You're ready to start charging higher interior design fees for your services. Sure, you've got your process down, you're all over your overhead costs and you're ready to start charging a bit more. I get it.
Crafting the perfect interior design fee involves a little bit of magic. Once you know your costs to deliver your design services you may want to raise your fees to increase sales. Increase sales, you ask? Yes, because you may have clients that feel that interior design is more valuable if it costs more. Not everyone's clients, but some do.
Getting higher interior design fees means that you need to understand the market you're competing in. The market changes all the time, what works in one part of the country may not work in another part. Sometimes a profitable service can be eliminated from the market by something new that has come into the marketplace. Hello, floppy disks!
Create demand for your services and then you're going to have an easier time getting higher interior design fees. It's always easier to command higher fees when you're busy and you don't need to take on more clients. But even if you're not super busy you can ask for higher fees by addressing these other parts of your business.
Showcase Your Beautiful Portfolio
Your portfolio is an important key to building your business and getting higher interior design fees. Depending on the nature of your design business, you can create a portfolio on your website or you may find that you'd like to have a physical one to show your clients.
When I took on local clients and printed out some of my work and put it into a little photo album that holds 4 x 6 pictures. They liked to flip through while I was there at their home.
Hiring a professional photographer to capture your work is one way to build your portfolio, but if you're running an eDesign business you'll know that going that route can be downright difficult due to the nature of the service.
If you're not able to have your work professionally photographed you can also share your sketches, CAD drawings, and renderings.
The key to whatever you're sharing in your interior design portfolio is that you showcase your best work. If possible you may want to use your portfolio to show your design process that lets your client get a glimpse into what the experience of working with you will look like.
For some projects, you may want to share the story of the project like what problem did you solve, your initial concepts and the finished design.
Don't forget to add a call to action at the end of your portfolio so your dream client knows how to take the next step to work with you.
Craft Unique Packages
If you've done any amount of research on the competition, then you've seen many companies that offer similar interior design packages which make interior design services a commodity of sorts in the mind of the consumer.
A better way to come up with packages is to see what you can benefit that you can add that is different (and harder) for someone to put a dollar amount on. You may want to brainstorm on things that your clients routinely ask you for that is outside the scope on most projects and add that in.
Maybe you can partner with a sister business to add a complimentary service to your package. Think of what will delight your client and do that.
Whatever way that you decide to package up your services make sure that your dream client is first and foremost in it. Tell them the story of their life: how living with their problem feels now, what the experience of working with you will be like and how they will feel after the project is complete.
Be Down To Earth
Clients are people normal people. I feel like that gets lost when I look at forums online and you see those Debbie Downer Designers talking shit about their clients. Just makes me feel icky about their business and how they really think about who they're working for.
You and I both know that people love to do business with people who are kind and empathetic. You can start the relationship with your dream clients on your website through the words. If you don't think you're much of a writer then invest in a copywriter.
If you're cool with creating videos, do that because your dream client wants to do business with someone like you.
However, you'd like to communicate to your dream clients, use that medium to your advantage.
The Real Secret To Charging Higher Interior Design Fees
It's a little word called value. Many times we get wrapped up in thinking that our fee is somehow tied to our self-worth. Right? We've all done that and sometimes we do MORE than we were paid to do because we feel guilty about the fee we are charging. That's so no bueno.
Your fee is about the value that you provide to your client even if you think it's easy to do. You think it's easy to do because it's your gift that you've spent years working on. You create the desired result for your client and that is valuable.
Alycia Wicker is an interior design business coach specializing in helping soulful interior designers attract clients with clever marketing strategies. Celebrity gossip whore.