Different Pricing Methods

Different Pricing Methods

One of the biggest issues with freelancing and consulting is pricing. There are all kinds of people with different opinions on what is best. After years of design there seems to be three main types of pricing: Flat, Return On Investment (ROI), and Need Based. It is hard to determine which is really best.  Below I will give you some of the pros and cons of each, and you can ultimately decide which is best for your business.

flat rate:

It’s like the post office. You charge one price each client’s package of service(s). Pricing tables are good examples of this, Typically it’s used for bundle packages through websites. Flat Rate pricing is tricky because it has to incorporate many aspects of design including: Design ,Several rounds of changes (the number of rounds should be in your contract),Client meetings, Travel, Project research, Email and phone communication, Dealing with outside vendors, Dealing with subcontractors, and other needs that may arise.  

Pros

  • Quick Pricing
  • Easy Tracking
Pricing
  • Tables can be used
 

Cons

  • Inaccurate Price for Amount of Work
  • Strict Budgeting
  • Little concern for client needs

Return On Investment:

Return On Investment (ROI) is the tricky one to present. this is where you have to let your marketing professional side shine. It is based around lead generation for a business.
 
Say a client gets 30 leads from the site you are going to make. Each lead is worth $3,000, if the lead is completely processed. Of those 30 leads, only 10 come through. Client makes $30,000. So the client made $30,000 from the site you charge $5,000 to create. That’s a $25,000 profit. That is a worth while investment, right? That is five time the return on the client’s investment.

Pros

  • High return
  • 
Investor Understanding of Return
  • Financial Monitoring
  • Create Complete Picture

Cons

  • A lot of Time Consumed
  • 
Lengthy Analysis
  • No Guarantee of Return
  • Extensive Knowledge of Clients

Need Based:

Need based is my preferred method of the three. Very simple but highly effective. What does the Client have? What does the Client need? What does the Client want? What other goods and services might the client benefit from that you can offer? It is a moderate challenge to make an assessment, but very effective.

Pros

  • Room for Expansion
  • 
Very Client Specific
  • Nothing Unnecessary
  • Client has Options

Cons

  • Long Meetings
  • More Time in Material Gathering
  • May Require New Skills
  • Longer Refinement
That’s are the basic system fundamentals most designers I know use to determine pricing. However, I have noticed that all three start to bleed over into one another as time goes on. I my self use a checklist of services and options to determine and record everything a client has, needs, and wants. Then each item on the list has a price, add those prices, apply any discounts (bundles service, referrals, etc.) and you have your client’s price. Take time and experiment. Figure out what works best for you. Remember as fast as things change, no one’s single method is 100% correct. It might work for their business, but not not yours. Let me know what you think and what method you use.

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.
Needy Clients and You

Needy Clients and You

Needy Clients and You


   
Every one of us has encountered the “needy client”. The clients that constantly have changes, new ideas, and other little nit picky things. Those changes that after ten or twelve of theme are ready to snap. If you have had a client like this, then you know the kind I am talking about. If you haven’t had one yet, you will eventually, and trust me you’ll know when you do. It is upsetting to spend so much time on a project present it and have the client want to change different parts of the layout. Understandable. But there are a couple points to consider:
  1. The are making suggestions to you because this is really THEIR project. You are the hands that build the house, but they are the ones who live in it. they have to guide you to what they want, because they can’t build it them selves. If they could, you wouldn’t have a job. To say it bluntly.
  2. The first draft at anything is never going to stay. Ever. Just accept it now and make life easier. If it does stay it either is bad, or flawed because their hasn’t been any refinement.
  3. They don’t know. Again blunt. Your job is to inform your client why their suggestion might be a bad idea. I aren’t just paying for your skills, but also your experience and expertise. Don’t be a douche about it though. That can and eventually will break the client relationship. I’ve seen it happen.
Be Confident And firm in your opinion. However, you should also know when to pick your battles. If your talk about a change at length and the client doesn’t change their mind, remember number 1; IT’S THEIRS NOT YOURS. But recently I came to an understanding of my character, that i think many designers have as well. It’s not aways the client. Sometimes it’s US!  I admit it, it’s really shitty to say and hard to accept. It’s the introverted over protective artist inside every designer. Let me ask you a question:
If you were Michelangelo and got asked to change part of the Sistine Chapel, having worked on it for four years, wouldn’t you be a pissed at who asked?
Of course you would. if not you are either a liar or a saint. but that’s your business. Anyway, we do the same thing with design. Our passion, integrity, and pride that makes us defensive about our work. That’s how we know what we do is our calling, right? We pour all this dedication and passion into a project, and then the client asks us to change something. We as artists have a tendency to take it personally. Don’t, just don’t. Save yourself a lot of heartache. Take a breathe, relax, and work with the client. Do what they ask (within reason) and if it is bad show them and explain the difference, then see what they choose. If you can present your point well, then client will usually understand your point.  These changes aren’t always bad. Why? It can benefit you beyond what you realize.
Time:
If you are charging by the hour, more time equals more money. That simple.
Revisions:
Depending on the severity of the changes you can charge for a revisions, which in itself could be a significant amount.
Reputation:
If you are willing to go that extra mile for a client, that client will be even happier with the end result. Which leads to more referrals to others. So remember the client isn’t always as needy as you think. Sometimes we are just over protective.
Communication: Have Patience

Communication: Have Patience

I wanted to share this with everyone since many businesses I work with (both clients and partnerships) do all use the same communication methods.  I know that seems really obvious to most readers but after thinking about it, there maybe things you don’t always consider in regard to that communication. I have had clients reach out tons of different ways. Skype, text, email, Go-to-meeting, and even call me on the phone. Yes a phone call (who does that anymore?) Anyway with regard to capability, there are infinite means of communicating in business. However, there are many reasons that patience is KEY in communication. We live in a society were we get angry if someone doesn’t text us back right after we text them. The impatient – I need it now – “what the hell is taking so long” society has made us all this way. It’s not our fault. But at the same time… It’s COMPLETELY our fault. We know, as people, this is an issue. Many of us have commented on it with a tweet or a Facebook post. Personally, I find that truly ironic. Yet there is one question we don’t consider as often as we should:
What is going on the other end of the line? What’s the reason they haven’t gotten back to me?
It could be as bad as the business deal is done and that person is telling you with radio silence. Although it could be as simple as that person is driving somewhere can doesn’t text and drive. That being said, as people we instantly go to the worst case scenario. What happened? What did I do wrong? Did I drop the ball on this? So you do everything you can to make sure you are covered. Double check to make sure the email was sent to the right emails. Resend it from another email. Check the paperwork for errors and things. More often than not, the other person received everything and it just got lost in the shuffle of daily life. So it’s not anyone’s fault. Life gets in the way. It happens. If they are still on board for a project they will get back to you. After all you impact their business and income in some way shape or form. Especially, if it helps to move that business forward. But if the project goes for a month or so without a response, it may not be worth sitting on. It really is hard to figure out what is the best length of time. Trust your gut, I guess. There is nothing definitive. You really have to use you best judgement.
Statistics VS Data

Statistics VS Data

Aside form my consulting work, I service as the head of corporate design for a large company here in Pennsylvania. I had a discussion with one of my fellow coworkers over a project involving infographics.The “heated discussion” arose when I received stacks of data information and no idea what proper procedures to use to form them into Statistics.  Also,  it’s not my specific duty to analyze the data. After thirty minutes of back and forth with a person who does not know graphic design, I got him to understand the difference between Stats vs Data in relation to creating infographics. Let start by defining each:
  • Statistics:  The practice or science of collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities, especially for the purpose of inferring proportions in a whole from those in a representative sample.
  • Data: The quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, being stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media.
To put more easily, Statistics are the results of data analysis. It usually comes in the form of a table or chart, and Data is analyzed and interpreted to answer “why” or “how.” Data is used establish patterns and explain some phenomena. It breaks down specifically for designers into two areas: infographics vs data visualization.
Infographics
Infographics are subjective. They are usually cherry picked facts used to tell a story of some kind, which is directed at a specific audience. The information is designed and presented in a way that is easily shareable and accessible to that particular audience.  The overall appearance of the info graphic should be instantaneous. the reader knows and understands within seconds of eye contact. The most common things in Infographics are Illustrations, Icons, and Typography used to accent the important content of a fact or statistic.
Data Visualization
Data visualization is objective and unbiased.  It is “set in stone” and doesn’t differ based on the the reader/audience. just the facts. The graphic design of the Data visualization is secondary to the data itself as if it is only to gain your attention. The main purpose of Data Visualizations are to help data sets make more sense, and create in in an easily accessible form.  Data Visualizations are more likely to be created automatically through a generation system of some kind, perhaps a logarithm or other mathematical formula. So what is the difference between an infographic and a data visualization? An infographics can have  data visualizations in it, but not vice versa.  Or put simply,  Infographics are refined data or the sum of a data visualization.