“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary” – Jim Rohn
What Are Graphic Design Retainer Packages?
Graphic design retainer packages are a way for client’s buy your services on a recurring basis, where they have your services on-demand, in essence they’ve “retained” you.
In practice this could look like a client buying 30 hours of “design work” each month. Throughout the month, the client can send you jobs to work on, and you’ve agreed to commit up to 30 hours of your time each month to their projects.
The client may one large project for you to chip away at each month, or may involve small tasks on an as-needed basis. But as the designer, you are available when they need you.
In this video by Resourceful Designer, he outlines the process of setting up retainer agreements for your design agency:
How Much Should A Graphic Designer Charge?
This is one of those catch-22, chicken and egg kind of questions. If you charge too much, you don’t get the business, if you charge too little, you’re not valued or respected. So what are you to do?
In this video by The Futur, he breaks down the concept of value-based pricing.
How To Confidently Charge For Your Creative Work
This is where things get interesting. Most designers know their work is worth big money, but are terrified of trying to charge the prices they know they’re worth. Why? What if the client says no, or laughs at them, or says bad things about them, or accuses them of being a scammer, or a rip-off? No designer wants the world to see them that way.
So it’s easier to hide. It’s easier to lower your prices and to bend to the will of your client, who continuously wants lower prices and more work. What’s a designer to do?
In this video by The Futur, he breaks down the concept of value-based pricing, and how to price your services according to the value they provide. Most clients get hung up on hourly rate, and know exactly what you charge, but you’re smarter than that.
See an hourly rate, doesn’t really make sense in a creative field. Let’s say you’ve been working hard as a graphic designer and you’ve got 15 years of experience under your belt. You’re good at what you do, you’re real good.
And not only are you good, but you’re fast – you get the job down and turn it around quickly to the client. In one hour, you can turn around an exceptionally well designed, professional logo. But if you charge hourly, are you now being punished for being fast?
That logo should cost $3,600, but because you only charge $200/hr, now your amazing logo is only worth $200? Not a chance. You’re too confident in your abilities to let that happen. This is where mastering value based pricing is essential:
Let’s Talk About Price Bracketing
There’s a concept in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) called anchoring, where when you state a number, that number get’s anchored in the prospects head, and that becomes your point of negotiation.
So for example, a client asks you, “so how much do you charge for design services?” – Maybe your fee is $3000. If you say $3000, that will be the anchor, if you say $5000, that will be the anchor. The anchor then gives you leverage to negotiate.
So if you anchored $3000, you haven’t left much room to negotiate, but if you said $5000, maybe you could negotiate down to $4000 or even $3500 and the client feels like they got a deal, and you sold for more than you hoped for. See how this works?
In this video by The Futur, he talks about Price Bracketing, which as a similar concept to anchoring, is a way for you to establish a low and high range for your services. The high end of your bracketing sets the anchor, and you have room to negotiate downward.
By using price bracketing, you’re opening up the opportunity of what you could close on, as well as allowing input from the client. For example, if they want the deluxe package, they can get the high end of the bracket, and if they want more barebones, then move towards the low end.
Price bracketing gives you the leverage to anchor your higher price, while still leaving the flexibility to meet your clients actual needs for quality and price. The goal here is to pay close attention to their reaction. If they balk at your prices, then you’ve answered a very important question: they’re not the client for you.
This is great news, you’ve saved yourself and the client precious time. Now you can help them by referring them to someone who is more in their price range.
Scared to turn down work? The law of reciprocity is in effect here. Maybe they can’t afford you today, but if you genuinely help them, one day, they may come back OR know someone to refer to you, because you took the time to actually help them. Which most people don’t.
How Are Retainer Fees Calculated?
How Does Retainer Basis Work?
Retainer Package Vs Hourly Rate
Creative Retainer Packages
Graphic Design Retainer Contract
The Benefits Of Working With A Designer On Retainer
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Retainer Design Studio