Friday Next is no longer taking new clients or performing work for existing clients.

I see it all the time.  I head into the craigslist “computer gigs” section, and there are people with ads looking to buy or sell a website for $250.  I’ve gotten the occasional quote request from prospective clients (not recently), where I’ll quote a relatively low price ($1-2k) for a relatively easy job, and the prospective will respond, “No, that’s out of my budget.”

When I first started doing WordPress contract work, my skills were primitive.  I had just watched Chris Coyier’s wonderful course on about how to build a WordPress theme.  I found two developers in California who needed a contractor for WordPress gigs, and I billed $35/hour.

When I first started, I wasn’t as quick as I am now, but I was just as thorough.  Just because I didn’t know how to do something from memory didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to research it and figure out the right way to do it.  I still got the job done, even when I was first starting out.  Each project that I did totaled a couple hundred bucks, and it was great practice for me.

Evolution of Pricing Strategies

Soon, I decided to start doing projects on my own, so that I could charge more.  I raised my prices to about $50/hour, and I was getting faster.  There were still things that baffled me, and I spent inordinate amounts of time researching how to solve those problems, but I still got the work done.

During the evolution of my business, I took only one project out of complete desperation for more money.  That was the only project that I presented a quote with so many line items, that by the time the client finished deciding what they didn’t want, I was essentially doing the project for 50% off.

I’ve never since felt as defeated as I did when I did that project.  I made it my goal to never do something like that again, and to this day, I haven’t.

Putting Your Foot Down

Look, I understand that it’s hard to send an invoice to someone for a website build with a higher dollar amount than your monthly rent costs, but the simple fact of the matter is – your work is probably worth more than you’re charging.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve planned out a project, sent out an invoice, and then gotten halfway through the project and thought to myself, “Shit, I really should have billed more for this,” I’d have quite a few nickels.  It’s not easy to plan how long a site build will take, and there’s a good chance you’ll run into something you haven’t encountered before.  Nonetheless, you need to charge appropriately for your work.

Only you know how much you’re worth, and I’m betting that when you put those invoices together, you know if you’re charging too much or too little.  When you look at that invoice and say, “Well, I know they won’t be upset about this, but I’ll just bill more on the next one,” STOP RIGHT THERE.  Charge what you’re worth!

If web developers and designers continually charge less than what they’re worth, the market will adjust to those lower prices and give less business to the people who are charging what they’re worth.

Make your case.  Sell yourself, as a confident, efficient, competent web developer that will blow all competition out of the water, and start charging what you’re worth.

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