I hear from many designers who feel their services are undervalued in today’s market. Not only do clients want to take on more of the project, but they also tend to balk at what they perceive to be pricey designer fees. To compensate, some designers are attempting to entice clients with designer discounts on purchases. While that might land a client or two, it sends the wrong message about your role and devalues your worth even further.
Without question, designer services are a tough sell in today’s DIY-centered market. It takes persistence and creativity to find the right clients. Nonetheless, you need to decide which business you are in. Do you want to be hired as a designer or as a discount broker?
Your mantra should be, “It is not my job to save my clients money, but to help them spend their money wisely.” Trade discounts compensate you for the knowledge, care and time you expend on getting just the right product for your client. They should not be bartered like coupons.
From the start, establish your value as a designer. Discuss with the client the scope of services that they want undertaken, and then explain how you provide value at each step of the process, being clear about how and why you charge for particular services. Justify your worth; don’t trade it for a shopping list of to-the-trade goods.
Need help determining how to set your fees? Join me for my upcoming presentation, “Deciding What You Are Worth and Charging It,” Friday, November 7, 2014, at the Cosentino Cincinnati Center. To register, visit the ASID Ohio South/Kentucky Chapter website.