Working with higher paying clients is something many business owners dream of. Because higher paying clients means more revenue (and not necessarily more work for that revenue). Or it could mean the same revenue with fewer clients and less hours. And who doesn’t want that?
And, counter-intuitively, I’ve found higher paying clients aren’t always more demanding. Often they’re busy people who are more used to outsourcing and working with people who are experts in their field. They’re clearer about what they want but will then let you get on with it, making it easier than someone who is not as used to delegating.
Higher paying clients are not necessarily wealthier, they’re just more prepared to pay for something they want. They see the value. They are not after the cheapest option, but the job done well (for a price they’re willing to pay).
So how do you attract higher paying clients?
1. Pricing/Packages need to reflect what Higher Paying Clients want
First of all you need to ensure your pricing, and what you offer for that price, reflects what a “higher paying” client might want.
You can, of course, just put your prices up and offer the same package. I’ve certainly had potential clients choose more expensive web designers over me because they believed “you get what you pay for” even though the more expensive price might be an agency with much higher overheads and less experienced staff doing the actual work. I’ve also had others tell me they don’t believe anyone who charges less than £X values themselves highly enough and therefore can’t be very good…
But it is also worth looking at your packages and thinking about what a higher paying client might be looking for. I’d recommend talking to some “Ideal Higher Paying Clients” and asking what they would ideally want if they were to work with someone like you. You may find they’re not interested in some elements you currently offer and there are other things they’d like adding. So it may be a case of offering a package which is different to what you currently offer rather than offering more for the higher price.
You can, of course, add more comprehensive “VIP” packages too, which sit alongside your normal packages. These would offer more than your normal packages – perhaps with more direct access to you. But you do need to think about what should go into these and whether they’re really valued by clients rather than creating significantly more work for yourself.
2. Use Images to attract Higher Paying Clients
Poor quality images will make your business look cheap. Good quality images on the other hand will automatically up level your business.
The images you use (on your website, social media and all forms of marketing) should reflect the kind of clients you want to attract. One of my clients’ works with some very busy executives in Kensington, so she had parts of her branding photoshoot outside in Kensington.
If you want to attract a more “corporate” client then your images (what you wear, the poses, location and props) should be more corporate. If you want to attract an older demographic then use pictures of older people. Similarly if you’re after younger people then make sure you’re using images of younger people. Clients need to see themselves in your images. They need to imagine themselves working with you.
And absolutely make sure you have your own branding images, taken by a professional branding photographer. These ensure you’re not using the same images as anyone else. You want to stand out rather than look the same as everyone else. They will also be coherent – something that is difficult to achieve with stock photos taken by different photographers.
Professional branding photos will immediately make you look more professional (use it as a good excuse to get hair and make up done too!).
3. Other Branding Assets need to be Professional
The key to attracting higher paying clients is to look professional. To look like the kind of business these clients can trust – rather than someone who is working from their kitchen table in their PJs whilst their children watch Peppa Pig on repeat, feeding cheerios to the cat (even if that is the reality). I don’t suggest you have branding photos taken of you in your natural habitat if that is the case – go somewhere that fits the image of where your clients think you work from!
And that means the Canva logo you put together when you started out just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Your logo, choice of fonts, colours (and shades of that colour), website layout and tone of voice all matter. Because they project an image of you. And you want that to say professional if you’re looking for higher paying clients (looking “cheap” is good if you want clients who are focused on paying the least).
I’m not a big believer in investing a lot of money in logos and branding assets when you’re starting out (because there are other things that are better investments at this point – like branding photos – and most of us don’t have unlimited budgets), but the point at which you want to attract higher paying clients is absolutely the time to do so.
All your marketing assets need to be “on brand”. They should look like they belong to the same “family”. So when someone moves from your Instagram to website it is clear that they are following the same business. They have a similar look and feel. One that is very “you” but which appeals to your Ideal Client.
And it goes without saying that you need a professionally designed website at this point too. One that represents where you want your business to be and the clients you want to attract (strongly supported by those gorgeous branding photos and assets). So even if you have been able to do it yourself up to this point I’d strongly recommend using a professional if you want to attract higher paying clients. It should pay for itself very quickly. We’ve designed and built a lot of websites for clients looking to up level and attract higher paying clients.
4. Use Testimonials/Case Studies from Higher Paying Clients
Testimonials are very powerful tools because they show how you have helped someone. And the testimonials you use on your website and other forms of marketing should reflect both the kind of clients you want to attract and the kind of work you want to do.
Because people want to see that you help people like them with the kind of issues they want help with. Our blog post 5 of the best kind of testimonials talks about this a lot more.
There is a big difference between the look and feel of a pound shop to an expensive boutique. They appeal to different clients. Boutiques attract higher paying clients (note it is not the same as wealthier clients) than pound stores.
If you want to attract higher paying clients then you need to think more boutique and less pound shop. What can you do to uplevel the impression that a potential client might have?
All your marketing needs to look professional. You should have professional branding photos and a professionally built website as these make a big difference to the image you portray. You should also look at working with a branding designer so your logo, fonts and colours represent both you and the kind of clients you want to attract. Yes these are an investment in your business, but one that should pay off.
Take a look at the packages you offer and what a higher paying client might be looking for. And whether your pricing might be perceived as “too cheap”. Setting pricing is not easy I know, but clients are not always looking for the cheapest – the proliferation of coffee shops in the high street charging more than the cost of making instant coffee at home shows that.
And make sure the testimonials you share reflect the kind of work you want to do and the kind of clients you want to work with. That is easy to do and costs nothing more than a little bit of effort!