A few things to consider when setting your rates.
You have a skill
You have a talent that your clients don’t, and they expect to pay good money for how you’ll help them. You’re not in competition with the client’s neighbour’s son who has a copy of Photoshop. Too many designers undervalue the wealth of knowledge and experience they’ve amassed because they feel compelled to compete with amateurs. Don’t devalue yourself. People expect to pay well for a quality service. Clients know that more often than not, you get what you pay for.
Marly Gommans‘ staircase
It can be great to specialise
It’s unrealistic for a client to expect one person to do everything from coding and motion design to brochure layouts and illustration. If you want to specialise, and if you think you can make a good living by focusing on a particular area of design, do it. I’ve specialised in identity design since 2005 and it’s helped me attract the clients I’m happiest working with.
Share some process
Forget those $50 logo sites. I don’t need to tell you there’s a lot of work involved in a design project that clients don’t often see, but it’s worth remembering that your job is to show people the value of what you do. If you don’t show it, potential clients might think you just jump in front of a computer, type their company name using a nice typeface, and add a swoosh for some visual interest.
Competition, differentiation, market positioning, audience profiles… just a few of the topics you need to question your client about in order to produce an effective design.
Streamline your initial discussions
I’ll often receive a request for a quote that’s similar to this:
“We need a logo and website for our restaurant. Please let us know how much this costs and how long it will take to complete.”
Thing is, it’s impossible to give a quote without knowing more. By having some questions prepared in advance you can speed up your client acquisition as well as weed out those people who want it all for a couple of hundred quid. Here’s some advice on handling the client approach.
A few pricing resources you might find useful:
- Nobody bought the cheapest option.
- The design pricing formula
- How 20 designers charge their clients
- Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines