As designers, most of us worry too much about our brand, obsessing over what to name our business, or wondering if it's time to re-brand. While image is important, so is thinking and rethinking our pricing strategies. As a matter of fact, your pricing strategy plays a significant part in your overall brand, influencing how your prospects and clients perceive your professionalism, talent, and value.
Part of understanding what to charge is realizing what stage you are in your career and what the standard going rate is in your region. Many organizations such as the AIGA, GAG, and others do a great job at putting out documentation that covers rates by region. But, an important factor that gets overlooked is how long you've been operating as a professional in the design industry. Your rate should commensurate with experience. Obviously, someone fresh out of school isn't going to command the same rate as say someone who's been designing for years and has a track record of successful professional work under their belt. That said, don't sell yourself short and/or underbid projects just to get the job. If you do, you'll probably end up regretting it.
There's a fine line between charging too much or too little. For example, if you charge a ridiculously high amount for a website designed in WordPress that you know your client could get a less experienced designer to implement for a third of the cost, you're going to be perceived as someone who exploits the trust of the company. On the other hand, if you charge too little, you not only won't make enough profit to keep you in business, your low pricing will make you seem like an amateur. The best thing to do is to avoid extremes when it comes to pricing out projects and features and never low ball rates for the skills you bring to the table. Creative entrepreneurs spend time coming up with pricing that mirrors their experience and expertise and create professional looking, precise quotes for project requests using Quote Roper.
There are countless examples of freelancers doing spec work - work in which the client has multiple people working essentially for free to see who they'd like to choose. My advice? Walk away and work with a company who doesn't look at their partners as throw away commodities. Instead, find organizations that know the true value of design in creating unique and inspiring experiences that increase revenue. You're going to want to market yourself as someone who can get things done. Part of this is being able to answer at the drop of a hat how much you charge for something. This is where tools like Quote Roper come in extremely handy. You can set yourself up as a freelancer, or if you have employees/overhead you work with, add in your expenses additional information that affects your bottom line.
The most important thing of all is that if you want to get paid what your worth, you have to honestly believe that you're worth it. With Quote Roper, you can rest assured that your rates are consistent and reflect your true value.
Anthony is an experienced creative director and visual problem solver based out of Austin, TX. He enjoys running, mountain biking, and attending UX workshops and industry-related events. His entrepreneurial pursuits keep him busy but enjoys collaborating with like-minded folks. Feel free to reach out with any exciting projects of your own.
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