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The freelance UX design market is highly competitive – this means you want to find a balance between making a profit, while remaining accessible to clients. You’ll also want to keep a watchful eye on your pricing so that you don’t lose clients to your competitors.
It’s easy to get lost in the thousands of freelancer job postings online. How should you price your services in a competitive but fair way, so that you can stay in demand? This article will help you price your services and make sure you are charging what it is worth to you to work as a freelance UX designer.
Why is Pricing Important For A UX Designer?
Freelancing is no longer the exciting, spontaneous lifestyle that it once was. In modern times, it requires a more disciplined way to work. You’ll have to be efficient, productive, and consistent in order to make a living.
The good news is that UX design skills and experience are highly sought after, and this means that you should be able to make a fair amount of money, if you are willing to put in the time and effort.
Finding the sweet spot for your pricing is key to keeping your clients happy. Pricing either too high or too low can both have a detrimental effect on your ability to attract and retain clients.
If you price yourself too low, you’ll find yourself taking many, many jobs for little or no profit. You’ll end up overextending yourself and feeling burnt out, with little to show for your hard work.
On the other hand, if you price yourself too high, you’ll end up with a client base that consists of only the most expensive clients. You’ll have a hard time attracting new clients, and you’ll feel disappointed and disenchanted with your work.
Pricing a UX designer job is no easy task. You need to consider many factors, including your experience, the size of your client base, and the competition in the market.
How to Develop a Pricing Strategy for Your Services
To successfully price your services, you need to consider these questions:
- How much experience do you have as a UX designer?
- Do you specialize in one type of design or are you versatile?
- How much work do you expect to do per week?
- What do you charge for prototypes?
- What do you charge for edits and reworks?
- Will you charge hourly or project-based rates?
So let’s imagine this scenario – you’re offered a project with lump sum payment on delivery. To negotiate a fair price, you would need to figure out how much time you expect to spend on the project, and then convert an hourly rate into a fixed sum.
For example, let’s say you want to make $50 per hour. On average, UX design should budget for around 8 hours of straight-forward implementation, per page.
This means a 10-page project would take upwards 80 hours, and so you would charge $4,000 for the project. Of course, some projects are longer than others. If you expect to spend a couple months on a project, milestone payments or hourly rates could be a better way to go.
One of the most common issues with pricing is that there is no set standard. Some designers charge by the page, while others charge per hour, and some charge by the project.
What does this mean for you?
You have to be flexible and adaptable, and make sure you’re getting the most out of your time.
Getting Paid and Establishing Proof of Income
For freelancers in project-based industries, establishing proof of income is an important part of the equation. Many freelancers tend to operate “under the table”, receiving all their payments via Paypal or other cash-app transfers.
But when it comes time to file taxes, or show proof of income when you want to apply for a loan, it’s often a bit tricky.
To avoid this problem, it’s a good idea to have a solid set of invoices and payment receipts for your clients. A great thing to do is use a paystub generator, like FormPros, to create your own recurring paystubs that establish a regular flow of income.
Getting the Right Clients and Creating a Productive Environment
Building the right client base for you means actually figuring out what UX design niche you want to focus on. While you can be a jack-of-all-trades that accepts whatever work comes your way, you’ll get the most out of your time if you dedicate yourself to one type of design.
It helps to break down UX design niches in this way:
- Platform focused: Specializing in UX design for specific platforms, such as WordPress or Shopify.
- Industry focused: Specializing in UX design for specific industries, such as legal or healthcare.
In other words, you want to define yourself as a specialist, rather than a generalist, because this will give you the advantage of focusing on a specific niche. As a UX designer, you are essentially creating a digital product that must be enjoyable and engaging to the end user. Therefore, you are in direct competition with online applications and other forms of software.
While you may have heard of many designers who offer a one-size-fits-all approach, you’ll be surprised to learn that this approach rarely works. You’ll end up taking on too many projects, and it will be hard to maintain a consistent quality.
When you’re able to focus on a particular niche, you’re better able to build a portfolio that caters to a specific audience, which also improves your negotiation power.