The course addresses this, but what advice you have for pricing your work as a freelancer?
Ultimately you want to get to a point where you’re pricing by value. For example, if you create a logo, it might take you literally 20 minutes, but the value that the logo has to a business is incredible — it’s the foundation of their brand. The best logo designers charge by value instead of by the hour.
As a freelancer, you have to present that value up-front: that you’ll get the work done sooner and faster. Reduce the incentive for your potential client to get the work done in-house. Sell your service(s) and value as a function of the value it brings to the client — it’s a win-win. It’s easy for a client to justify a $10,000 website when they know it will bring in at least $20,000 in sales.
If you’re just starting out, you might price your work by the hour. No pricing model is perfect. Sometimes you negotiate a specific price based on the agreed-upon value, and then when you actually start the work on that project, you realize there’s a lot more work than you thought. It can also be the reverse — where it’s surprising how few hours it took to deliver something of great value.
When it comes to pricing, you can also tell when you’re working with a good client because they respect freelancers who stand up for what they believe in and for the value of their work. A lot of clients push boundaries, especially when it comes to pricing.
It’s your job as a freelancer to stand up for your work and set boundaries. And doing so leads to a deeper relationship between you and your client — a mutual understanding of the value you bring to the client and their business.
Having those conversations requires candor, negotiation, being clear and direct, and good boundaries.
And that’s difficult, I imagine when it comes to saying no to clients unwilling to pay you what you feel you deserve.
Yes — and this comes down to the 80/20 rule. Sometimes a client gives you 20% of your revenue and is the root of 80% of your problems. I’ve begrudgingly compromised on my price and regretted it the entire time. I was never sure I’d get paid.
We talk a lot about pricing, saying no to free work, and valuing your work as a freelancer in the course. These topics differentiate the course from others we've created in that it’s not focused specifically on Webflow. Why did you and your team choose to invest in this course?
Freelancers are the foundation of our company. We started as freelancers, most of our customers are freelancers, and Webflow was designed and is used by freelancers – especially those who come in with a no-code background. Webflow is a fundamentally empowering technology that takes those freelancers from not being able to practice the entire trade of web design and web development to being able to do that.
As a company, we believe that by inspiring more people to be in control of their own destiny, they can start their own business, agency, or solo venture and make something that solves a problem for their clients.
We want this course to inspire more people to take that first leap. The web is the most powerful medium and a lot of creatives don't have access to it. It's hard to make something of your own without a developer. We see all this untapped potential on this large, powerful medium that’s mostly used by developers and people who know how to code. We believe there are a lot more creative people who can build on the web if they have the right tools.
We want creatives to chart their own destiny, create their own business, get their own clients, and most importantly, do the work they love doing. And this course — which covers everything from landing clients to negotiating, to doing the actual work — will help get them there.
And, of course, we want people to use Webflow and be successful with it. If that is a result of this course — great. If people take the course and are inspired to become freelancers and start using Webflow, that’s also great. If people learn something that benefits them and Webflow isn’t for them, we’re still super happy to offer new, helpful information.
How do you think this new course fits into the dual missions of Webflow? And can you talk about those two missions?
Webflow has two side-by-side missions. One is to empower everyone to create software without code. The second is to create the kind of company where each individual team member can live an impactful and fulfilling life. And for us, this freelancer course aims to empower everyone — anyone that wants to build for the web can build something meaningful.
They can learn how to take advantage of the web and literally create something the entire world can see, thanks to the power of the internet. It’s about empowerment and democratization. It’s about taking a skill that’s currently performed by 1 of every 400 people and bringing that power to anyone who wants it.
Our other mission is around creating something fulfilling and impactful — not only for our team but for our community. We want everyone in the Webflow community to feel like the kind of work they’re doing is fulfilling. And, as a creative person, it sounds more fulfilling to be able to work on creative projects and create solutions for potential clients. We want to offer more options and empower people to pursue their dreams and create what they want to create.
A few team members at Webflow have either been freelancers or are still freelancing on the side. Contributing to this course has been meaningful work for them. What’s your vision for the future of freelance web designers?
I want to see more power in the hands of individuals. It shouldn't take an entire company of people to create any product or get an idea off the ground. There are so many people who want to create an app, a solution, a product or service, a social network, or whatever it may be. And because the barrier to entry is so high, you have to form a company. You have to find developers or go to a bootcamp to learn that stuff. And it takes months, if not years, to build a set of skills and a team of people to make that dream a reality.
The future of design, whether it's web design or application design, is going to be driven by individuals who have an idea and the tools to create it themselves. This is where applications like Webflow really come into play — they boil down the complexity of creating for the web into something that's a lot more human, relatable, understandable, and easier to learn. The barrier to entry has been squashed.
We’re seeing more awesome products and creations than ever before. And that’s exciting!
Do you have advice for freelance web designers out there — other than to find a dentist who's going to pay them a lot of money to increase their rates?
Use Webflow. (Laughs)
I return to the idea of valuing your work. It’s easy to get into the habit of devaluing your own work — my default was to assume that what I was creating wasn't good enough. The most successful freelancers know the value of what they bring to the table.
Imposter syndrome is something we all deal with. When you're pitching a project that’s more than you think somebody is willing to pay, remember that you wouldn’t even be talking to this client if they didn't need the value you bring.
So believe in yourself and stand up for the value you bring. You’ll make more money, be more selective with clients, and build higher-value projects.