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  1. #1
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    Question Should I charge 4 intial web mockups?

    This is my first post and it is directed toward those who already have a successful (50k+) web design/development company - I thank you in advance for all replies.

    In short, I am an experienced developer but still learning good development business technique.

    I usually offer qualified leads 1 or 2 PSD mockup designs in order to secure their business. I spend on avg. 100+ to prepare these designs. This is something I am happy to do in order to secure a good client project. My issue presents itself when the client receives the designs and then I never hear from them again . I am not interested nor do I have the resources to provide free designs for every lead that just thinks they are prepared to hire a developer to build their site.

    My fear has been losing potential clients if I were to demand an upfront retainer. If I should be charging for these mockups -how much is reasonable.

    Please share your experience and abuse prevention tips .

  2. #2
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    You say you spend x on preparing these designs? Do you mean you are subcontracting the design work or do you do the designs yourself?

    In my experience, clients who are asking you to do work for free, are not good clients. I have absolutely no interest in working with someone who doesn't value my time and work as much as their own.

    Perhaps you need to work on your portfolio? I have a portfolio online. This is usually enough for clients to decide if the have the confidence to hire me as a designer, and so far it has been enough.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply exodo...I have a design team (myself included) that I pay to create the mockups.

    I totally agree about the value of our time...so are you saying that you have a signed developement contract prior to any design work?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Youre going about it all wrong.

    You should ONLY be doing mockups once you have secured the project, NEVER before. Its your proposal that should win the contract, not a PSD screenshot.

    So...

    1. Meet with the client.
    2. Document their requirements, outline everything within your proposal, including your quotation.
    3. They accept the proposal and you proceed once they have signed the terms and conditions.

    FORGOT - DEPOSIT RECEIVED!

    4. You commence mockups and intended designs.
    5. Development begins ...

    From the clients perspective this is totally transparent. The mockups should be incorporated within your costing. To them its simply part of the process.


    Quote Originally Posted by technocharged View Post
    ...so are you saying that you have a signed developement contract prior to any design work?
    Always use documentation !

    RJ
    Last edited by ramone_johnny; Mar 16, 2008 at 17:24.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by technocharged View Post
    Thanks for the reply exodo...I have a design team (myself included) that I pay to create the mockups.

    I totally agree about the value of our time...so are you saying that you have a signed developement contract prior to any design work?
    Absolutely! No mockups before contract and deposit in the bank. But clients always want to to "see" something, so refer them to your online portfolio.

    Just go to yourself and you have the answer! You say you spend money on the mockups. In other words, not even you are expecting mockups for free.

    Last time (the very last time ever) I did a mockup before signed contracts I got royally screwed. It was for a friends boss and she kept asking for a mockup. Since it was a friend, I thought, what the hell, ok then. I can trust these people.

    We had no contract or anything, we had just given them a quote. So I sent the mockups to her boss. It was more of an overall design suggestion since their print advertising and web site was really ugly. He replies that he liked it, then nothing.

    Next thing I see is exact copies of my designs in newspaper ads (including the 72 dpi photos I had in my mockup) and bill boards all over town. Since it was a friend's workplace I decided to let it slide, but I will sure as hell never create a free mockup again.
    Last edited by exodo; Mar 16, 2008 at 06:55. Reason: typos

  6. #6
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    thanks again exodo...good advice that I will certainly use to revamt my methodology!


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