I know it can get really frustrating when you look at portfolios and you see other designers charging higher rates than you for similar work.
But here’s the key point – what ends up on the screen isn’t the only way to judge the value of their services. A pro designer carefully considers the solutions they provide their client. In order to understand what your clients will value, you have to understand their needs. It doesn’t matter if a design took 2 days or 2 months – if the solution meets the client’s needs, solves their problems and exceeds their expectations.
I’ve seen both sides of the coin – people who charge crazy rates and can’t back up their work and PROS that charge high rates but provide high value to their client. I’ve had clients and friends get bilked out of thousands by “consultants” who weren’t professionals. I’ve seen people overpay for solutions that didn’t meet their needs and grow resentful of “designers.” But I’ve also seen extremely professional work that meets the clients’ needs and provides their business high value. My own clients have told me multiple times how their businesses have changed and grown after we’ve worked together (and as a result they continue to work with me year after year…)
Here are some of the things I see from my own research:
1. Designers overvaluing their offerings – when they can’t deliver, they can’t sustain their business because their targeted audience isn’t willing to pay for that price point and they don’t get repeat business.
2. Designers undervaluing their offerings because they aren’t clear on what value they are providing their client – and then they desperately take any work that comes their way – perpetuating the feast or famine cycle.
3. Designers properly valuing their offerings – and finding clients willing to pay their asking price because they see the value in what is delivered.
This doesn’t mean that as a solopreneur or small design collective you can’t charge higher rates. At the end of the day you’re worth what people are willing to pay. If you price your services effectively for your target audiences AND can prove your value to your prospective clients, you’ll be successful.
Designers who charge a premium for their services can stand behind the quality of their work and prove their value to their customer – which is why they are able to charge the prices they do.
Assess yourself fairly and identify your key value points
- What about your services would people be willing to pay for?
- What makes your services different from your competitors?
Do that self assessment and try to better understand your strength, weaknesses, and your unique selling proposition and use that as a guide as to what you should charge.
People pay for value – and higher valued offerings can demand a higher price.