You’re about to learn a foolproof method for pricing your web design services. This method works for freelancers and agencies alike, and it’s the same one I used to build a multi-million dollar agency.
Now, this isn’t just some theoretical model that I read about in a book this is the actual process we use at our agency when determining how much we can charge for our web design services. In fact, it’s so shockingly effective that within months of implementing it, our company was booked solid with more qualified leads than we could handle.
What’s more, with this method you won’t have to worry about not being able to fill your pipeline or not having enough work on your plate because you priced yourself out of contention. Instead, you’ll be able to confidently price your services so you can close bigger deals and make more money in less time.
Why Is Pricing Your Web Design Services Such A Hard Thing To Do?
It’s HARD to price your web design services
Why is pricing your web design services such a hard thing to do? It’s hard to put a price tag on something that you enjoy doing. You’re afraid of turning away business because you don’t want to overcharge your potential clients. You’re afraid of charging too much and losing business.
Pricing can also be affected by outside factors like market saturation, your location, and even the economy at large.
But we’re still struggling with how (and if) we should up our prices as our businesses grow and develop! So I’m here to help you figure it out!
What Is The Difference Between Cost And Value?
Your pricing is often a reflection of your confidence in what you’re offering. If you have trouble putting a price tag on yourself, it’s time to sit down and think about that value.
What is the difference between cost and value? Put simply, the cost is the price of materials used to manufacture or assemble a product or deliver a service. Value is the benefit received by the purchaser of said product or service.
It’s important for web designers to understand this distinction because we often fall into the trap of thinking that everything we offer has an objective value. We know how much time it took us to design something, how much our tools cost, and how many hours we spent learning our craft, and we use those numbers as a basis for putting together a proposal.
But client perception creates value just like market perception creates stock values and the perceived value of your work will vary from client to client based on their circumstances and needs.
Ways to charge for your web design services
1. You Should Definitely Charge For Your Time?
A big question I get from freelancers is how much they should charge for their time. Recently one of my clients, who is a freelance designer, asked me if he should charge for meetings and phone calls. We talked about it and I told him the truth: Yes!
You should definitely charge for your time. The reason is simple: it’s a valuable commodity that you only have a limited amount of. The same holds true for everyone else in the world you, your clients, and every other human being on this planet have 24 hours a day to spend how we choose and no more than that. So why shouldn’t you be able to charge what you think your time is worth?
When pricing your services out, remember to include all aspects of that service meeting, phone calls, and emails and price them accordingly based on the skills and experience you bring to the table. This will help ensure that those who are looking to hire you to understand exactly what they’re getting when they buy from you as well as what it’s going to cost them!
Ways To Charge For Your Time
It’s a common dilemma for many freelancers and small business owners: how do I price my time?
The answer, as you might have guessed, depends on a few factors, including your location and the value you can add to your client’s project. The truth isn’t so shocking after all; there are just a few things that could affect how much you charge.
As long as you know what those things are, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to start setting reasonable rates for your work.
2. You Should Always Charge For Your Skillset
While it’s true that there are a lot of web designers out there, the one thing that sets you apart from too many of them is your skillset. If you’ve taken the time to acquire specialized skills, you need to charge for that expertise. Outsourcing every little aspect of your project is not a good business strategy because it can put your clients at risk.
You may be thinking that you’re already charging for your time. The problem with this approach is that when something goes wrong, who do the clients go after? You or the person who did some of the work on their site? Most times it will be you because most people don’t know how to separate and delineate responsibilities.
Another point in favor of giving a rate based on skillset is that it helps clients understand what they’re paying for and what they’ll get if they hire someone less experienced but have a lower budget (not much!). Even if more money isn’t an option, explaining the value of hiring an experienced professional will help them realize why investing in quality is worth it in the long run.
How To Determine How Much You Should Charge For Your Skillset
Many web designers and developers agree that determining how much they should charge is one of the most difficult aspects of freelancing. The common mistake many people make when deciding on their pricing is to base it on an hourly rate, but as you’ll see below, this is not a good way to determine how much to charge.
The amount of time it takes you to complete a project isn’t a good measure of your skill level. It’s easy for people who are learning something new or don’t have much experience with a particular skill set to take longer than someone who has been doing the same thing for years (or decades).
In this case, if both designers charged by the hour, the more experienced designer would make less money simply because he or she took half the time to finish the job compared with his or her less experienced counterpart.
You can also be punished for being efficient in your work and becoming faster as you become more comfortable using certain skills the less time it takes you to complete a task, the less money you end up making. At some point, it becomes too frustrating, especially when compared with those around us who do similar work but manage to make twice as many thanks only to an arbitrary hourly rate, rather than their specific level of talent or experience.
3. You Should Always Charge For The Value That You Provide
As a service-based business, you’re not selling a product; you’re selling the value of your time and expertise. So when determining to price, it’s important to define what value your client will receive from working with you.
It can be tempting to think of “value” as simply solving a problem for the client but in addition to solving their problems, there are other ways that you bring value to the table. You might be an easy communicator or able to implement features well beyond the scope of your original vision.
Maybe you have an industry reputation that brings prestige or brings credibility because of your previous work. You might even save them money by using streamlined processes others don’t know about. In all of these cases, part of your value is how you solve their problems and this has real monetary value for your clients as well.
As much as we wish it were different, nobody can provide great work and give lots of valuable time and expertise without getting paid for it (you can’t pay rent with exposure). If you aren’t charging for that value, then essentially the only thing left is charging for your labor which means undervaluing yourself and opening up opportunities for people who say they need work done but have no budget whatsoever (aka tire kickers).
How To Put A Price Tag On The Value You Provide As A Web Designer
If you’re like most web designers, it can be hard to see the value of what you do. After all, where’s the value in pushing pixels around a screen?
Yet the true value of web design isn’t just in the work itself, but what it produces for clients. In other words: it’s not just about what you can do. It’s about what you can do for them.
As I tell my clients, “It’s not about putting a price tag on your work; it’s about putting a price tag on results.”
You’re worth every penny you ask for. Don’t sell yourself short. Know your worth, and be confident enough in yourself to charge what you know is right.
You’re worth every penny you ask for. Don’t sell yourself short. Know your worth, and be confident enough in yourself to charge what you know is right. Will you lose some clients because of it? Yes, but that’s a good thing.
You don’t want every single client who comes along because they’ll drive your prices down. You don’t need to work with people who are going to haggle over every price increase or additional invoice item; they won’t appreciate the value of what you do and they’ll always feel like they’re getting ripped off by paying you a fair price for your services. You can do better than that and so can the industry as a whole if we stop making it socially acceptable to undercharge.
To charge for your time, you need to know your hourly rate. This is the most elementary method of calculating what to charge for your services, and it’s useful when you want to avoid getting lost in the weeds of breaking down each part of a project.
To charge for your skillset, you need to know the value of your skillset. Is it possible that some people are willing to pay more for certain skills than others? Absolutely! A requirement might be considered more complex or out-of-the-ordinary or even rarer than the other components on a site.
To charge for the value you provide, you need to know your worth. It’s important not only to focus on what kind of value you’re providing but also how much value that is. Remember, charging by ROI isn’t always feasible or palatable, since many clients expect a price tag based on a fixed number rather than an ambiguous outcome (i.e., profit). But if you can pull off this type of pricing model and do it well, watch out: You’ll be making bank in no time at all!
With all that being said, don’t sell yourself short! You work hard and have valuable skills so get out there and start making money from them!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Set My Pricing?
You’ll want to consider what the market is charging for similar work, and then factor in your costs and personal situation, then you can start to develop a price range for your services that covers those aspects
How do I charge for my time?
If you’re charging hourly, be sure to include how long you think it will take to complete each stage of the project. If there’s any ambiguity about how much time this project might take, make sure you lay out a detailed timeline of what happens when so that nobody is caught off guard by later surprises. Also, be clear about when and how payment should be made at each stage of the process.
How Do I Charge For The Value I Provide?
You’re providing something that clients can’t get without your help – whether it’s more sales or less hassle or something else – so make sure you’re asking for fair compensation