How much are you worth? When you’ve only ever known volunteering your designing skills, putting a price on your time can be quite the ordeal. Hey, Google? What do you think? … Gee, thanks. That was as clear as mud.
I settled on $30/hour, which seems a fair average for those getting into the game. I can’t help but worry that I’m going to have to justify the time I’ll put into it, you just know there are people out there who think it’s a case of typing out a business name and pasting a pretty star above it… far out, who else has spent the better portion of their lives searching through fonts? Hours upon hours.
Look, I guess I can’t get overly angry with them. I’m guilty of underestimating my own time. Up until this point, I haven’t had a need to write down how long it takes me to do a logo, for instance. OH, if you are starting out FIGURE THAT SHIT OUT, totally save the guesswork later! The number is higher than you might think.
Not everyone knows the fun of staring at letters with the same intensity as a surgeon pointing a laser in someone’s eyeball (This analogy may be completely off the mark, so shoot me, I’m no Doctor!) Don’t get me started on that exhilarating feeling when the strokes of your symbols align with your letters… But time does get away with you if you get caught up in every little detail…
There are a number of reasons why I was apprehensive about freelancing on my own. I don’t like confrontation and… well, having worked for years with adolescents, I’ve come to expect it like the sun rising each day. At least working with a team means you can turn to someone and say, “show me how to do this?” or “this person is nuts, right?”
One thing that I came to realize working with a client is how difficult it can be for both parties to articulate their ideas and express with words a concept. I am a highly visual learner and love observing and dissecting with my eyes. However, when it came to writing down in words I was lost for all but the most cliché and generic adjectives (clean and simple, I mean, what does that mean!) Plus, one person’s idea of classy might not be another’s.
I’m off to find a thesaurus to bookmark for next time!
Insist on your clients showing you (screenshot, cut and paste, whatever) fonts and shapes they like straight off the bat. You don’t want to be guessing – it’s like shooting at a target with a blindfold on PLUS you should get into the habit of keeping a record of how much time you’ve spent on projects – sounds pretty obvious to most; but I’m not that clever!