1. The Freelance Designer is always free
Time-wise, that is.
Now that the freelance designer has cut down time for travelling to work, dolling up, dressing up, surely he is now very free?
Firstly, let’s not forget about in-house freelance designers. These are designers hired by design agencies to help out on a part-time, ad-hoc basis, therefore, the designers will still need to commute, dress up, and show up.
For none in-house freelance designers, they still have to spend time working on building their brand profile and exposure constantly. They also have to source for new clients, take care of budgeting and administrative matters, and, they still need to commute to meet clients and give presentations. These, on top of doing design work as per a full-time designer.
2. The Freelance Designer needs THAT exposure / client profile from YOU
And hence they will – in fact, they should – gladly accept any project from you. Even better if you’ll do it free. This is Not True.
Exposure is a difficult thing to gauge. From the client’s point of view, if you do a certain project for them, there’s a chance that their audience will see the work, appreciate the work, and get your original client to introduce you to them. Let’s switch roles around. If you were to attend an event as a guest, and saw well-designed collaterals, will you make a point to ask who’s the designer? Will you mentally bookmark the source? Even if you don’t intend to work with a designer anytime soon? The same goes for guest-posting articles for blogging and backlinking. There will be traffic indeed, but it will be very slow traffic that seeps through, drip by drip. In fact, if you ask me, a designer will starve if he were to rely solely on that promised exposure others will get for him. There are other better ways to get exposure for yourself as an independent design vendor. Only hard work and sincere efforts can guarantee long-term results.
However, if you’re a well-respected brand (not necessarily big companies), it’s true that they will appreciate having you as a client profile.
3. The Freelance Designer is overcharging you
They’re not, unless you discovered midway that the designer’s working attitude is really bad, or the end results are horrid (although routes to results are always a debatable topic). When that time comes, you can make an informed decision to stay with completing the project, or find another designer that is not deemed to be ‘overcharging you’.
A good, ethical, responsible, effective Creative will always command a proper rate, or he is shortchanging himself instead.