When it comes to Stylishly Made, the thing I seem to have issues with the most is my rate. When I started the business last summer, I settled on charging an hourly rate of $60/hour for all of the work requested by my clients. For those wondering how I landed on $60/hour, I determined the rate while participating in Pre-lance, a 6-week course for freelancers looking to start their own business back in June 2016.
I was pretty comfortable with the rate until I started noticing that different clients required different rate systems. I assigned a flat fee to one client and used the hourly rate plus a monthly website maintenance fee for another. There was no consistency, which got to be quite confusing for me when sending out my invoices. Working with my most recent client forced me to re-evaluate how I charge my clients. I weighed the pros and cons of charging an hourly rate versus charging a flat fee. But since I still couldn’t decide on which system to use, I came up with an alternative.
The majority of my clients request web design work, usually through a website platform like WordPress, Wix or Squarespace so I’m not really designing sites from the ground up as much as I’m merely customizing sites within the confines of the platforms. So instead of charging my hourly rate for web design work, I’ve settled on a flat rate of $450 with conditions, of course. The $450 includes a maximum of ten hours of work, plus an upfront 25% discount from my hourly rate. However, after ten hours, if any additional work is required, the hourly rate will be applied until the work is completed. This way, I have a better idea of how to manage my time and the client has a much clearer idea of how much the work will cost.
I decided to organize a similar system for branding design work with the cost to develop a complete style guide costing $225 for up to five hours of work, including an upfront 25% discount from my hourly rate. And if any additional work is required after those fiver hours, the hourly rate will be applied. I’ve decided to continue the hourly rate for both print design and social media design since those don’t usually take as long to complete.
I’ll test this system for a few months and see how it works out with my new clients. If I’m still having issues, I’ll work on another adjustment. For a full list of my services and rates, visit my portfolio. If you’re a freelance designer, feel free to share how you charge your clients and if you’ve had any difficult invoice experiences.