A common question I receive from designers is how do I increase my freelance rates without losing clients? This is an ongoing problem, but not as hard to solve as you might think.
Customer service first
The key to keeping clients is to provide top notch customer service. An unfortunate generalization about designers is that we are unreliable. The more unfortunate part is that this is true in a number of cases. Therefore, to set yourself apart, follow through on your promises and deadlines and you will become indispensable to your clients. In fact, the quality of your work is secondary to the level of service you provide. Here’s a few tips on providing excellent customer service:
- Always deliver on time.
- Don’t promise unrealistic timelines, under promise and over deliver.
- Respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner.
- Be honest, don’t mark up services like printing without telling your client.
- If a job is outside your area of expertise, don’t take it on. Refer your client to someone who can better help them.
- Care about your client and their business, not just your pay check.