Today we’re going to talk about how much you should charge. That’s a loaded question, right? This discussion is about your internal hourly rate and how that can make a big difference with your design business in three ways.

First, it’s essential to look at who you want to serve. Where do you want to be in the marketplace? Do you want the high-end, big houses only? Or, are you aiming at a different level? You want to identify what part of the market you want to go after and be specific.

Next, your hourly rate represents what you want to make for your time spent doing design. It is not a tool for getting a job. When you mention to someone that you charge $150/hour, it gives them the opportunity to compare you to other designers, like a box of soap on a shelf. Then, they’ll make a decision based on that rate and likely choose someone cheaper. You don’t want to support that situation or set yourself up to be compared in that way. It’s not a valid way for designers to be compared.

Your hourly rate is also not an effective sales tool. When you say you charge $150 per hour, it scares your potential client. So, opening with that or talking about it at all is useless. It is not a good direction to go, and it won’t get you to where you want to be. Your hourly rate is internal and only for you.

Watch the video above where I explain how you shouldn’t use your hourly rate as a guide or comparison tool. I also explain the formula behind looking at your numbers and how you can bill your time correctly. The reality is you may not be aware that your actual hourly rate is much lower than the amount you charge. I share how to know when to give yourself a raise and easily reach $100k per year.

Until next time, design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth.

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