How to Charge Clients Any Amount You Want for Design Work

Did you know that sticking to the industry’s “market prices” for design isn’t mandatory? Indeed, you have the freedom to set your own rates for your design work, provided you implement a few strategic tweaks to your design process.

Concerned about the ethics? Don’t worry. I’m here to guide you on how to, ethically and justifiably, charge any rate you deem fit for your services. Curious? Great! Let’s explore how you can achieve this.

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Charging What You Want: Really, Anything at All?

Let’s clarify what it means to charge “whatever you want.” Many designers feel bound to conform to industry-standard pricing because they believe that’s what the market expects. Here’s a reality check: the concept of “the market” is more flexible than you think.

The value you provide can vary greatly from one client to another – one might pay $100, while another could see the value at $10,000 or even $100,000. It all depends on your positioning and the unique value you deliver.

charging money
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So yes, when I say “whatever you want,” I mean exactly that. But remember, there are crucial considerations to keep in mind. The first rule is that you must…

Stand Out from the Crowd

Imagine we’re entering a chic, new restaurant in any town you like. You’re hungry, excited, and a waiter swiftly ushers you to your table and hands you the menu.

There’s an item listed as Poule et l’Orange Supreme de Chef de Cuisine. You might not know what it is, but it sounds enticing. The price is steep, yet because it’s presented as a premium dish, you scarcely notice the cost amidst your anticipation.

stand out from crowd
… And Deliver an Exceptional Experience

Consider another scenario: a visit to Disneyland or Disney World, where everything seems overpriced. Disney can command such prices because of their renowned brand and the unique experience they provide. At Disney parks, paying $12 for a bottle of water feels justifiable because of the immersive, magical experience offered.

Elevate the Client Experience

As a designer, you have the liberty to set your fees if you redefine your service offerings on your own terms. By transforming basic concepts into exclusive experiences, you disrupt client expectations, including price perceptions.

graphic design expertise

By crafting a distinctive, luxurious experience, you set your services apart. Invite clients into your bespoke world, avoid the commonplace, and watch as you’re able to command higher fees than your competitors.

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Building Relationships, Not Just Transactions

High-end business coach Jay Abraham emphasizes the significance of referring to buyers as “clients” instead of “customers” or “users.” This terminology shift is more than semantics – it’s about perspective.

As a freelance designer, engaging a client isn’t merely about delivering a product and receiving payment. It’s about fostering a relationship and ensuring they receive the utmost service under your guidance.

good relations with clients

This level of care should extend to all interactions, whether in person or via a website you designed. Clients should always feel that there is someone dedicated to their success behind the scenes, someone who cares deeply about their needs.

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Demonstrate Your Expertise

To command premium rates, you must not only be skilled but also ready to showcase your expertise. Don’t hesitate to provide clients with insights that extend beyond the project scope, especially if it can enhance their profitability.

If your knowledge can help them generate more revenue, share it. Your ability to offer unique, valuable advice can set you apart from other designers.

Offer better solutions than those requested. As the expert, it’s your role to ensure clients are well-informed and equipped to use your services independently, further enhancing their experience with your brand.

Target High-Value Clients

At the top of the market, clients are prepared to invest significantly in top-notch services – sometimes more than you might anticipate. After dealing with clients who negotiate over small fees, receiving a large sum upfront can be a revelation.

These high-end clients are different. They have substantial budgets and value quality over cost, understanding that good design is worth the investment. They also tend to grant you more creative freedom, allowing you to focus on your craft without frequent interruptions.

high value clients

It’s commonly understood that the less a client is willing to pay, the more demanding they might be. However, those who recognize the value of design often facilitate a smoother, more productive working relationship.

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Your Thoughts?

In case you were wondering, Poule et l’Orange Supreme de Chef de Cuisine translates to “chicken with orange slices, prepared by the chef.” This example illustrates the power of presentation and terminology.

Do you have strategies for increasing your design fees? What are your views on finding the right price point for you and your clients?