Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

 

Lesson Info

Up-Selling and Packages

Alright, now how do we present this pricing? Well, remember we have the power of the three options. So, let me talk about the benefits of each package and when you use numbers and how much money they can make off of their designs, right? Think about that. Again, if I told you that I can make you 10,000 dollars and all it's gonna cost you is 500, wouldn't you be more likely to make that investment? Again, key word: investment. I'm not an expense, I'm not a commodity, I'm an investment. So the power of three options. So I have package 1, package 2, package 3. Notice how I'm naming these. So this is for a shirt design. We have single shirt design. You get one shirt. You get two concepts, one round of revisions. If you sell 34 shirts, you can start making a profit. Think about it like that. See how I'm rephrasing it? I'm not showing you all the math. I'm showing you the benefits of the math. Think of it like this. If you're making your product like a T-shirt that has a tangible price, you ...

can go and ask questions like "How many T-shirts are you going to get printed?" "How many T-shirts do you normally sell?" "How many colors of T-shirts?" "Where do you sell them?" And then you can go ahead and calculate "Well, if this costs a thousand dollars, 34 shirts = 1000, so that 35th shirt that you sell, you're making money baby." And to be able to change that frame of reference is great. Now this is especially powerful when working with other businesses. Now if you're working on products, obviously none of this applies, but if you're doing personalized commissions you kind of have to shift your mindset, 'cause you have to charge an emotional value instead of visibility, which I can go over in a little bit. But right now let's just focus on business to business. Another thing I talk about is "Hey, you can make $6,000 if you sell 200 shirts at $30 each." I'm doing the math for them. I'm speaking to you like a business person. Not only am I an artist, but I'm also thinking about your bottom line. If your project isn't successful and you don't make money off my design, then I'm not successful. Package 2, Double Duty. A little playful, right? So, hey I'm trying to upsell you. This is the basic package. This is what you asked for. But there's some other options, let's talk about it. Now that you're thinking of me as dollar signs now I'm switching the conversation. Okay, what if we do two T-shirts? Lets, like, add some assets. If I can give you four concepts and two rounds of revisions, so notice this is getting a little higher, now if you sell 67 shirts then you start to make a profit. But you have two different designs. So that can either be 34 each or you can sell a couple of each, or if one really explodes, there's less risk associated with it, 'cause if you have more designs there's more options for people to purchase. And then I'm talking again "You can make $12,000 from 400 shirts at $30 each". And then we just keep going. Package 3, Make it Rain. I want the Money, so talk to them in money. Three T-shirt designs, we're doubling again the concepts. I want you to sell a hundred shirts and now you can make 18 Grand, right? $3,000 for 18 Grand. I'd do that. Question. How do you find out what their cost and profit per shirt is, because on their budget line item you are one line item, you're designer of logo or whatever it is that you're selling, but they also have distribution and advertising, and all of their other marketing expenses that you are a piece of. So how do you work these numbers into their actual bottom line? Well, all you can do is ask questions and guess, but the more questions you ask the better you can guess. So I think it's perfectly acceptable question if I'm designing a T-shirt "How much are we designing these T-shirts for?" 'Cause if it's a more expensive looking shirt, then it needs to look expensive, if it's a cheaper shirt it probably should look cheaper, right? What kind of shirt are you printing on? Is it an all over design or does it need to be centered along a certain aspect ratio? Now I'm learning the quality of the T-shirt that affects price. See how I'm learning to better educate my clients and it sounds like I need that information? Which I do, I need the size, but I'm formatting it in a certain way. Now, obviously, these numbers could be a little bit off from their profit but, especially if they don't like answering your questions which sometimes will help, so then you can just guess, but the whole point behind doing it this way is you're charging based on value. You're not charging for hours anymore. You just want them to see you as a business person, not as a freelancer, 'cause unfortunately freelance artists have really bad names in the industry now because so many people don't know what they're freaking doing and it ruins it for the rest of us. How many times have you had a client come up to you, like "Oh, you're the third freelancer I've tried". Because remember, people, they're gonna hire the person that's gonna give them the least amount of risk, okay? What's your question? So in your concepts plus your one round of revisions, if that's the package that they go for, you personally while you're developing those concepts, are you developing three, four or five and picking the two? I mean I know you talked a little bit about that before, you said "Oh I told you I do three ideas but really only two work". So I'm just curious, how many ideas are in your head and your sketches to come up with those two concepts? Okay, I work on fifty concepts minimum for every project that I do and I do that for a very good reason: a) fifty is a lot and I can feel safe in the fact that I freakin' tried everything, I tried different styles, and of course we're all sticking to that art direction so sometimes there's little variations, maybe this style of typography is more condensed, if it's in circus lettering, and this one's more fat, maybe I tried a different kind of inline shading. There's different iterations, If I were to show you every single sketch, you know that I did the work, I can even do that above shot, on Instagram, of my floor of pages, all the trees that I killed and murdered, right? (laughs) To kind of prove that I know what I'm talking about. Now, for these concepts, notice that I'm still doing two concepts per shirt design so that's why, so it's still just that two concept rule, because we're adding more assets I'm adding more concepts. And I could always come up with at least two concepts. Always, personally. What do you do when they say I can't afford it? Right, what's gonna happen? Do you just give up? No girl, you put so much work into this process, you ain't giving up yet, okay? Clients don't buy the best option, they buy the least risky. So if you're able to explain to them what are the risks, well the risks are poor quality, what if there's a usage rates problem? And the amount of time? Think of it like this, let's use the example of hiring me, a really good illustrator, vs. going to Fiverr, or going to Craigslist? Eergggh, right? (laughter) Now, if you work with someone on Fiverr this is what you're going to get. You're probably going to get stock graphics, and you're gonna get basic fonts that are probably free that everyone has. Now the problem with this is it can be really hard to trademark if you're doing something like a logo. When you're using a font that everyone else is using and using an icon that everyone else is using, you might run into a problem. Even worse, on Fiverr and Craigslist, you get what you pay for. That is applicable for everything, right? I actually have worked for the client previously, that got their logo from Fiverr and then had to come to me to redesign their logo because they couldn't trademark it 'cause the designer they hired stole it. (audience murmuring) They straight up stole the graphic from another illustrator. This happens constantly on Fiverr especially. There's lawsuits, the whole thing. Now that's a risk, that's huge risk. I'm paying you to create something, right? And I have to pay someone again to create it and what if I wanted to trademark it? Now when you're a small business your potential is endless. If I create your logo, you're just starting out. Who's to say five years down the line, ten years down the line, you don't turn into a multimillion dollar company? And you can't even trademark your own logo because that crappy designer from Fiverr stole it from somebody or it's not different or unique enough to get trademarked. So if you go ahead and you explain "These are the benefits", now we've explained why you can hire me "I have my style, I have my niche, I have my experience, I have my qualifications" but you haven't really explained what are the worst case scenarios if you do hire a bad designer. 'Cause I've done all this work, I've done my case studies, I have this experience, for a reason. That's why it's worth to hire me, because I'm least risky and the fact that I can be "Hey, I have a 99% success rate" is pretty engaging and the fact that I have literally tens of hundreds of testimonials proving that my clients are happy, that's even more powerful, 'cause they just don't wanna have to go through this process again. Now we talked about the wobbly rights. Their time is valuable, they don't want to have to redo this process again. And poor quality can be any number of things. It doesn't necessarily have to be they stole it. Sometimes it just looks bad, right? Sometimes people get paid to make something that's $200 logo, $300 logo, which is not enough for a logo, just sayin', and it's really poopy. Or even worse, they don't even vectorize the logo. Anybody ever had to deal with that? If you ever had to marking messaging yourself? Okay, when I worked for like, vinyl companies and really crappy, like working in people's garages design firms I can't tell you how many times a client would need professional marketing materials designed and their logo all they had was a png for web. 72 dpi people. That is not good enough to put, 72! For you nerds, 300 dpi is the minimum that you need for print, okay? You might be able to get away with it if it's really tiny on a business card but that's pretty much it. Now that client, if they want to get that vectorized, they have to pay someone, either to vectorize the logo they already have, which is never going to come out as good, or they can pay someone to do it right the first time. I would love to be the client for just a second if you don't mind and Yes please do say we're considering this guy on Fiverr and we're considering you and let you just pitch in words how much you say about yourself versus how much you say about potential problems. I just want to hear your verbiage. Oh okay, it's like how I sell myself versus someone on Fiverr? Okay, alright, let's pretend we're not doing email that we're doing, that you're, okay, do you mind coming up here and you can be my client? Let's do a little role play? I love drama. (audience laughter) Bring the microphone with you. Okay, alright, you're my client. Alright, ask me the question. So we're considering going with this guy on Fiverr and he's not going to charge nearly as much as you. How much is he charging? About a third of what you're charging. Sounds like a hundred bucks, right? Yeah. Even though I definitely charge more than three hundred. Okay, so he's charging you a hundred bucks. What do you get? Well, it's some of the same stuff that you said but I guess there's some things I'm still questioning. Okay, do you get the final files after delivery? Yes. Oh you do? Do you get different color combinations? For your logo? I'm not sure we asked for that. Okay, does he have a really good portfolio of work? I'm not sure I've seen very many options. Okay, well what if that project goes wrong? Are you willing to spend another hundred dollars to fix it with someone else on Fiverr? Or would you rather work with me so I can get it right the first time? Are you happy with the quality that you're seeing on Fiverr? Sometimes, yeah. Do you want people to sometimes like your logo? Perfect, that's what I wanted. No seriously, when you're having this communication with a client, Now notice I'm not being cocky. I'm being confident. This is the difference between being cocky and confident. Confidence is saying I can do something. Cockiness is saying I can do it better than everybody else, right, so when your communicating to me notice the first thing I did was ask you questions. Well, why do you think that? So I can go ahead and give you answers. You just went ahead and why is this person better than you, well I don't know, what does that person do? Right, how do I even begin to answer that question? Thank you so much. Thank you. Does that help? Cool But is there a time when you ever say no to a client? Say I don't want to work with you? Or I can't work with you? Oh, like after they sign the contract or before? Well, either. Okay, let's talk worst case scenario. Those usually the most helpful. So let's say they sign the contract, you're working with them, and they're just being, like they're not being aggressive, not being rude in any way, they're just being difficult. They're checking up on you a lot, they're wanting to email you, they want concepts. But hey, you've already established those expectations, right? You've already told them what's up. They signed that contract. Now you have to try to manage that person. Now sometimes the only reason someone thinks that's okay is because you've given them that impression. Now it's different if I've set my boundaries and you're going against them. Now you're doing it on purpose. So the first thing I'm gonna do is "Hey, reminder, Just wanna let you know this is what we discussed, if you want something different, then maybe we should negotiate the contract". So you have to be able to articulate, okay, again I'm going to repeat myself, over communication, great. "Hey, this is my process, I actually don't feel comfortable you doing this, but hey I will reach out next week to give you an update on your project." See if that solves the problem. But if they keep coming back to you, and they keep breaking your own rules, then you have to let them go. Because they're probably not going to respect your design decisions, right? And they're probably not going to give you your final invoice. But you have a contract that protects you so you have a contract that says a few things. A kill fee, if I decide to cancel this project, or you decide to cancel this project, your deposit is non-refundable. Even if that deposit was the full price. And not only does it say non-refundable in the contract it says non-refundable in the invoice, so even if your using PayPal if you show PayPal that it says non-refundable, even if that client calls PayPal to get a refund, they'll call you, they sign that document, they can't get it. 'Cause I know PayPal will always favor the customer, so that's something you have to be careful of, you have to really iterate that something's non-refundable or not, just in case, 'cause some people will lose money from PayPal. Does that seem to answer the question? Okay, cool. Alright, so, you show them the best option, you're trying to convince your client, "hey, I'm worth it", right? Now, what do you do if they still can't afford it? "Dina, I totally understand the value of your work", and this happens to me a lot, and usually they all say pretty much the same thing. "I know you're worth every penny, but unfortunately I'm just not ready to hire you yet." I go "You know what? I completely understand. How about this, what if we did a payment plan? Would that be easier? I'm a freelancer. You're a business owner. I can relate to you. I couldn't just chuck out a couple thousand dollars and a logo. I'm not at that point in my business yet, so I understand it. How about this, what if I only charged you a 50% deposit, because that's my core value, I need to make sure I'm being paid, and I'll continue to break it down to four monthly payments for the rest of it. Now I'm not gonna give you final files until it's totally paid, but if I'm designing something like a logo, here are png web ready files so that way you can start updating your brand presence, changing up those avatars, and then when I get full payment, sure, go ahead and send you those vector files. That way you never want to give them everything until they pay you. And if they come back "Dina, that's so generous of you, but I still can't make it work", you know what, that's fine. "I would love for us to stay connected. Here are a couple of resources that might help you along your way", whether their starting a new business or they're a creative director that just can't afford you, 'cause that happens too. You don't want them to forget about you. So, you connect them to your newsletter. Remember that newsletter thing we talked about? So if you're showing your progress and your sending out that monthly newsletter to what you've been working on. You go "Hey, I really enjoyed trying to talk to you about your project and I'm so sorry we can't work together but let's please keep in touch. I have this newsletter that I can show my best and greatest work and how my career is kind of getting a little bit better with every week. Would you like to be a part of it?" "Oh of course" Go and sign them up in Mailchimp, awesome, now you get to stay on top of mind and you can have them add you on social media, Instagram, Twitter, so that way they can be one of your regular connections. 'Cause you're always trying to think of the glass as half full. Just because someone doesn't want to work with you might just mean they're not ready to work with you yet. Now the people that have reached out to me that couldn't afford me when they can, who are they gonna reach out to? Why are they gonna go through this shopping process all over again when they already know I'm the perfect person to do their project? Let's focus in a little bit on this whole entire section. Let's review. So, we've decided what we're gonna charge, we know how to upsell. I love going backwards, I like to recap. We know the value of value-based pricing. We know how to present our work with both onboarding and our production process. The onboarding the same thing as your working process, as your putting up your Pinterest board or something like that, is that the onboarding? So the onboarding, let me go ahead I think I understood you at the time yeah, yeah, yeah and suddenly I'm not... Let me get a visual cue to help this Okay, so your onboarding process is how you get the client to hire you. Your production process is how you make that project. Now, some people will think their process is everything but I think it's important to separate the two. Because again, you're using About page to show your production process and your Contact page, that final pitch page, to show, hey what is it like to work with me and also you're showing your value, like I don't just churn out designs overnight. I have to really think about, and be well informed on every design decision so I can decide if I'm even the right person to work for you and vice versa. Thank you, it's clear We have one question about a print project and payment plan. How would you do that, because print is different than web, you can't just export png file in the mean time. Would you take it, or would you not take it? How would you handle that? Well, it could be something like you go ahead and you give them the final print files but you don't give them working files. Got it, okay. So that way, you always want to have an incentive, because say if it's a Christmas campaign flyer or something, I'm trying to think in terms of marketing, who's to say they couldn't use that template for next year? But they can't unless you give it to them, right?

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.

 
 
 
 

Reviews

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