Three things your clients expect you to know

If you’re just building websites for your clients, you’re standing on a very shaky foundation that could crack and give way any minute. Building websites is simply not enough. It’s a very competitive business and due to the accessibility of information, websites have become a commodity business.

Now that doesn’t mean you should start competing on price. On the contrary. You should be raising your fees. How?

By adding more value than anybody else can.

Here are three things your client expects you to know and three ways you can add tons of value to your next client project.


search engine optimisationYep. I said it. Search. Engine. Optimisation.

You do NOT need to be an SEO expert or be able to offer your clients SEO services. However, your clients expect you to know the fundamentals of SEO. I’m not the right person to teach you this stuff, there are far more qualified folk to do that, like Yoast or Rand Fishkin for example.

If you have no idea where to start, try this excellent online book from SEO Moz. In fact you should give this to your clients.

Being able to talk confidently about how the new website you’re about to build for your new client will play nice with Google and attract new visitors allows you to stand head and shoulders above most web developers who put SEO in the “too hard” basket.

Spend one afternoon of your life learning enough about how to optimise a website for search engines and you’ll find clients start to pay more attention.

It’s also a great way to stop the price negotiations.

“Well if you want me to cut the budget, perhaps I can take out the SEO component. That should save you some money.”

I have NEVER had a client agree to that.


facebook-like-buttonLike it or loathe it you cannot deny that your clients are asking about it.

So instead of pretending it’ll go away like a seasonal rash, embrace it. Again, you don’t need to become a social media expert or offer social media services to your clients (although that can be quite lucrative). All you need to do is learn enough about it so you can answer your client’s questions in the initial stages of taking a brief and putting together a proposal.

Once you mention things like “lead capture” and “conversion rates” in relation to their Facebook campaign, you instantly elevate yourself above the status of “average web developer”.

Which means you can charge more than the “average web developer”.

If you need somewhere to fuel up on this topic, try this excellent ebook from HubSpot. In fact download every ebook HubSpot produce. They are world-class, simple to follow and full of pearls of wisdom you can weave into your next client meeting.

Social media integration is more than putting a Facebook “like” button on a website.

So read up and if you don’t want to offer Social Media services to your clients, find someone local who does and partner up with them.

Email Marketing

email marketingEmail marketing is alive and well and you probably already have clients asking you to develop email newsletter templates for them. If you don’t, it’s one of the easiest up-sells for a website project (“You want an email newsletter template with that?”).

Try talking about “segmenting your email database for maximum conversions” and “open rates” and “click through ratios” in your next client meeting and watch their eyes light up. You’ll go from “just another web developer” to “online marketing guru” in seconds. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but online marketing guru’s get paid a lot more than web developers.

Now I’m not suggesting you have to become an online marketing guru, but just by talking with your clients about their overall online strategy and asking them questions about their email marketing plans, you’ll increase your perceived worth and find plenty of opportunities for additional work.

If you need to get your head around the fundamentals of email marketing, try another of HubSpot’s excellent ebooks.

Your Ideas

I hope this helps you think about how you can add more value to your next client project.

Remember, the more value you add, the less you’ll have to negotiate on price.

If you have any ideas or suggestions on other things clients expect you to know, please leave a comment below.