4 things to consider when raising your prices
It's no secret that raising your prices is a huge risk to take in your business. Is it the right time? Will I lose clients? Am I charging too much? It's questions like this that I've sat on for the past couple months that have made me doubt everything. But at some point, you have to understand your worth.
For my potential clients: here are the reasons behind why I decided to raise my prices. For my fellow creatives who are thinking about raising their prices: take these reasons into consideration. Make sure that you're doing it with intention.
1. Tracking hours
First and foremost, I was consistent with tracking my hours for some recent projects and it turns out my "guesstimations" were off. By a lot. See, when I first decided my package prices, I was new in business. Other than some contract work, I didn't really have any idea of how to properly charge my projects because I didn't have anything to go off of. I did some market research to make sure my prices were fair; it was a balance of being new to freelancing, but still having years of experience in the corporate design world. After gaining a little more traction with more clients, I realized that the time I was devoting to each project was far more than originally planned.
As I was starting out, I didn't put much thought into the research phase. I would create a mood board and get so excited about the direction that I would start designing right away. Now, I really stop myself and focus on the "why." I dig deeper into my clients' businesses, their goals and their overall vision to make sure it aligns with who they are trying to attract. I spend a lot more time sketching and iterating until I land on a direction that I feel confident about. I present this idea with variations and mockups so that my client can visualize their new identity the way I can visualize it.
This whole process has evolved from when I first started – in a great and necessary way – making every brand and web design more meaningful and thought out. The more time that goes into my projects, the more I'm able to re align my formula for pricing
2. Better process = better overall experience
This goes along with #1; as my business has grown and improved, so has my client experience. Instead of "playing it by ear" with each phase, I'm able to guide my clients through the process with a timeline checklist (because nothing feels better than checking things off your to-do list, am I right?) I am able to assign tasks and due dates so that we are both on the same page at all times. I respond to emails in a timely matter, making sure that all questions are answered. Everything is more organized, and although I'm always improving my process, it's way more efficient than it was a year ago.
It's like booking a hotel. If you're choosing a 5-star hotel, you know that you're going to get the highest quality service and the best amenities. You don't have to worry about the cleanliness of the room or how uncomfortable the bed will be. You understand that you might be paying more money for the room, but if you can trust that you will be taken care of, it's worth it.
3. In the corporate world, you get raises
It's a lot easier to feel deserving of a raise when you have a boss telling you that you deserve a raise. In each of my corporate jobs, I was fortunate enough to get a raise after about a year of working there. I was able to learn fast and produce quality work. So what makes this situation different?
- Am I anywhere near where I was In my business a year ago? No.
- Has my client process evolved efficiently? Yes.
- Have I gained a lot of knowledge and experience in my field? Yes.
- Have I improved my skills/strategy and added quality work to my portfolio. Hell yes.
In a corporate job, you usually go over questions like these with your manager or boss in a yearly review. You talk about ways you've improved and what you're bringing to the table, which is usually compensated accordingly. So why not hold yearly reviews for myself and reflect on what I've accomplished to see if I'm being compensated accordingly? This isn't an excuse to say "yeah I've improved" and raise my prices. It's a time to reflect on the ways in which I've grown in all aspects of my business to offer a fair price for both my clients and myself.
4. Taxes, taxes, taxes
Let's not forget about income taxes! Because when you offer your price (unless you charge a tax fee) you will be taking out a substantial amount of that base price for taxes at the end of the quarter. So raising your prices to account for this is not only smart but also essential! Especially if freelancing is your full-time job! There's no shame in raising prices to make sure you can pay your taxes and still make a living.
So there you have it; the main reasons why I'm raising my prices. After taking the time to evaluate my process, I felt it was necessary to re align my pricing to match the value of what I am able to produce. If you're contemplating whether you should raise yours as well, keep these thoughts in mind. For potential clients, know that you still have the rest of April to book me with my current pricing! There are limited spots available, so if a beautiful new brand / website design sounds like the right move for your business, contact me below!