Stay Picky to Win the Best Client – Get Your Gold Client VIDEO Series


Being picky most of the times is considered not something to be proud of.
Well, not in this story.

The story I am about to tell you is completely different.
This is the story how by staying picky one lucky guy ended up having this story with happy ending.

So if you believe you deserve more than the average.
Which I am sure you do.

Keep on reading to unveil the rest of the story.

Tighten your seat belt and keep in mind that this is not just some story.
This is what actually happened in reality.

And there for will happen to you. If you will let it happen.

”When people believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

Stay Picky To Win The Best Client

Question To You:
“Are You Picky Enough Not To Undervalue Yourself?”

P.S. Read Jacob’s comment below!



  1. Diane

    Great advice, thanks! but this look like a promotional vid for his blog lol : )
    picking the right client is not problem if you have many options, but when you are starting out is very common to go for the lowest rate

    • James Richman

      Hi Diane
      I can honestly tell you that this article is nothing to do with promoting Jacob’s blog.
      The only reason I mentioned his technique, is because I just think he is a very genuine and experienced guy.

      It’s a shame this article made you feel it’s a promotional one.

      And you are right.
      The very beginning in the business is the toughest one.
      As the saying goes “You should work for free only once in your life – The very, very first time. ”

      So what about you Diane?
      Are you at the beginning stage of your career then?

      • Diana

        hey I was not trying to offense or criticize, I really love his blog and of course 1stwebdesigner!, but why mentioning only one source? and no, I´m not in the beginning of my career, but of course the beginning stage was the most difficult,

        • James Richman

          Hi Diana
          Don’t worry :)
          There was no offense given, seriously.

          The reason why I mention only one source is because that is where I found this technique.
          And I use it and love it so much, that I thought the author of it deserves some credit.

          Ouh it’s actually great to know you’ve been around the industry for quite some time.

          So If I May Ask Diana
          What exactly is your specialty?

  2. Awesome video production! Will definitely be checking out the Just Creative Blog for additional tips.

    Personally I never allow someone to barter with me. They get a very abrupt no and are told my price is my price. No doubt my approach loses those that could be swayed but at least I don’t waste my time on those that will just go with the lowest quote anyway.

    You remind me of the Klitschko’s by the way!

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Mark

      Thanks a lot for your kind comments :)
      I can guarantee you will like Jacob’s blog.

      Also I totally like your mindset – those you will loose, at least will not waste your time :)

      Remind you of Klitschkos? :D
      Hahah, I’ve never had a comment like that.

      Do you know why I remind you of them?

  3. Thanks James for the feature and sharing with the 1stWebDesigner readers. You have an entertaining way to tell stories!

    I just wanted to clarify on the way I’ve changed the wording since I wrote the article… rather than saying
    “Unfortunately, as I do not lower the quality of my work, I can not lower my prices.”
    I now say I “can not”.
    “Unfortunately, as I can not lower the quality of my work, I can not lower my prices.”

    You can read the full conversation here:

    Thanks again James. Sir, yes, sir!

    • James Richman

      Hey Jacob

      So nice to see the hero himself sharing his thoughts.
      Thank you for your kind words I’m glad you liked it.

      I can only tell you that there are so many people who love your technique a lot.
      So, since I’ve shared your technique with others I now have a bunch of new friends.:D

      I also just updated the article letting people know that there is your comment here.

      I hope to catch you soon again mate! :)

  4. You are so amusing James! :D
    I can’t help but smile while watching you on your video.. I don’t know what it is but I find you entertaining and I like the story you shared about Jacob standing up for his price – it’s definitely something to keep in mind when dealing with web design clients because of course, clients will always try to haggle the price down on everything..

    • James Richman

      Hey Phil

      Heh, thank you for your kind comments Phil :)
      I’m really glad you enjoyed it.

      You are right, there’s always clients out there who will try to knock the price down.
      But it’s just not your fault their budget is tight, shall they come back when they have more money then :)

      So what about your own experience Phil?
      Do you always value yourself highly enough?

      • well.. I want to. But this lesson is something that I am yet to learn. I can’t say that I’ve just heard about it now, but I just don’t really apply it always.

        at times, I just wonder and ask myself why I had to give in to some clients’ lower budget.
        Guess I just need more practice.. :D


        • James Richman

          Hey Phil

          That’s right it all comes with practice.
          Also sometimes it’s good to ask some of your friends how they stand up for themselves, their prices and their services.

          It doesn’t have to be exactly the same industry you are in, it ca be anything they are doing.

  5. Alex

    Thanks for the video! I read the mentioned articule about three weeks ago, and I had the opportunity to put in on practice last week. It worked wonderfully. In my case, the customer said he had “two more offers with prices much lower than mine”… And I said basically I was sure he could find lower prices, but to be honest, for my price I could assure quality and deliver time as offered. And it came up to my mind a very curious sign I saw once in a little town here in my country. It says something like this “here we do work: good, in-time and cheap. You can have two of three, cheap and in-time but not good, or cheap and good but not in-time, or good and in-time but NOT CHEAP”. The customer remembered previous experiences with cheap work and accepted my offer. I can just say THANK YOU for sharing this valuables advices with us.

    • James Richman

      Hey Alex

      Wow, that’s a really great sign and makes total sense.
      You definitely shouldn’t be scared of valuing your services higher than others.

      As you can see your amazing experience proved it.

      But still, I wanted to ask you.
      Have you ever had a bit different experience than this in the past?

      • Alex

        Sure, a lot of times. Similar situations where customers said things like “I know someone else wanting to do this for less…” or “Maybe I won’t pay you too much now, but if I like it I’ll compensate it to you in a next work” or the worse one “this thing you do is easy for you, it shouldn’t be so expensive for you to do it”. It happens to be I didn’t stand for my work and give up on lower prices. Very unconvenient because most of the times (I had to admit it) I didn´t find worthy investing too much time to complete my work, so I postponed it or I try to make it fast without taking too much care on details. Not standing for your work’s worth may end up affecting seriously its quality and thus your reputation.

        • James Richman

          Hey Alex

          Omg the last one sounds just unbelievable and actually disrespectful.
          “This thing you do is easy for you, it shouldn’t be so expensive for you to do it.”

          I’m really curious now Alex
          What did you reply to something like that?

  6. Michael Jones

    Thanks james! :) its always great to hear another perspective how to deal with clients :). Is there any chance you can do some more tutorials on graphic design in photoshop? (the stuff that I find on dribble is amazing, but I’m never sure where they find the color platters)

    • James Richman

      Hi Michael

      You are welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed it mate :)
      And it certainly was my pleasure.

      I don’t really tend to do very technical articles.
      We have Michael who is currently doing series of video, where he uses Photoshop.
      But mainly for web designing.
      Here’s the first video and the second one.

      Also Michael I wanted to find out.
      Do you feel you value your services high enough?

        • James Richman

          Ahoy Michael
          Well, at the moment Michael we basically focus on WP
          So not that much on general web design tutorials.

          More actionable steps within WP.

          Was there any specific issue your are thinking of?

          • Michael J

            Not so much a problem, but do I think it’s better to not have any limitations on areas of web development, because that way you get much more cooler and broader content as well content designed to a individual user. (Thanks)

  7. Tracy

    James, you are so right! If artists and designers don’t stand up for themselves, no one else will. If someone takes less money than they ask for, word gets around, and they will never get what they deserve.

    • James Richman

      Hey Tracy

      Ouh yes. You are totally right here.
      Just like good and nice feedback goes from mouth to mouth.
      The same way something like “That guy is cheap, check him out.” will do.

      Now, If I asked you Tracy.
      How do you make sure you don’t undervalue yourself?

  8. Great response about not lower the quality of work and the price. I have always struggled with trying to be fair about pricing, but ultimately I pay the price for that by undervaluing my time. Thanks so much for this advice. I will definitely apply it.

    Keep up the great work!

    • James Richman

      Hey John

      I’m glad you enjoyed this article John.
      Really highly appreciated.

      Now, you are totally right here, you will ultimately pay the price later.
      So it’s up to you to choose.

      I wanted to ask you John
      Have you already dealt with your service proper valuation issue?

      • No, I figure my services based on a set hourly figure, but sometimes that can be hard to determine in advance. I would welcome any comments you have regarding service proper valuation.

        • James Richman

          Hey John

          Well, to be honest I’ve never charged per hour.
          I always agree on a set flat price per project.

          And I basically find out how much my competitors would charge for a similar project.
          Then I try to be honest with myself and ask “Can I match the quality, or maybe do even better.”

          So that’s how I decided if I could charge as much as my competitors, less or more.
          Based on my honest answer to myself: “Me vs. Them.”

          Hope it will help John :)

  9. Thanks for another great video James.

    I am too loving that quote from Jacob Cass.
    It is something I need to improve on, standing up for myself/my prices. As I am just starting out I tend to undervalue my services and I know I need to stop this now or I will be forever stuck with these low prices.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Mike

      I’m glad you enjoyed my video mate :)
      That’s right, the sooner you start the better it will be in the long run.

      I like the saying “Offer your service for free only once – The very first time!”
      And that would be to get the snowball rolling for your portfolio.

      Have you already had a situation where you needed to value your services Mike?

      • Hi James,
        Technically, my answer is yes. I have done a few projects for clients, though all very small sites. I find it difficult to gauge how to price my fee at the moment. I am still on a course and not ‘officially’ set up yet either, so I find it quite hard to determine. For now, right at the beginning of my career I want the work more than the money but do not want to get stuck with low prices. All my work has come through word of mouth, so I would rather I am being referred by clients because I am good at what I do rather than, “Go see Mike, he’s cheap!” Although, the work I have done, I would not value myself to be honest. They have been more exercises in practising what I have learned, but the clients have been happy with their websites. As I am not officially set up and still a ‘student’ on a course, I seem to automatically pitch my fee low. I think I am fearful that I am not good enough and don’t want to lose the opportunity of a project to price my fees as I ‘value’ my work.
        Hope that made sense!

        • James Richman

          Hey Mike
          Thanks for getting back mate.
          It makes total sense.

          And you are totally right – I’d also rather choose to charge a bit less and then over deliver.
          Rather than charge high and under deliver.

          But obviously the minute you feel your skills have improved raise the value of yourself.

          Mike, do you actually feel confident now when presenting yourself to your clients?

          • Hi James,

            I don’t really feel confident when I am presenting ideas to the client. It is a problem I have had since my University days when I studied architecture. I have only hand a small handful of clients with Web Design, but I am told by my peers I am too hard on myself and put too much pressure on myself. I am over critical of my own work and I feel I have to produce an amazing piece of work each time. Yet, I am only starting out and in-effect still practising what I have learned.
            I am also working on a pricing structure for future projects. I have been able to get prices from a couple of designers and a company and will (try) to price accordingly.

  10. Iris

    Knowing and standing up for the value of your work & services is a win-win for all; clients see you as the pro that you are, and you maintain your motivation getting the job done, knowing that you will be receiving the compensation you deserve.

    I also really like that quote, “I do not lower the quality of my work, so I cannot lower the price”. It’s a healthy business mindset.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Iris

      You are totally right. Don’t forget that by asking more the customer thought you only look better.
      Instead of looking someone from the budged shelf.

      Do you believe you know your value Iris?

  11. I like the ending “SIR YES SIR!”
    Thanks for your video James. The best takeaway for me was “I do not lower the quality of my work, so I cannot lower the price.” As a freelance designer, we sometimes get excited about a potential new project and new money that we negotiate ourselves out of our true worth.

    • James Richman

      Hey Jean

      Hahah, Thanks Mate.
      Sir, Yes, Sir! Is a good ending, I like it too.

      You are totally right, excitement can very often blind you.
      Just like when as a kid we get our first paid job, we are happy to leave college or stop doing anything.

      What about yourself Jean?
      Have you ever had a situation in your experience where you undervalued yourself?

      • I’d say I’m undervalued now, but I recognized it two weeks ago and have been rewording the list of benefits to my development packages as well as moving my prices up to be more competitive. I spend a lot of time making sure that each site I develop is fully functioning and customer satisfied and even incorporate extra “additions” at no extra cost (for the most part). When it’s all said and done I’m happy with the end project, but I more than usually run over budget. It’s time to tighten up!

        • James Richman

          Hi Jean

          Right, at least you are closer than most.
          The first step really is to understand and recognize that you are undervalued.

          I really like your extra additions part.
          Zappos company is a great example of how far you can get when you go that extra mile.

          Do you have any specific steps in mind to change your valuation.

          • Jean

            First thing is to find out what your competitors are doing, offering, and pricing. Not the small guys, but the “REAL” competition. Being honest with your own skills and quality of work. See what the big guys are doing and make sure you can put out the same if not better quality. Then align your price within (what I’d say) 10%-15% plus or minus of your competitor prices.