Most designers present their services as individual stand-alone outcomes such as a brand identity or a website or a brochure.
Whether or not they have well defined processes is rarely considered let alone factored into the cost. It’s worth pointing out that there are two types of designers.
Type 1 designers are direction takers. They want the client to tell them the colour, the font and to give them a logo as close as possible to what they want. Then, they’ll quickly produce something as close as possible to the directions.
Type 2 designers are thinkers. They lay out all of the factors at play including the industry, target audience and message. They produce a result based on strategic thinking that offers a higher chance of resonating with the intended audience.
The disadvantage Type 2 designers have is that they produce a higher quality outcome that goes beyond looks, though they don’t have a system to charge for this thinking.
When they promote their services in the exact same way as Type 1 designers, entrepreneurs and would be customers, lump them together in the same basket as the Type 1’s and then it’s a game of price wars.
If an entrepreneur thinks that the outcome from two designers is roughly the same, their preservation for their bottom line takes over.
The designer with the lowest price wins, while the designer with the higher quality loses out.
If you’re a designer that uses strategic thinking in your designs but sell design services just like everyone else, you’re not selling what makes you different and you’re losing out on business because of it.
When you sell your thinking separately, you separate the visual work from the strategic work. You elevate your standing as an expert in the eyes of your prospect and you can charge premium fees as a result.