I'm in a bit of a predicament here.
I'm a freelance web designer and a one woman show...more or less. I have some clients that insist on me giving a mockup for a website before the project is finalized or awarded to me. I understand that the company has this as a part of their screening process for prospective freelancers but it puts me in a position where i feel that I might not get paid for the work I'm doing.
I have a portfolio that speaks for itself and making a layout according to "specific requirements" does require effort since I only do good quality work.
I have put my foot down at times and explained my side of the story but everytime I do this I risk losing the project. How can I handle something like this?
Sounds like you're fishing in the wrong pond...
Never put yourself into a position where YOU have to try and convince someone they need you or your services.You never see physicians calling you up on the phone trying to convince you to come into their offices to treat you for a migrane headache or the flu. Why??? Because they are perceived as the 'expert'.
It has always been my philosphy to position myself as the 'expert' in my industry, thus setting it up for my potential clients to call me... not me calling on them trying to convince them of anything.
If my marketing strategies did it's job, I'd have a steady flow of leads and potential prospects e-mailing and calling me. When they call me it changes the dynamics of the relationship.
They perceive me as the expert... as someone who could possibly help them. I don't have to try and 'hard sell them'. At this point, they already realize there is a need for my services and that my friend is the difference of having to deal with this craziness of having to create mock-ups.
These people don't respect your skill sets and they likely don't have the money available to pay you for the services; thus the reason they're trying to get mock-ups so they can find someone else to do it cheaper (thus a bidding war).
Don't waste your time on this... take a look at your current marketing strategy and see what you can do differently to position yourself in such a way that prospects call you.
One thing to consider is finding a niche... By specializing in a specific industry, such as real estate or website design for chiropractors, you now appear as a specialist... plus it helps your credibility when you're able to talk to these prospects in 'their' language and addressing 'their' concerns when you specialize and get to know more about their industry.
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