Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

25

This is a bit of an opinion-based question, but I still think there's value in it. Also somewhat belongs on Freelance.SE, but may fit here as well. To be honest, the most difficult part of freelancing is sticking to your guns during negotiations. This is compounded if you financially need the work. The best option is often to simply stick to your price ...


17

If you lower your prices, don't forget to lower your service. As @Scott says, rates are set for a reason. If a client asks us for a cheaper deal, we say "yes" and then we re-propose the project with some features or aspects removed. We then make the client aware that we've achieved a cheaper price by reducing features or proposing a slightly ...


11

On the point of contests in general, on top of what Farray's said I'll just add, do the maths: $490 prize for one person out of 1,109 entrants? Assuming all designs took just two hours on average and people keep at it as long as it takes until they finally win something, that'd give the designers participating in this system an average wage of 22 cents an ...


9

I think most clients will assume price is negotiable and try to lower it ;) Something you can do is offer more than one option per project. This doesn't work in every case, but I've done it a few times and results were good. You make two or three proposals based on features, starting with the most basic one and going up to a super-complete-pack. You list ...


8

I would highly recommend taking a look at the AIGA Standard Form of Agreement for Design Services. It is a very extensive agreement that somewhat favors the designer, so if you want to know how to cover your butt, this is probably the definitive document to read. I have read it many times over, and I don't see very much in there that is superfluous to even ...


8

You need a Creative Brief. The graphic designer you approach should have one to give to you. Here are a number of topics to consider, though this is for large projects and some of the subjects may not apply for you: Project Background Who are you and what do we need to know about you? Give some background information on how this project came about. What ...


7

Round 1: Hey John Doe, I need some (object) made by (date). Its to promote (product, event or service). I can offer (dollars). Are you interested? Or you might wait to see if they're interested and then negotiate that last point but it still belongs in Round 1. Round 2: Great! Here's my (logo / branding) and the (copy). As you see in the branding we ...


7

That sounds a little strange to me. If I have a plumber or an electrician give me an estimate for a job, I don't provide them with a contract stating the work to be done and the terms on which I'm going to pay them. I assume that the professional is going to give me a contract detailing the work s/he is going to do. That's why I hire a professional: I assume ...


7

It's like swimming... you have to just jump in the water and learn as you go. You will get taken advantage of. You will get clients that fail to pay you. You will come across clients that argue about pricing, some to great degrees. You will get projects that grow well beyond what was explained to you. You will have clients that want to design for you and ...


6

I can't speak for the differences between working at a larger firm vs freelance, but here are things that I typically specify: Product Definition What constitutes a final product? Who will own the final product? Assets Do we need any assets from the client to do our work? When must the client deliver the necessary assets? What happens if the client ...


6

Farray and DA01 have pretty much nailed the key points. My nickel's worth (inflation, don't y'know) speaks to the freelance vs. large firm part of the question. Larger firms tend to deal with larger clients, and should already have carefully-crafted boilerplate to cover the legalities. The sums involved and potential liabilities are often large, so the ...


6

Should designers put ALL of their works in their portfolio? My answer is NO. A portfolio is a collection of your best work. Not EVERYTHING you've done since kindergarten. However, I DO feel that a portfolio should be tailored for who you are showing it to just like a resume. If you are presenting to a client that wants you to do their website, then ...


6

You never communicate that price is negotiable. Sorry. Its bad sales and marketing strategy. Rule #1 Never speak first. If they like your work then they'll either pay the rate or start negotiations and see how flexible you are. You can and should outline what the rate is for. In a bid you would say that this rate is for this exact work. That gives you ...


6

Yes, It is totally legitimate. It's usually the second question I ask after whats the project about. "What kind of budget are we dealing with?" This can give you a general idea if it falls in your realm and worth your time. Generally over email or phone. I usually prefer phone a call, you can hear about the project, budget and get a feel for the ...


5

Pen and Paper When freelancing and before many options came out program wise I would always implement the pen and paper concept. The process I chose was to create a graph style list that focused on the task, importance, priority level, difficulty, estimated time to complete task and date completed. When I complete a paper checklist I try to measure my ...


5

The common practice around these parts is to add 20%, but there is no standard amount. Having said that, I don't ever mark something up; it just goes straight through to the client. I like it better when I'm being compensated solely for design work, and I've never felt comfortable marking stuff up. Perhaps that stems from having spent too much time at the ...


5

Definite No. It is tough to know where to draw the line though, particularly if you have a lot of pieces that you look at as similar quality. You should ask peers what is your best work(s), but more importantly, what is/are the worst. If you get a consistent answer for that, you are hurting yourself, even if it does establish diversity/range. I think the ...


5

In reality, as a designer freelancing, my hourly rates are really unimportant beyond what I need to cover any overhead. Truth be told if I stuck strictly to the standard (overhead + 20% profit) I'd be barely surviving. I have very little overhead. A more realistic approach to pricing is value based pricing. See THIS QUESTION for a few answers on how to ...


4

I don't know that there a "standard." I think it's whatever some people feel they can get away with. I use 20% here. But that 20% covers only the money out of my pocket. Time in finding, editing, and/or testing are all billable hours to me. Above and beyond the actual cost of the product.


4

List of requests I've had and completed: Print Brochures, Business Cards, Logos, Manuals, Books, Sales Digests, Mag-a-logs, Invitations, Postcards, Vehicle Wraps, Billboards, Hang Tags, Packaging, T-shirts, Annual Reports / Sales Reports, Advertisements for publications, Letters, Fliers, Posters, Labels, Pens, Mugs, Post-its, Envelopes, Buttons, Lanyards, ...


4

Whether you go the LLC route or not, you're essentially a sole-proprietor / consultant / freelancer. For that model, I'd stay away from titles and just tell people what you do. Design, Development, Photography and Writing It's not short or catchy but you'll be able to explain yourself less and sell more. Think of the order of the words as the priority of ...


4

I've joined several of them already You've joined several already and haven't made any money ... that should be your first giant "red flag" about the "contest" process as a source of income. I can tell that my designs are really good At the end of the day, if you're designing as a source of income, it doesn't matter if you think your designs are ...


4

I wouldn't do it, just because a company's doors may be shut down still doesn't mean someone isn't planning on in the future to re-open. It's a tough economy and myself couldn't justify having a store front with the way everything is going and yes there may be an ethical issue. I say this from experience, just because the doors aren't physically open ...


4

Adding to Scott's answer, not only start small, but also start with what you are more comfortable with. Because I had been doing websites for myself for a while, my first 'real job' was a small page. I was familiar with most of the issues I was going to encounter, so it was almost a smooth transition. There's, however, one other thing I found very useful ...


4

I (personally) think you shouldn't decrease your expected rate (if 40 is something that works for you) because you don't have enough experience. Experience is important, don't get me wrong, but they will be paying for results, so to say. And it's your portfolio that shows what you are capable of. I'd consider the following: How long do you think it would ...


4

Related: http://freelancing.stackexchange.com/questions/1304/whose-responsibility-is-to-give-budget-for-job-freelancer-or-client/1317#1317 I never ask for budget. I have my pricing. I price what is inline with my pricing. Then the client can mention their budget if they want to. To me "What's your budget" has 2 outcomes: Asks you to lower pricing to ...


4

[updated clarification: Before meeting with the client? Likely, no. That is just the wrong time to ask. But as early as possible in the discovery/scope defining process? Absolutely.] The job of a designer (or anyone providing a business service, for that matter) is to provide a solution that meets the business objectives of the client. If your solution ...


4

Look, you're a designer just starting out, and it sounds like you've shown enough talent to be noticed by a reputable client. You're off to a good start. Let's look at your career path from a long term perspective. As a free-lance designer, you're going to start out not making very much cash, and working hard to advance to bigger and better (and higher ...


3

It depends on what you agreed on before starting and what is written in the contract (you do have a contract/work order with a detailed deliverable list, don't you? - well, next time you will). Usually the source files cost extra. In the future always have a detailed, agreed on and signed list of everything that has to be delivered, also, you should tell ...


3

great answer from Scott but I would like to add you shouldn't try to be a jack of all and if a client does request something out of your level tell them but also go the extra mile and find someone who can which will help you in the future by: increasing your network giving you a chance to work with others and this is something that every designer should ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible