This is arguably the hardest part of any creatives job, finding your initial starting price-point. It determines your worth, how you view your ability, and how the client perceives your professionality.
Start with a baseline price. Young designers may start off by charging €300 for a logo, or €500 for a static website etc., in or around this ballpark. Bearing in mind that these are entry level starting prices in the industry.
Vary your baseline price according to your client. It’s safe to assume that you will charge more to a corporation with a large audience and greater potential rewards for your design, than if your approached by a small startup in your local area, perhaps passed on by family. That’s not to say you charge less than your worth. Whats important here is to find your baseline price.
There are 2 factors to consider in order to dictate your pricing;
Time & Expenses.
Factoring in your expenses; you have your basic survival needs. Your heating and gas bill, electricity to run your equipment. Your phone bill, and internet connection. You may have monthly subscriptions to online services, software, and communities to help with doing your work. Upon various other bills that you pay to survive, your rent, mortgage, or maybe your renting office space. Your food. There are so many aspects to be considered. But make sure you consider them. Write them down, now. If you haven’t determined them already. Budget them, and you will know for when the next client comes true.
Factoring in your time; how long it will take to complete the project. What other projects you are doing. What other projects you have said no to in order to take on this project. Time is important to factor because your time is valuable, you could be doing other things.
Value-based pricing; consider your worth, what your work means to the client, the potential returns for the client. What unique value you are providing them as a professional.
Build relationship with the client and a trusting nature. Establish your knowledge in the field by asking questions. Dont be afraid to ask vital questions in order to shape your decision on the value that your services are with worth to the client. If you don’t ask, you don’t receive.
Ask the right questions; What kind of returns are you expecting? What can I create for you to provide value? What problem can I solve?
Don’ rush into pricing as the first discussion, ask, listen, provide an insight and aim to decipher their problem. Otherwise, by talking numbers at the beginning, your directing the client to consider you and your services as an expense. Establish yourself as an investment, right from the start.
Have a track record, convey the unique value you offer to potential clients, show your work, and your case studies in your portfolio, curate your work smartly to attract the right clients for the work you want to do.
Knowledge is key. Read books about your field of work, write blogs and articles, do tutorials, listen to podcasts, talk to fellow designers online, in forums, in person, share your ideas and thoughts. Do the work, go to conferences, speak, experiment, use new software, limit yourself. Know names, get to know artists in your field and the work they do and have done. Use all of these techniques to greater heighten your knowledge about your passion. Know what your doing.
If a client comes to you saying they only have the budget for €100 to spend on a design worth €600. Politely decline the clients proposal and remind them that they can come back for your services with the remaining €500. This can be difficult, especially starting off. Money is money, right? Wrong.
By coping out on the your price and accepting €500 less than the worth of the work, your devaluing your product, your services, and your professionality. Its not worth the time and expenses that you dedicate to the work. This also puts a veil on your work and your perceived self worth, and how you value your services. The client will consider you to be less than knowledgable in your field, will treat you as an expense, not an investment. And most importantly, will be less than likely to return in the future.
People will always charge less. These so called “will-design-for-likes” designers that you find on fiverr.com.
This type of work screams unprofessionality and incompetence. It doesn’t matter that they charge less. Th e client will come to you as a professional, a knowledgable expert in the field, someone who knows what they are doing, and someone who doesn’t have to be managed. What professional has to be managed?
Clients will hire you because you will provide the best possible solution to the problem.
So begin to charge what your work is actually valued at, don’ be scared, be knowledgable, always stand by your values and principles. Your a professional, not a fiverr.com designer.
Stick to your values, stick to your process, stick to your principles. Give the client a reason to come to you.