How to attract higher paying design clients

Apr 18, 2017

Tired of quibbling over dollars and the sense of a few discounted cents? Wish you were a magnetic force for fuss-free, high-paying repeat dream customers that love what you do and truly value your services?

I hear you. And believe me, I get asked this question a lot. In fact, when I started out, I fell into the trap of undercharging and discounting to attract clients and offering cut-rate prices to draw them back in. I struggled with the burden of needing to lift my prices (to, you know, pay bills and live) but feeling unable to attract the high-paying clients I needed.

It sucked the big one …

But then everything changed.

I went from moaning, “How do I attract higher paying customers?’ to actually charging the big bucks.

So, what happened? How did I go from icky discounting to this-is-what-I’m-worth boss lady pricing?

The good news is that it didn’t require a six-figure PR budget or a marketing campaign designed by Sir Richard Branson himself. Mostly, all it took was, well … me.

Now, because I’m a sharer and a carer, I’ve included the top six things that took me from $0 per month to never-did-I-ever-think-I-could-earn-this-much per month.

Psst, when you’re done reading, make sure you check out my $39 mini eCourse on Pricing & Packaging your Design Offerings here. 
6 Steps to Attract High-Paying Customers….

1. Make your brand look more expensive.

Have you ever noticed that luxury brands like Hermès and Mercedes-Benz exude indulgence? From their showrooms through to their logos, branding, websites and marketing collateral, every interaction you have with them feels exclusive and expensive.

Wanna know how and why? Quite simply because they’ve designed it to feel that way. They’ve designed their customer experience to feel expensive and aspirational because they know they’re charging the kind of prices where how their customer feels is the most important element of their brand.

They want to charge the big bucks? They have to make their customers feel like they’re worth it. You think anybody would pay six-figures for a car if the brochure was printed on flimsy cardstock, with low-res images and typos in their copy? Nope and nope.

Take a leaf out of their book and do the same: make your brand look and feel expensive and you won’t have to justify your prices. Your customers will simply feel that you’re worth it. And babe, you totes are.

2. Showcase yourself as an expert in your field.

Who would you rather work with:

  1. Somebody with a strong online reputation and presence where you can see – through testimonials, articles, features, interviews, webinars and social media – that they have the skills and experience you need PLUS have proven themselves to be an expert …


  1. Somebody who has clearly invested a lot of time and energy into creating a cool website but is otherwise invisible. There’s no online or social proof that they know their sh*t and it feels like you’re taking a risk by working with them.

Need I say more?

3. Set healthy boundaries.

Something that I’ve learned from both my time building my own business and mentoring creatives, is that the main difference between the designers that convert clients easily, and the ones that are left biting their nails and refreshing their email browsers, comes down to one thing: Confidence.

If a client sees you as overly eager, “super flexible” and willing to jump Olympic hurdles to make them happy, they’re also going to think that you’re easy to manipulate and potentially a little out of your depth.

Whereas if you’re cool, calm and collected and unwilling to compromise on your values and boundaries, you know what happens? People take you, and your business, seriously. You get respect because you demand it.

Suddenly you’re not a minion that they can boss around, you’re their peer. Their equal. Somebody with bad-ass skills that’s going to help them pay the bills.

4. Create processes that support success.

Want to know another thing that successful entrepreneurs, creatives and businesses do? Or rather, don’t do? They don’t waste time.

They streamline their processes, from quote through to completion and after-service feedback, so that they don’t waste precious energy crafting responses and documents from scratch each and every time.

It’s how the big businesses invest their energy (creating templates that maximize their efficiency) and it’s what you should be doing to show your dream clients that you’re in their league.

5. Create packages that solve your ideal client’s problems.

When I work with my mentoring clients, one of the key points that I highlight again and again is that in order to convince your ideal client that you’re the right person to meet their needs, you need to really, truly, understand them.

You need to put on your investigator cape, dive into social media and explore what makes them tick. You need to understand their worries, their fears, their hopes, their dreams, the whole holistic rainbow of what makes them ‘them’.

Because when your ideal client feels heard and understood, immediately their barriers fall down. They’re open to what you have to say and they feel emotionally connected to your message.

By creating packages that let your ideal clients know that you see them and understand them, you’ve already overcome so many hurdles.

And last but not least …

6. Increase your prices & stick to them.

The best, and easiest, way to attract high-paying clients? Charge the rate you’re worth – and it’s higher than you’re currently charging, believe me – and then stand by it like it’s Ryan Gosling covered in chocolate.

The sooner you set your standards and stick to them, the sooner you’ll start attracting those higher paying clients.

It’s a see-it-to-believe-it kinda thing, but once you experience it for yourself … kapowie. Dream material.

Ready to attract those high-paying clients of yours? I’ve created a 4 part video series detailing how to price & package your design offerings STEP-BY-STEP! Check it out here. 

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