Written by Mat Casner

let’s connect

Freelance CEO Podcast
Listen Now

Ep. 11. 3 Strategies That Will Help You Charge More as a Freelance Designer


Freelance CEO podcast
The Freelance CEO Podcast with Mat Casner
Ep. 11. 3 Strategies That Will Help You Charge More as a Freelance Designer


If you are charging prices that are too low, you might be creating a perfect storm for yourself. If you struggle because you can’t seem to get a price that’s worth your expertise, then stick around. I’m gonna show you three proven strategies that are guaranteed to help you charge more.

I’ve been in Freelance for well over 15 years full-time, but I started out as a freelancer, as a high school student, and pricing has always been one of those things that has been a bit of a stress point for freelancers, including myself. As I was getting started, it was hard to know what to charge, and I know that with me there was guilt and feeling like it, I would be overcharging for something that I would be providing for a customer.

But, you know, at the end of the day, I needed to make money to cover my time. And now that I do Freelance full-time, I really need to make sure that I am, you know, taking care of my family and earning an income that allows me to do that. So one of the things that I had to learn as a freelancer was how to be able to charge in a way where I’m being compensated fairly for the services that I’m providing, and my clients are getting the solutions that they deserve. So there is a bit of a, a fine line that we have to walk as business owners, but at the end of the day, guys, that is really one of the biggest things that we need to remember, is that as freelancers, we are business owners. And as business owners, we are in the business of earning an income.

Now, we may not be supporting a lot of staff. We may not have a big office, but it, but we do provide a service, and it is fair that we should be compensated for the skills and expertise that we provide to our clients. So today I’m going to share with you three guaranteed proven strategies that will help you charge more in your business.

Now, I wanna go back a few years as a, as a high school student, the first job that actually I was ever paid for was for an illustration. Again, I really wasn’t even considering myself a freelancer, but somebody found out that I had some drawing skills, some illustration skills, and they had a need to illustrate an article for a publication.

And so I was, I received a, a call and asked if I would be interested in doing this small job for them. And guys, I had no idea what I was doing, but the fact that somebody was willing to pay me money to do what I loved to do, which was draw, was just, it seemed like a win-win. Now,

I’ll be totally fair, they paid me $50, which for a high school student who probably spent two to three or four hours on a, an illustration way back in the nineties, not bad money, but that wasn’t a price that they set, that was a price that they paid me. So I really wasn’t in the negotiation or the price setting business yet.

But it did show me something very important is that people who have a real business need will pay to have that business need met, or that problem solved. So, strategy number one that I want to share with you today is that we need to know our value. And guys, I fully understand that we may feel like our value is in our natural ability, whether that be writing, drawing, building websites, creating logos, branding. I mean, we, we feel that that’s where our value is because that’s what we know how to do and what we know how to do really well for this. The strategy that’s so very important is to understand it from a different perspective, okay? We need to understand our value from the client’s perspective.

It’s the problem that we solve for that client. Now, you may feel like your illustration abilities, or your design abilities or your writing abilities are worth so much money. It’s only really worth what a client is willing to pay for it. And here’s something that I tell my students all the time, is that when you start to approach your value from the problems that you can solve, you will see your value increase. So think about it this way. Every problem that a client has, whether it’s branding, marketing, they need a better website, they need a better logo, it’s essentially tied to money. Either they need a website because they need more clients, they need a better brand because they want to be proud of their company and be able to promote it with confidence.

All of those have to do with money. At the end of the day, they want more clients so they can sell more products, they want better branding so that they get better exposure so that they can attract and sell more. And at the end of the day, that brings money into their business and makes them more profitable. So from a standpoint of you providing a creative service to your customer,

I want you to think about how you are actually solving a problem for a client and helping them to do their business better. And I will tell you this, that the better you can do at communicating that value to the client. Guys, let me just tell you, when clients find a, a provider that can give them the solution that they need to the problem that they feel in their business, they will pay for it and they’ll pay very well. Okay? So just remember that know where your value is, not in your skillset, but in the problems that you can solve for your customer, okay? That’s strategy number one. Strategy number two is you need to find the right clients. Okay? One of the things that I, as a young freelancer,

I was trying to develop my business, and I thought, you know what? I live in a small town and there are all of these small businesses that live around me, and they all need a logo. They all need a website. They all need fill in the blank. So I started thinking it’s like, oh, man, I’ve got this gold mine sitting right in my backyard.

Well, here’s what really happened, is the small businesses that are around me are owned by phenomenal people, good friends of mine, but at the end of the day, they’re a small business, and they’re really not looking to grow a worldwide brand. They’re really not looking to reach millions of people. In fact, they’re really just happy that they can serve the people that kind of live in my small town.

So for them, marketing isn’t so much a big need. And so for me to try to sell a, a branding package or a website is gonna be hard because number one, I’m offering a solution to a problem that they really don’t have. And I’m asking them to pay money for services that they really don’t need. So for me, I was frustrated, to be honest with you, because I wasn’t finding customers who were willing to buy my services. But then I started to look around and I started to look for businesses who were a little bigger, who were looking to increase their reach, who were looking to grow their businesses in ways that were outside of a, like a small geographic area. And one thing occurred to me,

these business owners have a different perspective. They’re going after more than just what is just inside my local area. And these businesses really had more at stake, but they also had more income to invest, and their problems were bigger. They weren’t just trying to market locally. They were trying to market either, either regionally or maybe even globally. So that creates a brand nude set of problems that I can solve. Now, I can solve the same problems for a small business person as I can, a big business person. All right? What’s the difference? It’s the difference is what’s their pain point and what’s their budget? So one of, of the things that I have learned as a business owner is to be very careful with who I choose as a client. Now, I will say this, that one of the things that I’ve had to learn as a freelancer is how to say no, because there will come opportunities where someone will want what you have, but even though you could do it and do the job well, it may be a bad fit.

They may not really value what you bring to the table and may not be willing to invest what would need to be invested to get the result that they’re looking for. Now, I will say this, you’re the business owner. And so what you do and how you decide to help people is totally up to you. And I would be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that there have been businesses that I certainly have helped, businesses who didn’t have the budget, businesses, who were not able to really give me the value that I probably should have received. But I’m not necessarily all about making money. I, at the end of my day, I want to help people. I want to serve my customers. And as a business owner, it’s my right and my prerogative to choose who I serve.

But as I’m trying to grow my business, as I’m trying to bring customers into my own business that will help me be profitable, I’m going to be looking for clients who are going to be a little bit bigger, who have budgets that are a little bit larger, who have needs that are a little bit greater in terms of scale and scope, okay?

That’s gonna allow me find a better place to fit in and find a better way to get my prices where they need to be. And here’s just a little pro tip when it comes to picking the right clients for your business. As I’ve grown, as I’ve found clients that are willing to make a, an investment in me to be able to solve the problems in their business, those clients are typically, you know, better. They, they have fewer issues, they tend to complain less, and overall the process goes much smoother. So it’s just one of those things, when you’re dealing with someone who’s ready to make an investment, things go a lot smoother on our end, and that’s a big deal. So strategy number two is find the right clients or pick the right clients.

Strategy number three, earn a reputation of service. So, guys, let me tell you what, when people find a, a trusted partner, a vendor that they like, it is so easy to continue to serve that client. Trust me, it takes way more effort to find a new client than it does to serve an existing client. And really, the only thing you have to do with the existing client is serve them well, take care of them, take care of their needs. And I’m not saying by any stretch to do it for free. You know, you are a service provider and you should be compensated for what you know and the expertise you provide. All I’m saying is, is that when companies and businesses and entrepreneurs find a trusted partner that will take care of them, meet their needs, and help them grow their business in ways that they can’t do on their own, you’re gonna have a customer for life. And that, my friend, is where you can expect to become even more profitable because you’re going to have work coming to you that you’re not going to have to look for. And because they are a trusted partner and you are being able to charge them what you’re worth, you can start to build a solid foundation for your business that will continue to pay you month after month, year after your, If you wanna get started as a freelancer, but not quite sure where to begin, then be sure to check out the Freelance Blueprint, a free resource that I created just for you. Inside the Freelance Blueprint, I share a detailed roadmap that you can follow to help you build a stable and profitable Freelance business.

Grab your copy of the Freelance Blueprint right now. Just go to Freelance CEO dot com slash blueprint. Would you like to learn how to find perfect clients? Even if you’re just getting started as a freelancer? Then I want to invite you to download a copy of my client’s Snowball framework. Get your copy [email protected]. Hey, just a second. Before you go,

I wanted to say thank you for tuning in. I hope you found something here that’s valuable to you and your business. And if the podcast has been valuable, I’d like to invite you to leave us a positive review on iTunes or whatever platform you’re listening on. We would appreciate it. Your review really helps us to get the podcast in front of a lot more people.

How to Start Freelancing: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

How to Start Freelancing: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners I began my journey into freelancing while still in high school, dabbling in various projects alongside my studies and early professional work. It wasn't until 2006 that I decided to dive into freelancing...

Ignite Your Passion and Join the Accelerator: Enrollment Now Open for IGNITE Accelerator

Ignite Your Passion and Join the Accelerator: Enrollment Now Open for IGNITE Accelerator

Are you feeling unfulfilled in your current job? Do you have an unparalleled desire to pursue a freelance business that ignites your passion? Look no further; the IGNITE Accelerator program, a program designed by Freelance CEO founder, Mat Casner, to help guide web,...