Last updated on May 25th, 2019
Designhill, a leading marketplace, has been at the forefront of helping graphic designers in varied ways. In its series of such endeavors, it recently organized a webinar to help the community to find out the professional ways to set the right pricing for their design works. The webinar was conducted on May 15, 2019.
Graphic designers, not just the newer ones in the game but experienced as well, struggle to arrive at the right pricing. If the designers do not consider some basics, they may end up charging meager prices for their skill and time. Or, they may unnecessarily charge high rates in their excitement to earn more, and as a consequence, lose the valuable clients.
So, where does the balance lie? What should the designer keep in mind to set the prices that can help to get the consistent flow of new assignments from clients?
All such queries of designers were answered during the webinar. The guest speaker was Dorjan Vulaz, the founder of MaxAL Interactive Agency. Dorjan is a UI/UX designer with seven years of experience.
Many designers participated in the webinar and asked Dorjan the questions to end any confusion in making the right pricing decision. He elaborated on each point, benefiting the participants with his vast experience and discussed how new designers could win clients by quoting the right prices.
Here is How Dorjan Responded To The Questions Regarding The Right Pricing
Q1. Which is the right pricing model between Low price and high price?
It is tough. We want to go with the low price for our design work when we want to get the client. The opposite of that is we go with a high price, and we might lose the client. But a lot of people are going for low prices, and they are not getting the clients. If you give a meager price, then the client might think that you are not good enough.
When you price low, they may not consider you the right person to hire. A low price may simply be interpreted as the person is junior or inexperienced. Therefore, start with a reasonable price. You give the idea that you have been in it. The opposite of that is going for a high price.
Actually, the thing about high graphics design pricing is that there is no easy fix. You can give a high price and then hope for a discussion over it. At that point, you are actually losing the client. I divided this topic into the low price and high price because the price that you give defines who you are and what your experience is.
Q2. Are there any pricing models charts or anything for reference? – By Shahana Idrissi
Probably the best way I thought would be to come up with two pricing models — fixed prices and hourly rate. Fixed price could be a project based price or price that usually works for local design work jobs, while the hourly rates based on hours. If you are a junior freelancer, then I will go with an hourly rate. Why is it good for you?
If you are new to design, it is really hard for you to estimate a reasonable price and time to accomplish the project. Also, it allows the client to test you. It is easy for them to go out with some hours with you and if they think you a good fit, then they can hire you.
But the hourly freelance graphic design rate is tough to estimate how long the project will last. It is not suitable for you and your client. But this is the way they can hire to test you. A good thing about the fixed price is that it has a flexible schedule and you can do this for freelance and local works.
For small jobs, you might go for an hourly and fixed price; while for big jobs, the hourly rate can be priced higher in case of a big client. But fixed pricing is better because the client just does not trust the hourly system. Moreover, clients cannot do math as they need to calculate how many hours it is going to require finishing the job.
I suggest you go with the fixed pricing, but it’s not possible unless you precisely estimate the work that has to be done. Also, if the client is not sure of what he wants, it is better to go with the fixed pricing option.
Q3. Can you please give examples of what a high/low price could be? That would help a lot? – Ruben Gerloff
There is no right example for that. The reason is simple. Depending on your zone and area, it is really hard to estimate fixed numbers when knowing how to price design work. For me, I tend to use different prices here at the studio, and different prices online for design works because people know me better as a designer online and at the studio, I am just the designer of the studio.
If you are working on two clients who want the same quality of work and they are on different finances, you price the client the same.
Q4. When charging hourly, do you charge for things like presentations, meetings, and admin work for that client? – By Adam Denzel
Personally, I do. I charge for every cycle, for all the meetings. If it takes more time than I charge double graphic design pricing. But the client should be ok with that because it is part of your job.
Q5. How much an average charge goes, let’s say for the meeting of 1 hour? – By Jigar Kesariya
When you sell your art, it depends on your area and zone. In this case, the best thing is to go online and see how much other people from the same area are charging.
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Q6. How much profit to include in the price?
We need to know the competitors. If we know the competitors and their charges for similar projects or design work, then it becomes easy to come up and know how much profit you are going to earn. The right thing is to go online to see the prices in your area or zone.
So, if you want an example, what I usually do is to go on Dribble. Dribble allows you to see the per hour charges by designers. You can go on and know that they have similar words and try to charge the same.
The next thing is to give you a target. Every designer, in this case, has his revenue. If we go by stats, junior designers tend to put their revenue by 10% to 20%. Senior designers can go from 40% to 70% revenue on just the job they are charging.
The other thing to know about how to price design work is the production cost. By Production cost, I mean how many hours you are exactly going to put for that project. It is hard to do that, but during the time you get in touch with a lot of clients, and you use them as examples.
The idea is to study the client. I added that to study the client, we should price the client and not the job. So, let’s say that we are pricing the client now. We are dividing them into private clients, who are paying from their pockets. If you are charging them, these clients do have investors.
Then we have small and medium businesses. They are making money or being funded. Then, we have tremendous progressions by that. It means that they have many employees already making a lot of money. So, divide the clients into these categories to study them.
Q7. When you get a big job from a private client and a minor job from a large corp, would the price for the corp be still much higher even though you put more effort into it? – By Ruben Gerloff
It is a little complicated. But the idea is that you should move on with the pricing and quote your price. Even if you are a small private company, no matter how big the project is and the efforts you put, they are not going to give you much money because they are paying from their pocket. If they are a substantial progression, tell them how valuable the project is for them, they can give you big money.
Q8. How to ensure payment safety, usually clients take a lot of time to pay the amount, and that is annoying?
In the beginning, you charge 30% as an advance, then 30% when the work is done, and the rest of the amount at the time of project delivery. It is because freelancers tend to do the job online, and they are excited to start the project, but they want payment guarantee. The best thing to ensure timely payment is to ask them to pay in advance.
Q9. How to determine the cost?
For that, you can’t quote freelance graphic design rates big if you are a small designer with lesser experience. If you do not have that much experience, your client will not pay you much; though you may get the job.
The cost is related to taxes and your savings. Think about these two things. Personally, for me, it is about the people who work here at the studio with me, my taxes, my expenses, and what the savings are.
Q10. How to ask for the budget to the client in the right way?
Well, this should have been the first topic here in this webinar. The idea here is to ask about the budget. There are cases when you cannot ask about the budget. So, what you can do is to ask questions related to the budget.
But if you ask them how many such projects will be, they will tell you in a way about what the budget is. When they hire a freelance graphic designer, they tell about how many things this project is going to touch, giving you an idea about the budget.
Also, an excellent question to ask is about the marketing budget for your design work. Usually, what you want to do is to relate these questions to your job. For example, you can ask what kind of impact does this project is going to make on your customer. Some people are scared to ask these questions. But from my experience, the more you ask, the more you know your client. Good designers ask questions.
Q11. How to deal with a client without a budget?
All the clients are not the same. Some of them might prefer not to answers, while others might give you an estimated price. It is better to ask questions. You need to know how much money your client is making and how much is going to make from this project.
Also, the determinate value that your product is going to bring value to your client. That helps in knowing how much to price the client. Once you know the budget, go online to know the rates in your area and charge the rates.
Q12. Will it create a wrong impression to the client if I ask a question about the budget?
The answer is no if you ask the right way. Do not ask for the budget directly. Ask while discussing the project.
Q13. How did you start for pricing?
I was consistently raising the price. For now, with my seven years of experience, I will definitely go with high prices. If you believe in what you do and your experience, you should always go for high prices.
Q14. Are there any pricing models charts or anything for reference?
The price would be to study pricing as much as you like about the design. Pricing is an essential part of your job. Go online and get as much as you can about getting the pricing right.
Q15. Is raising price continually a good option? Don’t you think this will affect a regular client who needs multiple designs but in an interval of time?
Every time we get a new client, we raise the price here at the studio. The pricing is directly connected to your experience.
Q16. Should we raise the price for the same client?
You should definitely raise the price for the same client. You can give them some options to choose from. For example, you can say that you can charge the same price for this project, or design work as you charged for the previous one, but we are now offering these things and therefore raising the price. We should not price all the clients the same. Always, try to price clients differently.
Q17. Can we experiment with the price rates?
No one will price the same, and no one will ever have the same rates. The good thing about it is that you can experiment with that. You can see which price works and which is probably not working at all. Which is really high or low? How happy was your client? Then, you can come up with the rate that suits you.
Q18. How do you decide that this is the right time to change rates, are there any parameters?
You can change prices on every project that you get. If you are working on big projects, giving you more experience, then change rates. So projects after projects, you change the rates.
In the end, Rashmi, the host and a community specialist with Designhill, thanked Dorjan Vulaj for sharing his valuable thoughts and time. She also thanked the designers who participated in the question and answer session.
The next webinar from Designhill will be on May 23. The topic of the webinar will be How to Structure Your Logo Presentation.
The webinar was a success as the guest speaker Dorjan Vulaz covered various crucial aspects of setting up the right price for design work. He was of the view that a designer should keep his or her experience and skill in mind to set the price. Also, choice between fixed and hourly rates should be made carefully depending on how much you value your time and design work. He shared his experience on quoting prices of different types of clients.