How a Web Designer Used the Pricing Class to Create an Outstanding Proposal
“I took Lior’s advice and created a proposal as a webpage, instead of sending a boring old PDF. The reaction was “Wow!””
This is the story of Tara Hoover – a web designer who started freelancing only a few months ago – and is already mastering the way to write proposals and win projects. I asked her to share her win story with the nuSchool students. She didn’t say nay.
Meet Tara – a full-stack designer, doing everything from logo design, branding, print, email/social media graphics all the way to web-design.
Can you tell us a little bit about your freelance career?
I am on week eight of being a full-time freelancer. I “moonlighted” for over 10 years while I worked for various employers but decided to take the jump earlier this year. So far it’s going great – and the nuSchool has been a big help!
Thanks! Well, what was your biggest struggle with your creative business?
Being a freelancer can be lonely, and I think as designers we’re naturally inclined to be self-deprecating and hard on ourselves… I ask myself several times a day, “Do I even know what the hell I’m doing here?!”
I can’t tell you how much I HATE the up-front work. The thought of proposals and pricing are enough to make my head hurt.
I like the initial meetings (which are usually at a coffee shop or a good lunch spot!) and wish I could just start working right away.
I realize these steps are the most important but it’s the thing I want to do the least.
How did our class catch your attention?
After using “How-Much” and getting your emails every week, I knew the pricing class would be a valuable tool—and something I would enjoy too!
Being a visual person, it’s often hard for me to sit down and put into words what I’m doing. The class broke things down in a way that made it seem less daunting. I use both the proposal generator and pricing calculator religiously.
The class is helping different people with different problems. What was it for you?
For me I think it was the proposals. It’s what I struggled with the most and after taking the class I had much more confidence in my new process.
I’m now learning to listen to the client in a different way and seeing opportunities to add value where I probably would have missed before taking the class.
You guys have such a fun personality. I think the opening video of you all dancing was the best.
Do you use what you’ve learned?
My first proposal after taking the class I took Lior’s advice and created a webpage instead of sending a boring old PDF.
Here are some screenshots from the website I created for the proposal (the prices and the client name are hidden for the sake of… you know.):
After showing it to several people, each time their reaction was “Wow!”. It really does make you stand out from the crowd.
I am now using the outline from the proposal generator for all of my proposals and I don’t price a project without using the calculator.
The checklist is also a great resource for making sure you’ve done everything you can to ensure a successful project.
My entire process has changed since the class and it’s made it all much easier to handle. I’m now thinking of ways to add the “extra” value and leverage it in negotiations.
Just this week I had to price a few projects and for the first time I wasn’t dreading it. And it took me about half the time too!
What’s next for you?
I’m concentrating on building my business and diversifying my client portfolio.
My goal is to secure a couple large clients with steady work that will give me the flexibility to fill in with smaller more creative opportunities. I’m working hard to get one (or two!) on retainer, just like Ran did with his $5,000/month client.
I have a few prospects that would work well in this scenario and I plan to pitch the idea soon.
When I quit my job just two short months ago I thought I’d have time to rebrand myself, update my website, and build up work slowly…but the exact opposite has happened! I’m busier than ever and enjoying every minute!
Without learning lessons from the nuSchool (class, emails, blog posts, etc.) I would not have the confidence or the know-how to think about my business this way.
Stop bragging about us or I wouldn’t be able to post it!
You’re the one who had the courage to try things out. It’s 95% of the work.
You guys really have helped me a lot, and you deserve the kudos.
Thank you for taking important information but conveying it in a way that was easy (and fun) to digest. I can honestly say that yours are the ONLY emails I actually look forward to getting. Those animated gifs crack me up! :)
It’s spot-on content delivered by designers in a way that designers understand.
So is it possible to raise your rates without losing your clients?
Tara’s story doesn’t end here. She went on, sent the proposal, and in the end she won a retainer with that client. But that’s a story for another blog post…
If you feel that you need help with learning how to do it, we’re here to help. The Pricing Class will not only teach you – step by step – how to understand your value, present it to your clients, and convince them to go for it. It will also – as Tara stated – give you the confidence to do just that.
Don’t forget – taking our class is risk-free, as we have a 100% money-back guarantee policy. Hundreds of web designers and graphic designers have already taken it. We’re on a mission to make the designers of the world earn more. Don’t stay behind:
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