One of the most challenging things about offering creative services to clients is pricing creative work. On one hand, we need to price profitably considering all the time and effort we spend on completing creative projects, and the peaks and valleys in demand for what we do. On the other hand, we want to price fairly and encourage repeat business.
Ad agencies and creative studios that have been around for a few years learn from experience and usually develop a system for generating cost estimates that is based on: 1) The time it takes to close job orders and 2) Their best guess of what clients are willing to pay. But for creatives who do not have the benefit of experience and are unsure about how to tackle the pricing challenge, here are 8 simple steps you might want to take to come-up with a defensible price:
1. Understand exactly what needs to be delivered - Before bidding on a project or sending in a proposal for your services, be sure to understand exactly what your client needs from you and how you are expected to deliver the work. If you’re being asked to deliver a poster design, for example, check to see your client’s expectation of the format for your file delivery, image resolution requirements, whether you need to provide color and print guides, and whether you should make paper stock recommendations or not. Ask questions so you can accurately determine the scope of the project: some clients do not have enough experience in managing creative work to know what they need at each phase of their project.