Aug 12 2009, 04:06 AM
So I've been kind of wanting to start my own website up. Very simple, clients contact me for any illustrative work they want done, and I'll do it for them, at a price.
Only thing holding me back is I don't really have the confidence to do it. Do you guys think I'm qualified to actually provide my services for cash? I'm thinking of charging between 10 to 15 dollars per hour. Be honest. I don't wanna be giving my clients garbage and have unhappy customers.
Aug 12 2009, 04:17 AM
When it comes to working with clients, I think the one thing I needed to know how to to absolutely well was how to handle someone else telling me what they want. Working for yourself, there are no limits to your creativity - you can do what you want, when you want, for free. However, all this changes when you start working for someone. Usually, a person has deadline, a design vision that is vastly different from yours, and they don't understand the process and work that goes into making something that most people think is very easy and quick to do.
My advice to you when it comes to working for other people is understanding how the client-designer relationship works. I mean, sure, you'll probably get a person that is willing to throw a few bucks at you to do a graphic or even design a small blog, but it's handling their needs and their demands that will be the difficult part (time, design, responses). If you have that down, I think you should be fine - only trying it out will tell.
I've had about a year of experience working for a handful of clients at rather hefty prices (a few hundred to a couple thousand for projects) and they are usually start-up companies that need the whole shebang. If you have any questions about working for people, just shoot. I'd be happy to answer them.
Aug 12 2009, 04:25 AM
Thanks for the advice, John. Customer relations, yeah I really won't know till I do it for real, but I can't seem to get my confidence past the feeling that I might be rushing it too soon. That I'm not really all that qualified enough to actually charge people for my things.
I have some work experience doing my internship, and I'm lucky enough that my bosses give me a pretty big range of creative freedom, with only a few breakdowns in communication and brainstorming.
Instead of doing it per hour, I think I'll just start with a base price of like 20 to 25 dollars. Then if they need anything more complex, I can give them a full quote.
Aug 12 2009, 04:39 AM
It's really what you think you mean by "qualified" and "rushing" it. When it comes to design/programming skills and capabilities, I think that the general rule is to just refuse work that you simply can't do; just don't promise that you can do a certain thing if you know you can't do it. You don't need to accept every single client - it might even help to say that you have a specialty in a certain discipline (from a business perspective, this is usually more attractive to consumers).
When it comes to pricing, to be frank, I would actually stick to the per hour charge. You'll realize that you'll want to be paid for how complex and difficult it is to do something, and that usually comes in good correlation with the amount of time you spend on a project. Trying to foresee and factor in difficulty, time spent, complications, updates and feedback, etc. - you'll find - is next to impossible. For example, I once had a client that wanted me to do a simple logo, and I charged them about a $40 flat for it (which was really just small change); but they kept telling me to do version changes that came with the time period I set. The amount of time I put into a flat rate project become disproportionate to what I earned.
If you just feel that you are "inexperienced" though, just do some research about how other people charge for services, make contacts, handle payments, etc. There are so many resources that you can find on Google that helped me that I'm sure will help you.
Aug 12 2009, 07:40 AM
You need to be slapped if you think your work isn't good enough ._."
Aug 12 2009, 12:27 PM
As of right now, just charging a base price would be a good way to go because since this is a new experience it is always best to build up a portfolio by charging flat rates in the beginning and when you get confident enough, you can charge per hour. Im guessing you are still in school, so you have nothing to loose or worry about moneywise right? Charging per hours also takes a lot more organizational skills then charging for flat rate. I still charge flat rate for my clients, luckily I havent had to do that many revisions.
Also communication is key. Usually when I work with people, I connect with them through email, MSN messenger and phone. Although I wouldnt recommend the phone, having multiple ways of contact is good because you are basically in a virtual relationship with your client over money. Also once in a relationship dont make the client send the email first. When a client has to send a email first, they feel like they are just bothering you. Always send an email to them first so that they are more comfortable with you. Update them constantly on your status and other things.
And finally keep an online invoicing system handy or just use an invoice book, which is what I do :]
Aug 15 2009, 10:07 PM
you have the talent. you seem to have the patience. like what was said above, you just need experience in the client-designer relationship.
you should also pick up new organization habits like keeping track of your work time, writing down project to-do lists, and creating accurate invoices. if you already do that, then you're probably set.
also, i would charge a base fee for concept design and then charge per hour depending on the project. i pmed you with a site that has decent blogs and tips specifically for freelancers.
Aug 16 2009, 03:46 AM
hey thanks for tips guys. really helpful stuff. i was gonna start this side freelance thing because my internship wasnt paying me, but now they offered up 50 bucks per piece and they want two a week. its a little rushed but i think its fine. but i still do wanna start up a side freelance though. think i still have time? my first year of collegs is gonna start in two weeks and i need the money to get through my weekly expenses. a hundred is a lot just based on the internship but more moneys never a bad thing.
Aug 16 2009, 04:17 AM
where are you interning?
Sep 18 2009, 08:08 PM
I checked out your flickr. I'm pretty new around here, but what I saw on your flickr I definitely say go for it. I would think that if you make sure your portfolio showcases your style and the kind of work you prefer to do, that it would ensure that the people that contact you are interested in your specific look. That being said, I think your work is very flexible and easily adaptable to various different design needs. I definitely think your qualifications work wise will easily reel you in some customers. Take a big dose of self esteem and jump in there! You have the innovation, so take the step to learning the professionalism. Rome wasn't built in a day! Seriously, go for it and good luck with your venture! I think you have excellent potential!
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