Why I raise my design rates every year.
As a graphic designer, one of the most important decisions I make every year is whether to raise my rates. Graphic Designers and other creative professionals are inherently shy and unassertive when it comes to stating their prices, and I used to be no exception. I have learned the hard way that an annual rate hike is the best decision not only for me but also for my clients. Here is why:
1. Investing in myself helps me serve you better.
I am a voracious learner – I am constantly improving my skill set in order to better serve my clients. I need to invest time and money in online courses, books, and inspirational materials. Higher rates allow me to invest some of my time in following the latest trends, techniques, and technologies so that I can stay relevant in the industry.
2. I now work faster and smarter than I used to last year.
My hourly rate is up because I am doing my job faster and better than I used to last year. It is all about those reps – the more experience I gain as a designer, the more efficient I am. What took me 3 hours to design 2 years ago now takes less than 2 hours. So now, even though you are paying more per hour, you are getting way more out of my time and service than 2 years ago.
3. I only take on a few clients at a time.
I like to go really deep with my work and focus on just a few projects at a time. This allows me to take my time with each project and have a more thoughtful and strategic approach instead of just going through the motions and producing generic work in haste. By only working with a few, carefully selected clients and brands that I love, I am able to stay inspired be inspired, and do my best work.
4. More advanced problem-solving.
With each new year of experience, I can solve more complex problems. The more years and projects you have under your belt as a designer, the deeper you are able to think about design solutions. After a decade in the field, I can now solve bigger problems in design because I am more experienced.
5. Higher caliber clients.
Higher prices help me attract better clients. I have noticed that higher rates attract client that value the quality of my work and are willing to invest in their businesses (good design is not an expense but an investment). What’s more, since the client has a bigger budget for marketing, it is far more likely that the designs that I do for them will see the light of day and go mainstream and not just die at the startup phase. Seeing your design out in the real world, on shelves, billboards, magazines, and on TV is quite a kick for any commercial designer.
Inflation is now a real thing. The cost of living and doing business has grown exponentially over recent years. Office space, software subscriptions and hardware upgrades, now cost more than last year… Not to mention that it takes more cash to fill up my fridge with fresh food every month.
So there you have it folks. Higher prices mean I am less stressed out about life and better able to focus on serving clients. Forget about romantic tales of starving artists – living from hand to mouth and daily financial stress does not help with creativity or any kind of productivity! I only believe in doing my best creative work and love seeing clients’ businesses thrive on the new logo or packaging I have created for them. To do that, I need to stay afloat in business and pay the bills.