How to Close a $10,000 WordPress Project
What if I told you that the service you provide is not what you are truly selling.
No matter what you offer, whether you are a web designer, WordPress developer, SEO agency owner, or any type of freelancer, your services, while important, are secondary to what you are really selling.
Before we get into it, I want to quickly share my own story because I believe that If a broke musician (myself) can figure this out, you can also learn to get the results you are truly after with your agency, freelancing, or other services..
When I first started my agency, after my band had broken up, it was completely out of necessity. My startup had failed overnight. I literally got called into one of my partners office and was told the company was out of money and that was it. At that moment, I had to make a decision. Was I going to look for another job? Or was I finally going to burn the boats and give this working for myself thing everything I had?
With my failed business, we were using an agency to do everything from branding to web design, web development, and digital marketing. I got to see firsthand the client-side of things and I am so glad I did.
As time went on, I got a look behind the curtain and started to see things that I realized I could easily do as well, if not better.
The seed had been planted.
Even though I had very little experience with anything web development related (I barely knew HTML. Thanks MySpace!). I decided at that moment, sitting in my partner’s office, that I was going to start my own web design and development agency.
At this point I hadn’t even heard of WordPress or even what a CMS was.
I really had no business starting an “agency,” but thank god for naivete. I started by literally telling everyone in my network, friends and family that I had started a web design and development agency which resulted in one of the PR firms we had been working with sending me a referral!
To say I felt like an imposter is an understatement (more on this later.) I had no idea what to charge or what technology I needed to build out an ecommerce site. I literally started by Googling my way through it.
After doing some research and talking to friends in the ecommerce space, I decided that $1,000 would be a fair price for designing and developing a full-blown ecommerce site. The client was (obviously!) thrilled with that price and signed on.
I had my very first client! It ended up not being profitable (surprise surprise), but I had enough money to file an LLC and get a developer to help me build it out. I can’t even imagine looking at that code now.
I’d probably throw up in my mouth.
Fast forward to today, I have generated well over $10 million dollars thousands of leads for my clients. Last year, one of my clients was acquired for 7 figures!
So how did I get here? How am I able to consistently close $10,000+ WordPress projects (including a $25,750 project I closed last month)? Well, let me tell you, over the past 10 years, figuring out how to have a profitable WordPress design, development, and digital marketing agency has been a grind.
I have probably invested close to $20,000 in various courses and online training over that period, but I still wasn’t getting the financial results I knew I was capable of.
I was afraid to charge anything more than $2,500 for a WordPress project and I felt like the only thing I could compete on was price. I believed that I had to compete with all of the offshore developers that were charging less than $10 an hour.
With every proposal I would send out, I felt like a complete imposter. I imagined that one of my clients would eventually “find me out” and I would be exposed, which created an enormous amount of (unnecessary) stress.
Then a lightbulb went off.
I realized that I was way too focused on myself, my agency, and the services I provided. I was tired of the race to the bottom with pricing and always having to offer discounts to get the project. I finally realized that I need to stop thinking about myself and start focusing on my potential clients.
I needed to completely change my focus to put myself in their shoes. I started thinking about what I would want if I was looking for help with my website. What was I truly after?
Then I realized that a pretty site is just the surface of the actual desire. I needed to get a layer deeper. And then the light truly turned on.
All potential clients are humans and humans all want the same thing. I realized that each of my prospects had a current situation they were looking to change (outdated website, confusing copy, ads that aren’t converting, etc.).
Their true desire was to reach their desired outcome.
What I’ve come to understand is that 99% of prospects know in the back of their minds that they want to get to their desired outcome, but they don’t realize that they don’t know exactly what their desired outcome is, let alone how to get there.
They think the answer is solving one of the surface problems with their site (SEO, conversion rate, etc.) but what they are missing is simply a plan for how to get from their current situation to their desired outcome.
The lock had finally opened for me. I knew that I was no longer selling my services, what I was truly selling was an emotion. A feeling. And that feeling is TRUST.
I knew that if I could get a prospect to trust that I could take them from their current situation to their desired outcome, I would be able to charge more for my services because I was providing way more value and could close many more projects.
The question remained, how was I going to create trust, and create it quickly?
The Old Way vs. The New Way
Well my old process used to look something like this. I would get a referral or a response to a form on my website. I would get on a call with them to learn more about their business (what they sold) and what features and pages they needed.
Then I quoted them a price and a timeline for building it all out for them. Nine times out of ten, the prospect on the call would ask me about price right out of the gate.
They were focused purely on cost.
I decided this was a broken system. It got me by, but it was a grind, and frankly annoying, always having to deal with high-maintenance clients at a low rate. I decided that I needed to use these first phone calls as opportunities to create trust. I had to get their mind focused on value, an investment and not cost.
I needed to provide value. I needed to go first.
So I started to test my theory. On these initial calls, I would just listen and learn about the business, what it sold, and some of their current pain points.
If it seemed like I could truly help them, I would offer a FREE 90 minute strategy session with them, no strings attached. Whether we worked together or not. I wanted to offer something of value to them.
This would usually catch them off-guard in a positive way and, of course, everyone said yes. So now I have taken my relationship with the prospect to the next stage. The coffee date if you will.
In these strategy sessions, I would spend 90 minutes (and often up to 2 hours) with a complete stranger, diving deep to help them identify the 6 characteristics that determine whether their ideal customer will purchase from them.
At the end of it, they would have a powerful document for their business that would become a blueprint to drive your new website design and development, content marketing, SEO, paid traffic, brand positioning, and copywriting.
What Were the Results?
In June, I generated over $127,000 for an Ecommerce client.
We redesigned, developed, and implemented an email automation strategy for a lead generation client that sells $10,000+ laser machines. They went from selling a total of just 29 units in 2019 – to 129 units in one month!
Another client was acquired for 7 figures last year.
I took an Ecommerce site from $750,000 in Annual sales to over $5.5 million in annual sales in 12 months.
Not only were my clients seeing crazy results, but I was seeing them for myself. This process would allow me to create trust in under 2 hours, resulting in much higher close rates and allowing me to charge $10,000+ for my projects because I was providing that value and more!
It gave me clarity for exactly how to craft my proposal/strategy for the client to help them truly understand how we were going to take them from their current situation to their desired outcome.
And honestly, it gives me a massive competitive advantage.
99% of all of the prospective clients I have taken through this process have never done it before. At the end of each session they feel like we have opened up their eyes to see beneath the surface of their own business.
This process also creates excitement. If you can do that with a complete stranger, you are more likely to earn their business and their referrals.
If you are struggling with imposter syndrome or wanting a proven process that can help you achieve the results you are after, apply for a free strategy session with me today.
About Jon Taggart
My WordPress agency has generated over $10 million dollars for my clients using this process. It has also allowed me to completely overhaul my rates with the value I am now able to provide to my clients. I used to charge $1,500 per WordPress project and now I am able to consistently convert projects at rates of $5,000, $10,000 and even $20,000+