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client battle...little help?

I have been doing freelance work now for a few months but i have very little experience in dealing with clients

i do design work maybe two flyers a month for a this client

I wanted to charge around £25 per hour for my services. I feel my standards are suited to this rate.

how ever I want to give a fixed price of £100 for flyer / poster designs for night clubs.

my client now said from the start that she wants flyers doing but only willing to pay £50 per flyer

I have told her on various occasions i want £100 but she claims to be able to get the artwork done for £30

she is a very nice client to work for and she does get me other work time to time but still tells people how much i charge so i cant charge what i want as they work for her.

I want to stand my ground and charge £100 but I don't want to lose her as a client as it's building up my portfolio but now i'm in the game I have rent to pay amongst other bills it's not just for fun anymore.

Can anyone tell me what they charge and if my price is fair? And any advice what to do would be great.

my website is Freelance Design Service - DMD Designs if anyone would like to see

Thank you


Staff member
Personally I'd send her off to find the 30 quid deal...

I would say 4 hours (at £25) for a poster/flyer is a bit on the tight side and it would cost you more in lost earning's to do it at £30 as all her 'contacts' would want the same deal. In the end you'd end up working at £7.50 an hour, you can get that in some supermarkets... I'm fine with a little wiggle on pricing by making it clear it's a 'one off' or as part of a 'bulk purchase' etc but this can become a slippery slope if you're not careful.

At the end of the day it's your call, just remember that all the work she sends you would want the reduced prices and so would their contacts if you drop it too much. Sometimes it's better to say no to a client that screw up future work due to the 'low price' message sent round.

You could go about it with the 'yearly package deal' idea where she get's x designs for y price where y is x multiplied by your usual 100 minus say 10% but they have to be done within a 1 year period.
Thanks Guys for your input

they have given the work to another designer she said i will continue to lose work unless i lower my rates as everyone does flyers and posters for 30 fix price

am i dreaming? i mean should i lower? i feel bad now i have lost a potential £150 but i have to stand my ground

how much do other people charge on here if you dont mind me asking?
Not that! She will get what she pays for. If you think you're worth more, and can get work at that rate - then you don't want clients like that.
thanks chris

this may be a stupid question but is there anywhere you can see how to learn how to deal with clients? how to charge etc? Im doing my masters now and not one day have i been taught since college days how to deal with clients

everything is a lesson day to day.
And you probably won't in your degree either! I didn't. Agency experience would do you the world of good in every aspect.

But if you choose to only work freelance, then I guess it will just come in time, with experience. Also talking to people on here may also help if they're willing to put in the time. But really any agency experience will open you up to design as a business as opposed to design for a degree. It has been said before - it is a big gap to bridge between the two and educational institutions need to work harder at achieving that.
Thats a very good point Chris, I dont just want to do freelance its all i was able to do in my year out. i wanted to earn money asap so i decided to set up DMD i rent a studio out to do my work its great but like i said experience is key.

i think the agency work could be a great idea i will look in to this, thanks

Paul Murray

Staff member
dannymaz_10 said:
they have given the work to another designer she said i will continue to lose work unless i lower my rates as everyone does flyers and posters for 30 fix price
I'd stand your ground or just forget about the work. For that price she's probably getting the 'design' done as a package from a printing company (which you can normally spot a mile off), if she's even telling you the truth!

Ultimately clients come to you because you have design knowledge and experience, not because you're the cheapest monkey with the software around. If they want cheap design, let them get it somewhere else.

And don't let anyone dictate your rates either to you or to someone else. Again, a recommendation should be based on your profesional working methods and final result, not the low numbers on your invoice.


Senior Member
I used to do flyers for £50, but they took me less than an hour as it was just change the date, change the image and a few details.

They had a clear brand image an it was easy work. But that is rare, as Chris has said, let them pay for rubbish.
There's a lot of talk in the motion and VFX world about this very subject at the moment, almost all of which is directly applicable to print and/or web based media.

It generally all boils down to this: by agreeing to work at reduced rates or extended hours (which is essentially the same thing) we devalue our work, our profession and each other, which in the long term is bad for us all, including our clients.

We all fall, or have fallen, into the same trap: I have to do this because I need the money, because if I don't someone else will, because I'm lucky to have this opportunity, because I can't afford to lose what might be on offer after this one etc. I'm sure there are many other variations of this same argument.

It's never easy, but you've done right thing. As someone already mentioned, this client will get what they pay for. And if she can't tell the difference then you don't want to be working with her anyway.

One of two things will happen. She will either realise that this new person is not as good as you and/or they're a pain to work with. She'll then come back to you and try and negotiate new terms. Alternatively she will be happy with her new supplier, believing that £30 is fair payment for the service she's getting. She will probably ask to reduce the rate to £20 in six months on the basis she's commissioning regular work. Either way, you win.

Always stick to your guns. Charge a fee that fairly and honestly reflects your standard of work and professional experience. Feel free to work out special rates and discounts, but never let clients take the piss. Never work at a loss because it's not good for anybody—you'll end up resenting it, that will inevitably show in your work which ends up devaluing it and before you know it you're stuck in that vicious circle.

I posted this on another thread recently, but it may prove a very useful read in terms of pricing and dealing with contracts:

On Getting Paid | Jessica Hische
matt you couldent of said it better - all the reasons above is exactly what goes on through my head when making these desisions... its tough..

this has been very inspiring thank you so much.

what kind of freelance work would you say the moneys at? is there a particular area? i have kind of stuck with branding and promotions for clubs and been trying to get in to the music industry because it's my passion thats why i design because i love it...

but theres so many bad clients and so many other people under cutting each other its really tough, i know all areas of the industry will be like this but for what i'm earning its just not worth the stress,, it doesn't even cover my over heads.
Not much money in the music, night club type industry, generally good work as the briefs tend to be fairly open and you can do some creative stuff, but not a great money spinner. No one particular area 'where the money is', but if you can manage to get hold of any branding work and do a bloody good job of it the client is more likely to come back to you for any other promo work.

The best way to make money is do good work and be a pleasure to work with, one client who comes back to you time and time again is worth a hell of a lot more than chasing odd jobs. Building good client relations / client base takes time unfortunately, and you have to go the extra mile for them whether that's offering free advice, sourcing print for them or accepting more last minute jobs than you'd like.
dannymaz_10 said:
thanks chris

this may be a stupid question but is there anywhere you can see how to learn how to deal with clients? how to charge etc? Im doing my masters now and not one day have i been taught since college days how to deal with clients

everything is a lesson day to day.
I bought two design books the other week one called '' Logo Design Love '' by David Airey and another called '' The Digital Designers Bible '' and in both books especially the designers bible it goes on to talk about dealing with clients and building relationships.