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?
Nancy.... google for pricing of the graphic and design product and services that are out there... you can find it. You could even call some competitors who are in the same space, and has the level of quality and service you provide and ask them for pricing.
Another way is - find out what full time graphic designers are paid in corporate.... and break it down into an hourly rate (using roughly 2020 hours per year), then add in expenses and a margin you need to achieve to make money.
Lastly - I recommend to folks, price high and test it through your prospecting. You can always bring costs down...but if you are pricing yourself to low, it is mostly impossible to go up - not impossible but mostly.
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!
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.
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 !
This depends mainly on weather you are getting visits, links, and sales. If they are all high then you have a well designed website then works well. If one of these are statistically low then you may have a problem in layout, design, placement, conversion, or usability of the website. Google analytics and your accounted can help you determine these things but if you are completely unsure then you can find a marketing or website design that you can trust to help you out. They can go over conversion rates and such to figure out if your website is up to the norm.
Personally speaking, without knowing any numbers I think you are losing a few potential customers in a few different ways. Some text clashes with the background and same is difficult to read. White text on a light blue background specifically. You could also think about your call to action more, what are you wanting people to do when they visit your website?
These may be little changes you could make and see if your conversions and visits go up. Besides that, get a professional analysis of your website, one that is honest and isn't just trying to sell you stuff.
Graphic design a very competitive industry.
Websites like 99designs, freelancer.com and Elance tend to push the perceived cost of design services to an extreme low, so differentiating yourself and targeting a specific niche may allow you to provide your services at a more reasonable rate.
Are you going to be charging clients an hourly rate for custom design services or are you creating template-like designs for business cards, WordPress websites, etc?
I would first discuss the design with the client to make sure you get it as close as possible in the first iteration to what they feel is the "Stand-Out" branding feature that they intend to use for optimal marketing exposure and recognition. After the client consult I would spend as much time as necessary planning your design using what you know. We all know that just because a client wants something, it may be best to offer your expert advice on a more suitable alternative that will avoid "Scope-Creep" and ultimately result in a more effective conversion tool due to your input.
You must also consider the development that will be involved and make sure that your designs do not surpass the abilities of the developer or your design is likely to undergo unwanted and counterproductive changes. The communication from the front to back-end of a website is crucial in keeping the integrity of the original concept.
Simplicity is key! In both end user and design/development alike. The more communication and less revisits / alterations you have to make, the less hands on labor will be required on your part. This will raise the overall quality of the client experience and allow a wider margin for pricing the project as you will demonstrate intuition on all fronts and deliver consistent design efficacy that will hopefully aid in the client's swift R.O.I..
If you use any variation of this quick workflow synopsis, I am sure your designs will be worth a minimum of 30/hr from planning to delivery. It also depends on your speed in which you design and how complex the design requests are. If you are not as experienced as some other designers or lack versatility in your developing skills, I would put a cap on the initial estimate after a careful evaluation of the project scope once you've concluded the initial consult and know what you're in for.
Make sure you are honest! It's okay to deliver the initial proposed cost & SOW after you have determined all aspects required of the project along with your capabilities in regard to the estimated time-frame for completion. Don't cut yourself short, always expect setbacks.
You may also consider keeping the price cap to yourself and offering it to the client only if you are going significantly past the estimated deadline. Some clients will try and squeeze you for extra work if they know they have a cap.
Ultimately, I would have to see some of your work and know the time it took you to complete it to give an accurate cost per labor hour. As a novice with a long turnaround time I would stay low at about 20/hr. As an intermediate you can gauge the scope and intricacy to determine anywhere from $30-$50/hr. If you are undertaking an expert level design project, evaluate every aspect closely, once you have a time-frame in mind, then you may quote anywhere from $50-$80+/hr.
Remember that you can always negotiate with the client. However, never start a project until these details are mapped out clearly in writing or you will most likely incur some scope creep. A fickle client can take a dent out of your profit if you aren't clear before the very kick-off.
Let me know if you have more information to share so that I may give you a more accurate cost analysis. Perhaps some examples of your work and the time it took for full turnaround? Personal message me on mosaicHUB and I would be happy to assist you as much as needed. We have some great designers at our company and we also develop the talents of interns as well. I can give you an idea of what and why we quote projects as we do and how we keep our clients informed and happy with the investments they make.
Thank you everyone for your sound advice, you have all given me direction to go from here!
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
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.
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.
Pick an hourly rate is the place to start. Consider what you want to earn for a year and divide by 1000, which is a four hour day x 50 weeks per year.
First of all you need to determine what you need to live for a year. Then you need to calculate how many days/year you have available to deliver your design services, which typically works out to be about 150 days after weekends, holidays, sales days, and administrative days. Take your annual living expenses and divide them by 150 and you have your daily fee just to break-even. Then the question is: re clients willing to pay that much, or more, for you to make a profit?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
One on one 'human' networking within the community.
Ask what others are charging (after you get step 1 above done).