You are the type of person that always recognizes when fonts have gone seriously wrong on the handout you received from school, or on the sign you passed while driving down the road. In your mind, you are redesigning said atrocity. You point out fonts to your husband all the time, and he just politley nods his head, showing little interest. You have always been that way. You are a natural designer.
You fall into your career as a web designer, and you want to make money doing what you love. All web designers want to make money doing what they enjoy, but surprisingly, a lot of designers fail. And, it’s not because they aren’t good designers. They are great designers! The biggest issue, or challenge, that a designer faces (and the reason they aren’t making any money) is because they don’t charge enough. It isn’t lack of skill, or a natural talent, that is stopping them from making money. Rarely is it lack of expertise (we all know the hours we dedicate to learning our jobs). It is simply because you are not charging enough (and appropriately) for the services you are offering.
Starting out, you probably lacked the confidence you needed to justify a reasonable rate on your services. If you don’t believe in yourself, and that your talent is worth a decent payment, then you’ll starve as a designer, and eventually fail and go back to a 9-5 desk job.
One key to success is to change your mindset about money. Don’t be afraid to make money. You gotta make money to be in business. If you can’t make your own dollar, then you are better off working for someone else. At least in that situation you are more likely to have a consistent paycheck, and you can actually leave work AT work. But, if you want to be your OWN boss, then don’t be afraid to make some money.
Feel good about making money. Take pride in being able to provide for your family, even if it is some extra spending money, or a car or house payment. Have the confidence in your work and value yourself (and your work) and feel good about charging appropriately.
Another important point is to build a profit into your pricing. If you aren’t making a profit, then you aren’t planning for a future. You’ll stay living paycheck to paycheck and you won’t have money to put your children through college, or money to retire with. Building a profit into your services also helps during the quiet periods you encounter throughout the year. Considering this step will help ease the burden when you don’t have any clients.
When it comes to pricing, we typically hear to find our hourly rate and bill hourly. But, if we transition our mindset to sell on value (and not hourly), you’ll make more money. The more efficient you get at working, the more money you’ll actually make. Win-win.
When you are selling your service, describe the value of the service. The piece of mind your client will get from hiring you, and knowing you are the best person for the job. The perfect client won’t complain about the price. They’ll trust you because you are the professional, and you’ve sold them on value.
Apply these principles and change the way your business works. Start making money.
This post is written using web design as the focus, but the principle can be applied to any enterprising business (photography, stationary, etc..). The talking points are derived from James Dalman.