Have you ever realized what your price point says about you as a designer?
As designers we worry so much about how our brand looks when it comes to logo, web site, etc.
We obsess over what to name our design business.
We’re constantly asking ourselves if it’s time for a redesign or a rebrand.
But how often do we ask ourselves if we need to rethink our pricing strategy? Believe it or not, your pricing strategy is a huge part of your overall branding and can influence how the world, and your clients, perceive your value, professionalism, and talent.
If you’re too expensive
Let’s talk about designers who charge too much for their services.
I’m not talking about designers who charge a healthy amount but some clients refuse to pay their going rate because they’re penny-pinchers. I’m talking about designers who literally charge way too much for their work.
I’m talking about the designers who charge tens of thousands of dollars to their client just to turn around, download a premium $40 wordpress theme and install it for their client with a few minor modifications.
You know…those designers.
These same designers have a portfolio completely full of student projects or modified templates but insist on charging as much as a large design firm.
So what does such a high pricing strategy say about your design business? If you’re not careful, it could be saying:
- You’re cocky. You think you’re the design gods’ gift to humanity. Consequently, you’re really hard to work with, can’t take direction, and won’t listen to clients when they have concerns about their projects because, “let’s face it, you know best.”
- You’re inexperienced. Believe it or not, having a ridiculously high pricing strategy doesn’t make you look like more professional, it makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about. And since your prices are so high, you haven’t done many real projects which means it’s likely you actually don’t know what you’re talking about.
If you’re too cheap
So maybe setting your prices super-high isn’t necessarily the best option.
But does that mean you have to adopt rock-bottom prices and beat out every guy in town?
There’s also damage in setting your prices too low. Aside from not making enough profit to keep your business afloat, here’s what really low pricing says about you as a designer:
- You don’t have much to offer. You have low rates because you don’t think you have a lot to offer. You don’t bring very much value to a client/designer relationship and you don’t really know why anyone would even pay you at all.
- You don’t dedicate much time to your work. If you’re not charging much, you must not plan on spending much time making revisions, hearing out your client, or polishing up the final designs.
So what’s the sweet spot?
So what’s the perfect pricing strategy for designers? How about you tell me what you do by leaving a comment?
Since pricing strategies and costs vary dramatically around the world, it’s hard for me to give a simple answer. But I would just caution you to stay away from the extremes.
Don’t set your prices at the bottom of the barrel.
But don’t make your clients take out a second home mortgage to get their design work done.
Do you agree?Written by Preston D Lee Preston is the founder of GDB, a designer, programmer, marketer, and entrepreneur.