Best Pricing Methods for Creative Services
It’s easier to sell a product because people can touch and feel it. Clients know it will arrive and they believe it’s the sneaker that you claim it to be.
But, how do you convince someone to hire you for a service? Especially when that service has a 5-figured ticket price that probably scares you to write it.
When we first picked up a 5-figured contract we were almost as shocked as our bank account. I mean damn, we had no formal training in negotiation, we felt as if we had no hope at the time, and to be honest there were lots of prayers involved. But, for some reason we knew we were worth it, we could handle that type of responsibility, and that we could deliver. Friends, we were right. The moment we started our first day of work we knew we had made the right decision. Faith and prayer did not bring us here alone.
We encourage creatives to try to avoid hourly rate projects unless they are just getting started. We have found ourselves working more and having to compensate out of our own time to ensure that the client gets what they want. Or it’s frustrating when the client has endless changes and doesn't want to pay for the extra hours.
We prefer project and retainer-based gigs. Our absolute favorite is retainer but, these are not always the easiest to secure. Below we briefly explain the difference between the two.
Retainer vs. Project-based
Project-based gigs - Gives you control over the project.
You provide a clear strategy from beginning to end, define the scope of work, and the steps you take to create it. Most importantly, you charge what you think the project is worth. But again, when you are just getting started we recommend hourly based. Once you learn how to work for yourself then you can start controlling your own time through long-term projects.
Retainer-based gigs - You and your client agree on a monthly fee for a pre-defined deliverable or service to be delivered on a monthly basis.
This is great for work that will be happening on a recurring basis. For example, maybe you manage a company's social media account 10 hours a month for an entire year.
Once you and the client agree on a project, it simply falls under the retainer. There are so many types of tasks that pop up when you are creating a collection. If the project grows, you simply do it within the hours of the retainer. Payments are usually arranged on the 1st and 15th of each month.
Which one should you opt for?
When you are comfortable freelancing and your system is consistently working, then consider turning everything into a project. Break the project into smaller deliverables and outsource consultants if need be.
At the end of the day choose what works best for you and your business, and don’t be afraid to try something different if it doesn’t work out the first time.
Nobody makes it to the top alone. You need a support network—people to advise you, coach you, cheer for you, and give you a heads-up when you’re about to make a costly mistake. You don’t have this kind of network yet? You do now. Join Style Sense Collective. Your tribe is here > Join our community of creatives