A Freelance Web Designer’s Guide to Pricing

Since you’re reading this, chances are that you are a freelance web designer who has already stumbled upon the inevitable question, ‘how much do I charge for my work?’ You’ve probably browsed through various web design forums, asked your web designer friends on Facebook, posted queries on relevant LinkedIn groups and still scratched your head whilst staring at a few ready to use price lists that you found on Google; not knowing if they will work for you.

Sure, you could refer to projects that you delivered in the past and how you charged for them. However, based on complexity, time, and effort, every project is unique to itself. When it comes to determining how you will charge your next client, charging by the hour or by the project or by the page are all viable options. So, how do you charge? Relax. We got you.

We’ve listed 6 questions that every freelance web designer like yourself must ask so as to figure out how to charge for your designs.

How Skilled Are You?

Based on the projects you’ve completed and the experience you’ve garnered, you need to be honest about your skill set. If your client wants something that you are not familiar with, it means you will get paid to learn. In this case, you may want to charge lesser or revise your cost structure accordingly. This is where experienced designers win over beginners because they can complete a complex project faster.

What is the Project About?

Is the project similar to the one you had worked on before? What are the features and elements that the project entails? How much time will it take to complete? What are the changes that can crop up in the project scope? Your pricing largely depends on your evaluation of the project and having solid answers to these questions certainly helps. Let’s put it this way, creating someone’s blog website would definitely cost lesser than creating a full-blown website for a big business house or an eCommerce website with smart AI plugins.

What are Others Charging?

Refer to the work of your peers, competitors and other designers in the fraternity. Conduct a market research and figure out how they are charging. This exercise will give you a clear indication of how the freelance market is operating when it comes to cost. Once furnished with the information, you can strategize your pricing model.

How is Much Your Client Willing to Pay?

Every client is different, and this can put you in a tricky situation. Depending on your experience and word of mouth, you may get restricted to a particular industry niche or, on the flip side, attract requirements from big businesses and brands. If you get typecast within a particular industry, chances are that you won’t be able to play much with the prices. However, in case of bigger brands or businesses, your client may not have budgetary restrictions, but the project may be complex to the point that it will take too much of your time and the requirement scope may change frequently. In either case, you will need to evaluate and manage your project effectively.

How much is it costing you?

As a freelance web designer, you are not on anybody’s payroll and so, you need to be aware of the cost that every project brings along with the chance to earn from it. Conduct an opportunity cost study to figure out how much your time is worth. Include your overhead costs such as electricity, machine wear and tear, internet expenses and so on. Use these determinants to chalk out a price that is fair to the client and one that justifies your effort and expenses.  

What Happens After the Project is Completed?

If your client is a big brand that will mention your work and promote you across its networks, then you may want to charge lesser. Also, if the brand has other projects in the pipeline that they intend to offer you, you may want to work towards volume sales rather than a one-time deal. Again, this depends on your contract with the client and how your project will be received and promoted.    

A study says using the figure 9 and offering your customer options works well to attract eyeballs. Hence, based on certain parameters, offer options such as ‘Gold Package at $999’, ‘Silver Package at $599’ and ‘Bronze Package at $399’. These tricks will surely entice your customers to consider your offer and contact you. It also reduces the scope for any negotiations that may follow.

Think you have what it takes to design the best website? Visit F3.SPACE for more information.    

Also published on Medium.

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