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Wondering what you can charge as a newbie designer?

Or maybe you’re still on the fence about becoming a designer, wondering if you can actually make enough to ditch the cozy 9-5 and make this your full time gig?

I’ll be answering all that (and more) in today’s post!

When I was first starting my little web design side hustle, I was a student in college, working on a totally unrelated degree.

When it came to pricing my services as a designer, I sort of subconsciously told myself…

“Well, I’m student and I only do this part time, so It’s just fun money for me. I enjoy doing the work, so it’s ok that my prices are lower than normal.”

And I wasn’t alone apparently!

Now that I’ve built a successful design business, and teach others to do the same through my courses and blog, each week I’m hearing some version of that same pricing mindset.

“Oh, I’m just a stay at home mom. I didn’t really expect to be making anything while I’m at home with the kids, so I really don’t need to be charging much. Anything is more than expected.”

Or

“This is only the second site I’ve built, so it doesn’t feel right to charge for it since I’m just learning.”

But I have a feeling you didn’t start your design business to work for free, right? 

You probably had some goals in mind for the kind of life that you wanted your new business to support!

Setting your pricing as a new designer can be pretty paralyzing.

Especially if you’ve been used to working for someone else, and therefore someone else was always deciding how much your time was worth and therefore how much you make.

But you’re the boss now, and you are the only one who gets to decide how much much or how little you will make.


How much should I charge a new website designer?

Now, I could just give you a set figure, some fixed dollar amount to attain to, and then send you on your way…but doing that would actually be a disservice to you, and even hold you back in the long run.

I will give you some specific figures later in this video, but first want my very best pricing setting advice?

Pricing, just like everything else you’ll ever make a decision about in your business, 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.

Yep! Your success as a web designer is absolutely 100% dependent on what’s happening in your mind!

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 professional background in this?”

“I’m okay for rent for a couple 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.

So what changed?

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 alllll 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 clearly remember thinking:

‘I can’t believe I get paid this much to live my dream.’




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.

You will charge whatever you believe your value is.

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.

And do you 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.

3 Mindset books to read before you price your web design services

Wondering what you should read?

Or how the heck to start envisioning this new future for yourself as a real possibility?

I’ll share a list of the exact books I read when I got started, and the exact order I recommend you read them in.

Mindset Book #1:

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

It’s all about habits, and creating a morning routine for yourself that is guaranteed to have you taking on your day from a place of calm, confidence, and focus.

Practice the Miracle Morning, and miracles will legit start happening in your life.

Why? Because YOU decided they would.

Mindset Book #2:

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

You’re going to be hard-pressed to take on the world and kill it if your mind is constantly practicing its rather annoying habit of constantly telling you “you can’t do that,” or “No one is going to buy from you,” or “You don’t have a formal education in this, no one will take you seriously.”

If negative thoughts are popping up left and right, you need to read this.

Jen will have you feeling like a real badass that can take on anything life hands you, with a laugh along the way.

Mindset Book #3:

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Okay so this book is super old, but it’s super good. And it 100% completed the reading trifecta for me!

It’s all about making money. Lots of it. With your mind.

Yes, it sounds pretty woo-woo, but honestly, it works. If you don’t believe that you’re able to make money, you won’t. If you believe you can, you will.

As Ford said:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

So in order to make money in your online business, you’ve gotta believe it first! And this book is the perfect starting place to help you get your mind around making money.

Now I’d def recommend reading all of them, in that specific order, before you ever sit down to decide on your web design prices.

So how much can you make as a web designer?

Now on really practical terms, I do want to give you a rough idea of what you can charge and therefore make as a Squarespace designer.

In some very not scientifically-accurate research, ‍ I Googled a bunch of Squarespace designers and anyone who listed their prices I averaged them out…

I came to the conclusion that average pricing for a small 5-page Squarespace site built by a beginner-medium experienced designer is going for $2,000 USD.

Bigger sites, more like 7 – 10 pages built by more experienced or well-known designers go for more like $6,000 – $8,000 a site.

If you run a web design process like me where you work with 1 client over a 2 week period, you can easily do 2 sites a month.

So I hope that helps give you a bit of a peek into what’s possible earnings-wise.

Remember, if you’re looking for more inspiration, you’re going to want to check out this post where we chat with past Square Secrets & Square Secrets Business Course student Marianna Durst about how she was able to quickly grow her business and start charging premium prices as a Squarespace designer.

She’s also sharing what life looked like before and after becoming a successful designer, and how the same transformation is possible for you!


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