STOP Losing Projects During Lockdown: How To Get New Clients In Crisis?

  1. If your project is cancelled, how can you cope with the situation?
  2. Should studios/freelancers lower their prices during the downtime?
  3. How to look for additional sources of income? Should designers sell their work on marketplaces?

In today's episode of TemplateMonster podcast we have a new guest joining us. Iurii has been working at TemplateMonster web studio as an office manager. He creates, improves and works on customization services offered by the TemplateMonster marketplace along with templates.

We’re going to discuss the most burning questions addressed to us on our TemplateMonster YouTube channel:

How to stop losing projects during the lockdown?
How to get new clients? etc.

"Basically, you can buy a template, buy a customization service and we will do something for you. We will customize it to create a website through the template. Or maybe, you do some custom stuff, for example, create some new features and we will use those for you based on your description, based on your requirements. And we will deliver everything so you will get a fully featured new website on your hosting."

-- Iurii


If your project is cancelled, how can you cope with the situation?

✔️ Now the number of projects available to freelancers will increase: many companies during the crisis reduce staff (or lay off employees, or send them on unpaid leave), and give non-critical operations / activities for freelance in order to reduce their cost.

On the other hand, as the number of freelancers is also growing during the lockdown, this will also affect the prices for the projects not in a good way.

✔️ It’s just about time you’ve actively engaged in marketing (promotion on freelance exchanges and other platforms / social networks) and sales to find customers and large orders.  It takes a lot more than uploading your portfolio and waiting for a client to reach out. This is not the best strategy for many reasons:

  1. It reduces the number of available orders
  2. It becomes more difficult for you to show the advantages of working with you
  3. It’s more difficult for you to argue for a higher rate. 

✔️ Keep in mind, it is rare for customers to turn to only one freelancer. Typically, they compare several available options, and you need to set yourself apart from others. Otherwise you will have to compete solely by price reduction.

✔️ Be sure to update your portfolio in order to show how you have solved the customer’s problem in each of your projects. For example, mentioning that you only “designed something” for the project is NOT enough!

On the contrary, you designed this very project because you’d been discussing several other options with the customer and eliminated all of them except this one. Tell about the following:

  • Which of the customer’s goals did the approved design help to achieve? 
  • What problems did it help to solve? 

✔️ Showing facts and figures in your portfolio will also help. Tell what you did to successfully complete the project: 

  • conducted a research;
  • presented several additional options to choose from;
  • offered a radically different solution to the problem.

This will help to argue the price and distinguish you from other freelancers who are  “just designing something.”

✔️ Ask customers to leave a review about your work. Ideally, a little more detailed than “it was ok, I liked everything”.

✔️ Think about developing your own website, where you would provide more information than the pages on freelance exchanges and social networks allow. Customers love to learn real stories.  Feel free to tell what was the initial idea a client came to you with, what their goals were, what you did, what you worked on, but, as a result, you didn’t use it, etc. Try doing this sort of storytelling for each project, or at least for major ones!

Should studios/freelancers lower their prices during the downtime?

✔️ Сompete by providing the customer with a greater value instead of decreasing the price. In other words, show customers how your work and experience can solve problems and help achieve their goals. Show that the customer receives much more than just a design! To do this, you need to devote more time to sales and customer service before placing an order.

✔️ Competing only at a price is a road to nowhere. There is someone who can always make a project cheaper! Plus, each freelancer has a rate level they will never decrease.  There are two ways to set the price for the project: 

  • Individual pricing policy
  • Market rates

During a crisis, the second is more relevant: customers have a vast selection of performers, and it will be more difficult to show and argue why your work costs more than others.

How to look for additional sources of income? Should designers sell their work on marketplaces?

✔️ Placing your designs on marketplaces is one of the options: the marketplace will be engaged in marketing, you will only need to make a good presentation of your product only once. 

✔️ Access to new sites that have not been used before. This is not only about freelance exchanges, but also about social networks, where you can also show your work and offer services.

✔️ Reaching out to past clients (offer help, etc) is another option available if there are few new customers. As a rule, getting new projects from old customers is easier than finding new ones. But first you need to find out how the existing project is doing and what can be improved.

Provide several solutions to problems, show how changes can improve the client’s business. This is directly related to previous projects, how they were completed, and whether customers were satisfied with the work done.

✔️ Create a portfolio for each new freelance platform or marketplace. But before doing that, determine whether it is worth investing your time in this platform. It may be that it is better to spend time searching for customers on major freelance exchanges (UpWork) instead of placing them on small ones.

Hopefully, this has been helpful! If you're looking for more great insights about remote work, subscribe to TemplateMonster's YouTube channel!

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Irene Fatyanova

Irene is a content writer who loves reporting on the latest web design and online marketing trends, WordPress and eCommerce solutions. Apart from writing tech articles, she’s keen on photography and has a couple of cool Photoshop image retouching tricks up her sleeve. You can connect with Irene on Twitter.

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