WordPress expert and agency owner, Emily Journey takes the mystery out of building and scaling your website business into a successful Agency. Learn how to attract great clients, price your services for maximum profit, and craft the work life you've always wanted.
Should you give discounts to nonprofit organizations?
As my company grows, so do the requests for nonprofit discounts. If you are in the business of digital content creation, then you probably get a lot of requests for free and discounted services.
At my agency, requests for discounts based upon nonprofit status are always met with “no”. We even get ahead of this question by answering it in advance on our FAQ page.
I’m confident about that decision, but I didn’t always feel confident saying “no.”
The first time I heard the words, “Do you provide a discount for nonprofits?” I thought, “Why on earth would I do that?” Then, I wondered, “Am I supposed to be giving nonprofits discount pricing?”
[caption id="attachment_302" align="aligncenter" width="650"] How to get confident about your pricing.[/caption]
I didn’t know the answer. So, I felt obligated to reduce my price whenever someone pulled out the nonprofit card.
It didn’t feel good. I felt resentful as I worked on their project. They probably didn’t get my best work.
Before I talk about how I finally decided to say no to discounts, let’s look at the idea that nonprofits automatically deserve a discount because they’re doing something for the larger good.
I like what Jason Fried, Co-Founder of Basecamp, once said:
“Some might say that nonprofits do good, while for-profits do business, but I don’t believe that 1. matters, or 2. suggests that for-profits don’t do good.”
You may be surprised to know that I do provide pro bono services for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations that support causes I really care about. I often offer these discounts without being asked.
But, nonprofits don’t have exclusive status when it comes to doing good or benefitting their communities, and so they don’t automatically deserve a discount.
When I busted the assumption that nonprofits deserve a discount just because they’re nonprofits, that helped.
But, how did I go from saying yes every time someone asked to confidently saying no?
I realized I was saying yes not because I thought that nonprofits deserved a break for doing good in the world.
I was saying yes because I had no confidence in my pricing.
I had to feel confident in my pricing before I could learn how to say no to a discount request.
Here’s how I got clear on my pricing.
First off, just because my prospect confuses me with a donor doesn’t mean I have to accept. The missions of my nonprofit customers are not necessarily aligned with mine.
After all, if I set my rates according to my personal interest in another company, then my client who sells spark plugs would pay a lot more for my services. I couldn't care less about spark plugs!
Once I realized that there was no connection between nonprofit status and the pricing of my services, I evaluated my goals.
Am I trying to be less expensive than my competitors?
Am I running a profitable business now?
How much do I need to make from my services?
How much do I want to make?
And I thought about how I wanted to work in order to achieve those goals.
What is important to me in my client relationships?
Does the nature of my customer’s business matter to me?
Do I wa
Rookie mistakes every freelance website developer makes
One of my coaching clients showed up with a list of questions to go over during our coaching session. I could tell from her list that we had moved past the practical nuts and bolts of building a website for a customer. She wanted to know about the inside operation and growth of her website development business.
“What if I’m not good at making a website look nice? You know…the design part?”
“How do you get people to pay you thousands of dollars for a website when they can get one for a few hundred dollars from Fiverr?”
“How can I get someone to trust me with a large project when my portfolio is wimpy?”
I recognized exactly what she was talking about because early in my website development career, I struggled with the same things.
You didn't know I offer coaching? I do. Contact me for more info ⇒
I think of these as a combination of limiting beliefs and rookie mistakes. They’re limiting beliefs because they’re used to justify making business decisions that keep me on the low end of the pay scale. But all newbies pass through them because it’s hard not to believe they aren't actually true without some experience to the contrary. That's why they’re called beliefs.
I didn’t have a coach to shed light on my false assumptions. It took me time, mistakes, and courage to remove some mental obstacles and change my mindset.
[caption id="attachment_468" align="aligncenter" width="650"] You can do it![/caption]
But I did identify the false assumptions I had to overcome to be a successful website developer. Here they are, along with the shaky reasons I used to justify them.
“I am supposed to do everything myself.”
[caption id="attachment_470" align="aligncenter" width="500"] I do dishes, too![/caption]
The first few websites I built were tough. I thought I had to do everything myself. Graphic design. Writing the web copy. Finding the photos. Taking the photos. And, finally, building out the website in WordPress.
This is not the way to go for three reasons.
My portfolio looked amateur. I’m just not that good at all of the skills required to put together a beautiful website. There are people who make it their sole business to create beautiful graphic designs. Copywriters who write incredibly effective web copy. The same is true for photographers. The quality of my finished websites increased dramatically after I sub-contracted parts of the work that required specific expertise to other professionals. And, my portfolio began to look so much better.
The work gets done faster when someone else handles these jobs. Getting projects done faster means I can take on more new projects and earn more income.
My work is more enjoyable when I focus on the parts I’m good at.
I used to tell myself, “I can’t afford to pay people to do these jobs,” and “I’ll make less money if I outsource these services.”
It’s true, the first few websites you create are going to be free or almost free. But, after developing just three websites, you will have enough for a portfolio. You will also realize how much work goes into website development.
When you quote your 4th website development project, take into account the cost of outsourcing parts of the work. A portion of the deposit pa
WebDev Success Podcast Trailer
Welcome to the WebDev Success podcast. I’m Emily Journey and this podcast is where I take a hard look at the challenges facing the website development industry. Learn how to attract loyal customers, how to raise your prices with confidence, and take steps to craft the work life you’ve always wanted.
Listen in with me, Emily Journey, and develop brilliantly.