How much should I charge web design / graphic design

A question that confronts many Web & Grafic Designer at some point where we turn from dealing with free websites for friend’s local business to professional level.

I come from the Business Informatic background and during my studies I have learned a lot about business, project management, marketing campaigns etc. but nobody ever told me how to deal with this question. So I had to figure it out by myself. Folowing list contains some useful articles that help you get closer to the answer.

How do I charge for Webdesign?

Personaly, I started like everybody else and used exclusively hourly based charging, but recently I took time and came up using following methods:

1. Charge Webdesign on Hourly basis

You know how it works. Here in Germany, starting as a Webdesign Freelancer on professional level, it means minimum 40€ to about 150€ per hour, depending on your level and area of expertise. (for example: with good knowledge in Drupal area you may start with 60€ per hour.)

2. Charge Webdesign by Lead / Sale share?

What does this mean. Well let me explain. Website is a Marketing Tool, while Marketing itself is a Tool to handle Product or Service selling process. Which, as you probably know, makes money for a company. This is where your expertise of handling business and comes to stage. Find out why your customer wants to make a website, how much does he invest into his product or service and how much is he charging for it and offer him a contract on a share you think would fit for both. The concept is actually similar to Affiliate Marketing

This way of charging is a bit tricky and does require some expertise in business, and your ability to risk some time for no or small return. Tough, if implemented right, you could get richt with it. In refference, charging per hour contracts probably wont. While by this method you have to risk much more time and energy than usual,  this will also motivate you to be better in what you do, cause  if you do it right, and the product sales goes boom; voila, your future is taken care of.

3. Method (my favourite):  Combine the two.

This one may be the most secure and most aplicable for web site inquiries coming from startup companies. With this method you are not trying to rip the client with 200€ per hour work,  but instead you are offering your client a partner contract with a risk share breaking on your back.

Why would you risk for your clients?

Answer is simple. New companies mostly do not have big bugets, they have a new product that will change a world in some specific way. Take your time to get to know the product, do your research and if you get that tickling feeling about the success of the product, go with it, bring out the best of yourself and prepare to launch among the stars. It may not work allways but one time it has to.

To make your way safe or at least to cover your living expenses offer them the contract for 40-50% of your normal hourly rate. This will make your offer much more attractive and will allow startups to go for a much cheaper “test drive” with the new product.

4. Your method?

Do you have any inovative Idea on charging the projects? I would be glad to hear it. Write it in the comment.