A designers guide: charging clients as a freelance designer
Charging clients as a freelance designer, can be hard when you’re just starting. Like in every service delivery business, it is always hard to determine how much you should charge your customers. As a freelance designer, this ain’t different. It is easier for those who have been in the business for a long time to achieve a great experience and knowledge about payments and charges. But for starters, it’s quite a big thing.
Freelance design pricing is not straightforward at all. You might find two designers with a different list of the clients. One could be serving tons of designs every single day, and the other might be working only 30-35 hours every week. Both designers are the same because of the quality if the designs are fulfilling. So why does one work more than the other?
Design price consideration is the thin line
As a new freelancer, you will feel tied between making a name for yourself and creating a living for yourself. One side is the competition that is already on the market, and on the other hand is customer attraction. The pricing factor is with you in the middle and you have to decide. Your first goal as a freelance designer is to attract customers. The one who works more hours now, focused on a lower price when starting out, to pull in clients. A few months later he or she implements new prices to suit his or her needs.
Start low and make your changes along the way as you continue to grow. But don’t be too easy! If you already have experience in this field, but not as a freelancer, try to be as professional as your design work. Don’t charge $100,- for a design which will take days to complete. Just price yourself below average, but keep in mind you have to raise your prices as soon as you feel you’re ready for it.
Focus on quality of life
Pricing design projects should not be about making money. You need to focus on creating an experience for yourself. As much as you want to earn well, you still have a life to live, and it matters a lot how you choose to live. Changes must are a must as you continue through your journey of becoming a great designer. Once you have worked for a while, you will find that you will be working less but earning more. It is about how well you establish your business.
Start with an hourly rate
It is one of the best strategies that most freelancers use. Starting freelance design pricing at an hourly rate is a great way to establish. You will be pricing yourself by getting paid for the time you have worked. It means, if a project takes longer than expected, the client will still for that extra time. There are limits with hourly rates too. You might have started low, but as time goes on, you increase your hourly rate to higher pay. In essence, you will start getting more quality customers as you continue growing in the business.
Note however that the client only cares that the work is done, and if it’s done right. Whether you work for just a few minutes or long hours, it won’t matter for your customers.
Part of the change you will need to consider is project-based pricing. You can earn more on the project working fewer hours. It is the same as shifting your work from the amount of time you work to the quality of service you provide. It is all about satisfying the customer.
A great tool which can help you decide your project price is the “How much should I charge calculator“. By answering simple questions you’ll get a pretty accurate project price at the end. It free of charge, so why don’t give it a shot?
Freelance design pricing is a thing you have to consider very carefully when just starting out. It will determine how successful you’ll become later on. Just remember to start low and grow.