Raising your rates. It’s something that every freelancer wants to do, but most of us are scared to do. Or at the very least, we’re not sure how to do it.
It’s natural to have questions about rate-raising. Is my work worth more? Will my clients flee at the sight of higher prices? Will I be able to recover if they do go somewhere else?
You know that "Get a Mac" ad campaign? The one where one person represents a Mac and the other a Windows PC? It’s obviously a cheeky way for Apple to differentiate itself from its competition, but the Mac versus Windows difference they portray is actually a good analogy and question for designers: When it comes to your design work, are you a Mac or a PC?
Sometimes, the client/designer relationship is like an age-old matchup reminiscent of Ali vs. Frazier. Eagles vs. Cowboys. Yankees vs. Red Sox. Except in this game, the battle isn’t on the playing field — it’s in the boardroom, on the telephone, in an email. And this isn’t a game reliant on physical strength or technique; it’s about wits, expertise and political posturing. And unfortunately, there’s one team that wins 99% of the time. You guessed it: the client.
If your business relationships are going to work, your clients have to like you. If they feel comfortable with you, you’ll be on solid ground; a good rapport reduces the likelihood that you’ll get into difficult client situations. When you invest in a relationship — any relationship — the value of that relationship increases and it becomes more likely to bear fruit. So, once you’ve found awesome clients who are fond of you and your work, go the extra mile to ensure their loyalty and esteem. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
How do you stand out amongst the vast sea of designers? How do you get potential clients to pick you over others? You need to be remarkable. Being good is, well, not good enough. You need to be the purple cow.
Despite the overall economic downturn, there seems to be yet another boom in web startups. In the ’90s, we saw the explosion of the Internet’s first big names, like eBay, Yahoo, Amazon, and others. In the 2000′s, social networking and the beginnings of web apps took off, planting MySpace, Facebook, and Flickr firmly on the map–the so-called Web 2.0.
Designers receive critiques on an everyday basis; from the clients they are working for, friends that want to help, and colleagues that want to share their opinion. As professionals, we need to be able to handle ourselves gracefully in these situations.
But controlling your emotions and accepting critiques in a professional manner isn’t always the easiest thing to do. However, feedback–negative or positive–is important in our line of work, and necessary in order to produce design work that meets the requirements of our clients and bosses.