May 11 / Matt Saunders

What's Your Position?

Want more money as a freelancer? Stop being a "doer" and get involved in the scoping phase.
If you position yourself as a web designer, brand designer, or any kind of creative, there's a good chance you'll only been seen as someone who can execute on an already-considered strategy.

You'll be seen as a doer.

Let me explain...

Every successful execution requires forethought. A separate thinking process from the doing.

If all you talk about is the design process (e.g. we start with mood boards, then move into initial concepts etc) then you'll only ever be invited to do work that's already scoped.

For many years I would focus on the "doing". I wouldn't be interested in scoping the project at least, not at any length. I just wanted to crack on with the design, and I wanted the client to come to me with it all planned out. 

But that scoping phase is where the money is. It's where the most value is created.
Watch: how to charge higher fees by creating more value in the client relationship.
Now here's the thing: most designers do try to bring strategy into their work. But the problem is they engage clients too late in the process - decisions have already been made.

You don't want a client coming to you with a sitemap or some piecemeal brand strategy already done. And dare I say - you don't want them coming to you with a budget either.

What you want is a "green field" project. Fresh, new... untainted. From here you can take ownership and do your best work.

Sounds great right? But how? A few ideas:

👉 Talk more about strategy in your
social posts and website. Pare back your talk about execution. Remember - you get the sort of work you talk about.

👉 Consider removing your public prices and instead invite people to talk to you at a high level, before they’ve decided what this work's "worth". A marketing scorecard is great for this.

👉 Talk more about the reader's problem than your solution. Solution-buyers already know what they want. There's definitely a place for this, but ideally, you'll come to a solution after having examined the problem together.

Remember: positioning is critical. It dictates the sort of clients you bring into your business. So take a close look at how you're positioning yourself, and drop me a message with your challenges if you need help.
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