Constantly underbidding in a race to the bottom is a hard battle and a sure fire way of making work really feel like work.
By being completely honest with your clients you will feel as though you are creating a group of friends who come to you when they need help. If you serve them well by considering their best interests, they will receive significantly more value from you, which can only mean repeat business and referrals.
Be honest with the customer completely, its much easier to talk to people when you aren’t hiding behind a wall of lies.
Direct the customer elsewhere if you cannot provide value to them; try and spend time with the client face to face before any paid work commences; if you don’t seem to gel or share the same work philosophies just say so.
The client is not always right
Have the courage to recommend against a solution that – while it may be lucrative – is just not going to work, for example telling the customer to scale down their complexity.
Be the best
It’s easy for a developer or designer to spend all day performing the same old tasks day in – day out, but taking just an hour out each day to read up on new techniques etc will transform your skill set.
Become domain inquisitive
Spend time finding out exactly what your customers need, try and research their business domain so that you can speak their language .By understanding your clients you will always be the natural first choice and it’s much easier creating a product when you understand the problem that it will solve.
I have dealt with many start-ups that use the lean start-up methodology which I now understand extensively through my experience, so I now also understand where the interests of these companies lie. In this case it’s to forge a product that has ready-to-pay customers. It’s clear to see that’s what I do, and these are the people that come to me for help.
Never lie, not even a white lie
If you are completely honest you can speak from the heart, never having to remember a manufactured statement that you declared in the past.
Once the work is finished, try and get into a habit of chatting with the client every few months, there will be hard edged people that don’t want to talk, so don’t call them! But if you make friends along the way, see what they are doing in their life and business.
Over the past five years I’ve competed in five ironman races, and I’m now doing Crossfit a few times a week. I’ve driven cars on race tracks, had flying lessons and I snowboard. I have a weird affection for maps and I have more synthesisers than Kraftwerk. My clients know all this, as I do love to talk about myself. Your interests make you stand out from the crowd. I am frequently asked to do fitness apps, music apps and mapping apps, and the clients know that I am familiar with those domains and love to work in them.