How Much to Charge?
Any time the graphic design field is being discussed, the topic of fees invariably comes up. We had a question the other day from a reader who asked “How can I convince the client my services are worth it?” Another lamented, “I’m uncomfortable about telling people what I charge.”
You aren’t alone. Many people aren’t comfortable telling clients what they charge. This has been the bane of the creative community since the beginning.
Creative people tend to be more about the idea and the performance than the details of getting paid. But to succeed, it’s got to be done. If you ask someone for their prices, and they don’t seem confident about what they’re charging, would you buy from them?
First, you need convince yourself that you must get paid. Do this by fully understanding what it costs to produce the work, and what your time is worth.
You’ll need a list of every element, device and material used in producing the work — what it cost, what it would cost to replace it. That covers what you need. Next you’ll need to fully understand how much money you want to make.
This includes things you want to work for; vacations, savings, investments, insurance, quality of life. Arrive at those figures and factor that into the number of hours you plan to work. That’s how much to charge.
Once convinced, you’ll have confidence when you state your price. Your clients will understand that you’ve got to cover expenses and make a profit. They might not let on — but they do understand. It will be easier if you design a simple rate card that lists your basic fees. At that point, it doesn’t matter if “he” can get a logo for $25 — yours starts at $250 and goes up from there.
Confidence says “take it or leave it.” That’s how much to charge.
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