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Little Known Ways to Decide How Much to Charge a Client

Posted on January 27, 2012

Category: Business, General

With new graphic designers who are fresh on the freelancing scene, there’s really only one question we tend to get asked: How much should I charge, and how should I charge it? It’s an important question, as short-changing yourself can be bot a tremendous hit to the self-esteem, as well as to your monthly bills. Likewise, asking too much may prevent you from gaining any real traction, causing your business to flop before it ever begins to fly. If you’re worried about your current pricing scale, though, there are solutions to your conundrums. For our full thoughts on how to accurately price and charge for design projects, check below beyond the break!

  1. Decide on an Hourly Rate: First and foremost, you’re going to want to base all of your prices around a single hourly rate. If you don’t have one in mind yet, we strongly suggest you do a Google search in your area to find the high, low, and medium price range for a graphic designer. This is actually quite different, depending on the region, so be sure to stick to the local scene! However, there are a few constants: Anywhere from $30 to $50 an hour is about right for starting out, with anything higher or lower becoming a potential risk. Weight the options, and especially consider the following point.
  2. How Much You Need: A good way to decide on fees and hourly rates is to gauge exactly how much you’d like to make in a week, or even in a month. Don’t be greedy—Figure up exactly how much you need to live, and to live comfortably, then divide that number into a standard, workable hourly rate. If you’re just starting out, shoot only slightly higher than your physical costs (rent, bills, etc.) so as to keep the price low and gain traction. As time moves forward, and you develop more bills and needs, feel free to readjust to continue to grow. Pricing and fees should not stay static forever, and in fact, that leads us to our next point!
  3. Be Flexible: The best way to establish a price the client likes is to simply be flexible. Do you know the person well? If so, cut them a small break, or be willing to work with their budget. If you don’t, be willing to slightly reduce or raise your rates depending on how much you need or can stand to lose. Pricing is fluid, and as it’s likely to change over the course of several years, be willing to change in the moment, too.

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