The No. 3 Mistake SS Designers Make

This is the first in our three part series, where are are digging into the top three common mistakes in the squarespace design process. I like to consider platforms like Squarespace a new medium of web design, from the perspective of the designer, where working within the parameters of a new platform take some time to figure out. The mistakes we will be discussing, I myself have made at the beginning of my Squarespace design career. Usually it was when trying to create a completely new process for Squarespace or trying to make it something that it's not - like a custom designed website.

So let's get to it, what's #3 on the list?

The number three mistake that I see designers make over and over and over is:  pricing their sites too low. Pricing is a really tough thing in a world where DIY is synonymous with the platform that you are working on, however what you have to understand is that those who VALUE the knowledge and time you are putting into a site, will understand your WORTH

When I first started putting together packages for Squarespace instead of custom sites or WP sites, I priced them really low, not knowing the amount of time NOT designing I would be spending on each project for the client. Today, we all know designers for web don't just make the internet pretty, but think about function and audience experience. Build those things on top of a) teaching a platform, b) putting in the back end settings, c) knowing the specific process for Squarespace, d) understanding how to problem solve and troubleshoot things for the specific platform ALL on top of your usual gig as designer. 

These are actually a lot of the questions we discuss in our SS Design Guild Membership slack, because it's the part of the process that we forget to think about. You are the developer, designer, business manager, systems expert and process manager, for many of your clients during their site design. Many times you are helping new bloggers learn the ropes when they get set up, or show them tips and tricks for the platform after launching their site. Think of the amount of hours spent on these things and makes sure you are calculating your worth and value for these items!

Let's talk some pricing details!

1) START THE CLOCK. Calculate HOURS for ALL of your clients, not just hourly clients, so you can be sure when you add things up that you are pricing correctly.

2) added PAGES vs hourly REVISIONS. Adding extra pages doesn't necessarily change the amount of time in the process, instead consider having hourly cap on revisions before going to a hr/fee, vs charging per page. Some people have an FAQ page that takes 3.5 seconds to format even with anchor links, so charging extra on a per page doesn't necessarily make sense, but capping revision time might save you some headaches. This will help your clients see that you are putting in good chunks of time, showing your commitment and worth to their project.

3) DO PUT LIMITS ON YOUR PACKAGES. Like above, per page isn't necessarily the right thing, but put limits on your other areas where your time might be spent. Setting up a shop for a client will take numerous hours, so consider at least a 20% increase for ecommerce.

•I include 5 products with varients in my ecommerce packages.

•More products can be added at an hourly rate, or I can include some training for them to continue with the rest of the work.

•This also applies to blog posts, reformatting/designing old posts, as well as portfolio pieces.

•If your client has all of these things, consider all the extra design work, systems work and process work you will need before you quote anything that includes designing a back-log of products and blog posts.

No one expects you to reformat all their blog posts from the beginning of eternity. That's just crazy.

4) DON'T UNDERCUT Ss Prices. Do not under any circumstances charge less than WP if you offer both, unless you are not really doing all the extras like custom css, or custom graphics. Your time is worth just as much for both platforms. Don't undersell yourself, remember you are wearing SEVERAL hats you would never wear for custom designed wordpress, you are launching, setting up SEO, and probably more. 

5) DON'T OVERSTEP YOUR ROLE. Don't step into the Graphic Designer role if you aren't being hired to do it. Talk to your clients about what might be missing, and then ask them if they want you to fill in the extras and quote them on it. Just because someone forgot to design a favicon or a square logo for social sharing, doesn't mean you should have to on top of the site. You are being paid to know that they need it not step into yet another role as part of the pricing. Don't be afraid to say, "let's work on filling out your design needs" not just the site design, and get PAID for it.

All these tips combined, will allow you to more confidently raise your prices, when thinking about the hours you are spending on a site. 

Want to learn more about pricing and client boundaries? Get excited for our launch of the SS Process Course available soon for the public! We discuss pricing packages, how to discuss when a client does not have the branding design they need to have as well as keeping revisions to a specific process. Plus we have tons of valuable tips and tricks to bring your value as a designer up so you can start charging what you are WORTH!



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