A guide to setting and raising your freelance prices

Episode 3 with Corey Dodd

In this episode, Christine and I chat about how to set your price and how to increase what you are currently charing. We discuss the techniques that have worked for us and allowed us to continually push the boundaries on what we charge for the work we do.

Pricing is the most important thing to get right. It's the difference between having no work and having the right amount, it's the difference between being profitable and struggling to get by. The way we price is always going to be personal, but lets dig in and discover the hints and tips to help you along the way.

Corey.
Hey, guys, it's Corey and Christine from Beyond Freelance. And the question we're going to have a look at today is, what should I charge? And should I raise my pricing? before you do, I was going to say, if you're asking the question, should I raise my pricing? Probably should be raising your prices. I don't think many people would be asking that question if they're not ready. So that's a big, big sort of statement to make. But, yeah, I guess the goal often is to try and look at raising your pricing, and that's never a bad time to be, you know, keeping your prices sort of fixed. But yeah, Christine, what are your thoughts on our guests? Guess we'll start at the start. Look what you do charge about working out, you know, what you should charge for certain service and those sorts of things, you know?

Christine.
Well, you know, one thing that I have always done is kind of looked at what do I need to bring home? You know, that's kind of a starting point. If you're looking for a starting point, a book is really helpful and kind of pivotal. Pivotal, pivotal for me was profit first. And when inside profit first, I learned that, you know, you are supposed to invest a certain amount back into your business, save a certain amount for taxes, take out a little tiny bit for profit, and then take home about 50 percent. I mean, that's kind of the average entrepreneur who makes under two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. That's kind of the breakdown is 50 percent in 50 percent of what you bring home is income and 30 percent goes back into your business, 15 percent to taxes and five to profit. And so that was a bit of an eye opener for me that I really needed to bring home kind of twice what I what I wanted to or I needed to bring my business to bring in twice what I wanted to bring home. And then the other big aha for me in reading that book is that it is OK to invest back into your business and you know, in terms of like, you know, outsourcing or hiring a V.A. or whatever, you know, that looks like, you know. So it kind of gave me permission to not to allow myself to start delegating. And then, you know, that that creates the space for you to grow. But to go back to the starting point of what do I need to bring home every month, you know, and then then it kind of helps you understand, like, how many projects do I need to do if I charge this much or if I charge this much? You know, that's kind of the starting point. And then, you know, to be completely honest, I kind of like when I was doing Web stuff, I you know, I, I got into a niche where everybody was kind of even needed the same core, you know, Web site work. And so I would just sort of like go in 5000 or whatever, you know, and kind of created a starting point for myself. Those were based in, you know, kind of. You know, I went through and figured out how much time approximately would take me, and then one thing I started doing was adding like a design fee on top of the time that wasn't associated with time. And that allowed me to kind of get into that, I guess you could call it, you know, sort of just completely hourly pricing. It was kind of value based pricing, a little bit mixed in. I kind of combine the two. And then, as I said, this is a lot of the big answer. But but, you know, it really started with. OK. I need ten thousand dollars a month. That means if I'm going to charge five thousand dollars, I have to do it for projects or I have to finish four projects every month. And then I because, like, OK, I don't have that capacity. So then it kind of helps you understand what you really need to at least be working towards. I know not everybody can come out of the gate charging whatever amount you do need to have your eye on. What? Where do I need to be and how am I gonna get there?

Corey.
Yeah, I think that's absolutely perfect. And that's where I started. I think where I'm at now, I'm much more value focused, value based, pricing focused, which is sounds a similar sort of thing. You start off. And the best part, I think one of the best ways to start off is to actually do to work out. And this. I don't know them off the top of my head like websites that'll help you do this little stuff. But there are websites out there that help you calculate your hourly rate or whatever, you know, and the best way to do that is to, you know, if you look at a project and you can roughly work out how long something takes, you know, maybe a logo, you know, you need ten hours, maybe need 20, maybe be 40. It doesn't matter if you have an idea of what it is that it takes you. And then you start to work out, well, you know, how many hours do I spend in a week? So the first thing you do is going to work out how many hours, you know, can I work a week? And it's normally less than you think. Yeah. So half what you think. Yeah. Yeah. So I mean. I remember learning this by being in operations at other agencies and really what they allocate for staff that works 40 hours a week is 30 hours of production. And that that was some places I expect more and some expect less than 30, Alisyn, to be thirty to thirty two. You seem to be about a good average. Let's say that you're losing eight hours. And if you're if you're a freelancer or a small studio and you're doing, you know, you're responsible for other stuff, you know, if you're if you want to work a 40 hour week and work like a business. And I think that's a great rule as you shouldn't be doing this. It's not cool to be doing 60 hours a week, as, you know, work for your own business. That's another conversation. But if you work at my business on a do 40 hours. We need to allow for admin time, the sales time for, you know, time we are distracted. So it probably is coming down to like twenty five to thirty hours worth of work a week. So work out what you need to earn a month like what you said, if it's ten thousand dollars and you can essentially just divide by four for the four weeks and divide by 30 and actually come up with a number. And then you can work out like how long a standard project takes. And then with that, I think that that has to become your base, that you cannot do a project for less than that or it is costing you money. So for me, I, I've done that originally for myself. To work out what we're spending, you know, what an average project looks like. But now I've moved away and just go like I'm not interested in it unless the value for me, like this is like a logo feels like this amount. So it's not actually about a dollar amount, like I need five thousand dollars to be invested in the project. And that's that's not a number that's related to time. It's just I can't be you know, it sounds rude, but I can't be bothered about being gathered doing the work if someone's not willing to sort of make it as a base. And then beyond that, it's like, well, that's that is again, what is it that's becomes your base? And then the conversation and this is a bit of a golden rule. The conversation becomes, you know, what is the client value and how much much? And so that golden rule is that I like to refer to as you you price for the client, not the job.

Christine.
Yeah.

Corey.
To take you 40 hours.

Christine.
You don't charge what you think you would pay.

Corey.
Yeah, that's right. Oh, that's I remember you just made me think of something. Remember the first time I heard this idea and it totally reframed my mindset around pricing and that was the idea that people price for their own wallet. Yeah. Never heard that term before, but it's essentially saying that you have your own expectations around what something costs. So, you know, me going out for a nice meal out, I might be willing to spend a couple hundred dollars where some person, some people might only want to spend fifty. So people might be willing to spend five thousand dollars. You know, people live in different worlds, and that's okay. But when you're talking about pricing with someone, you don't know what their expectations are and what their values are. So you shouldn't limit yourself to price for your own expectations or you can contradict yourself. Yeah. So that was a massive thing for me to learn. And when you talk about your 5000 other base, you know, I would take projects, you know, that that was sort of a baseline for me as well, or a Web project baseline might be 10.

Christine.
But inside of that was that I had that design fee of, you know, of like twenty five hundred dollars. That just was for me to like, think about your project, because when you you know, you may you may design a logo in an hour. But the idea of what the thought that goes into it, that's outside of the actual production time, you know, or even just the experience. You know, for me it's 30 years nearly that has gone into my ability to create that thing. That may not take me that much time. You know, I have to be compensated for that. And so I always tacked on, like I sort of called it my open my brain fee, like I'm not even. You said you wouldn't even consider it. Let's say for me, it's like I'm not even going to I don't want even give that energy or think about it from less than a certain amount.

Corey.
Yeah.

Christine.
And that's not being you know, that's just respecting my own. My worth.

Corey.
Yeah. Yeah. And knowing what your value is and I think, you know, that's probably, I guess for me, a little bit of a problem where where people sort of work out these hourly rates. And that's why I tended to move towards value based concepts. And there is this thing that when you're working out, you're right. Right. Like we've talked about formulas for doing that first. But what is it that makes one doesn't go well, I, I need to earn 60 thousand dollars and then that's what I want my wage to be. But then someone else expects that they should earn six hundred thousand dollars. Like. What gives someone. What, what frames you to sort of say I'm only worth, you know, 50, 100, 150. Why is that so. You know, that is a value. Even when you're working at Ali. Right. There is a value proposition that you're giving yourself like I did one hundred thousand dollars. That's what I want. Why couldn't we have a better life? If you said you wanted one hundred fifty or two hundred thousand dollars at some point, there's a value that your placing on yourself. So that's why I put that in straight into the actual conversation, because even if you're doing it by the hour, I believe your if there's some value, that's it's a sign if that makes sense. Oh, yeah, well, that's part of that sentence cut out for me. What what did you what was the last. Oh, just yeah, just that. Even if you're doing stuff and you're working out what the hourly rate is there still, it's still assigned to a value that you get yourself.

Christine.
What makes you were 50 versus one hundred and fifty versus two hundred an hour. Yeah.

Corey.
Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. That's right. Yeah.

Christine.
That's a really good question. I don't know if I can, you know, answer that. You know, for me it's kind of like a combination of, you know, like what the market will bear. You know what I what I think my you know how confident I am in my ability to deliver goes back to that other conversation. We're talking about our process and how confident we are to get to the end. I'm always 100 percent confident I'm going to get to the end. So I think that that ability to see that endpoint for the client has got to be worth. You know, my ability to get there is is worth a lot.

Corey.
I actually helped write something that I think is really interesting here is that, you know, I think anyone that listens to this, I'm sure I've seen it myself a million times. I'm sure you've seen it where you see people that are charging more than you or the you know, they look more successful. It looks like they're getting more work or whatever it is. And you think mom works better than that. Right. And and so there's this thing. Well, what are they. What are they doing? What are they doing? Something right. They're doing something wrong. So this is the big question around. Should I charge more? It's all great for, you know, for us to sort of go. Yes, just go go talk to we'll go to a quick, quick judge will charge more. But there is the reality and you sort of brought it back to that sort of market perception. What is someone willing to pay? So if you want to charge more, that's probably the easiest way to do that. Is if your getting capped out by the people that you're working for. It's to start working with better people because people will pay more for service, you know?

Christine.
Well, and Michelle, who I've worked with a lot, and she's like a strategic marketing partner to me, talked about positioning. And you always talk, you know, I say, well, you don't need efficient a better pawn. And when she added to that recently where she said you need efficient a better plan, but you need to be using the right law so you could be fishing. And, you know, people are always like, how do you find those clients who will pay that? You know, it's like that's like the you know, it's it's not a simple answer, but it's a lot of what you can charge is also based in how you're positioning yourself to the right people. You know, it's like you could be networking with, you know, in a in a pond with people who can afford more. But you're not. You don't have the right lure or you could have the right law and you're fishing in the pot, the cheap porn, you know, like it's like you kind of have to have it. You have to have both of those things to find that higher paying client. Yeah.

Corey.
One hundred. And I agree. So you've got to put yourself in a place where those people spend their time. So. Is a different conversation.

Christine.
I know. I know.

Corey.
But it's about we've talked about this a lot about this before. It's about trying to understand audio clients and what they look like. And we all probably have different ideas around what audio client is. And there's a concept of a matrix you could work out to define that. I don't think I should go into that conversation. But once you've done that, you understand who that ideal client is and that audio clip, maybe because they're the people that you can make the most money for, it might be because that's the best process for you, because you're emotionally connected to it. There's no right or wrong. But once you know who that market is, you can start to actually work out how to talk to that market. And so, yeah, if if this is a financial decision and you and you're looking to earn more and it's trying to find people who will see more value in the work that you do and then talk to those people, like what are they interested in, what what things that they need to hear and what, you know, sort of social proof to then they what things that I need to see from you to go, what we can work with that person. And, you know, around charging more. This is something that I kind of want to kind of call B.S. to. We see a lot of these people that sort of talk about 10x in your price and all this kind of stuff like, you know, I've done.

Christine.
Yeah, I've talked about that way.

Corey.
Yeah. Sorry.

Christine.
No, no. I want to talk it about it from your end and then I'll talk about it from mine.

Corey.
Yeah. So I think, you know, I see a lot.

Christine.
It isn't as it appears.

Corey.
Yeah. Well you see a lot of that stuff and I just think, you know, that's probably where people get like get into mistake. Right. Like, yeah. If you look at your pricing right now and just have to zero at the end, that's probably not going to fly unless you are seriously, seriously undercharging like, you know. But you probably know that I'm going to this is something that's important. If you're really ridiculously undercharging someone, you probably have to you know, someone's nice enough to have said to you. Well, I was expecting that to be more. Well, that's a really good price. If someone's made those noises, put your price up quickly. But if you just tap a zero on the end or two zeros on the end, like, you've got to reposition yourself. You can't just do that. So one of the things that I think with that is incremental change is probably your friend with that stuff. So what we you decide.

Christine.
Well, that that that it was incremental. So, you know, that's one of my other ways that I try to get people's attention and designing to delay it. And I it is true. I did like 10 times my pricing. But what I came into a new niche with experience and I undercharge you get the ideal client project and then I, you know, my creative portfolio and kind of marketed the heck out of that one project. And then I was able to charge twice as much the next one. And I just kept leapfrogging. So every time I'd got to new projects at the price, I would raise it. But the raising of the price wasn't just adding a zero. It was actually going back to, you know, having a a design fee on top of an hourly fee. So then I was like, okay, I'm going to nudge my hourly fee from seventy five to one hundred and I'm gonna double my design fee. And there was like there was a logic to that in the change. At one point I book three clients at a lower price point and was completely overwhelmed. And I was like, I got raise my prices. And so, you know, within about six or eight months in that new niche, I was charging over 10 grand per project. You know, starting it, I literally like seven hundred fifty dollars just to get myself in the door. So I think I'm not sure how great of a tactic that is, it's hard to live out of undercharging that, but, you know, it it worked for me. And then I was able to maintain that the price level that much.

Corey.
So I have done the same thing myself. Actually, we've not talked about this, but it's quite ironic that, you know, we've had the same process. But, you know, you've got to be really wary of undercharging. Yes, I think it has to be intentional. That's very important. And the difference is, if someone comes to you and they're looking for you to undercharge, that's it. That's a deal breaker. What you're looking for is opportunities where you can get something to gain from that. So maybe it's a type of project that you or your type of client that you want to sort of work towards. And you think, if I can work with. Well, this is a really good client. If I can get this through the door. I can make this look amazing and start to attract those people, and that sounds like that's exactly what you've done. You've done enough and that's what I've done for my business.

Christine.
It's like chosing the lure to get yourself into the the you know, where you can fish in the pond using that, you know, like it was an intentional choice. Yes. Yeah.

Corey.
I think that incremental sort of incremental growth and I'm thinking about this like, you know, against the Tenwick sort of idea. If you put your prices up by like two percent. Like, let's just say everyone that was listening just put the next quote they did. I just put up by two percent. So let's saying you'll you charge now like five thousand dollars for a project and then you charge five thousand. What what's the two percent of that like is a hundred bucks. Hundred dollars is five thousand one hundred dollars. Right. That doesn't stop. You're not gonna have to do anything else to get in. You're in your process to land that client. Like, if someone was going is going to tell you not going to pay you four thousand one hundred dollars. I probably wanted to pay you five thousand. Right. You don't have to change anything with that. But if you did that every single month after 12 months, it's like six thousand two hundred dollars or something. I thought that would be kind of quick look at the math before it's like six thousand two hundred dollars. Now. That is starting to slowly, slowly attract better clients. And you and your you know, you can start to adjust your marketing rather than like making this big leap and try to do this 10x and go reinvent yourself and reposition yourself. You just start to slowly. And you can take bigger steps. And that I'm just using two percent as an example, because honestly, anyone could just put two percent of an increase on that.

Christine.
I think your brain has to catch up. You know, it's like, you know, I had the confidence level had to catch up to the price. You know, like that freaked me out to raise my price each time. Because it was what I was doing, significant ones. And it was kind of almost like I had to catch up with myself. Yeah.

Corey.
Yeah. But you were doing them significantly. But in steps though weren't you. You weren't like I was. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I mean that's a similar, you know, similar thing that probably. To be honest it's more like what I've done. But I like the idea that anyone could seriously put like two or five percent on what the current feels and still attract that they're still working with the site.

Christine.
Actually got easier to sell. It was an easier sell at, you know, a ten thousand. Our website is actually almost you know, you have to have the confidence in the positioning to back you up. But yeah. But for me it was, it was like building a portfolio with a lower priced stuff and making it look amazing. And then I had the confidence to charge more. Yeah. Each time it's it's the same thing. Yeah. Yeah.

Corey.
I like that idea as well that we've, um, you know, making stuff look amazing. And that's what we do for other people. And it's also often see, you know, designers or developers or, you know, these people and like the stuff that we do for other people that they're not often doing them for themselves. So you can take your current portfolio. Absolutely. Pimpin. So it's amazing and looks fantastic and put some case studies there and really, you know, beef it up and talk about the impact that you make. And that's what you would probably suggest to a client if they come to you and said, look, I need to attract more clients. You know, my website isn't doing this. So I would need to work on social Prezi to work on content. And then then, you know, I see designers that aren't doing that for themselves. And they're like, well, why why am I stuck with these a lot when you know?

Christine.
Well, you know, I had one year where I was like I finally kind of had to say, you know, is this portfolio worthy when you were talking about like a baseline price? It also is a portfolio worthy because you could you could go I could win like a whole year with nothing to add to my portfolio because I was working on stuff that was like, you know, production or taking on someone else's branding and helping somebody. You know, there were there was nothing that I could, like, show off for myself that I could like. You know, I wasn't choosing intentionally. And so I sort of got like my growth, just sorta I just kind of got stagnated. And so I came out of that year kind of like I got to kind of rethink, you know, and be more intentional about the projects I choose if I want to continue to to move towards that target price. Yeah. And it and I know it sounds like. Cliche or simple, to just say, oh, well, I could pick or choose projects. It's not necessarily that it was just more being more intentional about the energy I put into going after specific projects, you know? And where I looked for them and things like that. So but I was like, yeah, you know, a whole year. And there's nothing I haven't. I don't have a nude out of my portfolio. I had a client who got 90 percent done and then just disappear. You know, just. And that I can look back and tell you why. At the beach, you know, I missed red flags at the beginning and that's another conversation. But it's just kind of thinking through, like being really intentional with what you're choosing to.

Corey.
And I think, you know, if you look at portfolios as well, like, let's say if you're if you're really green and you're starting out, you know, you can show work that isn't, you know, isn't client work. You can look at a lot of people that get traction and get noticed by, you know, redesigning famous things, you know, like, well, reimagined water. I don't know, Facebook should look like and give it a better. You are if you did that and you actually come up with a great thing on interface and you put that on Behance and people notice that that's that's probably more impactful than, you know, the crappy 100 dollar website project that you just did. Now, again, it probably does go back to your ideal client, like, are you really going to land Facebook?

Christine.
You know, so do you have developer or app designer or whatever?

Corey.
Yeah. So you've got to I think you've got to be careful around that. You know, to an extent, we should be in line with what you do. But like, you know, if you know what your market is and you work with a specific market or you're trying to move move to that audience or that sort of type of work, show that work are the best sort of work that you can. Yeah. Now we're going a little bit off of a pricing, but that's what I did.

Christine.
You know, like that's that that goes right back to the point of, like, if you're breaking into a new market and you're going intentionally going to choose something that you know that you might undercharged for so that you can show the work so that you can charge more, you're investing in the next projects. Yeah. And and I had a real intentional, you know, churn trajectory that I was I was really aiming for a certain price point and a certain type of client. And that's how I just stair stepped it. But I just didn't I. It freaked. It was scary. But I you know, I was you know, you can charge more probably on your very next project without. A whole lotta you know, your clients are not you know, no one's gonna necessarily notice, you know, like it's OK to just charge more. And the other thing I was going to say is that, you know, you may be able to charge the same amount, but reduce the scope of what's inside. Like, if you're uncomfortable charging more at this point or whatever, it might be that you back down on the scope of what you're including in in you know, in the next project, maybe you're doing 75 percent less. And that was part of my my my process of raising my prices. Also, you know, the what I did for twenty five hundred dollars was a lot more than I do for ten now. So I kind of back down. And that's another way to sort of essentially raise your pricing.

Corey.
Yeah, I agree with something that the flip side of that and this is another thing to sort of call B.S. Do you see a lot of people chucking around figures in the industry? You see all these Facebook kinds of people to like being a one hundred six figure clients or, you know, do a seven figure agency or whatever it is. If you look at a lot of those, they're actually talking about revenue, right? It's not really about revenue. It's about profit. And the really important thing to understand with that is that what you're trying to do when you raise your prices isn't to try and do more work, bigger projects. It's to charge more for the same work. So it's not like going how can I get like, if you're not profitable, doing two thousand dollar logos and like, don't add stuff to that logo. I just, you know, start doing style guides and, you know. So yeah. You know, secondary brand elements and all of these sorts of things. And they all start jockeying for thousand dollars on your double dollars. Like you're still going to say what you want to do is find the people that will pay you ten thousand dollars or, you know, that's a big jump. If you can find if you're paying if you're charging two thousand dollars for a logo right now, what you wanna try and do is find someone that's going to charge you two thousand five hundred, you know, exactly five hundred dollars for the same thing. And that's a very similar market. So that's it. That's the best way to start to up your up the prices. But same service, same level of work. Slight incremental, incremental price change. If you really need to go bigger changes, you need to like, look at repositioning. Yes. Yes.

Christine.
And that repositioning thing can be, you know, there's usually a gap where people are trying to figure out what you're doing and you might have like a little bit of a lull. And so you kind of need to plan for that. But I think I still remember the price. My price jumps. And it was very similar to that. It was. And the way that, you know, if it's something that you use, you can't just, like, blurt out a price and be comfortable with it. You can then look back at, like whatever you used to structure that initial price and say, OK, well, I'm going about my hourly rate by twenty dollars an hour up and or I'm going to adjust my design fee and it's going to get me to that new price, you know, so that you in your mind when you're saying that price to a client, at least you have it's not like it's just not something you pulled out of thin air. You're actually backing it up. So I think, you know, I feel prices out of thin air. You can do it, but it's but it's it's for your own confidence level, you know, backing that up with the math.

Corey.
Yes. I think that you've brought on something. You'd be right. Something was really important. And but in that it's essentially mindset and being competent around pricing. So I know a lot of people know I have started charging. You are putting up when I wanted to start charging more. I put prices on my website. A lot of people don't like that idea. Having public pricing, I'm not here to debate that. That's a different topic. But one thing that was really important for me was in doing that, it gave me an actual like like something to be accountable for. It's there in the world. So if I'm selling to, say, my minimum price for a logo is four thousand dollars, then it's it's kind of there in the in the real world. That's the starting point for those conversations. And that's made that actually easier. So I'm not saying you have to go away and do that, but if you're going to start thinking about pricing differently, you need to know what those prices are. You need to get comfortable with selling them, because if you're used to saying five hundred dollars, you know, when you talk with someone on the phone or in an email, you're going to sweat and you're probably going to blurt out that number again. So, you know, look, there's tip tactics you can use like price anchoring. But, you know, whatever whatever you technically use, you've got to start to get comfortable with that, those numbers.

Christine.
Don't blurt it out on that call and then go, oh, crap, what did I just get myself into when you get off? You know, let me know at. I think that it sets up the expect for me to I do I do put pricing on my my website and on my inquiry farm because I want the person coming to me to have an expectation of the investment that's involved. And you think it just helps the calls, too?

Corey.
Yes. And, you know, like it for me that it's been a real benefit as a pre qualified, like some people will go bring up or the e-mail and have a conversation with them and they'll be like, we look at the middle package on your website and we will. All right. So then I automatically know either serious beta frame themselves as that person. And then when we're trying to have a conversation around what's involved or what does that look like, that's like half of the work is done. I just have to not mess up the actual process. And connecting with that person and making sure that we're a good fit and that can actually help them and try and help them understand those things. But it's no longer about a pricing conversation. It really is. You know, it's not about the price and it's just about. How do we. Are we a good fit? Should we be working to get this? So that's been built?

Christine.
Yeah. And I think you when you when you were, you know, going to the confidence and the pricing, when you're looking at it like, you know, I'm interviewing you as much as you're interviewing me, you know, like there's there's a lot there's an you know, it's not necessarily and other than that, there is times in my career where it's like I really need this money. I really need to get this job. And I and if it's not quite the right fit or whatever. But, you know, I think that I always I always came to calls and this is another topic. But I always kind of came to calls, like with the idea that, you know, we're trying to see if this is this is going to be a good partnership. And so that's sort of relaxed me a little bit to it. It wasn't necessarily like I'm here to, you know, hard sell you or I after hard sell, you know. You know, I'm trying to find out, you know, which this is gonna be mutually beneficial. And I think that that that sort of helped that helped with the confidence and that helped with the pricing and that and all of that. You know, that all kind of goes together.

Corey.
Yeah. Yeah. No, I agree. So, yeah, I think that's probably a bit of a take away with trying to adjust your competence as well. If you're going to start to try and talk me figures like write them down or tell other people and get used to sort of saying, you know, ten thousand dollars, if you if you stop saying, you know, whatever it is, doesn't matter what the number is, but you should try and get yourself used to that. And you also brought up something that was listening to you then sort the alarm bells went in my mind. I need to talk about that. If you need to do the work right. Like if you need the money. And it might sound like we're all smug. Look at us. How how you charge blah, blah, blah, blah. Right. Right. So, look, we've got to be addressed, though. If you need the money, you've got it. You've got to do the work. Understand that there will be a point where you need to start to say no to projects. If you don't have that ability, that's really tough. But this is important. And this is why this is how you can get more confident and started to make some of these decisions is to get yourself a bit of a runway. Right. Look, if you are relying on the project going ahead this week so you can eat next week like you. It's tough to make business decisions longer term. You need to have a reality in your business. I know we've sort of talked about this, you know, in sort of investing into your own business. And that's what somebody is having, that buffering their having money. You know, you should be. You should have. This is a sort of off topic a little bit. You should have a business accounts, personal accounts and any business account. What I like to have stuff that is set aside for savings for my business, whether everyday transactions go. And I have an account just for where the tax goes. And that's the saving that I've actually got business savings. I've got personal savings, but I've got the savings for the business, which means I don't have to stress if someone rings me up and we're having that conversation and I go underneath what I want to charge. It makes it really easy for me to go like we're too far. I can't bridge that gap, you know. I know someone else who might be able to help you out and not just be able to walk away. So I understand, you know, we've not we might sound smart, but.

Christine.
I know, but we've all been you know, I I've been doing it for twenty five years. I've been there in that position, too, you know. And I completely agree. I think that you where you can get into a cycle of constantly being in production inside of, you know, client work, never being able to step back and take a look and say, how can I you know, you don't give yourself any space to kind of bring your business up to the next level and you will just stay stuck on that hamster wheel.

Corey.
Yeah. And I think one of the easiest tips that I can think of around that is to fire like your worst clients, like presuming that you're not you and you you know, you're not if you've got a car, you know, a few clients on the go or you've got existing clients that come back to you understand that one is not profitable, get rid of those ones and then spend the top because you have clients that like you make more money from and some that you make a painful. It's been a little time on the phone. I keep looking, lots of emails. And if you break down the hourly rate that you're getting from those people, it's probably lower. And so if you got rid of one or two of those, it's actually going to allow you some space to. So I guess, again, it's the runway. Is that the key to getting some of that confidence?

Christine.
Yeah, I think it's that I think it's it's like maybe reducing the scope inside of, you know, existing projects, you know, just creating margin and looking looking where can you create margin, where can you create profit? And then taking giving yourself permission to invest both the money back into your business and the the time back into your business so that you can be intentional because that always pays off. Like, if you're you know, you may like I was using that example earlier, undercharging on some. But doing you know, I was very intentional because I was going to double my prices the next time and so that, you know, that came back to me, that intentionality. So, you know, it's just work. How can you build that in? And that's going to allow you to create the space, to create it, to shift the mindset to to raise up the prices.

Corey.
Beautiful. Well, I think we covered a lot there. Probably took longer on this one than we have on other things. But I think we could talk about this all day long if we could. But I think there's probably a lot in there for people. Hopefully there's some value around that. Yes, I think that's a good place to end. Okay. Yeah. Awesome. Thanks again today. It's been great.

Christine.
Talk to you soon.


Corey Dodd

Corey Dodd is a designer with almost 20 years experience working with large companies such as Nova Radio, national advertising agencies and boutique design studios. His background in working as a creative in digital and tech companies has given him a broad skill set that covers design, strategy and coding. He can be found at: www.coreydodd.com
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