“Well, I’m a student and only do this part time, so it’s just fun money for me, I enjoy doing the work, so my prices are lower than normal.” (That was me.)
Or “I’m a stay at home Mom, and expected to not make anything while at home with my kids, so anything is more than I expected.”
“This is only the second site I’ve built, so it doesn’t feel right to charge for it.”
You’ve probably heard it before, or are telling yourself something along those lines.
I know that deep down you’re longing for more in the financial department for your new Squarespace web design business though.
How do I know? I’m 97% sure that’s why one of the most frequent questions that lands in my inbox is from new or aspiring Squarespace designers asking me what they can charge.
So I have a feeling that people look around the internet, find me and go “Ah, she’s a Squarespace web designer. She’s successful! She can give me the answer!”
Which, honestly I get it. Coming from a world where you were always told what you earned, it can be pretty paralyzing to actually decide what to charge and therefore what you earn.
I’m going to challenge you here by not just giving you a dollar figure and sending you on your way however, because I think I’d be doing a disservice to you if I did that.
I hope to write in-depth content that really, really helps people. Content that makes them think and adds value to their lives! I’m not into writing useless ‘top 5 tips for freelancing’ posts, because I want you to really truly learn something vital here today.
And I’m going to teach it to you through pricing!
Just like Yoda who never really gives a straight answer but makes you really think, this is probably not the advice you were expecting. (But it’s hellah-valuable nonetheless.)
I know most of y’all have come from corporate jobs and therefore you’re used to having someone say ‘this is how much you will earn.’ Or you’re used to trying to negotiate a raise and a couple percent of a raise is called a win.
If you’re going to become a Squarespace website designer however, you have to realize that you’re in freelance world now friend and you are your own boss.
‘Be your own boss!’
It’s what most want, I would take a guess that you were day-dreaming about it from your cubicle for some time too. Though you’re about to quickly learn that being your own boss comes with some darn tough decisions. Pricing is just one of them.
The question I get is often phrased like this ‘As a new designer, what can I charge?’
The answer? You can charge whatever you damn well please. Legit there’s no one to stop you.
Remember, you are the boss.
So now you know that you and only you gets to decide what to charge, that leads you to the next hurdle.
As I said, pricing is 100% a mindset game.
Two designers could have the exact same skill, abilities, customer service, turnaround time, etc. and charge two wildly different amounts.
The difference? How much confidence they have in themselves and their work.
Like I said, no one is limiting you in what you can charge.
The only person limiting you is you. (Your mind that is.)
Negative self-talk. Limiting beliefs. Low self-confidence. Lack of faith in yourself and your abilities.
These will kill your business before it’s even begun. I would know, it killed mine.
I tried going full-time and honestly, it didn’t go well, in fact, it went terribly.
I was a hot mess of tears and nerves, fearful of what it meant to be out on my own, relying only on myself to pay the bills. I was counting every penny, and had some seriously worried and anxious thoughts about my financial future.
Two weeks into going full-time, a part-time job offer landed in my lap and I went running back to working for someone else and side hustling my Squarespace web design business.
Those two weeks I went full-time however were an absolute emotional rollercoaster and it felt safe to run back to working for someone else.
For those two weeks I had a constant string of doubts and worries running wild in my head.
‘Where is my next client? How can I market myself? I don’t have a clue what I’m really doing. What if someone learns I don’t have any background in this? I’m okay for rent for acouple months, but what about after that? What if I don’t get any more clients? Where is my next client? How do I find clients?’
This thought pattern happened over and over and over every single day, all day.
As you can imagine it was NOT a fun time. My brain was running 24/7 with only negative, worried thoughts.
But what about when I picked up that part-time job? What happened then?
Three months later, thoroughly appalled and disappointed with myself for bombing my attempt at chasing my dream of being a Squarespace designer full-time, I tried again.
But this time, I did things differently.
Every single time a negative, anxious, defeating thought came into my mind (and believe me, there were many) I straight up told it, ‘go away, I don’t believe you.’
I read ALL the personal development books, meditated like it was going out of style, and generally became a ‘yes I can!’ ball of energy.
I have a chalk board above my desk. What did I write on it? The word ‘faith.’
And you know what happened? It damn well worked. The more woo-woo I got, the more my business grew.
The dollars rolled in and a few months in I was walking around town on cloud 9. I legitimately remember locking down a huge sale, and walking down to the shops to celebrate with a new pair of brown fall boots I had been imagining.
‘I can’t believe I get paid this much to live my dream.’
Fact: I had envisioned exactly that moment, walking down to the shops to find the perfect, classic pair of brown leather boots that I’d always wanted, time and time again before it happened.
Here’s me wearing them … while flying a kite. #adulting
Okay so, back to pricing.
I know your question is about what you can charge, but I’m going to answer you a little differently by predicting what you will charge.
If your mindset and belief in yourself and your work is in the gutter, you will charge well below the market and always feel a little bit like you’re being held back and you will be quietly disappointed in what you’re earning.
You’ll be wishing ‘someone’ would give you permission to charge more.
You will be afraid AF to raise your prices and will have this invisible barrier between you and what you really want.
Know what that invisible barrier is? Your own mind.
Before you decide what to charge, you need to get yourself in the most positive, woo-woo, rah-rah place you’ve ever been.
Becoming your own boss is an emotional rollercoaster and I’ll be honest, it’s not going to be easy to get in the positive flow and stay in it.
I’ve found reading personal development books to be the best way to get myself in the zone. I then pair that with meditation, affirmations, and envisioning exactly the future I want.
I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I’ll just say for me, it worked. Damn well. Here’s what I made in my first year as a Squarespace website designer.
So now I know you’re wondering, what should you read? How the heck do you meditate? What exactly does envisioning the future you want entail?
Here’s the books I read literally exactly when I got started in my business. They walk you through all the envisioning, meditation, woo-woo stuff.
I do recommend a specific order.
Recommended read #1: The Miracle Morning
First, I’d go for Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning. This is a book I heard about forever but just never got around to reading! Then I watched Dani Watson’s video, realized she was talking about this book I had always heard about and went straight to Amazon to buy it.
Recommended read #2: You Are A Badass
Then, I just so happened to be watching a video by Megan Minns where she spoke about Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass. I had already been feeling so much better from Hal’s personal development book, I was eager for another.
Recommended read #3: Think and Grow Rich
Lastly, I don’t know exactly where I heard about it from, but I had heard about Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich and completed the trifecta. It’s super old and super good.
Since I started my business, I often get messages from friends and random Facebook acquaintances asking me about how I built my business and if I have advice for them.
I always recommend these three books, in that specific order.
So I’m going to do the same for you today too. If you’re going to start a business, I’d basically call them required reading.
Once you’re done them, with your self-worth through the roof, then think about pricing your Squaresapce services.
Want more recommended reads? I’m always sharing what I’m reading, which I liked and didn’t like in my monthly business recaps:
I also have rounded up my fave books business and design-wise over on this tools page.
*There’s affiliate links in this post. If you click through one, I’ll make a commission at no extra cost to you. My margarita fund thanks you.