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As a freelance web developer: how do I compete with Intuit?

intuit might take my clients



4:05 pm on Jan 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm a web developer who is been working with other freelance web designer for some time now. But I noticed these annoying Intuit TV commercials lately: free templates, low domain prices and even a bit of SEO.
How do I compete with something like that?
What would you guys say if a client says something like "well in Intuit, the templates are free, they give you full customer services...and so on?
Thank you


9:19 pm on Jan 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What would you guys say if a client says something like "well in Intuit, the templates are free, they give you full customer services...and so on?
I would say, "Have you ever tried to *use* their "full" customer service? It stinks.

Not to mention that Intuit is constantly trying to upsell something or other that one would have expected the originally-purchased product to have done.

I highly dislike Intuit and their services would be among the last I would ever consider using for anything.


9:43 pm on Jan 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

One word... service.

Even with Intuit there is still a steep learning curve. They even say on that ad you are talking about that they offer a free 1+ hour tutorial.

Your advantage is customized service. Intuit isn't going to help users position a div nicely, or add a new tab to their nav once you reached the max for that specific template.

Some places want a site and want no knowledge of how or why it works.

Some of my clients email me updates to their sites and they love it.

They send an email, home page change this paragraph to say this "......."

Offer great service and be their webmaster, Inutit doesn't offer a webmaster, just cookie cutter crap.


3:51 am on Jan 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thank you very much for all your comments.
I didn't know that Intuit had such a bad customer service.


9:01 pm on Feb 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I would also recommend you look at the clients you are going after and focus on clients that can put a value on having a good site. For example, a pizza shop is probably not going to pay $2500 for a website because they don't feel it will generate $2500 worth a business in the near future.

However, a law firm that specializes in say personal injury knows the value of a good website could yield them a $1M case, so they aren't focused on "free" templates.

The other thing to do when a perspective client mentions the "free" template, you can respond with "Wow, that seems like a great deal. So how do you think they make their money?" Try to get the client to come to their own conclusion that nothing in life is free.

If the client determines that Intuit will probably try to upsell them, this is more powerful then you telling the same thing. You now become a trusted advisor to them, rather then someone who is just trying to sell something. Remember, people like to buy, but they don't like to be sold.


12:03 am on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thank you again guys, all your posts make me a lot more confident.
Besides intuit, are there more big companies that provide the same web services? I'd like to see what their prices are so I can be competitive.


3:19 am on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Read the advice that was given to you again: don't compete with the big companies.

Here's another thread that you may find worthwhile: Is the '$300 a site' price point working for you [webmasterworld.com]


10:27 am on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

How do I compete with something like that?

Don't compete, destroy!

Most clients looking to pay you for your services are also looking to earn money online. Remind them that it takes results and not promises to get free search traffic and that results can be measured in rankings/traffic.

Then find one of these hapless cookie cutter auto-sites and determine what terms it ranks best for. Spend some time creating a better site that destroys it in the rankings and use the project as an example with potential customers. Document your progress and show off the results.

If you can't outrank a mostly automated website building service then don't compete. I've yet to find such a site that wasn't filled with flaws.

A word about SEO, and this is my opinion. Many say it's ultra important and suggest you buy some SEO help for your site. Many more say SEO is dead. I have a different belief, I think it's ultra important BUT has to be there from the start. Once a site is fully indexed it becomes much harder to get full credit for your SEO efforts, do it right the first time.

Customer service, or hiring an SEO expert to fix problems, is a second best option imo so hire the pro before launching the site.

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