A Review of The Designer's Guide to Marketing & Pricing

I picked up the Designer’s Guide to Marketing & Pricing(affiliate) by Ilise Benun and Peleg Top a few weeks ago at Books-A-Million. I was immediately drawn to both of the topics, as I’m always looking for unique ways to market my business and effectively charge for the work I do.

The Designer’s Guide to Marketing and Pricing is a great book for any beginning freelancer, whether you offer design or development services. It offers clear, precise advice, along with plenty of worksheets to get you thinking about you and your business.

While it may be targeted more towards the beginning freelancer, there were still several things I learned from the book. In addition to marketing and pricing, it also gives advice on setting up contracts, proposals and dealing with client relationships.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Let’s take a look at the chapters.

Chapter 1: Who is My Target Market?

This chapter walks you through the steps to finding out your target market by focusing on your skills and expertise. It talks about having more than one target market, in case one tanks, and how to introduce yourself to a new market.

Chapter 2: How Can I Find Clients and Prospects?

Some pretty well known advice in this chapter, so nothing groundbreaking or new. Although the section on building your prospect list and picking your clients is very useful.

Chapter 3: How Should I Present Myself?

This chapter is all about personal branding, presentation and positioning. Very good advice on what information to present on your website and how to talk about what you do.

Chapter 4: Which Marketing Tools Should I Use?

A bit more advice on finding clients by networking, email newsletters, cold calling and having a website.

Chapter 5: What Should I Say In Person, on The Phone and Online?

This chapter was great for those of us shy people. What do we say to clients? When is it appropriate to call? Should we email first or call first?

Chapter 6: How Should I Follow Up?

Related to the previous chapter, this chapter goes more in depth to follow clients up after you’ve met them for the first time, after your first meeting and after you’ve sent a proposal.

Chapter 7: How Do I Manage My Money?

This chapter starts the second part of the book on pricing. Great advice about dealing with your personal and business income and mentality about money. Also talks about management systems.

Chapter 8: What Should I Charge?

The most basic of all freelancing questions is answered here. This chapter has an AWESOME in depth worksheet that walks you through calculating your expenses, profit, salary and other factors that should affect your hourly rate. I also love how they talk about never actually working off an hourly rate, but just using it as the basis of your pricing (which is what I do and recommend).

This chapter also talks about pro bono and barter work.

Chapter 9: How Do I Talk About Money?

One thing us freelancers fear is talking to the client about money. What if they walk? This chapter soothes those fears with rationality about how to deal with bringing up the money topic.

Chapter 10: What Should Be In My Proposal?

Great advice for using your proposal as a marketing tool and what should be in there, as well as asking for the sale. Also talks about what to do when you send a proposal and never hear back from the client again, which is common (and rude) in our industry.

Chapter 11: What Should Be In My Contract?

Both my proposal and contract are one, so this chapter was less interesting to me, but still full of great advice on contract writing. It also talks about getting a deposit up front and what might happen if you don’t.

Chapter 12: How Should I Grow My Business?

Another chapter I mostly skimmed through (I’m not interested in hiring or buying an office). If you are interested in some day having your own agency, this would be the chapter for you. From expanding your office, to hiring employees to the “next” steps you should take, this is great information for those with higher goals in mind.

Would I recommend this book?

Definitely. Even if you’re not a beginning freelancer, or are only thinking about freelancing, this book is filled with very useful information. The worksheets alone are worth the price of the book. The end of the book contains a list of other awesome books dedicated to freelancers about branding, marketing and other great business topics.

Buy the Designer’s Guide to Marketing & Pricing(affiliate link) from Amazon.