ADVICE / 25
today’s question is… Q: “what do you do when a client no longer wants to hire you when you send out your pricing estimates?”
don’t get discouraged if someone can’t afford to hire you, their loss. stick to your fees that feel right for you. you don’t want to sell yourself short. most of the time clients don’t understand why we charge what we charge. i think it’s important to stand my ground for myself and other designers and illustrators. if we all went lower in our prices it would set a standard that isn’t good for any of us.
if the potential client responds that they can’t afford my rates and the project sounded really cool, i would probably reply and ask what their budget is. maybe it’s not far from what i originally quoted. maybe the “cool” project is more important than the fee i hoped to get. there also might be the opportunity for some kind of trade if you want to go down that road. i have been in situations where someone asked me to do some illustrations for their website. my fee was too much for them at the time, but came back three months later ready to go. and if they just can’t afford you and neither of you are willing to work on it then move on. don’t waste your time thinking about it.
yes, just like designers have to learn what to charge, clients have to learn how much design costs. most of the time they go into the process thinking they can get a logo and website for 500 bucks and then realize they are way off after they go around asking for quotes. like katie, i have had people ask my rates, not email me back (i assumed they couldn’t afford my rates) and then come back a few weeks later after they realized that actually IS what it costs to design their project.
another thing you could do is have a designer that is just starting out (and probably charges less) work under you. they design the project and you oversee it (for a fee – something like 20%). this isn’t always the easiest, and sometimes ends up being more work than you’d like, but it CAN work.
but it really is important to stick to what you charge. you will gain respect from people if you stand your ground on what you feel is fair. don’t let people make you think you are charging way too much just because they don’t want to pay a fair price. a well designed brand can elevate a company to another level…we know that!
do you have any good freelance questions for us? leave us a comment with them!