How to Make More Money in Graphic Design - Quoting

Want to be more profitable? Improve your quoting practices with these 3 tips.

How to Make More Money in Graphic Design – Quoting

An excerpt from Go Media President William Beachy’s Drawn to Business

If you’re looking for ways to make more money and become more profitable as a freelancer or agency owner, there are several ways to improve your practices.

Whether you use a flat rate system or bill hourly (check out this article we wrote with a rundown on both), accurate estimating is key. One of the most vital involves your initial conversations with the client and how you decide to quote the project. We’ve uncovered some tips and tricks to help us sell ourselves accurately and thus increase profitability.

Break the project down into subsections and quote those separately
When quoting the entire project at once, you may be cheating yourself, losing out on all the time you spend on preparing projects, meeting with clients, strategizing, etc. Take the time to break the project into subsections including wireframing, design, development, revisions, strategy, etc. so that you can more accurately gain an understanding of your time and costs. This is especially important for big projects with many phases and moving parts.

Take the emotion out of quoting
When quoting a project, it’s easy to “emotionally quote,” or go with your gut feeling on what something should cost. Or, to either empathize with your client’s budget or feel tempted to raise it dependent on what you assume they can afford. To more accurately quote the project, it’s important to take the emotion out of quoting by relying on historical data and by asking yourself questions like, “How long has it taken you to complete this type of project in the past? How has this changed?”

Consider every detail
Make sure you’re upfront with your client and review as many details about the project as possible. “This is a big one for us,” says Go Media Account Manager, Lauren Hudac. “With web projects in particular, we spend quite a bit of time in the ‘Discovery Phase’, ensuring we have all our bases covered. This ensures there are no surprises for us, or our clients, once we dig in. Our proposals are very thorough, outlining each and every deliverable. We’ll get our hands on a competitor proposal from time to time and are always shocked at the lack of detail.” There are also queues outside of the project scope that might influence how you’re quoting. Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself when quoting your next gig:

  • What exactly is the product I am designing?
  • How many separate layouts or pages do I have to design?
  • Does it require an illustration? If so, how detailed?
  • What’s the turnaround time for this project? Rushed? Relaxed?
  • How well thought out is their concept? Am I going to have to do any thinking?
  • Is the client high maintenance? Do I have to spend lots of time talking to or babysitting the client?
  • Does the client seem decisive or indecisive? Can they make decisions quickly?
  • Are they providing the content and if so, how well-organized is it? Is this going to turn into a job in and of itself?
  • What’s their personality like? Are they friendly and fun to work with or are they negative and unpleasant?

(Yes, you can increase your rates on clients you don’t particularly have fun with.)

With these tips in your back pocket, you can quote more accurately and with less emotion, so that you’re more profitable overall. Go forth and earn more!

For more insights about growing your own million dollar freelance business or design firm, pick up Drawn to Business.

Want to work with Go Media on your next project? Please contact us now!