Who sets the price?

What is it about creative services that makes them so susceptible to short cuts and penny pinching?

How many times have you heard someone talk about getting a student writer or an intern graphic designer or a junior video editor to work on their project?

When clients come to us with a range of what they’re willing to pay for creative services, it’s not about market rates or industry standards, it’s about the price they’re willing to pay.

If you’re the intermediary in the process - you work with the client to help them access contract creative services - you know more than your client about what those services will reasonably cost.

You are also self-employed and understand the importance of staying true to your price. Of not allowing your margins to be undercut. That your price won’t work for everyone and that’s okay. We also have a responsibility to our industry and to our peers. If you won’t be undercut, why would you expect any other professional whose work you respect to be undercut?

It’s our job to set the price. It’s our job to educate our clients about how much they can expect to pay.

Hiring a freelancer? The one thing you need to do before you seal the deal.

The first time you meet with a financial planner, you probably don’t expect them to present you with a comprehensive plan for what you should do with your money. And if they do, how much would you trust them? After all, they don’t know you, your situation, or your goals.

So when you hire a writer or designer to work on a creative project - whether it be to create your brand, write copy for your website or create a Facebook ad - they need to understand your goals. Who do you want to serve? How do you solve their problems? What do you want your audience to feel about your brand or believe about your services?

When we’re just starting out, most of us don’t have deep pockets. And we don’t always have the money to invest in top-of-the-line creative services. I’m a huge advocate for developing relationships with a team who knows and understands your brand. But this comes with a price tag not all of us can afford. Luckily, when it comes to getting creative work done cheap and fast, we have so many choices.

Whether you’re spending $2500 or $250, your process should be no different. Set your chosen freelancer up for success. Write a creative brief. Even when your chosen freelancer doesn’t ask for one.

Keep it to one page. Include your project’s objective, the problem the creative needs to solve, your target audience and how you want your audience to feel when they see it for the first time.

For the designer or writer on the other side of the world waiting for a project just like yours, it’s courteous. It’s also great practice for communicating who you are and what you’re trying to do.