Do You Charge 100% Upfront?

I saw an intriguing post on LinkedIn, asking designers if they charge 100% upfront. Every person replied saying they were too nervous to charge 100% upfront.


Their reason: in case the client didn't like their work.


What a terrible way to run a business. ANY business - not just a design business. Imagine having such little confidence in your service or product that you are prepared to not be paid.


Also by not having the confidence to charge upfront, confirms your client's dubious feelings about you. Just saying.


I charge 100% upfront and my clients pay me. Here's why ..

 

Do you qualify to work with me?


My potential clients have 5 steps to go through, before they decide if they are confident enough to pay me upfront. Some people will be turned off at various steps but that's absolutely fine because the people left are my kind of people.


1. Do you like my brand, vibe and message?

No: Goodbye!

Yes: Got to step 2


2. Do you like my portfolio and are you comforted by my 100% excellent client feedback?

No: Goodbye!

Yes: Got to step 3


3. Do you want a Wix website, unique branding or social media content repurposing service?

No: Goodbye!

Yes: Got to step 4


4. Do you see the value in my benefits and can you afford me?

No: Goodbye!

Yes: Got to step 5


5. Do we get on and did you enjoy chatting to me over a 20 minute Discovery Call?

No: Goodbye!

Yes: Ball is in your court, babe


This process builds committed relationships, so when I charge my clients upfront we both know that:


a) they are confident in me and my work

b) they trust me and my judgment as professional

c) they are going to L.O.V.E the end result


Every client I work with is committed, we understand each other, we get on and it tells me they can afford me. 100% of my clients give me an excellent review and recommend me - plus 50% of my clients are repeat business.


Every time you take on a time waster - you are letting an ideal client go.

 

I was Ghosted


I onboarded a client over the summer for a large branding / web design project. We set a start date and I sent my invoice. No payment arrived, so I didn't start the work. I messaged the client a few times, with no response. They were ghosting me.


They finally got back to me 3 weeks after the start date, saying they didn't have the money for the project.


Imagine if I had a process where I took payment at the end of a project .. I would have finished this client's work and not been paid. For a while at least. And the client would have let that happen, with no skin off their nose.

 

Paying for a Service is like paying for a Product


When you buy a service (not a product) you aren't buying the end result - you are buying the time of the service provider.


You pay for products upfront because you are buying the product and if its unacceptable you can return this product for a refund.


You pay for services upfront because you are hiring an experts time, if the end result is unsatisfactory it's up to the professional to make this right - but they have still spent their time on your project. Any service provider who doesn't charge for their time and views it as charging for the end result is doomed to fail.

 

My Process of Perfection


When you hire me, I don't just take your money and give you any old design in return.


After you have gone through my qualifying process and we decide to work together, we go on a creative journey.

  • It starts with a consultation to find out about your vision for your business

  • I send you an email outlining my understanding of our chat, along with the first set of expectations

  • Then you to give me the content I need, in your own words

  • Then I design a draft - get your feedback - I amend the draft - your feedback - amend draft .. this goes on until you have the design you love

My communication is open and I always aim for a friendly and warm approach, so that you feel you are able to give me honest, constructive feedback (and not worry about hurting my feelings .. )

 

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