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Charge a different rate for non portfolio work?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by alanRammel, May 29, 2013.

  1. alanRammel

    alanRammel New Member

    Hi just wanted to poll opinion really on whether anybody here charges extra (whether they declare it to the clients or not) for work they are not allowed to feature on their own website portfolio. I have been doing a fair bit of sub contract work for a couple of clients. They do try and get you right down on price as they often say their clients have very little budget. Anyway recently my clients have both requested that I remove any work I have done for them from my portfolio. I have always asked for permission and credited my clients that I sub contract to and I don't have a problem with taking the work down even though they originally didn't have a problem with it.

    It does however leave a big hole in my portfolio over the last two or three years and if this continues then I won't really be able to show off the calibre of work I can do. I won't then be able to compete when tendering for other work and if I can't gain new clients then effectively I become their own exclusive designer which kind of puts me out of business as they don't give me enough sustainable work. I don't particularly like working with them either but needs must as they say.

    Has anyone had experience of this and do you charge a bit more if they refuse to allow you to put your work up. I'm thinking of adding an optional fee to my quotes that prevents any work from being included in my portfolio.

    What do you think? Do you charge something similar? If so what sort of percentage? Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Alan.
     
  2. jooty

    jooty Active Member

    we charge the same. If we are asked to sign an NDA then we do so and thats the end of it. Upon completion of a project we always ask permission to use the work as portfolio pieces, whether we do or not is a different matter.
     
    alanRammel likes this.
  3. alanRammel

    alanRammel New Member

    Do you do sub contract work?
     
  4. jooty

    jooty Active Member

    Yes sometimes we do. Last few months we have had 4 or 5 sub contract projects.
     
  5. alanRammel

    alanRammel New Member

    I'm purely a freelancer so if a project takes a month then that is pretty much the only thing I'll be working on and if I have a few of those queued up then I have nothing to show for it portfolio wise. Do you get a lot of NDA's? and if so how do you get work into your portfolio?
     
  6. jooty

    jooty Active Member

    We do find some companies ask for NDA's probably 2 out of 10. In all honesty we find the same issue where we do work but then are not allowed to show it. Just recently had one of our largest clients ask for the work to be taken down. Its work thats done for them and its up to them. Self initiated projects or smaller businesses/startups are usually more than happy to allow portfolio pieces. I honestly dont know the answer to your question, I think that a lot of the work we get is down to word of mouth not just from portfolio stuff. In all honesty our portfolio is pretty weak in comparison to the work we do for some of our larger clients. Hey ho.
     
  7. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    If work is public-facing, I find it a bit odd to deny the designer the right to showcase it.

    When you say sub-contracting, do you mean you're picking up spare work for a design business who are making the call themselves or are we talking about a direct request from the design buyer at the end of the chain? In the first of those two scenarios, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that the agency isn't supposed to sub-contract work (this is something that is prohibited under my formal agreements with clients).

    All that said, it's not the business of a client to support your portfolio and I certainly wouldn't charge a premium on that basis.
     
  8. alanRammel

    alanRammel New Member

    With these two clients I'm sub contracting to a marketing firm and a business development firm so not design businesses as such however I do think they want to keep it private that they have contracted the work out to me. They say it is their client who has refused permission for the work to be showcased on their website so they feel duty bound to get me to remove the work from mine. I only have their word on that but that is the stance they are taking. I agree it's not their obligation to support my portfolio, however they do demand rock bottom prices from me (often as a favor) and if I can't use my work to gain new clients then it will only be a matter of time before I can no longer support their outsourcing requirements. Mind you, having said that, if I was able to get more clients I would probably drop them anyway lol. Maybe I should be asking the question: Is it worth sub contracting?

    Charging a premium for work was something that was suggested to me, I hadn't heard of it before, so wanted to know if anyone else does it.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  9. jooty

    jooty Active Member

    a very smart man once said to me 'You want to be in the position where clients want you. Not when you want the clients'

    i dont know if that has any relevance, but it did change my companies outlook a fair bit.
     
  10. alanRammel

    alanRammel New Member

    I agree with the sentiment and at the end of the day if clients don't have respect for you then you will end up being the barrow boy for them, doing everything at cost and continually bending over backwards. It's a tough one as you don't want to burn your bridges however I do have better clients.
     
  11. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Sub-contracting is fine but, as with any other form of engagement, the terms and the fees need to stack up (that word 'favour' is a bit of a red flag too). In this example, my hunch would be as stated above: that the work isn't supposed to be outsourced and they don't want to take the risk of being tumbled by having work they're supposed to be doing themselves cropping up in the portfolio of a third party. All speculation, of course...
     
  12. alanRammel

    alanRammel New Member

    yes probably true but speculation aside, my argument is that shouldn't sub contractors charge more for exclusivity work? If you don't have a current portfolio then doesn't that hinder your chances in a tender situation? This may seem a mere technicality to a lot of agencies that have more than one project on the go but as a sole freelancer this type of work can have a real detriment to your portfolio.
     
  13. I have not been in this position, however, I remember hearing once that you "should" (not sure how easy it is to do this in practice) charge different rates depending on what kind of copyright they want. So if they want full copyright and you have no rights after, then the fee would be higher than say the copyright allowed you to also have some rights.

    Like I said not totally sure if this is true but I head an old lecturer say it once.
     
    alanRammel likes this.
  14. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    I think the portfolio thing is perhaps a little bit of a distraction - you get paid for the work you do and any other benefit you might enjoy is the product of courtesy or goodwill. If you feel you're being generally short changed by these clients then you should by all means try to negotiate a better, fairer rate but I've never heard of anyone charging a premium on the basis of not being permitted to add work to their portfolio. It's cheaper for a company to use a sub-contractor on an ad hoc basis than it is to employ someone in the role and that in itself ought to mean that you can earn a better hourly rate than the equivalent take-home for an employee (example: when I worked in-house for a support services company, I personally earned about 45% of the hourly rate charged to clients for my time; I now work for the same company as an associate and I make more like 75% of the charge out rate - keep in mind that costs are passed on and the people employing you will be taking their slice).
     
    alanRammel likes this.
  15. alanRammel

    alanRammel New Member

    I think that's where it boils down to. I'm forever doing one of those companies favours, they always screw me right down on price, they are forever blaming their client as a reason for lack of budget, tight timescales, refusal to allow you to use your work in your portfolio etc and I'm starting to believe that they are playing me for a bit of a fool. It might be a case of upping my rate for them and perhaps declining some of the work on grounds of budget being too tight etc to see if I can change the relationship a bit.
     
  16. alanRammel

    alanRammel New Member

    Interesting, I wonder what percentage.
     

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