premium training

How to Scope a Website Project

This is a premium training for Inner Circle members only.

More about this video

In this training, I walk you through the various sections of scoping a website project, using a sample roofing client as an example.

**You’ll learn:

* How to put together a SOW (Statement of Work)
* The three biggest ways most freelancers and agencies are undercharging and how to fix it
* How to standardize your pricing
* How to bill for things you’re currently doing for free
* How to create price ranges and decide where your pricing should land for each client you’re creating a proposal for
* How to create a 3-tier offer for a custom website
* How to double or triple your revenue by creating a 12-month campaign offer that rolls the website into marketing and advertising deliverables (after you’ve already doubled/tripled what you charge for the actual website)
* How to create recurring income with website management packages
* And more…

Video Transcript

What’s everybody hope you are ready to talk about how to scope out a website project and my goal with this is to help you be more confident in that scoping process, but also probably more importantly, to help you make a lot of additional revenue over what you’re currently charging for website projects because the agencies and the freelancers that I see are so often undercharging for what they provide. So what we’re going to do in this presentation, I built an entire slide deck which by the way I want to make a disclaimer here, I would say that this is version one of this presentation. It’s very possible that I will update this and release a new and expanded version at some point in the future, but I thought that this was a great start and I think it is a good start. Alright, let’s just leave it at that. So we’re going to go ahead and get right into it. So what we’re going to do is a sample project, I’ll walk you through the entire like SOW kind of creation process and thought process behind all that sample prices and then at very end, probably one of the most important parts is I’m going to show you how to package all of this up and present it to the client with an offer and it’s a multi phase offer we’ll say.

Well, like a multi package offer and there’s two different ways to do this. There’s just selling them the website and then if you do marketing and advertising services, adding that all into like a 12 month campaign and presenting that as an option and not presenting it all but knowing what the client is interested in. Like if the client is just interested in a website, you’ve already tried to sell them the marketing and advertising services, they’re not really buying it. Okay, cool, we’ll just leave that out for now. Let’s just sell them the website. I’ll show you how to package all of that up. If the client is interested in doing marketing and advertising on an ongoing basis, then I’m going to show you how to package and like wrap your website into a 12 month campaign selling those marketing and advertising services which is so powerful because it’s going to skyrocket your revenue. It’s going to make your monthly income much, much more consistent. It’s fantastic.

So without further ado, let’s go ahead and we’ll dive into this presentation. Let me share my screen and we are off to the races. Okay, I’m just checking the little corner down here to make sure we are recording properly and we are everything looks good. So let’s go ahead and get started. So this is how to scope out a website project. First thing I want you to understand, five different agencies can scope the same website project anywhere from you know, $500 on the super, super low end up to you know, $50,000 of course, websites can be a lot more than $50,000 as well. But if we just take a typical website and we give it to five different agencies or freelancers, you’re going to see prices all across the board. Now I would say those super low prices are quote unquote wrong prices. But anything you know, even the top end is is a relevant price. There’s nothing wrong with it. So don’t see you know, high prices for website projects and compare to what you charge and then be like, oh, that’s a rip off, right?

Well, it’s not a rip off. It’s not a rip off. This is a negotiation. There’s different reasons people charge different rates for things and there’s different reasons the clients may agree to different rates for things. And I’ll tell you right now, if a client got five different agency quotes and you know, the bottom was 500, the top was 50,000, they’re probably not going to choose the $500 person and they’re probably not going to choose the 50,000 person unless that person made like the best pitch possible and just blew them out of the water. But if there is one for 25,000, 35,000, those are going to get the action. I’ll tell you that right now. So you don’t want to be at the very bottom end for sure. You don’t want to be at the top end unless you really can justify it and you can really sell it. Being in the middle somewhere and more toward the premium end is probably where you want to try to get to as far as positioning.

And my question to you is, you know, where would you rather fall in that spectrum if you had the choice? The other thing I want you to understand is it’s often better for the client to charge them more. That sounds like it wouldn’t be the case and we know that clients are often searching for deals. A lot of clients, not all clients, the best clients don’t search for deals. But a lot of clients do search for deals and you might be caught in this trap of like, well, let me, you know, race to the bottom for them. And I want you to push back against that and understand that it’s often better for the client to charge them more. Why? Agencies that charge too little often cut corners. They do the least amount of work and they abandoned projects to chase the next dollar. I’ve actually worked for other agencies and I’ve watched this happen and then I used to have an agency where we charged kind of bottom dollar.

It was a race to the bottom and we would do this as well. So I’m not picking on anybody. It’s just a fact of life. If you don’t charge enough for one project and you run out of money, you can’t just keep working on that project and you leave that project and you go looking for other money, right? And then if you bring in a second project at too low of a dollar amount, you just amplify that problem. And a lot of agencies have three, four, five projects running that they’ve run out of money on. And so they have five projects that are all behind it. They’ve kind of abandoned that they’re chasing the next dollar. And of course, their clients are not getting the right deliverables and they’re not getting good quality and they’re not getting attention. And so this but the client agreed to pay those prices.

Now the agency is responsible for putting those prices out there. But at the same time, the client is kind of responsible for like going with a budget agency or a budget freelancer. These are the consequences for both sides of not charging enough and not paying enough. And both people I think need to understand that. I tell my clients in like discovery calls and all of that. Like I tell them the horror stories that people, the companies get into when they go with low rate freelancers and low rate agencies. And I do that because I want to educate them and say, look, I’m not like when you see our prices, they’re not going to be bottom of the barrel. They’re going to be more towards the premium end. But that’s because we don’t have these horror stories in these nightmares. We have a streamlined rock solid process where we are going to get exactly what you need out into the world and the time that we say that we’re going to do it in. And we’re going to actually get you results.

We’re not going to ban the project. We’re not going to ignore you. All of the things that happen in these low price projects with low rate agencies and freelancers, that’s not going to happen to you. So you have to know that that’s a possibility. Companies that charge more obviously, they can hire more help, they can spend more time to get the details right, they don’t have cash flow issues that divert their focus. And I don’t want you to look at any of this part of the process as price inflation. You’re not just taking the same work that you’re doing and flating the price because I said to raise your prices. The fact of the matter is that most agencies and freelancers are undercharging to start with. So you’re not inflating the price. You’re actually just charging what you should have been charging from the beginning. And you’re charging for things that you’re not currently charging for.

And then you’re just better recognizing your value, better recognizing the traps that you often fall into and making up for that. So we’re not just like taking a price and inflating it with emptiness. We’re inflating it with more value. We’re inflating it with insurance. And we are charging for things that you weren’t previously charging for. Three main ways that agencies undercharge one. They scope things as a freelancer and not a business. So if you’re just a freelancer and you pretty much keep all the money that you make, then you charge accordingly to what you need to bring home. The problem with that obviously is you can’t run a, that’s not actually a business. That is a, I don’t even know what to call it, but a business typically is thinking about the business as well. It’s not just thinking about one person and one individual. So when you scope as a business, you’re creating a price that can pay someone to do the work, they can pay the business to grow and market itself.

They can pay for, you know, extras like emergency funds and things like that. That’s scoping as a business, not scoping as a freelancer. The second way is they forget to charge for certain deliverables, which we’re going to go over. And then they forget to price for value. So you’re not pricing based on your experience and expertise. You’re not pricing based on what the client is actually getting out of the work that you’re providing for them. There’s a lot of stuff that goes into value based pricing. I don’t use a strict value based pricing model, but I do incorporate value based pricing principles into the way that I price things. Many agencies and freelancers can triple their price overnight and yes, you will still close deals at triple the price. Simply by fixing the three pricing issues that I just mentioned and as we go throughout this presentation, I will show you how to fix those things.

So I’m going to walk you through the various parts of scoping a website project. I’m going to provide you with sample ranges for costs. I do want you to know that in my agency, I typically standardize costs for various items in order to simplify the scoping process. As we go through each section, what we’re going to do is build out a statement of work, also known as an SOW. And this is going to serve as a list of all deliverables with the attached costs. And SOW is probably the most important part of your scoping process and your contract process. This is what governs all of the official deliverables of your project. And it typically gets attached to your proposal and signed by your client. So if the client is ever like you, well, you didn’t provide this. Well, you just get out the SOW and say, well, where is it on the SOW? Because if it ain’t on the SOW, that’s why we didn’t provide it, right? So now you wouldn’t have that conversation with them, you’d have a nicer conversation with them.

But that’s kind of what an SOW is. It tells them in the beginning, here is everything we are going to deliver. If it’s not on here, it’s not getting delivered. And then it protects you throughout the process. This is the number one thing that protects you from scope creep, by the way. Because, you know, clients are supposed to try to add on all these little extra things. Well, those aren’t in the SOW. So they’re going to be extra. And that’s just, it’s automatically handled for you. So I want you to follow this model the next time that you’re scoping your website projects. And I guarantee you’re going to build more and you’re going to be able to justify it. All right. So let’s talk about this sample project that we’re going to be scoping out. It’s going to be a website for a local roofing company. And they have three main services, a roof repair, roof replacement, and roof inspections.

And they have five main service areas, which are Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Jacksonville. That’s really all we need to know for this process. And I’ll kind of explain, you know, why these things are kind of important as we go and how these actually expand into more deliverables later on. But we’re going to start with like a phase one website. And then when we add the marketing and advertising piece on, we’ll talk about how phase one can actually, we can use those campaigns to do phase two, phase three, et cetera. All right. So discovery, this is the first section of your statement of work. Discovery, every project needs some level of discovery, which is the process of company research, market research, SEO, et cetera. This is one of those areas where a lot of agencies, a lot of freelancers, they just, they like, forget to charge. Are they like, for some reason they do this work all for free?

With the time and energy that you spend learning about a company, learning about an industry, in order to do effective work, so a lot of stuff you got to know about how a company does business, specific things like, you know, what are their pros and cons? What’s their main selling point? Why are they better than their competition? Get that in their words, get that in their customers’ words by reading reviews. Like all of this research that you have to do is time and energy spent, that is billable work and they need to be charged for it. So typical discovery deliverables, we have client discussions, all those little back and forth discussions you have with clients, learning about their company, asking them questions, asking about objections, gadi, gadi, gadi, company research, industry research, service product, keyword research, so we have SEO discovery baked into this as well. We have service area keyword research, content keyword research, you have site mapping, PPC research and strategy, digital advertising research and strategy, competitor research. I will say this PPC research and strategy, digital advertising research and strategy, I bake those into the discovery because even if a client is like not saying we definitely want to do marketing and advertising with you, if I bake this into the discovery process, number one I get paid for doing kind of the strategy work for this, I get a really good glimpse of what the opportunities are for PPC and digital advertising for this company.

And then I can present that data to the client to help sell the marketing and advertising retainer versus if I don’t put that into discovery and I don’t have that data, it’s harder to sell them later on or at the end of this process on the retainers for marketing and advertising, which you’re going to see are very, very important. So discovery, if you put that into discovery, you’ll have the data you need to actually sell the package later on. So that’s how that works. And when I say typical discovery deliverables or typical this deliverables or typical that deliverables, one thing I want you to notice is this sentence down here, when it’s time to negotiate pricing, all these things can reduce or inflate what you charge. So if the price is too high, well we don’t just discount things, we can remove deliverables. Okay, well we won’t do this, we won’t do this, we won’t do this, now the price is lower. Right? So you’re flexible on what you’re including or not including. Okay, the cost for discovery is typically matched to the size of the client or project since there’s more at stake and more details for larger projects.

Smaller clients are $515 and larger clients can easily be $5,000 plus for discovery. All right, so for this project, we’re going to have a just standard kind of discovery rate of $12.50, that’s going to include company research, industry research, service product, keyword research, service area, keyword research, content keyword research, site mapping and competitor research. And then what I said, you know, that’s typically not enough to do digital advertising strategy and PPC strategy and all of that. But if it’s a client where I feel like, hey, I really want to sell them on that, I might bake in when it no extra charge those research areas, get the data and then be able to sell that to them easier. It’s all up to you. All of this stuff is flexible. All of this stuff is like whatever you want to do. But the main point is there’s a lot of work here that you typically don’t charge for. Right, there’s a $1250 price tag that you can charge.

Easily tack that on. There’s so many clients that won’t even bat an eye at that, right? So that’s $12.50 extra in your pocket if you weren’t previously charging for that. That’s pretty huge. All right, so the next phase is UX design. This is the next section of your SOW. So user experience design is different from user interface design. It’s important for you as a freelancer or agency owner to know these things, right? And since they require different skills and expertise, they often need to be done by separate people. Thus you should scope them separately as a proper business model. So throughout this process, I want you to think of these like teams that you might need. And maybe there’s one person on each team, eventually. Maybe right now you’re the entire team. But you still need to charge as if you needed to put an individual in each of these seats.

So we had a discovery person, right? Who’s that going to be? We got to pay them. So we have to charge enough to pay them and pay the business, which means paying me too, paying the owner. All right, so next we had a UX team. So we have a UX designer. Who are we going to put in that seat? We got to charge enough to pay them, pay the business, you know, et cetera. You get, you get, you know, the gist. All right. So we’re scoping them separately as a proper business model. If you aren’t currently doing UX design, by the way, or billing for it, you’re missing out completely on revenue and process quality. This just needs to be part of your process.

And let us explain why. The typical UX deliverable is a set of low fidelity wireframes that govern page layouts, user experience, and conversion flow. Designers aren’t UX experts. They aren’t conversion experts. They just make things look good for the most part. So you can’t say, hey designer, we have a website we’re going to do for a roofing company, make me a design, because they don’t understand a lot of times. They might understand the basics of it, but they’re not experts in like why things are put the way they are. Why content is ordered in such a way, right? Story brand. If you go Google Story brand or do it on YouTube or whatever, read about Story brand. There’s a specific framework for how to structure content on a website. I’m not saying you should follow Story brand.

I’m just showing you that that is an example of designers make things look pretty. UX experts make a structure a certain way for a certain reason. So Story brand is about the user experience of a website. So typical UX deliverable is these low fidelity wireframes that govern this. So somebody has to know enough to be able to sit down and say, we’re going to put this stuff here and here’s why we’re going to put it here. We’re going to put the stuff in this order. Here’s why we’re going to put it in this order. This is kind of how the layout should be. And this is kind of how we’re going to position the calls to action in order to get the most conversions. That’s expertise. A person is responsible for doing that. You have to be able to pay that person. Now that person may be you.

That’s fine. But you have to pretend that you have to actually pay somebody, not just pay yourself. You have to pay them and pay the business. So wireframes are like the blueprint of a house. They govern the general layout of everything and are critical to each team’s mission. The UI designer, the actual person is going to make things look good. They need the wireframes to help structure their design. And then your dev team needs wireframes to know how each page is supposed to be structured. I’ll explain why in a minute. I’ll explain why now. So unlike UI design, all primary important pages and templates of a website need a wire frame in order for the dev team to know how to structure each page. And why is this? Because developers can build pages based on existing design elements as long as they have a wireframe.

So when we get to the design part, you’re going to see that we actually do typically a lot less design UI design than UX design. There’s a lot of wireframes, but there’s only a few mockups. Because the few mockups govern all the design elements that are used across all the pages. The wireframes then determine the layouts of every page so that I can have base design elements that a dev person is, they know here’s the base design elements. And then all they do is look at the wireframes and they can plug and play those reusable design elements according to the wireframes for each page. So the wireframes are the most important part. Then we have the UI design after that. And wireframes are not just thrown together. Like a lot of thought, a lot of time goes into each page layout and the overall user experience. So a wireframe for a page may end up costing more than actual development for that page. That’s not uncommon. And this is stuff that you have to educate the client on because they don’t think about it in this regard.

They think they’re paying for development. They think the development is a really skilled thing and they’re going to pay the most for the development. When in reality, they’re probably going to pay the most for the UI design and the UX design. Development in total will be the most because we do that on literally every page because every page has to be developed where we only do a few, well, not a few wireframes, but like, you know, there’s last wireframes. We’re not wireframe every single page of the website. And then we’re definitely not mocking up every single page of the website. So, you know, total, you have development is probably going to be the highest thing. But if you look at the per page price of something, UX design may be the most, UI design may be the most, it just depends. So, I would recommend pricing wireframes between $100 and $1000 each. That’s a very, very big range. $100 is bottom of the barrel.

Like, you know, how much time are you going to spend on a wireframe to justify $100? Maybe like 15 minutes, 20 minutes? Well, it takes a lot longer than that to do a wireframe. So, you need to find a spot in here that you’re comfortable with. I think one of the main points here is that you’re not charging for wireframes right now. A lot of you. A lot of you aren’t charging for wireframes. You’re not even doing wireframes. So, you’re hurting your process and you’re hurting your revenue. All you have to do is add in the wireframe process and then charge for the wireframe, you’re going to make more revenue and you’re going to have a cleaner process. All right. So, how do you determine a wireframe price? Like, do I charge $100 or do I charge $1000? Questions?

How big is the project? How much time and detail are going to go into the wireframes? How important is conversion optimization for this client? How many people will review the wireframes and offer input? How many rounds of iteration are you going to offer on your wireframes? Like, how much feedback are you going to collect and then go back and change the wireframes and all of that? Because, this price you’re charging for a wireframe is the total price. It’s not the first round price. It’s the total price. So, if you just charge $100 and you spend an hour on the wireframe and then you get client feedback and then you spend another hour tweaking the wire, you spend two hours and you charge $100. That’s $50 an hour. That’s charging like a freelancer.

It’s not charging like a business. So, you obviously can’t charge $100 for those wireframes. That’s, you see, see what we’re getting? This is how you determine the price that you’re going to charge for your wireframes. I’m giving you a range. You need to check where you want to be inside that range. Here is the statement of work section for the UX design. So, we’re going to do a wireframe for the homepage, the about page, the services page, a single service template, service areas page. That’s like the grid of service areas and then page services, like the grid of services, where the template single service is an actual, think of it as like a landing page for each service, then a single service area page, a landing page for each service area. But we don’t need a wireframe, all of them. They’re all going to have the same layout. So, we just need to do the wireframe for that template.

Then there’s the blog page, like the grid for the blog. The single blog post template, we’re going to wireframe that out. A blog category page, we’re going to wireframe that and a search results page. We’re going to do an inquiry page and a contact page and then we’re going to do a style guide. Okay. So, and I’ll talk about style guide in just a minute. So the homepage wireframe, because some of you are like, okay, we’re going to charge the same for all of these pages, but they’re all very different pages. A homepage wireframe obviously takes a lot longer than a contact page wireframe. So, with standardized pricing, you’re going to lose money on some wireframes and make more money on others. That’s okay. It’s better to just be simple. So, if I charge $200 for every wireframe, the homepage, I might actually spend $300 doing a wireframe for the homepage.

But when I get to the contact page, that might take me 20 minutes and I still charge $200 for it. So, it’s a wash, right? So, you’re going to lose money on some of the bigger pages and you’re going to make a lot more money on the smaller, shorter pages. Overall, the benefits of just simplifying it and charging one price for wireframes is much better. And what I will say is you’re going to notice on these, I don’t say what each one costs. I just say we’re going to do 13 wireframes, $2,600 bucks is the price. Let them figure it out, right? And they may think, and if they start bickering about, well, I don’t want to pay that much for a wireframe, it’s like, but they’re not. Some of these are really extensive and some of them are very simple, right? So this is the overall price. And we didn’t price it that way, but they don’t know that.

And they don’t need to know that. They just need to know, hey, we’re doing these wireframes, going to be $2,600 for the wire frames. Okay. So, next, UI design. Let’s get to this section. So user interface design is basically the process of making the website look good and match the brand aesthetic. The typical UI deliverable is a set of high fidelity mockups. This is not done during the development phase in WordPress and Oxygen. This should be done in Figma or Adobe XD, right? So I hate Adobe XD. I would highly recommend Figma, but you want to be doing UI work in Figma. It’s far more streamlined and efficient, okay? And it keeps your WordPress set up an Oxygen set up very, very clean, all right?

Not every page requires a high fidelity mockup because most websites repurpose sections, modules, and design elements across the various pages and templates. You can decide how many specific mockups you need based on project size, importance, and client pickiness, all right? Having a high fidelity mockup does speed up development time per page. So it’s a benefit to have them. However, the client’s budget doesn’t always support having a lot of them. Design is expensive. And if you’re going to have high fidelity mockups made of every single page, it’s really going to jack up the price. Now if the client wants that, go for it. And if they have the budget for it, go for it. But a lot of clients don’t need it and a lot of clients don’t have the budget for it. So you need to be careful in how many things you choose to do high fidelity mockups for. And this is why we do that style guide that I mentioned.

So sometimes we do a style guide wireframe, which the designer then does a high fidelity design for. This ensures that we have all the design elements we need, even when we’re not doing UI design for all pages. So what that style guide might look like is a huge sample page that just has a bunch of dummy content. But we make sure that it has all the different kinds of sections that we need. Like a hero. It’s got service grids. It’s got blog postcards. It’s got quote cards. It’s like everything that could be needed on this website is put into the style guide so that the designer can design all those different elements. That way when we have a page where dev is working on a page and it needs a hero, they know what the hero is supposed to look like.

And maybe it’s going to have reviews on it. Well, they know what the review cards need to look like because those were designed in the style guide. And then it’s going to have this quotable section or call to action section. Well we have one of those in the style guide so they know how to design that. So we don’t need a design for every page. We just need to know what all the elements on this website are going to be and then design those and then we can use them anywhere that we want. All right. So definite mockups needed though home page with nav and footer. You’ve got to have a high fidelity mockup of that to give to the client for approval before dev ever starts. You have to have your primary template pages designed. So there’s a blog post template. Get that designed if there’s a service page template service area page template.

Get those designed. Those are really good to have design and then the style guide of course. All right. So mockups require someone obviously with design talent. So they should be priced based on the talented individual needing to do them. Even if you’re doing them yourself at this point, remember we’re pricing like a business. You’ve got to be able to pay somebody else besides you with the money that you’re charging the client and pay yourself and let the business have some money left over a design for a page may end up costing more than the actual development for that page. That’s not uncommon. So now we have two things that might actually cost more than development, the UX design, the UI design, both of those may cost more than the actual development of the page. So I would recommend pricing mockups between $250 and $1,250 each. Okay. That’s each page.

All right. It goes for that. It’s a big range. You had to figure out where you’re going to blend inside of this range. So again, determining mockup price. Well, how big is the project? How complex are the designs? How much time detail are going to go into the mockups? How many people will review the mockups and offer input? How many iteration rounds is all the same that we talked about with the UX? So UI design here, we’re only going to design six things, but it’s going to come out to $2,400. All right. So we have the homepage we’re going to design the services page, a single service template, a blog post template, and the style guide. Cool.

Next thing that we’re going to scope out is the copywriting. All websites need copy. These are the words that go on each page. Okay. So clients are typically terrible, absolutely terrible at writing and providing copy and putting that responsibility on them is the fastest way to create massive delays in a project. And also you’re going to get that crap, which means you’re going to get crap results from your website conversions. So I want you to hire a copywriter and I want you to build a client for copy. The results will be better. You’re going to make more money and the timeline will be protected. Remember, what a website says and you’re going to need to make sure the client understands this as well. What a website says is more important than how it looks and how well it’s coded. This is proven time and time again.

Ugly websites with really good copy convert really well. Just fact a life. Okay. You need to make sure the client understands that like we have to make sure this website says the right things if you actually want to get results from it. And we need a copywriter to do that. And this is how much we’re going to charge you for copy. So the results you get for your client depend heavily on having professionally written copy. So cutting corners, just means you’re going to get worse results, fewer referrals and reviews, fewer case studies, etc. Copywriter typically charge per word. You can expect to pay between 10 cents and 75 cents per word for a good copywriter. For most projects I would gather, you can get away with a copywriter who charges around 20 cents per word, which means you don’t need to be billing 20 cents per word.

You’re going to pay them 20 cents per word and then you’re going to make more money on top of that for the copy. So also remember, you’re going to need someone to review and edit the copy to finalize it. It’s not always perfect straight from the copywriter, so you need to bill accordingly. And also you can’t write effectively without doing research, but you’re good because you charge for discovery. You did charge for discovery. Okay. As long as you charge for discovery, if you did charge for discovery, you’re going to lose money on the copywriting part. So I would recommend setting a standard rate for copywriting for your agency, 25 cents to 60 cents per word. How do you determine copy pricing? Where are you going to be in that range? Well, how big is the project?

How important is the client? How complex are the services products? How much time and effort are you going to put into the copy? How long are the pages? Client says, hey, I can’t afford that copy at that rate. Okay, well, we can reduce the rate, but we also have to reduce the time we spend on the copy. So it might not be as great. Maybe you want to edit it on your own after the fact, whatever. But if you want less, we got to do less. So you could be at the 25 cent range, but it’s going to be worse copy. If you want to have a really great copy, then it’s going to cost a little bit more. So along with standardizing pricing, I tend to standardize word counts across pages as well. So long form pages are typically built at 1,200 to 1,500 words.

And short form pages are typically built at 600 to 800 words. You can’t know how much you’re going to charge. What you also can’t do, what we’re trying to avoid here is saying, well, it’s going to cost 40 cents per word. We don’t have any words you need. So we’ll tell you at the end, how much you owe. And it’s like thousands of dollars. The client’s not really going to go for that. So you have to give them an estimate. You have to basically say, all right, well, these pages are typically 600, 800 words. These pages typically 12,500 words, whatever. So another important point is we build for up to a specific word counts. We don’t say this page will have 1,500 words. We say this page will have up to 1,500 words. So if it comes into 1,200, we still fulfill our duty.

You got charged for 1,500, and you got 1,200, but we didn’t say we said up to 1,500. The page has what the page needs. We don’t just put a bunch of fluff in there. And sometimes you need to write 800 words, like mediocre words, to get 600 great words. You need to write 1,500 mediocre words to get 1,200 great words. So we got to build for all that extra work that we’re cutting out. Because cutting out makes it better. We shouldn’t lose because we cut out to make it better, right? You get it. So this is what the copywriting looks like. Now, I put this in for you to see, but I would not give them these word counts on each page. I would just list all the pages that we’re going to write copy for and tell them what the price is. And this does come out to $6,000.

And if you’re not charging for copy right now, I mean, you’re going to pay a copywriter, probably $2,000 for that. And you’re going to pocket $4,000 of it. And that’s value because you just did something that most agencies and freelancers probably would not do. And the outcome is going to be better because of it. And you put a lot more time and effort and organization into doing it so you deserve to get paid for it. But yeah, that’s what it looks like. So $6,000 is what we’re charging for copywriting. I think that comes out to 15,000 words for this project. OK. Development is the next part of this process. So now that we’ve built for UX design, UI design and copywriting, we need to build for building the actual site.

Look how much stuff we’ve done. And we’re just now getting to the part where clients are always thinking about it. Clients think this just starts an in with development, right? I need a website, build it, right? Like it’s like, no, no, no, no, we got to do all these things in order to build what you actually need and something that’s going to look great and something that’s going to work great and something that’s going to get you results, we got to do all these steps. So notice how much we’ve done. And we’re just now getting to building the actual website. Again, treat this as if you need to pay a dedicated developer or dev team. I understand you’re probably doing the development work, but pretend you aren’t. Pretend you got to put somebody else in that seat and you got to pay them and you need money left over for the business and you need money left over for your family. The most important part here is to make sure all pages are accounted for else.

You’re going to end up building a bunch of pages for free. My development pricing typically starts with a base fee. This base fee covers all the setup as well as the home page, and half footer, etc. This is also, by the way, the minimum I’ll ever dev a website for. So even if a client wants a single page site, they already have the design. We’re still starting with the base fee for dev. So the base fee includes the live dev site setup, WordPress setup, initial oxygen setup, primary page template, header navigation, footer, home page, launch deliverable. So all the stuff at the end is included in the base fee as well. I would recommend a base fee between $1,500 and $5,000 for where most of you are at. Now the way this works is the scope starts with the base fee and then you charge a per page fee for additional pages. I would recommend a per page fee between $1,500 and $500 for dev. Again, this is up to you. How do you determine the pricing?

We’ve already talked about a lot of this. But one thing that’s different is how complex is the design and wireframes? So if your designer does lots of complex kind of work, there’s a lot of stuff that overlaps. There’s going to be animation. There’s going to be this and that. Okay, now we’re getting toward the $500 side of things. If it’s going to be super basic, super simple, no animation, no overlaps, no crazy, you know, custom stuff, now we might be toward the lower end of that. So that’s going to be on a per project basis. So here’s the SOW for the page development. So we have all of these pages that we’re going to build out, some of them are templates as well. And that’s going to come to $6,900 for those pages. Notice I put in everything. There’s a thank you page.

There’s a 404 error page. Terms and conditions, privacy policy. You got to tell them everything that you’re going to put in to this project. You also need to charge for certain components like dynamic templates and advanced custom fields and forms, et cetera. Don’t do all that work for free. My gosh, so many of you doing all that work for free, don’t do that work for free. You got to figure out your own standard rates for various components, but here’s what something would look like for component development. So we have our CPT for services. That’s creating the custom post type. Does that take me 18 seconds? Yes. 18 seconds. But a lot of people don’t create a CPT for services.

And then the site’s unorganized. And then it’s not as scalable. And yada, yada, yada. We can’t create a template as easily for it. So I’m doing something that, yeah, it’s 15 seconds of work, but it adds tremendous value that I’m adding custom fields for services. Again, there’s a lot of value involved in that. So this most definitely is value-based pricing for this kind of stuff. So yes, it doesn’t create, it doesn’t take a lot of time. To do this, but there is expertise involved. And there’s a lot of value involved in doing it. And so we’re charging for it. CPT for service areas, custom fields for service areas. We have Google Maps integration. It’s going to be on the services pages or service area pages.

You have the contact form. You got to build the inquiry form. You got to build the modal. So all that stuff needs to be charged for. So we put all of this into a group and we’re charging $1,600 for it. Again, notice I’m not showing them what each thing costs. I’m saying these are the components that we need to develop beyond just pages on this website and it’s going to cost $1,600 to do that. Okay, next is project management. Project management section. So you need a project manager to organize everything, keep everyone on schedule, communicate with the client. You got these phone calls, the emails, meetings, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you got to review the deliverables before they go out. Quality control.

All this stuff needs to be built for. I bet you’re not billing for this right now. You’re just eating the cost on all this stuff and it’s killing your margins. Now the project manager can be you, but you still need to charge for it. Okay, pretend it’s not you. Pretend it has to be somebody else. I typically build project management as a percent fee of the overall project. So if you want to be conservative, if you’re not comfortable charging for project management, just tap on 10%. I typically charge 15% to 20% as a project management fee. Again, how complex is the project? How important is the client? How involved is the client? I’ll tell you this, you know, when I did, there’s eight people in the pot, eight people with their hands in the pot on that project at roof claim.

Now I’m done talking about my team, like my team’s other people, eight people from roof claim in that hands in that pot. Lot of feedback going back and forth. Lot of meetings, lot of phone calls, lot of emails, lot of, let’s change this. Change that kind of stuff, right? Best believe you got to charge a lot more for project management for that than a solo per newer kind of business that, you know, you’re not going to go back and forth a couple of emails, couple of phone calls, and then you’re done with the project, right? Obviously, that doesn’t require as much project management. So think about the client. How complex is the project? How important is the client? If it’s a super important client, you’re going to want to be more involved with them. That’s why that question is there. If it’s a less important client, you don’t care how much you’re involved, right?

So you so charge, but you don’t charge your max project management fee. It’s an important client. You charge the max project management fee so that you can afford to be like white glove treatment for these people. Okay? You see how that works? So it’s all up to you. It’s all flexible. We throw this screen on there. Project management is going to be 31, 25. That’s phone calls up to 60 minutes per week, emails up to three per week, meetings, 60 minutes per week. Now all that time is, if you were charging per hour, how much would that stuff add up to? Would that up? Right?

So we’re just charging enough front. It’s like this is part of the project that we’re doing. Management. And you can explain this too, by the way, just say, look, we don’t want to nickel and dime you. We don’t want to rack up all these hours for stuff and you’re not going to know how much it’s going to cost until the very end. You’re going to get hit with a big bill. We’re just telling you how much this stuff typically costs up front. And if we go over some of this, we’ll basically warn you. We’ll say, well, we’ve already gone over 60 minutes this week or our three emails per week or whatever. Let’s do this next week. Or you can decide if you want to pay extra for more time and yada, yada, yada. But that’s how you kind of pass it off.

And it’s fair because they’re like, oh, OK, I get it. I don’t want a big bill at the end. I want to know how much I’m paying up front. And this stuff seems fair. I can stick to this. So this streamlines everything. Makes it efficient. Management. This is not project management. This is website management. I should have put website management. So all WordPress websites need to be professionally managed for security and performance purposes. Also, all the costs of those plugin licenses that you paid for, those need to get passed onto your client.

Your client should be paying for those things. That’s you, right? You’re going, the reason you have that stuff is you can do this stuff for them. So they get to pay for it. And a lot of those things you got to pay for annually. You got to pay for monthly. So definitely, your clients across all of your clients need to be paying for all that stuff. And this is a great opportunity for you to stay engaged with the client. Make sure their website is serving them well. Don’t just build websites for clients. Throw the website at them and say, hey, have a nice life. Like, good luck with this. You want to be involved for as long as possible with every single client. It’s also a great way to generate recurring revenue.

So you need to make sure the client understands that management is involved in how much a cost before a project is started. Here’s what like base management deliverables would look like. So you have your high quality hosting, plugin licensing, monthly plugin updates, DNS management, transactional email server, caching and daily backups, image optimization, CDN, security infrastructure, and just random bug fixes that are going to come up that you don’t want to nickel and dime them for and that you probably should have fixed. You know, you probably should have gotten that right. Before the website launched, there’s always bugs and you just want to make sure that they know, hey, bug fixes are covered in this management fee. So even like six months down the line, you find a bug, we’ll fix it, whatever. I’d recommend a base management fee of anywhere from 39 a month to 79 a month. There’s larger clients, multi location clients. It goes up from there, e-commerce clients, way higher. I don’t do e-commerce sites, but yeah, you get it.

Then there’s add on management stuff. So that’s not where we stop, right? That’s where we start. Add on management, custom analytics dashboard and reporting, advanced analytics packages like heap, advanced UX packages like hot jars. You can do screen recordings, you can do heat maps, you can do all that stuff. Or what vitals optimization is extra, advanced security infrastructure is extra, periodic strategy sessions is extra. You can price all of these ala cart, like as individual add-ons, or you can create various package levels and sell it that way. It’s up to you. But this could take the monthly management into the hundreds of dollars per month easily. If the client wants those things and needs those things. So for this project, we’re just going to do a base management fee. We’re going to say it’s $49 a month and these are the things that we’re going to provide for that $49 per month.

All right, next is marketing. So if you build it, they won’t come. That is just the honest truth about websites, right? So I always try to convince clients to work with my agency for 12 months right out of the gate. I do this by offering a longer term package that combines the website with core marketing and advertising deliverables to drive people to the website. The client now can be confident knowing that we’re not just building a website, but we’re driving business once the website is live. This is a great way to generate additional revenue plus a consistent monthly income. And I do offer nice discounts on the site build for clients who roll their website into a 12 month campaign. So a typical 12 month marketing and advertising campaign would look like this. You have your custom website, which we’re going to build in 60 to 90 days. Google Brand Awareness Advertising, Facebook offer advertising, Facebook retargeting ads, Google PPC Brand Awareness ads, and Google PPC location targeted service ads.

Since most of the clients I work with are local service businesses. So this is what a typical 12 month campaign would look like. Then we have a pro campaign, which would have all those things, but it would also have content marketing, two to four articles per month, additional service area pages. You’d be creating more two to four additional service area pages per month attacking it onto their website. So instead of doing a phase two and a phase three and all of that, we’re just constantly adding more pages to the website. And then additional long tail service pages. So like on a roofing company, it would be so tile, tile roof repair. So instead of just having roof repair, like we had next month, we’re going to create tile roof repair and single roof repair and metal roof repair. We’re just going to keep adding those long tail service pages throughout the year, two per month, let’s say. And then same with service area pages, we had Miami or Orlando for Lauderdale.

Now we might add clear water. We might add whatever other Florida cities are around those other major cities and add two to four of those every single month and just create a more robust site, more ranking opportunities. Yada yada yada, you get it. Okay, so these campaigns are based on a monthly retainer fee. I would recommend charging between 1250 and 1750 for the basic retainer deliverables. That’s for a single location business. And when I say location, I’m talking about physical location. So if there is service area of business and there’s 10 service areas, that doesn’t matter as much because there’s no GMBs to manage with those. If it’s a location, physical location, there’s a GMB attached to it, which requires additional management and that would make the cost go up a lot. I would recommend charging between 4,500 and 7,500 for the pro retainer deliverables for single location businesses.

Let’s just get this out of the way. Part of the pro retainer is content marketing. Content is expensive. I charge about $750 per article. Okay, so if we’re doing four articles a month, you can see the cost on that. Sometimes I charge and that’s for like a standard article. Like if we’re doing high quality content, I might charge 1250 per article. So you can see right there how much that adds to that retainer, just adding that thing on. Okay, most important part of all of this probably is packaging the offer. So we’ve now scoped out a website project. Let’s review the SOW pages. We had discovery that came out to 1250. Did UX design that came out to 2600? We had UI design that came out to 2400.

We had copywriting that came out to 6 grand. Page development came out to 6900. We had another $1600 for component development. And then we had $3,125 for project management. And then we had that base management fee up. That slides all screwed up. Ignore that for $49 per month. So we’re currently at $23,875 for the custom website and then $49 a month for management. How you package this can make or break the close. The key here is to give multiple options and offer flexibility. If the client is not interested in marketing and advertising, then we’re going to create the following offer for the custom website only. It looks like this. Three payment options. You have a single payment.

If you pay me up front, I will knock 15% of the total off. So you’re going to make one payment. You’re going to save $3,581. So your total is going to be $20,294. You’re going to pay me that in one single payment up front. And we’re going to launch this website in 60 days. That’s why I tell them. Two monthly payments. So remember, we’re launching this site in 60 days. So they’re going to pay one payment for month one and another payment for month two. Then we’re going to launch. All right. So the total for that is $23,3875. Notice that’s the standard price. That’s the price we came out to.

Okay. If we back up to right there, $23,875. $23,875. They don’t get a discount. Okay. We’re building it in two months. This is the price of the website. You’re going to cut that in half. This is what you’re going to pay. If they want to do three monthly payments, well, they can do that. They can make three monthly payments of $8,750. But it’s going to cost them extra. Why is it going to cost them extra? Well, we’re launching a website in 60 days. But you’re going to take 90 days to pay me.

That puts risk on me. So basically we’re going to charge you 10% fee extra to let you do this like extended payment plan kind of thing. Okay. That might not be 10%. Maybe I do 5%. Maybe all this stuff is up to you. But you see the options that I’m giving them here. Hey, you want to make one payment and not have to think about this ever again. And then, you know, we’re going to build this in 60 days. We’re going to knock it out. We’re going to have all the money we need up front. There’s no milestones. We’re going to, nothing to hold this thing up. We’re going to do the work.

We’re going to get the site launched all as well in the world. If you want to do that, you get to save $3,500 basically. Okay. If you want to make two monthly payments, here’s your cost. Okay. So we’re making it easy for them to make a decision. This assumes, of course, that the project’s 60 day build. If it’s a 90 day build, then I might do a four pay or six pay option in there. So it might be a single payment. It might be a three payment. It might be a six payment. Those might be your options. Okay. I do not offer milestone payments. We’re a professional agency.

95% of the timeline issues are caused by the client, not us. So paying by milestones allows the client to create delays. Some people will say, we’ll put in your contract. And if there’s a delay, this happens. Okay. Great. You have it in a contract. Now you’re arguing with the client, right? About what the contract says. I don’t want to argue with the client. I’m not going to cause delays. Okay. So you are going to pay according to the schedule that we’re going to do the website on. That’s it. That’s what we tell them.

Right? So that’s it. And I never ever problem with it. Never ever problem with it. If the client is interested in marketing advertising, then this is what the proposal looks like. Now the whole game changes. If they’re interested in marketing and advertising, whole game changes look what happens. I show them what the website costs. $23,875. If you were just buying the website, that’s what it would cost you. And you can get the website for $18,875. If you do our basic marketing and advertising campaign, we roll the website into that. So not only are you saving on the website, but we’re taking the cost of the website and spreading it out over 12 months and then adding our marketing and advertising retainer to that.

And so it’s $3,660 a month times 12 months. That’s what you’re going to pay us and you get everything. You get the website, which we’re still going to launch in 60 days. And then you get all of the marketing and advertising on top of that to drive business. So now they can see exactly what they’re investing in. We’re not just investing in a tool. We’re investing in results. All right, or you can do our pro campaign, still a 12 month campaign. You get the website for $16,875. You just save me $7,000 on the cost of the website and you’re spreading that cost over 12 months. And we’re tacking on our pro campaign to that, which is $5,500 per month. So your total is $59,90 times 12. I don’t know if I did that math right. I don’t know.

Do that, Alan, see if it works out. I was changing some numbers around here. But anyway, that’s how it would be presented. So they can do this larger monthly payment again times 12. And the way that this is based, it’s not $5,500 times 12. It’s $5,500 times 10 and $2,500 times 10. Because the first 60 days where we’re building the website, we’re not really marketing and advertising unless they want us to, then we can charge for it. But typically we’re just focusing on building the website. And then when it’s live, the other 10 months we’re doing the marketing and advertising. So that’s kind of how that is played out. But you can see that this is a really great offer. Like, think about getting that recurring revenue every single month for 12 months. And you know you’re locked in, right? I’m going to get $6 grand every month from this company for the next 12 months.

Instead of just doing a 60 day project and then being done and then having to go find a new client. And then you’re going to get a huge, right? How aggressive you are with the discounts is up to you. But offering a 12 month campaign like this easily turns, you saw a $23,000 project turned into a $44,000 project or on the pro plan turned into a $72,000 project. That’s huge. Final thoughts. There’s a lot of moving parts. It’s important that you learn to communicate and justify each component of the SOW to the client. If they get confused, you’re going to start to lose them. It’s also important to not get too detailed. Notice I don’t tell the client how much each component costs. I just tell them how much each section of components costs.

This prevents nitpicking the pricing or comparing to other agencies. You see, they can’t, I’m not paying $200 for every single page of the website development. But it’s not. Okay, they don’t know how much you charge for the base fee. They don’t know that you didn’t charge certain amounts for like the home page was maybe $800 versus the contact page was $50. They don’t know any of that. They don’t need to know any of that. They need to know I’m getting 27 pages total and it’s going to cost this much. You can’t do all this stuff alone. These are just random final thoughts. Find people to put in the right seats. If you sell marketing campaigns, you need someone to do the Facebook ads, the PPC, the content marketing. You can’t be right in articles.

Set up Facebook ads. Do on PPC, building websites, doing design, doing US, doing discovery. Not a time in the day. There’s not enough time in the day. But good news is, you’re building appropriately for all these things. So go find the right people and pay them and put them in the right seats. The increased margins prices need to be reinvested in building a team so you can remove yourself from as many work components as possible. With higher prices, you have the money for it. Buy back your time. Buy back your freedom. That is it. Okay. All right. So let’s go back to camera.

That is how to scope out a website project. If anything was unclear, if anything was unanswered, if I left anything out, whatever, comment section. Let’s have a discussion about it. If there’s enough discussion, if there’s enough tweaks that can be made and yada yada eventually, we’ll clean up these slides. We’ll do the presentation again. We’ll release a new version. But for now, this is the version. I think this is close enough to get you to where you need to be and help you make a lot of extra money. So that’s it. Thank you guys and my comments.