Many creative entrepreneurs talk about breaking past that “magic zone”, that five-figure project threshold. The truth is, it’s not just about the money. Booking higher paying projects is beneficial for both you and the client. For you, it means a more balanced lifestyle and no longer having to work 10-12 hour days just to keep up with bill payments. For the client, it means receiving a one-on-one VIP experience. Meaning, you get more time to focus all of your energy into helping them build the business and brand of their dreams. It also means building a deeper client relationship so they leave your work together beaming from ear-to-ear and wanting to refer all their friends to you.
You may be nervous to raise your prices. I was too. You may think yourself “what if my leads decrease?” I’m sorry to break it to you but they probably will. The result will be less, but better suited clients that you love working with and projects that you’re truly passionate about. It’s all about quality over quantity.
This is by no means a perfect blueprint. Everyone’s business is different. I simply wanted to share the things I did that helped me go from charging $400 for a logo one year ago, to $10k+ projects today in hopes that something will resonate with you.
Good design is all about solving problems. How do you do this? By gathering information. Before I even start my design process, I go through what I call a “Discovery Phase” with each client where I ask them questions such as who their target market is, who their competitors are, and very specific prompts pertaining to their aesthetic preferences. Talk to your clients, understand their vision before you do anything else. Once you’re aligned on this, ideate and iterate until they’re happy with the result.
Don’t try and sell yourself for what you do. There are millions of other brand and website designers out there that can create a logo on Illustrator. So why should someone choose you? Position yourself as someone who can give customers an experience that they’re not going to find anywhere else. Do this in a way that’s authentic to you. I promise you, people will start to notice.
The question I get most often in my DMs is “how do I get clients?”. The truth is, getting clients is the easy part. Getting quality clients is where it starts to get tougher. Quality clients are attracted to quality brands. So, you need to make sure your own brand and website are in tip top shape. If your brand doesn’t reflect the type client you want to attract, then you’re not going to capture the attention of the right audience. The wrong audience won’t see the value in your services, and chances are, those people aren’t going to pay for your high-ticket services. It’s as simple as that.
Working with a premium designer requires a premium experience. This means streamlining your booking, automating your processes, and making everything seamless from top to bottom. Everything from your lead capture form, to proposals, to contracts, to invoices should be branded. Spend some time working on your internal documents and client-facing presentations. It’s these little things that position you as someone who knows what their doing and someone who is trustworthy.
Create base packages and give your customers the option to select add-ons. The add-ons are where you can really upsell. From my experience, if the client is already booking you for their brand and website, they see the value in your work. Adding extras like business cards, packaging design, or social templates should be a no-brainer if this is the case.
Very few people are willing and able to cough up $10k at once, or even 50% of that upfront. When I started offering monthly payment plans, my bookings doubled. Offering no-strings attached payment plans will make your clients happy but is also a great way for you to have guaranteed income every month.
You can’t expect customers to invest $10k to work with you, if you haven’t invested in your business. I’ve invested well over $10k this year on things like brand photography, courses and live trainings, outsourcing tasks, web hosting, and software subscriptions. If you’re hesitant to put money into your business – trust me, I get it. It’s scary. The key is knowing when to invest and what the right investment is. Speaking from first-hand experience, I only saw my sales start to skyrocket once I made these strategic investments. The reality is, you have to spend money to make money.
December 17, 2020