This is a tricky topic. If you are a freelance web designer like me at Studio 544, you may have found yourself in this situation before. A prospective client contacts you about designing a web site for them and feels the need to talk about it with you for hours at a time on the phone or by sending you an endless stream of emails.
They usually want things done yesterday and for a bargain basement price. You carefully go through their criteria and try to match it up with their budget (if they’ve given you the luxury of this information). If they have not provided a budget, I strongly recommend that you ask them about this upfront so as to not waste your time or the prospects. After all if they want a web site with all the bells and whistles but only have a budget for a bag of peanuts, you need to know.
My experience at Studio 544 has taught me that roughly 50% of the website design requests you may receive will require you to do some type of research and maybe even experiment with a few programs that may be new to you just to see if this is something you can even work on for the prospect.
The main point about this article is that your time is just as valuable as the prospects – maybe even more so. Over the years, I have learned how to generally sift out the “shoppers” and “time killers” who contact me. If you are new to the business, you will get a sense about this yourself the more you do it. Just remember that at some point you need to draw the line and decide if the prospect of working with this client is worth it or not.
Mark Lewandowski is the President of Studio 544. A freelance web design company located in Hutchinson, MN. You can find the Studio 544 website by visiting www.studio544.com.