Money & Design. How to earn more than 200,000 ₽ if you work alone
Making money is a skill, not an indicator of exclusivity. And any skill is trained. For example, some are panicky afraid to perform, and they have to go over themselves if professional duties require it. But work does not require you to earn more, and many, having reached a comfortable level, stop. And they do this not for personal convictions, but because the system says that this is normal.
Despite the popularity of business education, talking about money in design is not accepted. Perhaps because a magical halo rises above the designer and many dribbblers diligently support him, although the profile popular among designers is far from always financially successful.
What to do if you are not a biohacker
From the science of sales it can be seen that there are two ways to increase income: sell more or more.
It is more difficult to sell in the services market, since the time resource is limited, so enterprising designers hire interns and transfer part of the work to them, and they are engaged in sales themselves. So there are studios. Otherwise, the designer at some point rests on the ceiling, which physically will not allow you to work and earn more (even if you are a biohacker).
The second option is to sell at a higher price, and there is one problem. Customers of design services are mostly incompetent, therefore, looking at the picture, it is difficult for them to understand why one designer costs twice as much as another. We then understand that analytics is behind a beautiful picture, whereas the client does not know this and only compares the visual (in which he is not particularly versed). In this case, the designer must be able to show professionalism and justify their requests.
But there are companies that understand the importance of design and are willing to pay more. The business of such companies is automated and easily scalable, which makes it possible to invest well in development, as this money can easily be beaten off by customers.
I earned the most income by working with banks, but this does not mean that I recommend moving to Sberbank, although there may be nothing wrong with that. All the most paid projects for financial institutions, I did on freelance.
Now I understand that not only thanks to the knowledge of UX / UI, customers come back with repeated orders. In many cases, not only your professional skills are important (in fact they should be), but also communication and stress tolerance. Clients want to work not only with professional, but also with nice people.
Orders are already waiting
It is difficult for a designer without a portfolio to find work, but it is equally important to be able to justify it. My portfolio is small, but it shows good visual skills. Many people focus on the portfolio very much and forget that large customers do not live on Dribbble / Behance and do not evaluate the quality of the design by the number of likes.
If you have ever tried to find an employee, you know that the best way to do this is to ask others. Customers also come in, so it’s very useful to invest in networking and quality of work, even if the financial project is not so interesting. Networking doesn't work right away, but it pays off in the future. One of the most profitable projects, which brought me 90 thousand rubles in 4 days, was received from a person with whom we had not communicated for more than two years.
Business is like a Swiss knife
Design is a business tool and do not forget about it. Making a project for a big blue bank, an interesting dialogue took place between me and the product manager.
I made a mobile screen with a juicy information header, but part of the functionality went under the scroll and the bank representative told me “Why should I see this? My business is here ”and indicated the service functionality, which was lower and partially hidden. Then I realized that I succumbed to the imposed patterns and forgot about the importance of following the tasks of the business.
When a client or manager sees that you care about the business and justify each design decision with facts, he begins to trust you and treats him not as an executor, but as a partner who cares about the success of the enterprise.
Where is my smoothie?
Despite the general negative to the startup industry, joining a new team can be very promising. I think many of you have heard of Statsbot and its founder. Interestingly, Artem Keydunov was one of my first friends in IT. Together we visited several hackathons and still keep in touch. Now, Artyom feels rather well, developing his company.
In addition to money, in a young company, the designer always has the opportunity to speak and be heard. This is how I choose projects, because in addition to the prospect of making good money, you see how your ideas are translated into reality. After all, the result of the work of the designer is not a picture or even a prototype, but a working product.