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Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

Lesson 17 of 29

Process That Gets You Hired: Quote, Proposal and Plan

Dina Rodriguez

Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

Dina Rodriguez

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Lesson Info

17. Process That Gets You Hired: Quote, Proposal and Plan

Lesson Info

Process That Gets You Hired: Quote, Proposal and Plan

We ask questions, now how do we quote them? Okay, so what I like to do, you can do a mixture of this, or you can go straight to the proposal. I like to repeat myself. 'Cuz, there's this rule of seven. Right, someone has to hear something seven times for them to really understand it. And with clients, I like to over-communicate, Okay. 'Cuz what if I say something, and they weren't listening? Or there was a baby crying in the background, or they were thinking about what they're going to buy at the grocery store, while I was talking. People don't always have your undivided attention. Especially in a world of multi-tasking, where your phone's going off every 30 seconds, right? Or even sooner, if you're in my position. My Twitter feed is exploding, Thank you, by the way for all your Tweets. I really appreciate it. I got 30 new followers, yay. Okay, so, I like to start with an e-mail quote, because hey, I'm already talking to you one-on-one e-mail is a great platform to do that, why don't I ...

continue it? So, instead of me giving you a big sheet of paper, or like this lengthy contract, I want to just communicate with you one-on-one about your options, alright. It's a little less intimidating. So I send them an e-mail first, with an outline of my process, and I give them packages. Now the reason, I will never just give you one option is because I'm changing the conversation, right? So instead of me, or the client thinking, "Should I hire you?" Now they're thinking, "Which service, or what package should I hire you for?" Right, people like the element of choice. Okay, so you have your quote, they've picked out their package, you've negotiated, right. Like, what if they're like, "oh, I like package two, but I can't afford it. Is there any way you can make it cheaper?" Well, I don't unfortunately, I don't offer discounts. But, what if I did a simpler version of what you're looking for? Or if it was multiple assets, what if I didn't do all those assets, right? Try to negotiate. You never want to discount yourself. The only thing you can do is change the scope of the project to better fit their budget. And if the scope is too low, and it's not what they're looking for, then it's just not going to work out, and that's okay. If you ever have a red flag during this entire process, let them go. Because they're going to ruin your passion. They're going to be a headache, they're going to be complaining, you're going to be stressed. Who's that stress going to be taken out on? Your family, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your wife, your husband, your dogs, your poor dogs. We go ahead, we send an e-mail quote. Now, once they've approved a price-point, then you can do the proposal, and don't be afraid to repeat yourself, okay? So you're using the proposal that they can understand, read, and feel good about signing. So this is actually a sample of my proposal. So you get to see every single Terms & Conditions I use. What does my contract include, how do I talk to my clients in a way that they can actually understand. So I think it's really important, when you guys are setting up these proposals, do not download some complicated template from the internet. Because what's the whole point of the proposal? For them to read it. Who here right, reads the Terms & Conditions when your iPhone gets updated? Freaking nobody. Okay, right that's what you don't want. You don't just want people just to hit that e-signature button, or to sign that document. You want them to understand what they're signing. Because then, there's no hiccups down the road. It's like, "No, I've explained to you my process, you know exactly what happens if your payment is late, if you want to go outside the scope, all these little no-no areas," you want to prepare yourselves in your contracts. You want to make sure that they understand what's going to happen, so you can outline the responsibility and the consequences if something doesn't work out. You can be as specific in your contract as you want. Thinking of things as, "Hey, I want you to reply to me in one business day. If you take longer than the business day to respond to me, then that's going to extend our deadline." If you don't talk to me, I'm not going to match my deadline. It's kind of how that works, right? Now, when I prepare my proposal, notice this is the verbiage in my introduction paragraph. "I'll always do my best to provide solutions, and ensure that my work meets your expectations, but it's always good to put things into writing so we understand what's what." Right? This is a little less intimidating than just sending someone a contract. I continue by saying, "This contract will not contain any fancy legal jargon, or complicated text. It's just a simple explanation of my Terms & Conditions, so we have a worry-free working relationship." That's beautiful, right? This is a lot less intimidating and it makes you want to continue on, because that first sentence on whatever, anything you write is how you reel them in. You don't want to be like, "Insert client name here, has thus protest to do this" and then "hereof, thereafter." Like don't do that, I can't read that, what is that? So I outline my scope of work, I have my design process, I'm repeating myself, right, just to make sure they understand what's happening. I include my Terms & Conditions and, they e-sign it. Now I can get into contracts, what kind of things you should include, but this course is so jam-packed we just didn't have room for it. But, I have written a lot of articles on the subject So, what do we do after they e-sign? Do we just start? No, we need to plan the project. Okay, they want to work with you, they signed your proposal, they're ready to get started, you get that deposit. Get a deposit, okay. Now this is how I go ahead and do deposits. If something is going to be less than 1,000 dollars, whatever that price-point might be for you, maybe it's 500. Then I need to get paid upfront, 100% But, if it's going to cost more than 1,000 dollars then I want 50 up and 50 down, right? That's always how it works. So if it's a 4,000 dollar project, 2,000 dollar. Because I want to make sure that you are secure in your decision that you want to hire me, and I can feel good starting, right? Because it makes me feel more comfortable, just like you're going out of your way, to make your clients feel comfortable you need to do the same thing, right? They need to do the same thing for you. So, You get that deposit, after they sign and now you can send them a production schedule. This is something that not a lot of people do. Even though you've outlined your process twice, you didn't have dates necessarily associated with that and they want to get, "When am I going to get my project, What are you going to do, how long is it going to take you? When can I expect to hear from you?" Because the worst thing you can get, is that e-mail that says, "Hey, how's it going, is the project coming out good?" No, no, no, no, they should never not know what's happening. So, what I like to do is you'll send them a production schedule of what they can expect, what dates I want to have meetings, and it's completely outlined when they're going to get that final presentation. And, it gives myself an opportunity to put it in my own calendar, so I don't overbook myself. Because I know when a lot of opportunities come a knocking, you want to take them all, because you like money, right? But, it's not always the best thing. Sometimes you have to say no to a lot of good things in order to say yes to a lot of great things. So you have to be mindful of your time.

Class Description

Do you have a passion for drawing and dream of turning it into your next full-time gig? Hand lettering artist and commercial illustrator Dina Rodriguez will show you how to create a career doing what you love. Dina shares lessons learned from her path to becoming a successful freelance artist–so you can grow your business without wasting your time or resources trying to get there.

In this class, Dina covers: 
  • Honing your craft through passion projects and social media 
  • How to attract clients through your online presence 
  • Three ways to make money for your business: Commercial Work , Commissions, and Products 
  • Creating a process that will get you the job every time 
  • How to charge what you're worth
She’ll provide detailed strategies, new ways to repurpose your work, and talk about planning for the future. After this class, you’ll know how to create a successful career and skip all that nasty trial-and-error.



Wow! This class was fantastic! Dina did a great job at providing relevant information that I can use right away. I was particularly impressed at how she was able to explain licensing and royalties, she really broke it down into easy to understand pieces. I think this course would be a great foundation for any artist/freelancer but I liked the focus on lettering and illustration. Creative Live must convince Dina to provide more classes!

Elizabeth Matzen

This class is full of excellent information, and Dina did a great job covering everything from building a webpage to working with clients. She has a engaging delivery style, presented the information in a succinct and well-organized manner, and the pace of the course was perfect - not too slow! I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to start or boost their creative business - great info!

Sharnika Blacker

Awesome class! Inspired and excited to improve my business with the processes and knowledge gained. Thank you Dina!!