The economy has officially slumped and creative industries are feeling the downward pull just like everyone else. More than a few in-house art departments have seen budget cuts and layoffs. On the plus side, some freelancers may benefit because a creative department with a reduced staff is more likely to hire freelancers to help bear the load. On the minus side, a surge in out-of-work creatives means more competition for freelance work.
Either way, everyone at every level is feeling the pressure to lower their prices to compete. Clients have smaller budgets which means design firms bid lower to land the clients which means they have less money to pass on to the freelancers. In the short term you may feel like you have no other choice but to lower your prices. It might even seem like the smart thing to do. Let me challenge you to think twice before doing so. Once you lower your rates for a client, good luck raising them up again.
The folks at HOW Magazine have recently published an article full of tips and strategies for navigating the down economy and surviving the price wars. It’s primarily aimed at design firms and agencies, but there’s plenty of good advice for freelancers as well. Highly recommended.