[Day 12 of 365] How to Protect Yourself from Getting Abused by Low-Ball Offers

As a starter freelancer at that time, I used to grab every opportunity that I have just to get clients. I even accepted low-ball offers.

There were pros and cons to doing this…

Pros: I got to practice my craft while learning (and getting paid)…

Cons: Even if you’re good at what you do, people will underappreciate you!

Lowering my offer did not do me any good…

I used to work with start-up business entrepreneurs who do not have any background in marketing and tech…

Thus, I have to explain every bits and pieces of digital marketing… it’s repetitive, tedious, and time-consuming.

You’ll feel “lugi” for a low-ball offer.

At the onset, they will not have any design in mind…

Or if they do have something to model on… a little later, they will change their minds and want something else done…

Most start-up entrepreneurs also don’t have an idea about the scope of what a web designer does… they thought, if they asked you to design a website… you’ll cover everything such as the graphics, copy, and content.

They will leave everything to you… but it should not be the case.

Web designing only includes “designing” the website… mere aesthetics.

Content should be provided by the client or they may hire a “Content Writer”.

Copy, such as the headlines and any words that trigger your reader to do something like clicking a button, should be done by a “Copywriter”.

A web designer can only do so much.

But as a start-up, I didn’t know that too…

I wasn’t able to put boundaries on what and what I shouldn’t do.

I was able to improve putting boundaries over time but here are some of my stories working with start-ups prior to that… in no particular order:

[Story 1 of 3] I got a low-ball offer for a premium service…

I offered my service at a quarter (1/4) of my regular price for a two-pager Lead Generation website.

This means you’ll only get a page where you can offer your lead magnet in exchange for their email addresses and a thank you page.

I didn’t even ask for the initial set-up cost…

At first, the lead magnet wasn’t ready yet.

So, the time I tried to allocate for the project… which I estimated I can finish in less than 2 days… went on for weeks.

Once the lead magnet was ready, there was no content provided… no benefits… no headlines… only testimonials sent in jpg format thus I still have to transcribe.

She did mention a model website that she wanted to model her website from.

She also mentioned the time she wanted her website to be up and running.

Since I treat the client as a friend, I tried to come up with a landing page design with just a little information at hand.

I immediately finished the landing page and presented it to the client…

and BOOM!

She wasn’t satisfied.

She got a new design in mind.

I told her, I don’t have any problem with designing what you want and I can do exactly what you want but you have to give me the input/content in order to do that.

Another week has passed and the client told me that she’s still working on her content.

The day before the deadline that she set for the project, there was still no submitted content so I asked her if her deadline is still pushing through.

She responded that she’s still working on it.

On the day of the deadline, mid-afternoon, she submitted her content and how she wanted her website to look like.

Her new requirement was a full-fledged website with a Home Page, Menu Items, several pages and contains all her services… and she specifically stated the urgency of the project to be finished.

The agreement was just a two-pager Lead Generation website and the price was just a quarter of my regular price.

I didn’t even ask for the set-up cost…

And it needs to be finished ASAP!

I ended up just giving a refund and it’s not just because of the price…

P.S. Watch out for the [Story 2 of 3] tomorrow…




I help start-up entrepreneurs build their brand online by creating websites / sales funnels

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Jennifer Liwanag

Jennifer Liwanag

I help start-up entrepreneurs build their brand online by creating websites / sales funnels

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