How do I know what to charge for my design services?
I have built a website to display my designs and capabilities, am on social sites and have done pro bono work in my area but I am not sure what to charge for the designs I create. Any suggestions?
Take into account the money you need for your living expenses, rent (if applicable), transport costs, design requirements and the level of your skill - this should help you come up with a number that you know will support you
So I think you should basically figure out an hourly rate based on your experience and over-all turnaround time for various projects. With that hourly rate, you'll be able to factor in how much time it'll take you to do some of these large projects, like a brand identity and/or website design, so you can figure out flat fees. Aim to tailor your projects to the needs of your clients, but also make it worth your time. Also, factor in what you'd be providing for them. Will you cover services for production (print/web)? Will you aim to outsource? In addition, how will you go about creating a kill fee for aborted projects?
These are some things to ponder over while you figure out pricing for your services. It's always intimidating for freelance designers starting out, but once you get a few projects rolling, you'll begin to get a rhythm. Best of luck!
Yes seeing what others are charging is one way, but you also would want to see what does it cost you. Be sure to include you labor and a percentage for your profit.
Keep in mind that your price also will attract a certain buyer. If you price is too low, people may think that your product is cheap and if it is too high you may just price yourself out of the market.
Find out where you want to be and product a product for that market.
Hi Nancy, I would use www.onet.com for ALL the informatio that you, will need to answer any questions you may have.
Undercut your competitors to get your foot in the door. Make sure to not be too cut throat about it, because they might actually give you work if they can't handle everything that comes in to their shop.
Make sure to join any local business communities as well as web-service community groups if you have them locally.
You can develop questions about your fees and ask potential clients, colleagues, friends and family. In the process of asking good questions, you are informing them of your services.
You can also ask them about their design requirements.
When your questions are written well, you will understand more about how your designs will assist them and what they will pay for. This can open up new opportunities for business too.
Trick for low dollar/higher volume work - buy subscriptions to things like medialoot. I bought it through Appsumo and it had fully deplorable designs, images, icons, etc But I haven't used the tools yet so I can't say whether to go with them or another company. But there's something about learning to read the code, then learning to alter it, and in the end you just write it. Easy. But for stock images and web templates, you can take the pricing down without losing much money (theoretically). Just watch your overhead and man hours and you'll see what I mean. A smaller profit margin works with high volume sales - but not for the nitty gritty. So you need a scope of work contract - and don't forget to take refundable deposits for large projects. People act like they can afford things they cannot and then you're stuck waiting for money.
before you even think about price consider this.
Do you want to promote you and your service as a "me too" commodity by comparing yourself to others in your niche ? Or would you rather establish yourself as the Obvious go to person, who charges on the basis of Who you are and the added value your service brings to the bottom line and credibility of your client ?
There are two primary ways of establishing that credibility. 1/ Write a book
2/ Speak in public.
Yes I know this may not be the answer you wanted but it will ensure that you position you as The expert and The authority in your field.
The great news is almost nobody is doing this so it is doable..
I hope this helps,
PS: If you want any help in doing this I have some free stuff you can access. Just PM me here at mosaichub.
PPS: Same offer is there for anyone else who is struggling with these types of questions.
If you haven't already, look up what others are charging. You might want to start slightly lower if you are new, until you build up a clientele, but be sure to charge enough to cover your time and effort! Once you are more established, charge what people will pay. Try a higher charge. If they balk, you can always discount at that point. Or know to come down a bit on the next bid. When i started writing blogs for real estate agents, this was the method I used and it has worked very well for me. All the best with your new business!
One on one 'human' networking within the community.
Ask what others are charging (after you get step 1 above done).
Ultimately, your pricing comes down to your skill level and perception of what those in your area are willing to pay for that level of service. There's always the "want to pay as little as possible" crowd - try to not focus on appeasing them. There's no rule that says you have to match or under-price your competition -- especially if their work is substandard compared to yours.
Sometimes, if you run custom searches like -- graphic designer berwick "rate" -- (note, two queries in one, the latter one in quotes), you might be able to find other designers who have posted their rates. If not, make a list of all other designers in the area and go over their site to see if their rate is mentioned somewhere. If you're really brazen - call them up and act like you need graphic design services, but wanted a quote. That's a surefire way to find out, although it is a little underhanded.
On a side note, as someone in web design - I'd highly recommend that you migrate your site off of Squarespace and get your own domain name and a cheap web hosting account -- doing so would be a huge leap toward a more professional looking business, especially because you are in the related field of graphics.
From strategic view - check your marketing mix so that you can position your prices
From tactical view - adjust your proposition and pricing based on market responses
From operation view - sharpen your negotiation skills and understanding of clients skills to increase the capabilities to set at the price your desire for.
Approach: 1) cost + mark up; 2) in line to market; 3) stiff price with freebies ...
Charging methods: 1) by man-hour; 2) by man-day; 3) by per job; 4) a hybrid of 1-3
Figure out a basic hourly rate which includes certain criteria and then have an a la carte menu for the extras. That way everyone knows they are being charged the same thing and you can offer extras.
Hi Nancy, first of all, congratulations on your new business. First I would recommend that you find your target market, ie high end graphic design, mid range or lower end. To find this out you can compare your graphic designs to competitors and decide where your range is. Once you have found that, then call around for quotes. This way you will find your price range. Try to price on the high end of this range. I checked out your website and would like to make a few observations. I notice that you don't have a logo for your own business, so you should start there and it should showcase your best talents. When designing a website, you should design it for your target audience, not yourself. The home page should have a scrolling picture or video to hold the audience attention and a "Call to Action" (what do you want your prospective customer to do?) Your home page should also have your phone no. prominently displayed. Your email address should not be a gmail account, but rather something like Nancy@grantsgraphics.com. Your contact form should be a proper contact form asking for the Name and email address and a message box so they can ask questions via email. Your Company name, address, tel. no. and a msg such as "Thanks for contacting us, we will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours". Good luck in your new business. If you need additional help, please msg. me
built market confidence and reputation by charging the minimum by hour, making sure your expenses are covered and a small profit is left for the company. With time you will be able to raise prices, not now.
First comment: It should be "Grant's Graphic Design Studio", not "Grants ...."
If your Headline is wrong, then the general judgement will be "Huh, just another novice" and people will look elsewhere. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who don't get their Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar sorted. I spend a long time on the overall design, particularly the points I mentioned above.
A minor comment, but important in business - I NEVER use gmail. It is vulnerable, and shows a degree of amateurism. If you have a business - why don't you have a proper business e-mail address ? That fault is another clue about looking amateur.
Joseph has made some good points, particularly about a Professional Independent Analysis of your own website. (I have a friend who is/was an Excellent Graphics Artist - but he could not accept criticism ... and his Company has now 'folded' after 30 years, he has Divorced, rarely speaks to his Children - I am their Godfather - he has cut off most connections and is now Studying Art as a Recovery Therapy.)
Graphics Design is a complex subject, and to be blunt, it has been my experience that the WORST people to design their own websites are Graphics Designers - because they know their business, but fail to regard their company as a 'Client' who deserves good quality work ... a case of "The Cobbler's Children are the Worst Shod".
Google Analytics is a 'must'. And so are reciprocal links to the examples of your work. One tip: Search Engines such as Google are easily 'manipulated' to push up your rankings, if you have multiple reciprocal links to other websites (by arrangement) and also an active linked Blogsite. SEO techniques are not difficult to master.
Now to the Question - Charging. Every successful business keeps a regular check on Competitors' rates. Decide whether you want to be 'Top End' (for top prices) or 'Bottom End' (cheap and cheerful, for volume production, which means using standard templates), or fight in the Middle. Whatever you decide, make your business STAND OUT. A high quality logo helps, as does rapidly loading pages. And if you can find a niche in the market, exploit it, but be prepared to move on.
Put yourself in the position of your potential Clients - just how much would they be willing to pay, for a website presence ?
Nearly there; keep upgrading your website. A 'cheap trick' is to have a real time clock display, and something like a "Quotation of the Day". And ask yourself - how do you react to 'pop-ups' ? I loathe them, and tend to avoid websites that use them.
Finally, you need to get Professional Advice as to how to prevent Malware hanging on your website - if a potential Client picks up a virus, through visiting your website, that's business lost. Cyber security is important, and there are funded agencies who will help you.
Good Luck, and let's hope that you join this Panel in time, to help others !
Hi Nancy! Pricing professional services is always tricky, but there are some rules of thumb. First, take a look around. See if you can find other designers with comparable levels of skills/education/experience in your area and see what they charge. If they don't post it on their website, call and pretend your a potential client - get pricing from them that way (or have a friend do it). From there, determine if you are providing a different service - will you provide more consultation? are you more of a quick and cheap hit? Are you looking to do really custom work or build it once and resell it a bunch of times? These should all go into your pricing decisions. More than anything though, if you don't know, remain flexible (somewhat). As you build your business and understand the clients you attract the pricing model will become more evident to you. Also, make sure you network more than you think you should. Professional services like yours gain most of their business through word of mouth and referrals - so the more people who know you, the more business you'll get. Look into groups that help foster not only business building but also helping folks like you determine business issues, like pricing, such as the Alliance of Creative Professionals (creativepros.org). Best of luck!
Here's a question for you. Why are you reinventing the wheel? Locate, join, and attend meetings of a local professional association. Your competition will mentor you because there's enough business for everyone. The association will have the tools you need to develop and grow your business. The association's website will provide you will a lot of information. And, you can probably get young people to "intern" with you, too.
First, study your competition and see what they charge. How are your design services different than your competitors? Do you provide a better product in some way? Does your offering provide other value-added elements? I'd think about charging either by the hour or by the project. Decide what your time is worth. Determine your average time to complete a design then you'll know what to charge per project.
Call around/google and see what your competitors are charging. Then choose either to be on the high-end or low-end of the market, price-wise.