What to Charge as a Designer & When to Up Your Pricing!

I get it!

I really do, trying to figure out what to charge can be SUPER confusing.

Whether you're just starting or you've been charging as a designer for a while now, I'm here to help!

When I first started as a designer I had no idea what to charge. 

I would just throw a price out there that sounded good and ensured I would get the project.

But I never actually did the math to see if my prices were even making me money. Because, well, I didn't know how or where to start.

Let me just say, you are worth the money! 

Your knowledge and skill set as a designer is worth it.

Now, that's not me saying if you've never designed a logo it's okay to start out charging $10,000 becasue you have some design skill. 

But, it is me saying that you deserve to be paid for your time and the creativity you bring to the table.

So, I'm done with the fluff, let's get down to what you should charge as a designer!

What You Should Charge as a Designer!

Your prices all depend on where you're at in your skill level!

To all of my beginners, Don't work for free!

 

I'll say it again for those in the back, don't work for free!

You CAN charge as a beginner, and you should!

I get it, you want to build your portfolio and practice your skillset. You don't feel quite comfortable charging for something that you're still learning more about.

 

Which I understand, but you should also be compensated for your time.

Now, to all of my more experienced designers, it's okay to charge what you're worth! 

You bring value with your designs and you should be paid for that on top of the time it takes you to design. 

Flat rate or by the hour?

Both! 

Charging a flat rate, in my opinion, is easier on both me and the client. 

I get paid for my time and the value I bring to the table regardless of the time I spend on the project, and it eases my clients mind knowing the investment up front.

Charging by the hour, in some cases is only fair. For example, if I've never designed a logo in my life, but my client needs a logo I would give them my hourly rate, along with a minimum, and go from there. 

If you charge by the hour for a project you've never done before this gives you the opportunity to track how long it takes you to work on this type of project for future reference.

What to Charge: Practical Formula!

When deciding on what to charge go by this practical formula!

Note* this formula is what to charge for a flat rate price.

Hourly Rate x Time it Takes + Value= What to Charge

If you're not sure your hourly rate do some research. Find around 20 designers, in your area, and research what they're charging.

 

You want to get an average price, add all 20 prices up and divide by 20 to get the average. 

This is a good starting point for your hourly rate!

Now take your new-found hourly rate and multiply it by the time it takes you to work on that project. As a designer, each project can look different, but that's why it's important to track like I mentioned above. 

The next step is to add value!

Don't do yourself a disservice and skip this step! Add value to your prices. Your value is based on your knowledge, skillset, and the quality of your work. 

It's an important part of the pricing process so take time for this step!

Take the amount you want to bring home each month and divide that by your hourly rate. This gives you your value price!

It's time to implement the formula:

Here's an example...

Hourly Rate x Time it Takes + Value= What to Charge

$30 x 4hrs + $150= $270

Knowing what to charge can be tricky. It's uncomfortable and confusing to put a price on your designs, but it's necessary and easier when you have a practical approach!

 

When to Up Your Prices?

I first want to say, it's okay to increase your pricing. You have permission, and most likely, you should have increased pricing long ago if you're asking this question.

You should be evaluating your prices based on a few things. 

First, your experience and the quality of your work. Your prices are a reflection of the quality of work you provide your clients. A logo that costs $10,000 should be a certain level of quality to reflect that price.

Same with your work, the more experience you have and the better quality you produce should reflect your pricing.

Next, your prices shouldn't be too high or too low. This is all based on your area and the average price for that specific design. I don't want to put so much emphasis on your competition's pricing, but realistically your audience is looking at other designers. 

Pricing matters to your audience, and it's something you should take into consideration when deciding to increase your prices.

Just to recap, your prices should increase as your quality increases. A good rule of thumb is every few designs on a specific project you should increase pricing.

This allows you to scale at a rate that is consistent with the quality you're providing!

Pricing can be tough. Knowing what to charge and when to up your pricing is confusing and uncomfortable, but when you take practical steps it makes it creates a process that will guide you in your efforts to scale your business successfully! 

xo, Hannah

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