N.C. Winters is always drawing. When he isn't making comics, doodling or working as a freelance graphic artist, he spends his time painting pretty pictures for galleries from his home studio in sunny southern California.
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Haha… So true.
I hate the prospect of clients undervaluing design work, but you do see it all too often.
True true… often the amount of design work is completely underrated and taken for granted
LOL, yeah very true. I come across this very often.
How many times have I turned down jobs and skipped them because of prices like that. One of the very few downsides of freelancing.
Still love being one though!
Hahaha! Scary how many clients think that this is actually a reasonable rate
I was actually surprised at how much you designers get paid.
“I was actually surprised at how much you designers get paid.”
We’ll you shouldn’t be. =)
I remember when I was job hunting and would come across stuff like that. I too immediately went to the next listing.
Been there, passed that ad over. So often you see stuff like this on craigslist or other general sites – but yes, also on design-specific sites.
Face it, in a lot of ways what we do is being commoditized. Witness the logo “shops” that charge $100 or less for a “customized” logo. There’s always going to be a market that doesn’t understand the value and is willing to shoot themselves in the proverbial foot to save a few dollars.
If you think about it in depth, you wouldn’t be. Remember that designers have to pay rent, find work, support families, buy supplies, etc. just like everyone else. What would you need to be paid if you were buying your own insurance, paying your own salary, paying rent for your office, and driving your regular commute just to find work?
Turning on the computer costs more than $100.
It’s true for programming & web development too, there are so many people who want something for (practically) nothing. Then again, in a global marketplace there are countries in which cost of living is low enough that such a project would be considered worthwhile.
This sort of thing happens with bloggers and writers as well. Clients still don’t get that there’s more to a written piece than the 30 minutes you spend typing it out. There’s brainstorming, research, and notes you write as well.
Yeah very true, true.
i get sick if someone post “Profesional only, bla bla bla” and when looked at the price. It’s only for $100. Get real..a pro would not work for a $100. Even for an single illustration or logo.
Actually this is the one thing that I wish were different about job boards, too. There’s always someone out there to do work for a lower rate. All it does is devalue our services.
I’m an independent freelance COURT REPORTER based in Washington, DC. I haven’t seen any input or comment from the reporting profession here, but I hope to spread the word about this fantastic site. And today’s comic is PRICELESS. In court reporting, we face commoditization of our specialized services on a daily basis, and big, 1-800 firms trade CHEAP RATES for a HIGH VOLUME of work and, as a result, we’re generally making the same rates we were ten years ago. Again, this site is GOLD.
Like many of you, I see this all the time–worst of all, this happens a whole lot on those auction-ey job boards, where different freelancers bid to do a project. I’ll see a really boring project that will take months and months (13,000 message board posts a day kind of thing) get bids of like $50 total.
I wish job boards would have a mix–people looking for beginners on the cheap, and people looking for pros that are willing to pay at least something like the going rate for a pro. Let’s hope we can make the Freelance Switch board like that.
Why don’t they open the ad by saying they want the designer to be based in India? It would be so much quicker that way.
This is true indeed, I’ve seen quite a few people who think technology has gotten to the point in which there’s a “make good stuff” option somewhere under edit.
I am a designer just getting into the freelance world and I have found it so hard to make those contacts that are actually willing to pay you a handsome amount.
What I really wish there was, is a website that put up the market average for projects. That way clients can see what they are getting themselves into and how much money is involved.
I know this is going to sound bad and I apologize in advanced but we aren’t an outsourced market where $100 would be enough for someone working in India or Romania. (No offense to them, they need to make a living too)
Sadly enough, I still have to compete with those people bidding from India. I am so frustrated because I know it has been mentioned before but I absolutely despise that fine line between, I need money and this project is actually worth x amount.
I suppose the cartoon was posted as just a bit of black humor but I appreciate it and, even more, all your responses. I’m just beginning to consider freelance writing and recently received an offer from my response to an ad. I sent a link to a recent piece I guest-blogged as an example of my writing and quoted what I thought was a pretty modest figure, considering the time I expect it to spend researching, writing and polishing each review. With no comment on the piece I submitted, he replied with a request that I write several pieces for free as ‘part of the application process’ and that they’d been requesting the same from other writers. I’m also a musician and am more than familiar with the ‘pay to play’ paradigm in many showcase clubs. All but the cream of the musical crop end up spending their own time, sweat and money to entertain the patrons and the club owners make out like robber barons at the door and the bar. Your responses here give me hope that there’s more than that available to a freelance writer.
This comic is craigslist to the T.
I’ve been looking at these comics here on FreelanceSwitch for a while now and I just wanted to say how much I enjoy them. Please keep ‘em coming. Thanks.
Especially with artwork, people seem to see so much of it that they take it for granted and assume it’s easy to come up with. That and the need to get things as cheap as possible without regard to what it really is.
Yeah I can not stand rates like that. But sadly enough people do the work for this price so clients will keep asking for these low rates.
But people usually get what they pay for!
Yes, we have the freedom to choose which project we want to participate in. However, I see many ambitious people get taken advantage of with these low rates. I had my share of experiences.
Hahaha, this made me laugh my arse off $100 USD in some counties is worth a pretty penny.
But the kinds of people who post these adverts usually get what they pay for, which is either nothing or something better off never being produced
Just to reply to your comment, Lance, be careful when it comes to doing work for free. I think it varies across industries, and I’m no expert here, but doing free work for an organization that’s not a nonprofit or the government is a little frustrating at best, and maybe unethical (on their part) at worst. They’re gaining value from you for nothing. In the design field, this is known as “spec” work and is pretty much unacceptable. I’m no pro designer or expert, but I’d be wary of those “give us some free stuff and we’ll get back to you” kind of projects.
Why freelance marketplace bidding is so valueless?
John said: be careful when it comes to doing work for free…
I don’t mind writing for free – on my own terms – for friends, enjoyment or causes I believe in. I replied to this particular person politely that I’d be happy to supply links to some stuff I’ve already written for other sites but that I was unable to accept his request for pro bono work at this time. Thank you very much and have a nice day. I give him credit for persistence – he ignored my reply and stated that he was not expecting work on spec, he just wanted me to write a few pieces for free… blah blah blah. He may not know it but he’s already given me something I don’t get from my day job – the pleasure of exercising my ability to say “NO.”
Mary Ann says: this site is GOLD. I agree – I’ve bookmarked it and made it part of my daily “rounds”.
This comic illustrates why I rarely waste time on job boards. I’m a freelance writer, not a designer, but the situation is the same. I see job boards as an almost passive, sort of lazy way to look for work. Someone says he or she has an assignment. You raise your hand and hope you get it. It’s easy, so everyone does it, driving prices down.
An active job search entails meeting people, making calls and more calls, sending personal e-mails, and marketing your services. It’s more work, but you’ll find better clients who are willing to pay you what you’re worth.
I got a good chuckle out of that. Personally, I use gofreelance for getting most of my jobs and have always received good rates. One of the benefits of paying $2.95 to join is that you establish a quality marketplace of clients and freelance service providers. I can’t say enough good things about it, so check it out – http://tinyurl.com/35r9vv
I’ve been “nice enough” to tell some clients that, while I’m not interested in working for them, they might do well to try and raise the bar on their end a little bit.
I’m often barked back at with “This is the going rate, quit trying to rip me off.”
I just assume now that the world is a better place without their website getting built (or whatever the project.)
Im a relatively new freelancer with only a few years experience, and it seems everywhere I look I’m finding the same problem as everyone here.
I’ve made the horrifically bad mistake of taking work at a much lower rate than what is actually required to make it worth while.. all I’ve gotten for it is stress and bad deals.
BUT, few people have mentioned that, as bad as the low rates clients throw at you is the impossible deadlines mixed in with that.
My only response to it all is boy, are they ignorant.. think about what you are asking of someone else.
Example 1: Hypoteticly I made a site for an Australian shampoos trend. For this site (design and construction HTML) I charged 1500€
Example 2: The same site but for another customer I charge 800€
Example 3: One design more complex than on presented I charged 700€ (only design)
As you see they are distant prices between itself.
Stupidly I charged 2000€ for one, and I finished for making for 800€ Ya. It is truth. But I wanted to make this site!
My price method is the price that I find that it must be, later I have that to negotiate with the customer. Each work is a door opened for new works.
But for example, and this is real. I am going to do a design for a site for 200€! A site for 200€? It is simple, yes is, but the simple ones does not imply that it is easy. It is the same that to charge 10€ for one logo as I have seen for there. The problem is that there are many freelancers charging prices to much low, and the companies know of this and want this.
Sometimes I get completely confused.
Defilly Craig’s List! I just came from there and saw a post requesting a slogan for a company and the reward, assuming you are the ‘winner’, is to receive an iPod shuffle (street price, $79). Next indeed.
I looked at this site and it seems no different than any other. Are you on their payroll?
If you feel like it, you could say to a potential client, “Fast. Cheap. Good. Pick two.”
Clients can ask what they like in terms of rates. But designers should design according to the rate asked. In other words designers should not submit high value work to low paying clients. If a client only willing to pay $10/hour then I can’t in good conscience do work of the same quality as I do for my higher paying clients. It’s the only fair way to go about it. If everyone started turning in work that reflected the value of what some clients are prepared to pay then sooner or later clients are going to realise that quality costs. Low paying clients should be getting what they pay for—not much.
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