Ongoing Projects: the key to making more money

In all industries it’s much easier to have a customer come back a second time than it is to get a new customer.  Of course you could constantly scrounge around looking for new work, and if you’re a decent developer, you should still be able to find somewhat regular work if you’re putting yourself out there.  But why would you want to constantly put yourself out there, when everything you need is right in front of you?

There’s tons of ways to keep a customer coming back regularly.  When you go to the customer with a quote for the website, it shouldn’t just be a flat rate, you should add in as many options to the price as you think could be relevant (in most cases everything below is relevant).  Be sure to really break things down into fine details, and take time going over it with the customer.   As you read the list below, keep this in mind, the more you do, the more you can charge, but you need to know your limits.  If you aren’t a great writer, then don’t offer that as a service ORR better yet charge enough so that you can pay someone to do it for you. Here is a small list of services that you can offer your customers to keep the relationship ongoing.

Mailers

Having your customer send out regular email blasts is a great way to start off.  Email campaigns remain to be a huge money maker in almost any industry, and if the customer can make money from it, they won’t mind paying for it.  Be sure to have an open mind when creating a service package for mailers, because they come in a lot of varieties, and it’s important to find one that fits your customer’s needs.  The simplest email campaign would just be a plain text mailer.   Even these come in two varieties, ones where the customer provides the content, and ones where your write the content.  Another type of mailer would be one that includes graphics and a complex design.  Again, either you can provide the “creative” graphics and design or, the customer can provide this and you’ll just be the coder.

Marketing

Marketing is a ‘must have’ for almost all websites.  In the end, what’s the point of making a website if no one is going to it?  I would personally recommend becoming Google Adwords Certified.  It will make it easier to sell a marketing service if you can prove that you know what you’re doing, and it will make you a better marketer.  The certification costs $100 in most countries and less in underdeveloped places, and it will probably take less than 20 hours of studying to get.  The possibilities with marketing are virtually endless.  You can maybe start with just a basic package that includes some very relevant keyword based text ads.  A much larger package would involve breaking down desktop and mobile ads, adding banner ads, maybe even videos, and don’t forget alternatives to google altogether.  Think about facebook ads, and direct media buying as great additions to a platinum package.

Content Management

This really depends on the type of site.  Let’s say it’s an ecommerce site, in that case then this would more specifically be Product Data Management.  This would typically mean that the customer will provide you with the content for their products, and you add them to the website.  For a blog, it would be Post Management.  In this case, the customer will probably provide you with a word document that you need to add to the site (and make sure it’s formatted correctly to look nice).

Hosting

This one should almost be a given, but I’m listing it here in case you haven’t thought of it. Providing domain registration and hosting for you’re customer is easy and can make you a lot of extra money over time. I personally like to bundle hosting in with my ‘retainer fee’. I tell my customers that Hosting plus Domain Registration will cost $XX and included in that price, I’m always a phone call away for any questions / concerns.

No Limits

There’s really no limit to what services you can offer a customer.  The real key is to ask questions and uncover what the customer actually needs.  Even consider things that might seem irrelevant like proofreading their blog posts / content, maybe they need photo editing, or even someone to provide them with stock photos.

Analytics

This is probably the best one on the list and I saved it for last for a reason.  Say the customer turns down all of the above options, and they only want you to build the site and get out of their life.  That’s fine, and reasonable, and in some (rare) cases logical.  Your next step is to offer Site Analytics.  You could phrase it something like this:

“Included with your website we provide basic web analytic services.  Basically that means every other month I’ll take a brief snapshot of your site’s overall health to see if there’s any major holes.  The included package doesn’t do too much, but will give you the assurance that everything is continuing to run smoothly on your website.  We also offer advanced analytics which will give you details about conversion rates and will show either what is causing people to buy your product so you can strengthen those aspects, or see what’s causing them not to buy your product so you can eliminate those aspects.”

Here’s why this is so great…  Be sure to go above and beyond with analytics.  This can include detailed adwords research (or other marketing research), bounce rate, conversion rates, and anything else you can think of.  When you present all this information to the customer, you should also give recommendations on how you can help in each area.  Tell the customer what you would charge for marketing and site optimization or A / B testing.  The goal here is to actually come up with things that will help.  If the website has been live for two months, but the site owner isn’t doing any of this, then you can bet that the site’s performance won’t be too good. When you offer a solution to the problem of poor performance, the site owner is now very likely to want that marketing / advertising package you offered. This will drive extra sales to the website, so everyone wins, your customer increases his / her sales, and you get more regular work.

What extras do you like to offer your customers? Comment Below

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