I Charge 30k-60k For WordPress Websites With a Simple Marketing Plan.. Here’s How I do it

{Note: Originally posted on Reddit by Me (Sean Vosler) and is currently the top post of all time in the ‘Freelance’ subreddit}

[divider]The Concepts Behind High Ticket Selling[/divider]

I tend to piss off people in here when I suggest they’re under charging in the order of 10x less for their work… but here’s the truth you simply selling your services wrong.

(Yes, I realize this post title kind of read like the ‘doctors hate him’ headline.. haha)

Anyways – happy to share any insights on my process, here it is in a nutshell…

1) I only sell to clients who I know can invest at least 30k in marketing. How do you find them? Yellowpages half to full page ads cost around 5k to 20k depending on the city, their’s your target client list.

2) how do I get their attention? I simply send them a letter, hand written, with a little trash can and ask them if they feel like their investment in the Yellowpages ad feels like their throwing cash into a trash can? Then I share my client results and ask them if they’d like to have a discussion about how they could revamp their marketing strategy… {along with some other methods I’ll discuss shortly}

3) most businesses don’t have a good online marketing strategy, so I “sell” that, I don’t sell a website – though that is exactly what I’m delivering.

4) I don’t let them decide what should be on the site, I control the whole process and ask them to trust me. (cuts down on revisions quite a bit)

5) I keep the sales process in my control, basically play hard to get and play the chess game clients generally control. It’s all about keeping the sales discussion in your court, generally I don’t even do phone calls because it’s easier to control the conversation via email. Keep it super chill and personable, treat them as an equal not a boss. BTW I’m an introvert, I hate going out and doing sales and all the traditional sales stuff that goes along with it, I keep it super chill and just keep the convo focused on results.

6) I give a discount for paying in full upfront (20%) – this saves time and pressures the client to get me content quickly, if they don’t get me content? I’ll write it myself – or hire a writer for $10/hr on

7) My Design Process: I usually build everything myself if I have the time (i really enjoy making websites) – the main point is to make the design process focused, again, on results for the customer… Sliders in the header on the home page are cool, but they don’t help sales… Contact pages don’t generate sales, about pages don’t generate sales – I get as much of the sales material on the home page (or a specific service page) as possible, I build the credibility of the client on those pages as well (not the about page where most people try to do this) I don’t have contact pages, I have lead capture pages with a ebook/video/mindmap that the customers customer can opt in to get, then my customer can follow up via email (or retargeting) with them.

Answers to frequent questions… 

I’ve been in business for 5 years and I’ve done about 500k in sales and 30m+ in (revenue) sales for my customers.

I’m 29 years old grew up in ohio, now live in san diego

Most my clients are in the business software space, some are in the information training (info product) space.

I generally don’t charge a percentage of sales – though I regret that – I could probably stop doing client work if I would have tired in even a small percentage on all my sales.

Simple things you can do now…

  • don’t talk tech in the sales process, they don’t care.. they just care about results
  • try and gauge a demanding client in the first meeting, if they’re talking specific colors and ‘details’ that you know don’t actually matter, just run away from that client before they turn into a crapy client
  • if you don’t have ANY sales yet, partner with an SEO or PPC company, use their results as the base of your selling platform, split the sale with that company and tie their services into yours (if you sell web design services)
  • always talk results in sales “Here’s where you could increase sales 20%, by just having a landing page where you capture leads!” things like that
  • again, only sell to companies that can afford the price range you want, but don’t go larger or corporate (too much red tape and too many chefs in the kitchen)

most importantly – deliver on your promises, if you don’t think you can help a company – don’t accept them as a client.

— How to get clients on Facebook (without being a creep) —

If I find a company that I think qualifies I don’t always jump right in and send that info, usually I’ll add the owner on Facebook – 9/10 I’ll get added, I use my Facebook almost entirely for business. I like to post content that helps business owners grow their business online, lots of times the owners of these businesses (potential clients) will interact with that content… and here’s where magic can happen 1 – i’ll message them and let them know I added them because I too am a local business owner and always love to connect with people locally who are doing awesome in business 2 – i always talk about their business in that convo, i might mention mine, but I don’t play the “i ask you something so i can talk for an hour about my business’ card, I just keep asking questions about them 3- if you message people on FB, Facebook priorities you in THEIR newsfeed, so they will see MORE of your posts. 4- if it’s someone i REALLY want as a client i’ll set them as a ‘close friend’ so i can get notifications when they post, and when its appropriate (i.e. not like super personal) I’ll leave a chill comment or just drop a like people associate Facebook with friends, if you become their friend they’re going to be wiling to have a business conversation with you. I’ve never NOT been able to close a deal this way (double negative hah)

— Answering Concerns about the ‘direct marketing’ side of my client sites, and why a lot of them are kinda ugly —

ps. stated below but – I only work with customers who’s products I would purchase myself – I don’t sell in the health, make money online, MLM, fitness, or dating niches… I stick to “business growth” products, products that people can use to grow their businesses, just makes the ethics of it all a lot easier to manage.

— Do you not use client input? That’s kinda cocky! —

They have input – but the input is what results they’d like to get through marketing online… I don’t start without approval of course – but if they don’t trust me, why would I want them as a client? I don’t want to be micro managed, and MOST clients have zero clue of what actually works in online marketing… Sure i’m flexible, they don’t love the image I picked for something? Happy to change it.. Generally my response to a revision is, ok – happy to test that, the reason I chose that element was you see XYZ results increased. Yes – you do need to know what works to increase sales on a website, and yes you should LISTEN intently to your client, make sure they feel understood… but it doesnt make them right. (it’s like dating someone haha)

— How I Deal with Client Input That I Think Is … Stupid… Rant

I see it this way – I know next to zero about how lawyers do their business, yes I will give them input on things when I need legal advice, but I’m always going to defer to their judgement, because i KNOW they know what’s best and my research or guess on what might work is just that, a guess. I expect the same professional courtesy from my clients, and not one has been pissed off or mad at me because I told them I respect their idea but “here’s why they’re wrong in my experience”. I usually end that kind of conversation with ‘we can try it, but I’m going to test it because I’m invested in you seeing results from this site’, clients love it when you test their ideas… It actually pisses me off when I read ‘’ because yes – clients can be stupid – but we let them be stupid, there IS a fine line between confident and cocky, but you’re doing a disservice to a client if you don’t do what you know is right. It’s also why I charge up front – I don’t feel like I HAVE to bend to their will to get paid, my incentive is to get an amazing case study of a site that rocks and a client that is super profitable so that I can share it with my next lead. edit: specific example – a client wanted to change a headline on their site (one that I knew generated leads at around 45%)… they basically demanded i change it to include that ‘they had been in business for 25 years’ (which i had further down the page) sounds like a good thing to add, but it cut conversions by 20% – because yes, its important information, basically a trust element, BUT it was about the business not about the benefit to the customers… and customers only care about themselves (marketing 101) i shared the stats with him, he laughed and said “I guess i should have trusted you!” and he never quested my judgement again. how do i know what works? I test too – for 30k i’m giving them a site, and it may just be one page… but I’m also making sure it converts to leads and sales for them

— How to Manage Realistic Results and Still Use Result Based Selling —

It’s really important that you don’t exaggerate results. You’ll find that clear expectations lead to happier long term relationships with clients (just like dating i suppose haha)… I track my other clients with google analtyics and tools like infusionsoft (or improvly) i usually have a really good gut when it comes to what a new lead can expect, but I generally will just show them what I did for another client and the results they experienced. I make a proposal usually that breaks down what CAN work and what might not work in their specific business. I’m not terribly vague, but you can’t say YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE 50K IN THE NEXT 6 WEEKS! You have to express that – if you see similar results to my past clients, implementing these systems you could see growth of XX sales over the next six months if we hit these key metrics… Saying basically the same thing without getting non FTC compliant (with income claims). Bottom line – show case studies of past clients, compare to what your new lead could do Edit: VERY IMPORTANT – do your best to get as much data about your lead as possible, current sales – project sales, how many leads it takes to get a sale on avg, how much a lead is worth – stuff like that… IF YOU DON’T THINK YOU CAN GROW THEIR BUSINESS DONT WORK WITH THEM – that was a huge lesson i learned early on

— How to sell to clients that “just want a brochure website” aka – they just want a site with their mission statement and about / contact pages (sites that don’t do jack for sales) —

Your leads that simply want an online presence – you need to go Don Draper on them and ask some hard questions… — “Do you REALLY just want an online presence? In my experience (and looking at your competition) an online presence is just going to turn into a grave yard of corporate brochure content. What if we build out a simple site that’s goal is to generate MORE leads for your business? Could you use more leads?” Ok that’s a little over the top but you get the idea. Sell Insights Not Solutions – (google the book) – you need to teach the client what they really needs, that’s what consulting is anyways. They can buy an off the shelf corporate website off oDesk for $500 these days, don’t sell those because you’ll just have a portfolio of ‘grave-sites’ (just made that up i think I’m going to totally use that in my marketing haha) results model is all about working with clients you know you can grow – because then you can charge more, and more importantly FOCUS more on their results.

side note.. just don’t sell to these clients that ‘don’t get it’

— Im introverted, I want to focus on what I like ‘building stuff’! How can I use this if I hate sales?

Small bit of advice – if selling isn’t your skill set, don’t FORCE yourself to do it, it can take years to get really good at sales…. A quick shortcut, find a friend with a Type-A personality who loves to talk, teach them how to sell the benefits of your services (heck just print out this post and say ‘do this’) – then have them do the sales part and give him/her a cut (maybe 20%). Point is, you are a business owner not just a freelancer, outsource your weaknesses – leverage those around you and make everyone better. I LOVE design, i’m technically an introverted person (I get warn out doing this honestly hah) but I forced myself to do it… I could have saved a lot of time just getting someone who is naturally a people person to do this. #noregrets heh

I’ll try and keep this post updated with things that work as I learn them

— Tools I use Analytic tracking: google analtycs, Improvely, Maxly (very important if you want to show leads your past results)

Website Building: Wordpress (duh) OptimizePress 2.0, Cool themes from themeforest, sometimes bootstrap landing pages from themeforest, – currently: for most things.

Copywriting / Marketing idea gathering – has great posts on marketing, copyblogger, Cashvertising, what I also like to do is look at what people are doing and just capture screenshots and dissect their funnel.

Email Marketing: Active Campaign

thanks for all the awesome questions and criticism 🙂

if you need to reach me shoot a note to [email protected] – email or twitter @seanvosler or cheers!

  1. Cheri Watts (Dr. Cheri)


  2. Robert Cekay

    Great Stuff!

  3. Garvan C. Smyth

    Top class Sean, thanks again for sharing. Would you share any examples of sites you’ve done for clients by chance?

  4. Alz

    Awesome article but can you expand on each step with scripts/ etc? Common objections. Example niches youve done? example sites? Thanks

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