3 Actionable Ways to Raise Your Design Rates

April 9, 2019

business

Over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds of designers through 1:1 mentoring, my group coaching program and my signature course—the Brand Strategy School—and one consistent struggle I see talented designers just like you wrestle with across the nation all boils down to raising your rates.

You and I both know how much skill, time and talent goes into the work you do as a brand designer and strategist. It’s not always easy to feel like you have the freedom to increase your prices and fully charge your worth in a competitive industry. Especially in a day and age where it’s so easy for people to shop for the best deal when it comes to finding the best designer.

When pricing ourselves, we have to consider a few things and create strategies that book clients at those higher price points.

So today, I want to share hope with you sweet friend. I wholeheartedly believe you can charge your worth, connect with your ideal clients, all without the wave of a magic wand.

The brand strategy approach to reach higher-end dream clients as a designer. | b is for bonnie design #brandstrategy #branddesigner

3 actionable ways to raise your design rates

I really do believe that raising your rates and making a living doing this work you love is more approachable and sustainable than you think. So in today’s post I’m going to break down three action based ways you can increase your rates as a designer.

But first and foremost, if you’re going to increase your rates I do believe you need to look at the motivation behind that change.

Did you discover you were pricing yourself too low for the level of service you offer? Have your financial needs changed and now you need to charge more in order to provide for your family? Is there another reason as to why you feel your rates need to increase?

Maybe it’s based on your level of continued experience and the strategy you include as a part of your process. Whatever your ultimate motivation is, I believe that in order to dive into a season of growth, you first have to be honest with yourself and know why you’re chasing after more dollar bills.

Our most purposeful and profitable businesses—although will be profitable—are not driven by profit alone. And so in order to build and craft this kind of business, it’s important to understand how profit can fit into your bigger picture.

Hint: the goal here is to make more than just money!

Once you’ve identified why you want or need to be making more, let’s take a look at how you can begin to raise your design rates.

Let’s dive on in shall we?!

#1 – USE A VALUE-BASED APPROACH

The first actionable way to raise your design rates is to use a value-based approach.

When I say use a value-based approach to pricing your services I want you to outline the benefits and intrinsic value that someone can expect when they choose to work with you.

How will they be able to grow their business as a result of hiring you? How will they be able to reach their goals as a result of having a professionally designed brand? What kind of emotional benefits can they expect in terms of how it looks and feels when it comes to their brand?

By outlining just how much goes into the work that you do, how it pays off in the end for your ideal clients, and confidently speak to this value can help you charge more without feeling like you have to justify yourself on every sales call.

For example, since I’m able to share with my potential clients the kinds of results past clients have seen after launching I can speak to the kinds of emotions they can expect, and the confidence and clarity they will feel in their business after we work together. This allows me to confidently stand by my rates because I know my signature brand strategy process is worth it.

#2 – CLEARLY COMMUNICATE WHAT GOES INTO YOUR EXPERIENCE

First, we outline the benefits of what it feels like to work with you through a values-based approach. But next, we want to outline all the amazing aspects that go into your approach to begin with by clearly communicating the tangibles and intangibles that go into your design experience.

It’s so important to educate your potential clients on exactly what they are getting with their investment.

Any beautiful assets you can bring to the table or that your clients can expect as they walk away from your work together, need to be points of conversation when you’re chatting with potential clients so they can understand the benefits and value they are getting when they choose to hire you.

When we take the time to map out all of the details of working together, we give ourselves an opportunity to also see just where we might be holding or selling ourselves short.

As an example, one of the really talented designers inside the Heartfelt Brand Society shared with me a few months ago in our in-person mastermind retreat that she does a lot of custom illustration work for her design clients. But she doesn’t charge extra for that and she doesn’t outline that custom work in her proposals with her potential clients. So when they book with her and she sees a way to include a custom illustration as a part of their bespoke brand she will do it. But the thing there is her clients are getting these incredibly ornate and detailed illustrations as a custom part of their experience without having to ask or pay extra for them.

When we took a look at her numbers we found that she was selling herself short here and leaving money on the table by not outlining that as an offering that is included in every brand design package.

By simply including the fact that her signature brand packages include custom illustration, she is now able to raise those rates and stand confidently behind them.

#3 – INFUSE YOUR APPROACH WITH A SOLID STRATEGY PROCESS

The third actionable way to raise your rates as a designer is to infuse your approach with a solid strategy process.

As designers, I believe there are always new skills and programs we can learn and master in order to do our jobs better. But there comes a point where being a good designer will only get you so far, and in order to stand behind high-end prices and confidently book clients at high-end rates, we have to offer them more than just beautiful design.

We also have to offer them powerful strategy. In order to do that, there are so many ways you can infuse strategy into your process.

I personally spent years and years creating what is now my signature brand development process—a process I am humbled to guide talented designers just like you through inside my signature course for designers, the Band Strategy School.

This solid strategy has helped me transform my business from blending in and barely making it to thriving and crafting heartfelt brands that authentically convert for my clients!

And inside the Brand Strategy School I’m teaching fellow designers just like you everything I know so you can stand out in a saturated industry, guide your clients through a proven strategy process, craft heartfelt brands that are designed to endure, and have a solid strategy process that gives you the confidence to raise your rates.

To get all the details of my signature brand strategy process and how this could elevate your design business, add your email below:

Brand Strategy School

Snag my signature brand strategy process and guide your clients through an approach to delivers intentional results time after time! Join the waitlist below to be the first to know when doors re-open.

P.S. I HATE SPAM, TOO! I PROMISE TO ONLY SEND YOU THE GOOD STUFF AND TO NEVER SHARE YOUR DETAILS WITH ANY THIRD-PARTY. Powered by ConvertKit

LET’S DIVE IN EVEN DEEPER!

If raising your rates as a designer is a topic you would love to dive into even deeper then I’ve got something just for you! On April 18 at 11:00am CST I’m hosting a totally free live training for designers through the Designer Strategy Chat Series called How to reach higher-end clients as a designer.

In this free training, I will guide you through the four step process I’ve utilized to consistently raise my rates over the years and connect with the high-end dreamy clients I love to serve without feeling salesy and without having to sell myself short any step of the way. AND you will be able to ask me any of your most burning questions along the way!

Register for April 18th at 11:00am CST to join me!

If you can’t join me live, registering for this totally free event will give you access to the replay!

The brand strategy approach to reach higher-end dream clients as a designer. | b is for bonnie design #brandstrategy #branddesigner

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I'm Bonnie -- a designer, brand designer + strategist, writer, wife, and pet parent to the most rambunctious golden retriever this side of the Mason-Dixon! I'm passionate about building authentic brands, encouraging small business owners to chase their dreams, and spreading joy through design. It's a delight to have you here, lovely! Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair and stay a while, won't you?

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