You haven’t the slightest idea of your true worth and value to society. You’re underrating yourself and you need to look at the bigger picture.
As children we are told that we are worthless until we are taught properly and then we can be let out into the world. Then after education we, most likely, find ourselves working in an organisation for a very modest wage. At this point we have a value put on our time – and it’s extremely low.
But it’s not the real value. It is only a proportion of the value that the organisation and others place on that work. Your hourly rate at a creative company could be charged tenfold to the client.
So why don’t you charge higher prices to the client?
Fear is single most important factor that is holding us back.
- We don’t give our ideas an airing from fear of being laughed at
- We don’t follow our dreams from fear of failure
- We don’t ask for higher rates from fear of losing work, being laughed at, and failure!
Fear stop us from getting to where we want to be.
Also, there is a self-depreciating devil within most of us – a feeling that “higher rates and a higher levels of success are not for me“. We think that the real triumphs are for other people.
What to do about it
I am a great believer that design companies should diversify their business in order give their clients an all-round service.
But if you are worried that your clients may not require this you could offer them a choice
|Bronze||Set up WordPress blog with premium theme ready to start blogging||$400|
|Silver||Complete WordPress website design and development||$1500|
|Gold||Complete WordPress website design and development. Plus setting up branded social media accounts as well as 1 hour SEO and blogging consultation||$2500|
These prices don’t include domain name registration, hosting, maintenance or off-site SEO.
The above is a good example of how to give your clients choice when it comes to charging. The descriptions for the various services need to be fleshed out according to the client’s needs. But in each of the three above cases you can be sure that you can provide a valuable service to the client while getting paid your true worth.
Other important points about charging
- Always have an end in sight: In each of the three examples above there is a specific task which, when delivered according to the client’s expectations, will be the conclusion of the job.
- Charging: If it is a new client, I would usually charge 50% before and 50% after the task has been completed. Clients should pay within a week of invoicing.
- Over deliver: I usually give my clients a free complimentary copy of my premium e-book which will help them with blogging, SEO, social media and driving traffic and interest to their new website.
- Contracts: Try to keep the contract light but make sure it covers the basics (remember to include that you have the the right to bill pro rata for work completed in the unusual case of early termination).
- Do everything by email: Other than the contract, be sure to keep everything on email so you can refer to it later. Some jobs can grow from the original brief and, when this happens, it’s essential you can refer to something written down in order to ensure you will get paid fairly.
- Set a fixed price: Set the fixed price according to a “nightmare scenario” of how the job could progress. Make sure all the deliverables are agreed and written down. If the job proceeds swimmingly you could always offer your client money back.
Recently I surveyed over 35 online business owners about charging and billing and these were my findings: how graphic designers get paid.
What you can do
Do you perform a service that can be charged out to multiple clients? If so, write down details of service packages that can be provided, similar to the “bronze”, “silver” and “gold” packages in the table above. And then think of the price it would be considering the “nightmare scenario” of how the job could progress. The benefit of writing down these packages is that they can easily be copied and pasted to potential clients when you get enquiries.