Nov 12

Know who you want to work with, because if you begin taking on clients that don’t fit your ideal profile, pretty soon you’ll wind up with a bunch of clients (and a business) you didn’t bargain for.

Well, or you did bargain for I guess.

Getting the ideal client is like a breath of fresh air (you’ve experienced this, no?). Working only with ideal clients is heaven.

Here’s the trick:

1. Know what the attributes of your perfect client are.
2. Know who in your market fits that profile.
3. Start marketing to that desired client list.
4. STOP rationalizing when the not-so-perfect prospect tempts you to lower your standards.
5. Smile, you’re working with exactly who you want to work with.

You choose who you work with-and you’ve chosen your current client base. If your client base is not ideal, start choosing to work with those you now want to work with and don’t go back to your old ways. There will be happier days ahead if you decide to choose correctly.

Nov 08

“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.”

-David Ogilvy

On the way into the office today, I heard a quote from Brian Tracy, author of the Success Mastery material, where he said, “People use 2% of their potential.”

Wow. 2%. Why? Because we’re scared. Because we like comfort. We like safe.

You could apply this across the board-whether you talk about your company, your career or your web site. We see a lot of safe web sites. We see a lot of prospects asking for greatness, but then pull back to safeness. They sabotage their own potential.

Do what you know you need to do. Throw caution to the wind. And while you’re at it, look at your web site. Did you bunt or are you swinging for the fences?

Nov 06

Dealing mostly with business owners, these are the top three mistakes Merge sees owners make when they are buying a web site:

  1. We just want a web site. No you don’t. You want your web site to do something. A web site needs to help accomplish a company’s business goals / solve problems. A company doesn’t need a web site for the sake of having a web site.
  2. We can get it for X amount cheaper. Is your goal to get a web site for the least amount of money or to invest in a web site that will generate the most results.
  3. We need it fast. You’ve lived without it this long, why the rush now? Concentrate on doing it right versus getting it quickly. Great web sites take time, and I highly recommend taking the time upfront so you get a great result-producing solution upon completion.

Just, Cheap, Fast. Yes, these are mistakes you’ll want to avoid if your goal is to have a result-generating web site.

Nov 02

A friend asked me for advice, “How much should I charge to do this web site?”

A wealthy investor was converting some commercial space into an art studio. The new art studio asked him to do a web site for them. You know, it’s for the artists. My friend was contemplating a price of $750.

He told me his rational. He thought it would take him about 10 hours. Okay, I thought.

But I had the opportunity to tell him this little story, which I heard from somewhere else (here it is, but not where I heard it):

Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.
“It’s you — Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.”

So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.

“It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”

“Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied.

“B-b-but, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”

To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”

Since Merge is going through the pricing of building out our future space, I know that this man is spending some serious dinero (their space is 15x our space). This simply tells me he’s qualified to afford a reasonable price.

I asked my friend: “How many years of school did you go to learn creative, to learn web?”

“A lot.”

“How much is the computer worth that you’re working on?”

“$3,000. And another $2,000 in software.”

“Okay, how much do you want to charge? What do you think it’s worth to the prospect?”

No business will get ahead if they charge for what it costs them to produce their service or product. Why do freelancers do the same? We are in business to make a profit. Some may say a “reasonable” profit. I say PROFIT. As long as you provide the value, charge as much as you can-and be willing to walk away if the prospect won’t meet your price. Isn’t it ironic, that most businesses charge as little as possible to get the work? Concentrate on a great product that provides tremendous value, and then you don’t have to worry about price.