Pricing Strategies: Pros and Cons

Ilise Benun on your online marketing planPricing creative services is notoriously tricky, not to mention completely subjective!

In my book, The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money, I identified 4 pricing strategies. Now I’m taking it further and outlining pros and cons for each. What would you say they are for:

  1. Time and materials (a.k.a. hourly)
  2. Project-based
  3. Package pricing
  4. Retainer pricing

Please share your preferences and experience.


3 thoughts on “Pricing Strategies: Pros and Cons

  1. Elsy Aumann

    #1 for me: Time and materials (a.k.a. hourly) works best for me. It seems that people do not want to paid too much for the creative value of work and I stop battling that a while ago and decided to work like any other profession (dentist, lawyer, etc.). You review the the project and based in an approximate time that takes you to complete the job, I provide a price. The trick is in taking under consideration every aspect of the process (one-on-one or phone meetings, research, brainstorming, color studies, font explorations, search for stock imagery, production of any sketch or electronic concept, development and production of the final piece and project management. This last one, a lot of designers do not consider in their pricing and that why they feel in many times, undervalued and under-appreciated. Make sure your hourly rate is according to the level of expertise you consider yourself at and always never give a assuming the clint can come back a would like to negotiate with you a lower price. Be ready for it, making sure you you will not go any lower than a %5-10. Anything lower than that, you will not work happy. Clients who pay you lower than what you ask, are the most demanding and the ones you work less happy with. Clients who pay my asking price, are the ones who respect my knowledge, trust me on my design work (because that’s why they hired me), respect my opinion and are wailing to learn from me. They feel confident they are in the right hands and trust you. Could you hire a doctor to do an operation in your body, and you be the one to tell him/her how is that they have to do it, just because they have the tools? What about their experience? Take all that under consideration. I’ve been working very happy under those terms since the very beginning, adjusting from time to time my rate, to a point I’m happy now and very satisfied.

  2. Tahir Akbar

    Though, there are numerous strategies that can be used for the sake of pricing your work. For me, my time is the most important thing. I charge the clients on the basis of how much of my time is consumed by the work. For freelance designer, per hour costing is the most productive module of pricing.

    Some people might favor the idea of pricing based on product nature. For example a simple brochure might not be as expensive as compared to infographic. However, we need to bear in mind that in infographic designing, we have to use our content as well as designing abilities, while in brochures etc. content is provided by our client. When I was working with SocialDesignGuru, we used to adopt the same approach.