Do you love to design so much that you would do it for free? The answer is a resounding YES!
We all love to create and design so much we’ll happily do it for free but as soon as you let your clients know that …you’re in trouble!
Some of the ways that this challenge shows up are:
- Excitedly giving away your design ideas before being hired
- Doing project management that you’re not getting paid for
- Grossly under bidding a fee and not charging for the hours spent on the job
- Not charging a purchasing fee on an expensive fabric because you want them to have it and you think that they cannot afford it
- Showing up at a client’s home on a Saturday morning at 10:00 AM and missing your kid’s soccer game when the client didn’t call you until Friday afternoon at 4:00 PM.
Your clients will start asking and expecting more and more once they realize you’ll work for free. You could begin to feel used and unappreciated. These feelings and obstacles will kill the joy of creation and you won’t want to design anymore if you let this go unchecked.
The good news is that this sad story doesn’t need to be yours. You can conquer this challenge with a little planning and preparation!
Here are some tips to get you started on the right path –
Tip #1 Stop giving yourself away! If you don’t value your time then your client won’t either.
Giving of yourself will not make them appreciate you more…it will actually devalue you and your services. You must take a stand and create some boundaries in order to move up in the market.
Tip #2 Create an appointment with yourself for some quiet reflective time and write down the rules of your business.
Be specific about what you will and will not do. Remember that this is a business, and business is played with a different set of rules than those used for dealing with your family.
Tip #3 Make a promise to yourself to say NO to jobs that you will not be paid for and create strategies to keep yourself on track.
If you have trouble keeping your ideas to yourself on the first appointment, charge a fee for the first visit and offer to credit the fee into the Letter of Agreement if it turns into a real job.
Next, created all your offers in writing ahead of time so that you cannot cave in to your desire to ‘give more’ … follow what is on paper!
Ultimately, you can change the kind of clients and jobs you attract by establishing clear boundaries around your design practice.
Learn more about the habits successful luxury designers use to build truly profitable businesses during the FREE WEBINAR on Thursday, August 21st
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You just need to get started by using the tips above and always remember… all big changes start as a small shift!