How should young designers price their work to stay competitive?
You can learn as much as you want about design and become an expert in the field, but one thing remains a constant issue for all designers, no matter if they are just beginners, solid experts or world-renowned designers they all have troubles with putting a price tag on their work. It’s a difficult thing to put a price on someone’s creative work, let alone your own work, especially because this is a subjective thing.
On the other hand, there are a lot of designers who simply feel uncomfortable about putting a price on their work. Still, it is important that you get the money you deserve and make a living off what you do. The time of poor artists has passed and you as well should look to follow your peers and make money while doing what you enjoy.
But still, you should avoid asking to be overpaid as well as underpaid, as both of these things will hurt you a lot. Being cheap doesn’t mean that you are good nor will people hire you because of it and the same thing applies to being expensive.
Understand your contribution to the whole project
The first thing that many graphic designers neglect is the relevance of their work. Before you even start thinking about naming the price, you should know what you will be doing for a certain project and understand the whole project thoroughly. This is very important if you want to understand just how vital your part of the job will be for the whole project.
Most graphic designers don’t know how high they can set their fees, simply because they don’t consider these things. When you know what value your work will have for the whole project of your client, you will get a clearer picture of just how much your work is worth. Naturally, if it has a major impact on the whole project, then you should aim for higher prices, if not, look to lower them a bit or they will simply find someone else that can also do this quick task for them.
Cherish your skills
People hire designers because they have the knowledge to do things they can’t. Understand that your clients are aware of this and they expect that they will have to pay a lot of money for your work. This is why you shouldn’t look at the whole deal any different.
Don’t look at those amateurs who think that they are designers just because they know to play a bit in Photoshop and think that they are on the same level as you are. If you undervalue your experience and skills like that, you will start competing with people who in reality can’t touch you and this is how you will lose jobs.
In the graphic design industry, serious clients are aware that they will have to pay a good amount of money if they want to get a top notch service.
Always set a higher price at the beginning of your negotiations
If it all comes down to a hard negotiation, you should always make sure that you start with a higher amount. You should think about the future and have various scenarios in your mind. Consider all the work that will have to be done and how much time you will need for it, then set a price.
When you do your calculations, you should set your price just high enough so that the client will set it a bit lower, where you actually wanted it to be in the first place. For example if you want a fee of $1000 you will have to start somewhere around $1200, so that the client cannot go lower than $1000. Who knows, he might even lower it down to $1100 and you will get more than you initially planned. The point is to be realistic and not get too cocky with your initial offer.
It is important to remember that there are no exact formulas that you can use for pricing your work. You must be confident with your skills and always look at the circumstances of a certain project before you set the price.