One of the hardest things to do is put a price on creative work. Seriously. In the beginning, it feels like more of a guessing game than most would be comfortable with … but that’s life. You need to dip your toes in the water and go for it! Over time, I promise that you’ll become 100 times more comfortable with your services and what you charge. For instance, one of the first freelancing gigs I ever had was a logo + website combo … for only $300. At the time, I was so excited to take on new work and get my name out there! I quickly realized that spending that much time on a project for a low price just wasn’t worth it! You simply wouldn’t survive on that kind of rate unless you worked at the speed of light. Fast forward a couple years and my pricing for branding and websites starts at $1,000 bare minimum. It’s taken me a bit of time – but I’m finally at a comfortable place in the whole pricing game.
So where do you start at, then? That’s the question. Tak your experience and work ethic into consideration when you’re putting together a pricing estimate for a potential client. Think about what you’d like to make and how long something will take you. Jessica Hische says it well … if you feel a little nervous about telling someone your price, you’re probably spot on. If not, you’re most likely underselling yourself! Start out with a flat fee that you’re comfortable working with and move up from there until it feels right. Go with your gut, it knows you well!
The hard part about being a creative is that not everyone understands our time and worth. In fact, some people think we can whip things together in a day, which is far from the truth! Luckily, most potential clients understand the value of good design and are willing to pay for it. Because I’ve run into both types of people, I quickly learned that it was best to be legit. Yes, legit. If you present yourself in a professional manner, you’ll be treated that way! Use well designed pricing sheets, invoices, and informational sheets. Trust me, people will appreciate and respect that you went the extra mile to present your business.
This is the last of my three part pricing series posts for Be Free, Lance – although I’m sure more will sneak in the future. Even though pricing can be overwhelming, I hope I was able to break it down just a little bit for you all.