How to REALLY prove your worth as a graphic designer

Apr 3, 2019

Three designers walk into a bar.
(And no, this isn’t a joke … or is it? Keep reading to find out,)

Each of them has a paper bag on their head with a price written on it in black marker. 

In front of them, their dream client must choose just one designer to go ahead with. 

… Who do you think she’ll choose?
Duh – the cheapest one, of course!
After all, with nothing else to differentiate them except the price written on their heads, 
why would she NOT choose the cheapest one?

Prepare yourself for a double negative: She wouldn’t not choose the cheapest designer. 
(Yeah, I hated myself a little for that sentence too, but stick with me, ‘cause it’s about to get interesting.)
So, why does this matter?  It’s not like in the real world we walk around with prices on our heads. 
Instead, we hand out business cards and direct people to our website …
… Where we SHOW them our worth. 
Or, at least, we hope to show people we’re worth what we’re charging.  
But I hear it all the time…
“Anna, how do I convince people to actually pay what I’m worth?” 

 And even, “Anna, I know I’m worth more … but no-one will ever pay that!”
Well, firstly, YES you are worth it, and YES they will pay it if you explain and show them why they should. 
Sure, no one will pay it if you have a paper bag over your head with your price and no explanation. 
But if you PROVE why you deserve to be paid the big bucks, people will be lining up to work with you.
So how do you prove it? Well first up, your website is basically your online castle and you need to pimp that shit up.
Next up? Do this. 

How to back up your pricing and prove your worth as a graphic designer
But not just any brand. Your brand needs to be the perfect combination of the real you and the real them (your ideal client). 
If you have a folio website or are playing small with a generic template, it’s time to step it up. If you look cheap people will expect you to be cheap and heck, there are a lot of cheap design options out there. Let’s not add to them. 
Three check-yourself-before-you-wreck-yourself questions you can ask yourself:

  • Does my brand truly reflect where my talents lie and what I love working on?
  • Does my business feel like me and have my personality in it?   
  • Is my brand distinct, easily recognizable and memorable?

If you’ve answered ‘no’ to any or all these three questions, don’t panic. 
My Brand Rehab eCourse is opening its doors very soon!
And if there’s one program that’s going to kick your brand shame and get you back at the top of your game, it’s Brand Rehab. 
The proof is in the pretty puddin’, lady. Brooke did Brand Rehab and transformed her brand from generic wishy-washy to big, bold and beautiful. 
Check out her newly launched brand here. 
Are you currently marketing yourself as…
“My name is Sarah, I’m an awesome designer, you should totally hire me!” 

Yeah? How’s that working out for ya? Not well, I bet. 
That’s because you actually need to explain your design offerings and process in detail so your clients can trust you. 
Which is what your sales page is for, yo!
A targeted sales page helps weave a compelling story around why you and why your offerings. 
So what kind of results can a sales page get you?
My copywriter, Cass from Wild Spirit Co., recently crafted a sales page for one of my mentor students, Emma Kate. According to Cass, the sales page copy she wrote for Emma managed to sell DOUBLE the amount of courses they’d anticipated. 
So, yeah, invest in your sales pages, lady. It’s worth it. 
Don’t just post a bunch of random crap in your folio. Make sure your folio is consistent and clearly communicates your value, which means creating more of a case study than just a collection of cool designs. 
If you’re feeling stuck, remember to talk about the solutions you achieved through your design, then share how you did it. Take people on a journey and show them a happy ending. (Heh, if you cackled at that, you’re as bad as I am.)
For a dose of inspiration, check out Soul Stirring Branding.
I know, I know, collecting testimonials is scary. But, lady, testimonials are actually cold hard proof that you’ve made people’s businesses and lives better by doing what you do best. 
So sprinkle that shit everywhere. Include testimonials all over your website and don’t forget to post them on social media to let people know that you get real results. You even get bonus points for video testimonials!
Check out the coming soon page for my ecourse Design Biz Bootcamp.
Yes, there FIVE video testimonials on this page & they legit make me cry. 
If you wanna charge next-level prices, you need to look legit next-level with videos and branded photos on your website.
The videos don’t have to be pro to begin with. As long as you look neat and tidy and don’t have a pile of washing in the background you’re good to go. 
Pro headshots are essential though. Check out my website 
– my face is everywhere, and people love it right? 🙂 

When you look pro you attract pro’s and those pro’s have got money. 
My photos were taken by the lovely Renee Shea. 
Would you marry somebody you just met? Nope. At least not unless you were on a reality TV show (and we all know how that works out). In the same way, you can’t expect a stranger to invest their hard-earned cash in your design skills until they know and trust you.
The way you show them how clever and trustworthy you are is by offering them free solutions to warm them up.
So start thinking of all the issues your peeps have, and begin giving them solutions in the form of blog posts, webinars, sales funnels and free guides.

Check out these clever designers giving away top notch knowledge for free:

Hello Function – Branding Checklist

And keep in mind that doing all of this stuff isn’t trickery. 
You’re merely proving your worth. And why wouldn’t you go to that effort if it is going to bring in clients who value your services and pay big bucks? 

So … how worthy are you?
Does your business prove how clever and essential you are to your clients?
Or are you just wearing a paper bag on your head, hoping and praying they choose you?

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