must be nice to have dream clients handed to you…but I don’t have those kind of connections.”
Feeling like a victim is the fastest way to start resenting your business, and this feeling usually starts to creep in the more time we spend comparing ourselves to others.
If you only focus on what’s going right for other people and what’s going wrong for you, it’s easy to convince yourself that every time someone else experiences a win, it’s one less opportunity available for you, and that there are only so many seats at the table…
But those are not the vibes I want you waking up to every day in your business!
Instead, I want you to be so busy taking action towards your goals, and being so proud of how you are impacting and serving your own clients, that you don’t have time to stop and look around at what others are up to.
If you do happen to look up and notice someone else succeeding, choose to see it as proof that anything is possible, and then practice being able to genuinely celebrate their success while you work towards your own!
Next time you see something in another person’s business that causes you to resent your own experience, I want you to ask yourself:
Ready to stop letting the success of others cause you to resent your own business? Let’s adopt a new mindset that says “stuff doesn’t just happen to me. I take action and I make stuff happen!”