You’re in contact with a new prospect and they’re impressed with the samples that you’ve made. They ask you for a quote on design work, and now you’re stumped.
Your dilemma is that you don’t want to over-charge and you surely don’t want to under-charge too. So, you stuck not knowing how to calculate a fair rate.
Pricing your graphic design services strategically gets you dream clients. But it is half art and half science. Your experience and confidence are important aspects at play when deciding on what you’ll charge.
But the most important aspect of setting the right price is attracting your dream clients. Because over-pricing or under-pricing will cause obstacles in landing them.
You see, other graphic designers have the same challenge. Especially when they are just starting out. So charge correctly from the get-go so that you set the tone for the rest of the relationship.
“It’s easier to explain price once than to apologize for quality forever”Zig Ziglar
So, understanding what your client’s needs are before you quote ensures that when you do the work, you’re not forced to compromise on quality to make up for under-quoting.
This list of 8 pricing hacks will help you attract the right client for you.
1: Calculate your costs
Before you start researching what other graphic designers are charging, calculate how much it costs you to create your designs.
It’s imperative that what you’re earning covers all your costs so that your business does not suffer a loss.
2: Know what your customer is willing to pay
Do a market study on what clients are willing to pay graphic designers. This means knowing their wants, needs, income, status etc.
By knowing who they are and how valuable you are to them), you know what financial framework you’re working with and calculate what you can do for them within their budget.
3: Start with lower rates.
If you’re just starting out, start with lower rates. But increase them as your pipeline fills up and you gain experience.
Karl Sakas talks us through how he raised pricing by 50% in this case study.
4: Flat vs. Hourly?
Charge hourly for the first few projects until you have a firm handle on the time it takes for you to complete a certain job/task. Eventually, you will want to provide flat rates.
Over time, you will deliver faster, improve your skills and will have the chance to earn more income for less time invested.
This way you can dedicate your extra time to servicing more clients and/or in your personal life.
5: Get a deposit
Don’t get stiffed… When coming to a work agreement, ask your client to pay a percentage of the bill (25%, 30% or 50%) upfront to get the job scheduled on your calendar.
Make sure that what you charge upfront covers your running costs as a contingency plan to overcome late or non-payment.
Make sure that you receive the down payment along with a signed agreement of your scope of work or contract before you get started.
6: Keep contracts simple
Don’t make your contracts overly complicated. Spell out the essentials of your work agreement as simple and completely as possible.
Clear communication means that expectations are easily understood and limit any discrepancies.
Trust is the number one factor in a healthy work relationship. Graphic design customers need to trust you, your services, your tools, and any other person you employ on their project.
We spend so much time, money, and effort on marketing tactics to build trust. So, this should be reflected once you’ve landed the client(s) too.
Excessive and complicated contracts can be difficult to read and understand. a And can work against your goals.
Make sure that you detail the services you will provide, when you will provide them and how (and when) you will be paid.
Once you have built trust, and they become a source of recurring revenue, contracts will quickly become a formality.
7: Don’t do work on spec
If a client asks you to produce work for free, before they hire you, walk away. Your time is valuable and using that time to finding your dream clients is what you ought to be doing.
If the client requires samples or concepts, simply agree to produce any samples or concepts at your hourly rate with the understanding (simple contract) stating that you retain all rights to the work and intellectual property you produce unless the client makes the decision to hire you and purchases the rights to the works you’ve created.
Creating free samples or “work for free” for a certain period of time screams at the chance of you being ripped off.
8: Use good bookkeeping software
Freshbooks or Quickbooks are tools you can use to create estimates and will allow you to efficiently keep track of your finances as your business grows. Knowing where your cash flow stands at all times means that you can create strategies to improve your financial status.
Keeping your financial statements organized means that your accountant will effortlessly do submissions to IRS, strengthening your relationship.
Setting pricing at the beginning of your business is not the end. As your skills evolve, so do your pricing.
But, to attract high-paying clients (your dream clients), you’ll need to set your pricing according to what they’re willing to pay. Remove any stagnation by using these 8 pricing hacks for graphic design services to get dream clients.