This has been a subject leading to much gnashing of teeth lately from reading my Twitter feeds.
Social media has allowed designers, writers and bloggers who charge well below industry rates, or even rates for juniors/newly experienced etc to be widespread and vocal. Blog designs for peanuts, social media management for way below minimum wage, design for paper boy pay. I work across graphic design, copy and editorial writing and blogging, and have a weekly rant to myself about some of the prices I see bandied about online.
So, what does it have to do with me? Surely people can charge what they want?
Well, yes, sadly they can. People will always want a” logo for fifty quid” ‘cos their wife/girlfriend/hand puppet can draw one so why does it cost to design one….they will always want writers to write for free or thereabouts because so many of them do, they will always accept inexperienced, below par work because they don’t know the difference. Clients will want a good deal, but the more discerning will also go for quality and experience.
To writers and designers out there – in fact, anyone in the creative industries – be aware of your worth and stick to it. You will have more credibility working for the fee you deserve than pedalling three times as hard to pay rent because some idiot with a Mac and a copy of anything-Adobe thinks they can do it.
So, how to know what to charge? I charge differently for different services, and I think a good rule of thumb is to ask around your peers and associates – do your research and find out what companies above your level are charging, at your level and below to get a balanced view. Weigh up your experience and skills against competition for work, respect for your own worth and time, and the current economic climate.
These are tricky times for us all, but by no means should the cheapening of the creative industries by bloggers, designers and writers happy to work for nothing take away what you are worth.
What do you think? Have you had to lower prices due to pressure, are you happy working out your worth?
Let me know and let’s have a discussion…