How do you charge for extra non-design related services?

I find it very difficult to charge clients for “extras.” In my particular case this is usually consulting and copy writing. Clients expect my input and often leave me with little to nothing to work with so I’m doing basically their sales pitch in addition to their deliverables. Sometimes they call me just to ask my opinion if a particular marketing avenue seems good or forward my contact information to a publishing company to work with them directly.

Us designers largely know that these are different skills but clients don’t. They’ll send me something like, “I need a flyer for a the 4th of July. Go to our website and include Product XYZ. Going to have Acme Co. print it out on some A4” — no other information is provided.

For me especially this is problematic because my strength is probably about 80% in my ability to deliver very effective Messages. I could probably charge significantly more for my writing and consulting than I do for my design work. I just don’t know how.

Just raising my rates seems very difficult because I don’t feel many clients will understand the higher rate is because they’re getting more from me than they would from other designers.

So how can I start charging people for that additional value?

Related Questions:


Quote a price, then itemize on any estimate/invoice.

If a client sends a broad statement like you’ve posted….

First ask questions even if you know the answers to them:

  • Will you be providing the copy to use or is that something you want me to come up with?
  • Do you have high resolution images you’d like to provide?

Then respond with an itemized list of services and costs. “Okay, that’ll be $XXX. Here’s the breakout:”

  • Copy writing : $X
  • Editing: $X
  • Photo Retouching: $X
  • Stock Photography: $X
  • Design: $X
  • Total $X

(Be careful not to over itemize.)
You’d include this same break out on final invoices.

Even though they agreed upon the Total cost, asking targeted questions and showing the itemized list allows you room to raise rates based upon specific services. Get your clients used to seeing this break out. It not only assists in informing them about all you are doing for them, but that way later, when you price higher, it is clearly justified. And if they start balking at pricing, you can respond with “If you provide the copy to use, we can eliminate the fees for copy writing (or whatever).”

Source : Link , Question Author : Ryan , Answer Author : Scott

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