Find the Perfect Client and Price for Your Creative Work | Gundars Strazdiņš | Skillshare

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Find the Perfect Client and Price for Your Creative Work

teacher avatar Gundars Strazdiņš, Freelancer, Graphic Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Finding Your Target Client


    • 3.

      The Client List Worksheet


    • 4.

      The Client Matrix


    • 5.

      What Do Your Clients Need?


    • 6.

      Find the Right Price to Charge for Your Services


    • 7.

      Cost Plus Pricing


    • 8.

      Demand Driven Pricing


    • 9.

      The Creative Product Lifecycle


    • 10.



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About This Class

Find your hustle and do your own thing, they say!  But it does not paint the full picture….

Creating amazing visual content is just one part of the equation. You have to sell your services to someone in order to be able to make a successful business as a visual content creative.

This class will be useful for visual content creators - graphic designers, video content producers and commercial artists at the beginning of their freelance careers. It helps if you have a little experience in the industry. although that is not a requirement.

By investing 30 minutes in this class, you will::

  • Get a better picture of what clients, businesses, industries to work for and how to prioritize them
  • Calculate and understand the price for your services 
  • Understand the dynamics of pricing your creative services


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Gundars Strazdiņš

Freelancer, Graphic Designer


Hello there. I am Gundars -  Freelance Graphic Designer who is extremely passionate about the world of visual communication and business.

If you ask me - what is my mission - I say - making the world a more beautiful place one design and one visual at a time.

Apart from my professional life, I am also enthusiastic teaching and helping others to explore the world of visuals through my social media profiles, seminars, workshops and now - also Skillshare classes.

You are welcome to explore the amazing world and business of visual content together with me.



If you want to make friends with me easily - bring a cheesecake, Caesar salad and a glass of wine to the party... and show me your dance moves.

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: are you a graphic designer, video content producer or just someone who makes awesome visual content? If you said clear yes to any of these that this is definitely the class for you. Hi there. My name is going nuts and I'm a freelance graphic designer for already seven years. I remember then, back in 2012 when I started my freelance career, I quickly cane 22 questions. The 1st 1 was a my charging the right price. Or maybe I'm charging too much for my services. And the 2nd 1 was a my working actually with the right in this three score on my working with clients that truly enjoyed working with in this class, I'm going to show you two tools and tactics I use in my everyday business in order to understand two things. Firstly, calculate or understand the right price charge for your services and secondly, finding the idea pliant or business toe work for either. You're just starting out as a freelance content creators or have already a bit of experience creating visual content. Then definitely this is the class for you. Join me and I will guide you through all this class 2. Finding Your Target Client: All right, welcome back on. Let's start with our course. I have divided the course in two major parts on. Now we will move on with the first part within the next few lessons. The first part will be all about finding your target line or the industries or businesses you want to work for. I will show you some couple of tools how you can do that. The 1st 1 will be a basic list, and I will ask you to list the types of industries or businesses you definitely want to work with and the once you want to avoid or not work with at all. Then we will move on forward and use a tool that I call a client matrix and we'll plot. This business is you want to work with a matrix according to their budgets and awareness off the services they might need from you. And then after that, we will do a quick brainstorming, and I will show you a way you can bring storm different ideas or see what kind of services these businesses might want and need from you. So if you feel on the same page as me, so then let's dive into the next lesson. 3. The Client List Worksheet: Okay, let's move on. Finding your ideal clients or industries or businesses to work for should not be hard on during this lesson. We will do a quick assessment, and by the end of it, you should have a clear picture on what kinds of businesses, industries or clients You want to work for the better. Follow along this lesson. I advise you to go to the class resource is on, download a worksheet or maybe even bring it out. Okay, if you already so let's get in. Okay. First, I would advise you to download the worksheet or print out the what should put this lesson, which is called Client list worksheet. So the first usually commented wives how you can try toe assess or understand the clients of businesses or industries you want to work for is just to try everything that comes along . So basically tried every single industry that you can find to provide your services for. Well, this is one of the strategies you can do that. I do not necessarily think this is the best one. I would actually advise to sit down and brainstorm a bit. They think a bit more over toe understand better what kind of clients you would want to have on. But I would advise you to use this store. Just called. Quite a treat in order toe assess. That better? What are we going to do here? So, basically, I've given you a different list of industries on. You can also think of your own as well. Once that might need creative services from you. From you basically so on. What are you doing here? Is you're just listing down the top five industries. You might either imagine or you understand or you already know that you love to work for on also list five industries that you would definitely want to avoid. You don't want to work with these guys. And so from this here, you basically would understand the once you do enjoy working with and once you don't let me show you an example. So for me, the top five industries I definitely love to work for our restaurants, small and medium. Once restaurant chains, advertising agencies absolutely love working with them education, educational institutions or universities On also non governmental organization. On the bottom fives are the following. I Absolutely I'm very, very working with tobacco industry, agricultural products, pharmaceuticals as well. Mining is exactly for me absolute. No, no on Brady can like. I don't feel that much comfortable working with anything regarding the beauty industry as well. But feel free to fill in this election for yourself as well. So assessing the industry's you do love to work for on the industry's you might be, you might not feel that comfortable core on How are we going to move forward with this is the following. We will forget about the bottom fiving streets going to work for them, and we will focus mostly on the top five industry, So remember them by them. Down on, we will move forward with this one. So this is the end of this lesson. Feel free toe list your five industries in the course description. Onda. We will move forward to the next lesson 4. The Client Matrix : Now you have the top five businesses or industries you want to work with and later, of course, approached them and try to sell services. Let's move on now forward and used to that I call the client metrics. What is it and how toe Use it before we jump in forward. Feel free to go to the class resource is, and all of this on you can use it alongside this lesson as well. Be a pre printed out that so basically, what is this Matrix? So you can assess and blocked all the industries or the specific businesses you want to work with one toe access. The lower access is access off fairness. Basically, this is the question that tells you how aware this business or industry is off the services they might need from the creative of the need of the creative services. For example, are they even aware that they need, like nice looking posters, visuals or not? On the Y, Axis tells basically how much money they have, what kind of budget they can allocate to buy your services. You might provide them how big or small budgets do they have and what you do is you take a now is you take your top five industries and just blocked them on the axis. It may take a bit off while for you to understand what kind of budgets take my cap or how or where they are or not. But I will give you an example now. Now this is how my industries Joe's in the previous exercise look like on this matrix. And I also throw in some other ones as an example for sure. So as you can see, like marketing agencies, education universities and restaurant chains. But which is they're all of them are very aware that they need really nice looking visuals on they need. This kind of creative services better sell themselves, and also they usually have the budget to pay for these services. So they are good, good to go small restaurant. Small medium restaurants, on the other hand, are the ones who are also very very aware that they need creative services. But unfortunately, sometimes they are lacking the budgets to do that, so they might be pretty tricky to work. So take it, take it into account. The demand is there, but there is no not that much of money. NGOs usually are the ones. Non governmental organizations are the ones that both have low budgets on kind of low awareness. Although there are exceptions, there are some very strong NGOs that have both the budgets and the awareness as well, or some other kind of like this combination or mix off these things. And I also added, like on example, for someone who might have, like a budget to pay for these services, but basically not not that much aware that they need these services. For example, here lives are putting in a manufacturing industry, in this case, forestry. They do have the money, but they are kind of like something's not weird. They might need nice looking, created contact. How should you analyze them and move forward with them? So if you have, if you if you realize that you have chosen industries that are have the budget and have awareness, so try to get them and keep them. So these things are basically the money makers for you, the industry that have high budgets or have enough money but don't have any awareness, I would advise for you to kind of like trying to be friends and be friends with them on basically showed them what they can achieve with visuals on the visual content shoulder, there is a value in the creative content you provide. So be friends with them and show them what they can achieve with nice looking visuals, presentations, videos, the industries or the business areas that don't have that much of a budget and also not have the awareness, either. I would advise either educate them both that it is worth investing and visuals on creative content on that it has some kind of effect or simply don't bother about them. And those industries that have very high awareness but not enough budget pay for your services, I would advise, kind of like from time to time just showed them and give them a bit. Some work for free. Provide them some services for free. But in a way to prove basically your products, your creative products can help them. Either it in sales are reaching any other business called, so give them and prove them that it is worth investing in these kind of services. We can return back toe my example here. They gave me some exceptions, of course. For example, that might be educational institutions, universities that have the budget but are not aware off the services they might need. But basically, this is how you have to do now. Blocked your chosen top five industries on this matrix. So good luck and see you in the next lesson. 5. What Do Your Clients Need? : Okay, let's move on after you have assessed, not identified, the most likely client clients you want to work for the next step would be understanding what kind of creative services that were kind of creative brothers they would actually need . On by this, you will use a worksheet that is called client and product list. Feel free to download, find it and downloaded from the resource is on follow along it. So by creating products what I mean by that. So basically, for example, if you're a graphic designer by creating products, I would mean like logos, bed design or the banner ads or gift banners or some kind of social media visuals, or maybe just even presentations on these kind of things. If you or someone Course Creek, who is creating videos or video content producer then obviously could be some kind of videos either had at or commercials some kind of corporate videos, training videos or maybe just kind of corporate promotional videos, any kind of video content, you might come up with some kind of animations. So these are the kind of like creative products, different products your clients might need. And what do you do here. What I would like to you do here is write down your top five industries. You were chose on assessed before in previous lessons like here, your business, one business to write them down. And here you have a list of different creative design graphic design products they might need. I I will show you an example how I am doing this. For example, one of the clients before I realized I might. I love to. I would love to work with our restaurant chains formatting here, restaurant chain, and let's see what kind of afraid of services they might actually okay. Matured. They would need, like, courts of logo. So this is not maybe you have designed so you can market that. They might need somebody decide that Ban Arad's. Maybe, but I'm not sure, but off course they would need, Like, a lot of social media visuals, I might also need social media videos. Yeah, that applies to you. Like, for example, corporate sales presentations. Maybe, Maybe not. I'm not going to mark now. Public presentations made. I'm not sure, but they definitely have, like, brick and mortar place. So they have, like, an actual restaurant. So lots of points of sales materials they would need for short as well as men. Use your product price list for sure, because it's a restaurant about videos. I'm not sure Animations is, Well, maybe some business cards. The organizing kind of event could be. But I'm not marking here. A lot of posters for sure. Like printed advertising. Yeah, or sailed source. Maybe they need those as well. So feel free processes and someone and feel free here. Toe had as many alliances you need a Z want. If you see that there are much more different creative products you might career create for these businesses. So this is kind of like how you can assess what kind of creative brothers they would actually know, how to understand what kind of products there are there that they might want. First, I would advise just googling companies from these industries you have defined as the ones you want to work with Google and see what kind of material they have on their websites. Do they have banners? Do they have, like social media profiles, where they post some kind of videos on social media images there? So if they do that already, so most likely they need is kind of like services. Or if you are like a video content producers tried toe. See if this is the company's in this particular industry are making advertising or making some kind of commercial video. So try to see that what kind of googled them find these companies or maybe even visit them , especially, is a restaurant on some kind of brick and mortar place like a shock. So visit them and have a look what kind of visuals they already have. So this will give you a clear sense of what kind of things they might actually need from feel free. To do that with all your five industries you have defined before on this should give you a very good sense of what kind of creative brothers they might actually need. 6. Find the Right Price to Charge for Your Services: okay, and we're back on. Let's move on to the second part off this course. So after assessing the clients, the industries or businesses you want to work with, the next thing would be understand or calculate the right price to charge for your services . In the next couple off lessons, I will show you two basic strategies. How you can understand and calculate the price to charge for your services. A swell as I will show you a big offer. Dynamics off the pricing of creative services so that you can understand. Is it the right price you charge for your services? Or what kind of plan might be the future price for the creative services you're providing providing to your clients? So let's grab the next cup of coffee and Devin 7. Cost Plus Pricing: moving on. Let's start with the first pricing strategy. The way you can calculate a price on it is called cost plus pricing. Basically what it means. You just calculate all your business costs, what it takes to run your business, your creative business, and you had a profit margin on. And then basically, you can come today. Hourly rate use. You should charge your clients in order to make a profit. Feel free to download these Excel sheet in the course files on D Do your home numbers as well. Okay, Cost plus pricing calculations. So I have written down the most obvious cost items you might have running your business on . Then. At the end, it automatically calculates your hourly rate. Let me quickly explain you on. Go through one by one. Position what it means. Onda, what kind of numbers you should put in there. So, first running a business, you might might do that from a coworking space or rent some kind of. So I will do my numbers here so you can see an example for me running a coworking space where I live cost 60 euros. Among so its 60 year just a did this blue part designed software. I have to use adobe products. So adobe per month cost me about 61 year olds marking expenses. If you are using any kind of like tools or some kind of you have some kind of expenses in promoting yourself. This is the place where we have these costs for me cost about nine euros a month. I basically take on Instagram Scheduler out to help me to Germany signposts, then data storage and cloud services. I also use the cloud, a cloud, all my information being stored on my house to be stored in the cloud. And it cost me about 22 euros. I do not do any transportation, basically invoking Hold time around the city so I don't count any time patient costs in my business for salaries and compensation to others. This is the position if you are hiring someone or just using some services from another creative to provide, I, you know, kind of like things that you might not do yourself. This is the cost you can add here. I have calculated that for me it's about 200 euros a month. It includes both my accountant on the the other guy paying usually to make the videos for me because I don't do that myself. I'm a graphic designer, then other costs if you want to calculate altogether some other costs that are not mentioned here. But it's very hard for me to come up with another decent cost. Positions here. So feel if you have those are them there, Dan it tax rate. This depends on the country for the place you're living in. For me, the average test tax rate is about 15% a year. So here you just have the average overall tax rate, just like calculate how much of your total income you pay in taxes. So for me, it's 15% had it. Here you have 15. And then comes the tricky part on the most interesting part. Try to understand how much do you want to actually earn per month for yourself? I'm putting here, like 1400 euros. I come from from relative, relatively low cost countries, so we don't need high salaries here to live. But 1400 euros is comfortable enough, so you feel free to have your numbers here. So 1400 euros here for me on the amount of billable hours you can actually charge your clients. This is a very topic on its own to discuss how to actually properly calculates billable hours. But just to keep your stuff yourself safe, keep it within the 50% range for me, currently higher, closer to 80%. But 50% is a safe bet, especially if you are not totally sure how much how much of this percentage you should add there. But if you are sure that it is a different number, if you're completely sure that has your number the end of the stable. On the end of this calculation, it will automatically calculate your hourly rate, which you should charge your clients. And for me it is 26 euros there, our so in orderto earn the amount you want to earn per month with all your business expenses. This is the hourly rate. I should not go lower lower than this in order to be took to be okay with me. So this is basically how you do a very simple, very quick calculation off your our hourly Great. Feel free to do that on your own 8. Demand Driven Pricing: so the other way you can try to assess the price of services is using so called demand driven pricing what it is. It's also called market pricing as well, and some other resource is basically what it is. It is the price for your services that the market, or basically the client is willing to pay or feels comfortable pay. For example, if you know or you see or you hear that I don't know. I would say the restaurant the same, like the restaurant chain, is paying 50 euros per Facebook post like nicely designed Facebook post. So apparently that's you can be pretty sure that that is the market price for this certain service, which is designing the big Facebook post. And you can price yourself your product similarly as well. So 50 euros per page. Because, for example, the trickiest and the hardest part in this pricing strategy is basically to understand. What is that current pricing for certain creative products, How you can assess that? I will give you three ways you can do that first is just doing a quick Orlandi search. Google is your friend here, as well as Facebook as well. Research and look look for what? Kind of like what others are saying. How much different products created products might cost. Try to find some online forums. Or maybe join some basic specific Facebook groups where designers are hanging around having these discussions on the price. Pricing off different creative brothers. Just like doing a quick online research, you might have a bit of a sense what you might charge for certain products. The 2nd 1 is, Ask your peers or other creatives. Go to the events were creative. People tend to be together and just casually ask what others might charge for certain services or products they provide. And this might. This can give you a good sense on what kind of price to put on your services as well. And the third way is just imagining that you are replying and just shopping around, asking others in a kind of like official way. If you would buy certain services, for example, the same designing social media visuals, how much would it cost on also, like by comparing and seeing these quotes from other designers that do the services, you also might get a good sense on what you can charge for your service. So this is it. This is the market pricing and how to do that 9. The Creative Product Lifecycle: in the last lesson on going toe. Explain you what I call the maturity off creative product. To some extent, I call also a silver silver bullet in the creatives. Awesome, let's say but I will explain you what it is. And what about what do I mean by this? The thing you have to understand is that the landscape of creative industries is changing. Why dynamically on the products you might provide today might not necessarily be the same product to provide in the near or father future. Andi. They are not necessarily also the same product issue we're providing previously. So all the time, the technologies and the products created products you might provide to your clients are changing all over time and it poses a lot off opportunities all the time. So you have, like, a constant stream of opportunities. Let me explain. What do I mean by this? And you can use the stool also to assess where your products currently are located. So I will use a draft which has, like, a price and die. Time is on the X axis access and the price is on the Y axis. Surprise go from love high and time goes simply from the bus to the future. And from my experience, what I can tell most of the creative products move along a curve that looks something like this. So at the beginning, the price for every single creative product is pretty high because it is either a new technology or it's very complicated to produce the project production process off the product is kind of It's hard not that easy to do have a lake give you an example of them doing. Then you get to the best part of their life. Cycle of this product is when the demand for it suddenly increases. The clients might need more and more this certain item, but it's still difficult to produce. And there's not enough competition. So the price goes even higher for that and that naturally, the competition kicks in and different also to develop more it for everyone to create these kind of like creatives creative products easier than on the more rapid pace sell the price definitely for for for for these products is going down and then on the end of the life cycle, there should be much, much more tools available in the market, that is the production and also the product might fall out of fashion all together. So let me give you exact example. Html five banners. They were a very new thing a couple of years ago, basically four or five years ago when the price one ban it was very, very high because it's very hard to produce it, and it was basically a new technology. But suddenly a lot of clients needed that because the previous technology, which was flash banners, went out of fashion, and also they were not that easily visible on mobile devices. Pitching banners basically worked on them, so demand suddenly increased for that. But there was not enough people who were not enough creatives who can produce them or not enough available tools that might allow enable for you too easy produce them. So the demand increased and the price went way, way higher than even at the beginning. Then a different kind of like tools developed. Also, competition kicked in because other creative so okay, this is a apparently a business opportunity. So competition kicked in. Much more people are willing and able to produce these creative products. HTML. Bonner's on also different tools developed as well. That made the production of them easier. And then now the price for the donors have bean relatively stable, at least in the market. I'm working in, but it is way below the levels that it was previously. So every single creative product product moves along this maturity curve all the time. Andi, for you as a creatives, I encourage toe. Keep your eyes open toe, learn new technologies and to see what might be trending in the near future, because your golden moment is basically here, where you can earn the most amount of money for certain creative product. So this is the moment which is basically your golden golden hour. You can do the most business there certain creative item. So this is the maturity off creative products. You can look at the product you can provide to your clients and, like, assess where they are. Where are they sitting on this curve and kind of like to see? Maybe you have to charge a higher process. Or maybe your problem has already Bean went into this stable part of the curve where the prices are stable and there are farm or suppliers in the market. So product has reached this its maturity. So this is the maturity off the creative products. 10. Conclusion: Congratulations. You have made it. This is the end of the course. By now, you should have a clear understanding. Firstly, on what clients? Businesses or industries you want to work for. And secondly, what kind of price to charge for your services You provide to them. Okay. And now it's up to you. The next step is for you to just go out there and find specific companies that you would put your services to for that feel free to find other courses on skill share that will teach you how the better. Do that. How? Basically beach yourself. Different clients. My name is Gunners and this is my school shirt course. Good luck.