Do you find it difficult to attach a price to your design work? It is regrettable to see many designers undervaluing their service when they are paid peanuts for design works they might have gotten better rates. If only they know how to price their design services.
It is also disgusting to see some half-baked designers overprice their services. Yet, they don’t have the competency to give quality work. As a professional designer, it pays to understand the dynamics of pricing design works so that you are adequately remunerated for your skills and expertise.
Pricing design work features two components: Costing and then the actual price that you will charge your customers. On costing, you will have to consider all the financial facts such as the actual costs you incur in completing the design project.
Pricing, on the other hand, is more of an art than a science. You may have to play around with the figures before you finally settle on one that works best for your services. Presented here are some of the strategies you can employ when pricing design work-:
The Cost Price
As mentioned earlier, the cost price refers to the expenses you incur to produce the work, and this is the foundation of your business. You need to identify the “break-even” point where your expenses will equal your income.
Once you identify this point, you can mark up the price with a couple of dollars so that when pricing your design work, you don’t end up making losses. If everything goes wrong, you should never price your design work below the breakeven point. It won’t make any sense, and you will only be making losses.
The Market Rate
The other method of pricing design work is to use the market rate or the going rate. This is simply by evaluating what you competitors are asking for when offering the same services as you. Using the market rate in pricing design work is very common if you are in a competitive market with lots of designers competing for the same number of clients.
Sometimes you may be compelled to go slightly below the market rate to attract clients, especially if you are a new designer, and you need to build your portfolio and start getting the initial clients. This method of pricing design work will be common if you decide to offer you services as a freelancer in the freelancing marketplaces.
Value-based pricing is another approach you may want to consider when pricing design work. With this approach, you price you design work based on the value that it will add to your clients. When you use this method to price your design work, you won’t just give a quote for any design work that comes your way. Instead, you will set up a meeting with the clients and find out the particular things they are looking for. This includes the design, the challenges they are currently facing, and how you services are going to improve their operations as a business.
After evaluating these and many other factors, you will present the client with a proposal that will create high value for your business. Since you will be providing them with a high-value solution, you can then go ahead and quote more for your design services.
Credibility Building Price
There are certain occasions when you may want to work with some high profile clients with limited budgets. In such a situation, pricing your design work may not be guided by your need to make a profit. Instead, by a desire to build good credibility with such clients for a future working relationship.
You can decide to work for a slightly lower fee. This way can you build trust with them and make them have you as the go-to designer in case they will need your services in the future. You must, however, refrain from working for such clients for free unless you have decided to volunteer your services. If you work for them for free, there are no guarantees that they will pay for your services in the future.
Discounted pricing is very rampant in the creative industry. When pricing design work using the discounted pricing method, all you are doing is offering discounts so that your prices are slightly lower that what the rest are offering in the market. This is especially important during low seasons when designs works are hard to come by. With your discounted rates, you will be in a position to attract a few of the customers available at that moment.
Pricing design work can also be done on a retainer basis. This refers to a recurring fee that is charged for standardized work. Pricing design work on retainer basis is useful if you are working with large clients who supply you with regular work and you don’t need to have a confirmation for each and every project you do. It leads to a steady supply of work and income, only that it can stop at any time if you didn’t sign any binding contract in the beginning.