Money

Pricing Your Work Right

Posted on November 21, 2013 ยท Posted in Legal

Putting a value on your talent is notoriously tricky, especially when just starting out – but pricing your work right is vital for your success.

1. TO GOOD TO BE TRUE

There are times when it doesn’t get much easier, a client knows exactly how much cash they have to spend, and they ask you to cut the cloth accordingly. this is an old fashioned, honest and straight forward approach, and also as rare as seeing the Loch Ness monster, so be sure to tread very carefully.

2. GO IN HIGH

it’s hard to know when you should quote a fee, and when to ask what the budget is. Some clients will never divulge their budget, and prefer to play their hands close to their chests. Go in high (but nor ridiculously so), and when the client freaks out at the price, ask what the budget for the job really is.

3. DON’T PITCH FOR FREE

Remember you’ll be working during tjis time, so ensure you receive a fee. Be firm and quote a daily rate that you’ll work for and ensure that at this stage, for this fee alone, they’ll have no rights to reproduce or use work in any commercial way.

4. ITEMISE EVERYTHING

It’s always much easier to offer a written quote than it is to do it face to face. You don’t have to stare into the whites of the client’s eyes, and you have no chance to explain, clearly what the costs are and how they relate to the project. Itemise everything that you’re designing – this way there are no grey areas.

5. GET AN AGENT

Clients generally understand that when they’re working through an agency, an illustrator or photographer might cost slightly more because agents command higher fees for the job. Agents have stacks of quoting experience and – in essence – the more they can get for you, the bigger slice they can take for themselves.

6. NEVER WORK FOR FREE

Many designers have a policy not to work for nothing – no fee, no job. When you’re first starting out, with no track record to speak of, this can certainly be put to the test. Make sure you put an agreement in place even if no money is changing hands – perhaps they can pay in other ways, such as free books, records or publicity.

7. BALANCE THE BUDGET

There’s a fine line between a budget and a fee. Make sure the two exist in harmony. If you’re given a budget, it may include financial provision for production as well as your fee. Handle this wisely, ensure that you get the best from your budget and don’t over spend.

8. CALCULATE WISELY

Where and for how long your work is reproduced or used can dictate the fee (duration + media = fee). The wider the usage, the longer the campaign and the higher the fee. While you may take as long to create an illustration for a small publisher as you do to design a billboard poster, you will earn more on the poster job.