I've been thinking a lot about risks lately. The risks I've taken in my life, and even more so in my business. Quitting my job 5 years ago and starting my freelance business was a risk. Creating a greeting card line and opening an online shop was a risk. Moving to LA, kind of a risk. To my standards, I don't think I've taken that many. I can't think of the last time I tried something thinking "This might totally fail, but who cares I'm going to do it anyway". I've played it safe in the last couple of years. Half doing what I love, half not. Too afraid to shake things up for fear it may not work, or what people may think. But for anyone who has taken the time to follow along on my design journey, you know that I'm done with that BS. So, I have this crazy idea...
For the next month, I want to work with new people on new projects. People that are passionate and driven, wanting to move their businesses and themselves forward. People who value creativity, and want to make something amazing together. People who dream big, and need a little help making those dreams a reality. I want to work on projects outside my comfort zone, pushing me to stretch my creativity to new heights. I want to do cool shit with cool people and make money doing it.
But, here's the crazy part. For the next month,
I'm going to let my clients determine the price of the project.
Yep. You read that right. You get to name the price. No negotiations. No quotes. No hourly rates. Just great work for great people who want to invest in themselves and their ideas. It's really that simple.
Am I crazy? Maybe a little. Could this totally blow up in my face? You're damn right it could. And that's why I have to do it. Risks, people. Risks! I have a lot of reasons for wanting to do this. More on that in a second. First, let's get to some logistics.
How Does This Work?
From June 21st to June 28th, I will have an open call for anyone who needs design help. And I truly mean anyone. Logo design, brand identity, illustration, product photography, website design, a mural, a photoshoot for Instagram, a wedding invite, you name it! No idea is too big or too small. If you want to work with me, fill out the form at the bottom of the page. Answer a few quick questions about your project and why this is important to you. No money will be discussed.
Once I review the submissions, I will choose the projects I feel most called to and that I’m most excited by. I will do as many as I can reasonably take on within a 1 month time period. I’ll set up an intro call where we talk about your project in more detail, get to know each other a little, discuss your goals, and nail down any specifics. If the project is a good fit, I'll ask you to name your price. Then, I draw up the contract & I get to work. Simple as that.
In the last 5 years as a freelance designer, I’ve said yes to high paying projects doing work that didn’t excite me. I’ve turned down new clients I was excited by because they couldn’t afford what I deemed a fair price. I’ve reduced my rates to accommodate clients I really wanted to help, only to be taken advantage of in the end. I’ve worked with clients who ignored contracts and just flat out never paid me. And most importantly, I’ve worked with some amazing clients who value me the same way I value them, and I want more of that.
I’ve taken course after course about how to price myself as I designer. I’ve learned about cost vs. investment, pitching myself to new clients, the art of the sale, when to say no, and how to find my dream projects. I see others excelling with these models, but for some reason, it just hasn’t clicked for me. So I’ve decided to try something entirely different, and uniquely my own. I've never been one to go with the grain, anyway.
So why is this an experiment and not just an easy way to get work? Great question. I want to see what happens when I make the process entirely client focused, right down to the invoice. Will the process be smoother? Can I connect with my clients on a more personal level, and really help them succeed? Will the work I create be better now that it's free from the "are my ideas worth what I'm charging" narrative? Will there be less faking it till I make it? Maybe I will be able to get projects done a lot faster when everyone is on the same page from the start. Is it possible to make more money this way? And there in lies the experiment. I'm choosing to trust my clients the same way I want them to trust me. I’m going to listen to my gut and only work on projects that truly excite me. I might find the perfect alignment I've been looking for in my business. Or I might have to start driving for Lyft on the side. Who knows. It’s a huge risk, but it's one I'm so excited and ready to take.
My Goals for This Experiment
• Use my design talents to help others achieve their own goals
• Connect with my clients on a deeper level
• Work with people who value what I bring to the table
• Work on exciting projects that push me creatively
• Gain insights to evolve my design process in the future
• Do some good for others & have fun while doing it
Let's Make Some Cool Stuff Together!
Submissions will be accepted from June 21 - June 28th. Have any questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I can't wait to work with you!