The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  • Sell-Me Saturday is Now Live!

    Have something to sell? Want to promote your design service or a YouTube channel? SELL-ME SATURDAY is your opportunity to self-promote anything within the sphere of entrepreneurship on one thread... and at no cost. Go There
    Note: Indiscriminate SEO backlinking to questionable material is not allowed.
  • Join 50,000+ entrepreneurs who are earning their freedom and living their dream.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The C.E.N.T.S Framework outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED®). From multimillionaires to digital nomads to side hustlers who are grinding a job, the Fastlane Forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses with one goal in mind: Freedom— both financial and temporal.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane) Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block.

EXECUTION Starting a web design company.

Remove ads while supporting the Unscripted philosophy...become an INSIDER.

finnyfun

New Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 20, 2018
11
8
17
Connecticut
Hi everybody,

I'm a longtime lurker of 2 years and finally I am coming out of my shell to start my own web design service.
So what have I actually done so far?

I found a client for my web design service. He is a friend of my family and his site is from 2006 and looks horrible.
The problem is that he wants me to make a mock-up site before I actually do his full site. He hasn't told me how much he will be paying but I think I should get this done to get a small portfolio done, even though I'm not sure about payment.
What should I do? Should I ask for payment before I spend time working on it?

Any criticism or tips are greatly appreciated.

Thanks and have a good day.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

sosa067

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 26, 2019
9
8
14
Long Beach, CA
The very first client I ever had (the only one so far too), was for a good college friend of mine. His family owns a tax company, and their site was using like the default template from Wix. Shit looked awful.

I redesigned and developed their site for free. You can check it out at DFC - Taxes made easy, quick, and convenient. Located in Indio and Coachella

It took me a couple of months to fully design the site.

Why did I do it for free? I did it for free because the value I get from this work, is two fold: 1) Experience and 2) Testimonials.

I'm currently developing my web development website. Since I did the work for free, I'll be able to showcase the site, as my companies first client and testimonial.

For my next client, I might do it for free as well. I think it's super important to have at least 3 testimonials on your web design / development company site, and to build a healthy relationship with your clients.

Doing the work for free can help only in the beginning. IMO after 2 clients, you should start enforcing payment.
 

GigMistress

Bronze Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Nov 19, 2019
104
294
160
A cornfield in the Midwest
In this particular instance, you have to weigh the value to you of doing this site potentially for free or for a lower-than-normal rate. Though conventional wisdom rants and screams about never doing anything for free, it can be a great strategy when it is a strategy. The key in my view is to always know EXACTLY what the benefit to you is. "Exposure" or "experience" is NOT an answer to this question. Be concrete.

Is it important to you to have live samples to point to at this stage and you don't have any? Is it worth the time investment this would take to get one? Will you be asking this "client" to provide a testimonial and rate you in places like your GMB page? If yes, it may well be worth it (or, if you have some other reason).

But, separate that from the mock-up issue. You'll often be asked to do a chunk of the work up front before the client decides whether or not to pay you, and you need to be prepared with your response to that and stand by it or you'll be lured into wasting a lot of time--either in doing work you never get paid for or in arguing the point with prospects.
 
OP
OP
F

finnyfun

New Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 20, 2018
11
8
17
Connecticut
The very first client I ever had (the only one so far too), was for a good college friend of mine. His family owns a tax company, and their site was using like the default template from Wix. Shit looked awful.

I redesigned and developed their site for free. You can check it out at DFC - Taxes made easy, quick, and convenient. Located in Indio and Coachella

It took me a couple of months to fully design the site.

Why did I do it for free? I did it for free because the value I get from this work, is two fold: 1) Experience and 2) Testimonials.

I'm currently developing my web development website. Since I did the work for free, I'll be able to showcase the site, as my companies first client and testimonial.

For my next client, I might do it for free as well. I think it's super important to have at least 3 testimonials on your web design / development company site, and to build a healthy relationship with your clients.

Doing the work for free can help only in the beginning. IMO after 2 clients, you should start enforcing payment.
In this particular instance, you have to weigh the value to you of doing this site potentially for free or for a lower-than-normal rate. Though conventional wisdom rants and screams about never doing anything for free, it can be a great strategy when it is a strategy. The key in my view is to always know EXACTLY what the benefit to you is. "Exposure" or "experience" is NOT an answer to this question. Be concrete.

Is it important to you to have live samples to point to at this stage and you don't have any? Is it worth the time investment this would take to get one? Will you be asking this "client" to provide a testimonial and rate you in places like your GMB page? If yes, it may well be worth it (or, if you have some other reason).

But, separate that from the mock-up issue. You'll often be asked to do a chunk of the work up front before the client decides whether or not to pay you, and you need to be prepared with your response to that and stand by it or you'll be lured into wasting a lot of time--either in doing work you never get paid for or in arguing the point with prospects.
I think I'll ask for payment when I'm done with the mockup. I am around 80% complete with my mock-up. Will be finishing it up very shortly tonight. Thank you for the replies, I appreciate it.
 

Mr992

Contributor
Nov 29, 2016
64
80
120
Looks like you don't know how to sell.

And looks like he is basically wanting to use you for free or cheap.

Still, since you literally don't know how to sell yet, even a free or cheap site would be good for you as a 'portfolio'.

If you don't know even how to price your service/product, you are not in business. You are playing a wantrepreneur.

What is your service/product? What value do you provide? Who exactly is your customer/client? How much money do they make? What's your process like? And many other questions you need to answer.

Figure this out ASAP. Do your homework.

Good luck.
 

Mr992

Contributor
Nov 29, 2016
64
80
120
You'll often be asked to do a chunk of the work up front before the client decides whether or not to pay you, and you need to be prepared with your response to that and stand by it or you'll be lured into wasting a lot of time--either in doing work you never get paid for or in arguing the point with prospects.
Exactly.

If a client wants you to work for free, even initially, he's not a good client. Learn to find good clients.

Time spent even talking to bad clients who want too much is wasted time. Spend that time finding better clients.
 
OP
OP
F

finnyfun

New Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 20, 2018
11
8
17
Connecticut
What is your service/product? What value do you provide? Who exactly is your customer/client? How much money do they make? What's your process like? And many other questions you need to answer.

My service is a new, good website that will get calls or sales. I provide boosted business & visibility for there art gallery. My customer is a older art gallery owner that doesn't understand the internet. Not sure how much they make. My process is find client > call them asking them questions what are they looking for.

I asked
What are they looking to do? Sales, calls?
Other small things about there business and how can I help.

Thank you so much for the criticism, appreciate it.
 

MattR82

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 4, 2015
716
1,036
375
37
Perth
First project? Since it's a friend of the family maybe just ask them to pay costs. Theme, page builder, whatever premium plugins (probably optimisation ones if using wordpress) you think you may need.

At least get 200 to 500 bucks for costs and your life will be a bit easier and you can take your time learning without any pressure of contracts etc.

That's how I did my first one, actually for someone from this forum. It was great, I learnt a lot and was able to use good tools. It was ecommerce though which makes things so so much harder for a first project.

Are they wanting to sell things direct from the site?
 

Mr992

Contributor
Nov 29, 2016
64
80
120
My service is a new, good website that will get calls or sales. I provide boosted business & visibility for there art gallery. My customer is a older art gallery owner that doesn't understand the internet. Not sure how much they make. My process is find client > call them asking them questions what are they looking for.

I asked
What are they looking to do? Sales, calls?
Other small things about there business and how can I help.

Thank you so much for the criticism, appreciate it.
It's a good starting point but you need to dig much, much deeper than that. These kinds of clients get hit by marketers every single day who promise them more customers/clients. Some of them don't even want more customers because they are already fully booked but need a system to manage their time better, they need more free time to spend with their kids, not more sales.

The more you know exactly who your client is and what their hopes, dreams, fears, problems are, the better you can understand how to help them - and they will pay whatever you ask.
 
OP
OP
F

finnyfun

New Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 20, 2018
11
8
17
Connecticut
First project? Since it's a friend of the family maybe just ask them to pay costs. Theme, page builder, whatever premium plugins (probably optimisation ones if using wordpress) you think you may need.

At least get 200 to 500 bucks for costs and your life will be a bit easier and you can take your time learning without any pressure of contracts etc.

That's how I did my first one, actually for someone from this forum. It was great, I learnt a lot and was able to use good tools. It was ecommerce though which makes things so so much harder for a first project.

Are they wanting to sell things direct from the site?
In the call he discussed that he wanted to convert people to his gallery or get visitors (to the site) to call or inquire about some of his art pieces.

I think its a good idea and I'll consider what you said talking about just getting the client to pay for costs.

Thanks for the reply.
It's a good starting point but you need to dig much, much deeper than that. These kinds of clients get hit by marketers every single day who promise them more customers/clients. Some of them don't even want more customers because they are already fully booked but need a system to manage their time better, they need more free time to spend with their kids, not more sales.

The more you know exactly who your client is and what their hopes, dreams, fears, problems are, the better you can understand how to help them - and they will pay whatever you ask.
I'll see how I can add even more value, maybe I could add something like SEO alongside my website (probably for a fee)

When I'm coldcalling (I'll be doing this after I finish my project right now) I'll be sure to not just steorotype them as not having enough customers and ask what exactly is there problem, if they are willing to share.

Thanks for the reply. You've been a big help with your criticism and tips. :cool:
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

OP
OP
F

finnyfun

New Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 20, 2018
11
8
17
Connecticut
I've been slacking.
Yeah I just action-faked for like 20 days and just didn't respond to this thread....
But I have done some things atleast.
I talked to my client and showed him a homepage I made. We talked about what he is looking for and he wants a sort of 'online gallery' with
pretty much a gallery of all his paintings (well most of them, if not then im going to have to upload 600 pictures..) on his site that people can see
he was thinking about them being alphabetized, which I can do.

he can me $100 for my work I did so far so I think he's in. I'll keep you all posted with updates atleast every week. Please keep my accountable

Happy Christmas
finnyfun
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
New Course! Upwork Client Psychology I #UdemyApproved! Upwork Client Psychology I is designed...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Welcome to 2020, I wanted to add in a quick note about gratitude for the new year...


Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe to become an INSIDER.

The 2020 Fastlane Summit

This event SOLD OUT in October. For authorized resale tickets, please check ticket resales or contact the forum directly.

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom