When you’re just starting out as a web designer, setting your prices can feel like some completely random number you pluck straight out of thin air.

…and then immediately subtract 20-30% so you don’t scare anyone off.

(Because you need the income, like yesterday.)

I remember exactly what it felt like to stress about and worry over what to charge, while also feeling like I have to work for peanuts just to get my foot in the door and start building a portfolio.

And it looks like I’m not the only one to have struggled with this.

Now one of the top questions I get from students of my Square Secrets Business course (my course for learning how to build your own successful, fully booked-out web design biz!) is around pricing.

What to charge, when to raise prices, how to package your services to appeal to your ideal client…it’s def a big topic for new designers!

So if that’s you, I wanted to send some inspiration and encouragement your way!

Oh, and I brought in a little back-up!

I reached out to a whole host of awesome ladies in the web design space who – though they are absolutely killing it now – weren’t always so confident about their pricing!

This post is the first in the round up series I’m calling “Web designers speak out: what I wish I knew about…”

We’ll be covering all different aspects of building and running a successful web design biz, so stay tuned in the coming weeks for more wisdom from our featured designers!

Web designers speak out:

What I wish I knew about pricing & packaging my services

“My oh my I wish I would have valued myself at least a little bit more at the beginning.

Just 2 years ago you could get a brand new website for $450 from me… YIKES!

I was basing my prices off of hours worked and comparing the hourly wage to what I got paid hourly in corporate.

BIG mistake.

When you are working for a company you don’t have taxes or other added expenses. I couldn’t figure out why I was barely staying afloat.

My mentor quickly corrected this and I learned not only about basing my price on the VALUE I provide, but also setting my price at a place in which I can make a living for myself (minor detail, ya know?)

I told her “NO! I can’t raise my prices! I am struggling getting people at THIS price.”

She challenged me by saying:

“I think the reason you are struggling at $450 is because people are wondering what is wrong with you or your service.”

I doubled the price and got MORE inquiries! I was shocked.

Within a year and a half I have increased my price 5 fold.

Of course the value is greater as I have more experience and learned how to better serve my clients, but don’t low-ball yourself.

You are WORTH IT!”

Rebekah Read, Rebekah Read Creative

Website | Instagram

“I was clueless when it came to pricing my services as a new designer.

If it wasn’t for Paige’s Square Secrets Business course, I probably would have started out charging way too little and attracting the wrong types of clients.

I didn’t realize how much of mindset game pricing would be, either.

One of the best tips I was ever given around pricing was to decide the lowest amount I’d want to be paid and the amount I’d actually love to earn.

Then choose a price between these figures that is achievable but makes you want to throw up a little when you say it out loud, and work up from there.

You’ll learn how to sell from it, and when you book that client at a higher rate, you’ll be over the moon for going with the higher figure!

Packaging [pricing, instead of hourly] is one of the best things I’ve done in my business.

It makes it much easier to quote for projects and saves huge amounts of time on proposals!

Plus, it gives you plenty of opportunities to practice saying your pricing to you get more confident with it, which will make booking clients even easier.”

– Jessica Haines, Jessica Haines Design

Website | Instagram

“When you’re first starting your business, it’s important to raise your prices frequently and significantly.

It can be super scary to raise your prices or charge a “large” amount of money, but at the end of the day you started a business to make a living, not to work for pennies.

You are going to be learning a lot and improving your skills rapidly, so your changes in pricing should be reflective of that.

You want to be running your business with prices you can live off of, not be building up to those prices for years and years.

So raise those prices, frequently and significantly!”

– Corinne Pettit, Heart & Hustle Studio

Website | Instagram

“When I first started my we design business, I only offered one package.

I’ve now tailored my packages based on my specific clients needs, so that it’s easy for potential clients to identify which package is right for them.

I’ve even gone as far as to name them based on the clients specific situation, such as “the solopreneur”, “the executive”, etc…

By the time I get on a discovery call with a prospect they already know which package is right for them.”

– Jacinta Gandy, Social Circle

Website | Instagram

“I wish that I would have know how much creating packages would improve my workflow and ability to create repeatable processes for my clients.

By setting up my packages with:

1) the things that I most get asked for

2) the things that I think are most important for my clients to have

3) the things I enjoy working on most

…I’m setting myself and my clients up for a successful project that’s enjoyable and gets them what they need (or didn’t even know that they needed).

And I wish I wouldn’t have doubted my worth that was tied in with the price of the projects, but that’s something that I’m still dealing with to be honest.”

– Lindsey Anderson, Six Leaf Design

Website | Instagram

“My now graphic and website design studio started off as a coaching business.

It quickly shifted towards the design industry after my mom hired me to create her branding and website design for her own small business, and then it just took off after other people saw the work I created for her.

I realized there was a high demand for digital growth, and so I decided to make the transition full time.

I’m absolutely in love with my small business and the industry I’m in, but as I look back I’ve realized I have been undercharging my clients for premium work.

Your prices should reflect your quality of work, work ethic, and experience level.

For someone barely starting out maybe it’s wise to charge a little less at the beginning to build their portfolio, but at some point, as I did myself, must raise the price to reflect your worth.

The highly involved and ideal client will see your worth and pay you for your work.”

– Kaitlin Hoppenstedt Ortgega, Studio Kait

Website | Instagram

“When I got started in design, I would pride myself in being a Jill of all trades.

If you needed websites, logo, signage, flyers, business cards, brochures, direct mailers, you name it, I would do it!

What I learned is how that actually cheapened the experience for my clients. They didn’t want a generalist. They wanted an expert!

So I niched down my offering from “whatever you need” to branding and website design. Period.

And while I still design many of those items, they are secondary to my core offerings.

As an expert in branding & website design, I can also charge more for my services. I offer a uniquely custom experience that my clients absolutely love.

Rather than me feeling like I’ve “convinced” someone to pay $xxxx for my services, my clients feel indescribable gratitude that they chose me to create a brand and website that is uniquely them and portrays their business as they intended.”

– Malena Southworth, Southworth Design Co.

Website | Instagram

“You should probably be charging more!!

I valued my offerings so low in the beginning and still delivered some really high-end work!

The thing is, when we all start lowering our prices, it just hurts all designers collectively.

We all deserve to get paid what we’re worth, and if we’re all undercutting each other, we’ll never be able to do that.”

– Kali Edwards, June Mango Design

Website | Instagram

“I wish I had known to share what was NOT included in my packages.

I’ve learned that some clients might expect help with setting up their email, an infinite number of website revisions, and/or graphic design as part of a web design package.

I’ve learned to clearly state not only what IS included, but in my formal proposal I lay out specific items that are NOT included along with additional pricing.

Need someone to set up GSuite? I can do that, but it’s an extra cost.

Need someone to create a logo and brand for your company? Also extra.

Setting those expectations early helps everyone stay on the same page, and extra charges don’t come as a surprise.”

– Christy Price, Christy Price

Website | Instagram

“If you are hearing ‘yes’ to every proposal you are sending you, then your pricing is too low!

1. Do NOT undervalue your services!

The tendency – especially if you are in a place of “scarcity mindset” – is to price low to get more business, with the fear that you will “out price” people.

There are absolutely people and companies out there that WILL pay a premium for what you have to offer.

2. Do not waiver in your pricing.

Be confident and secure that your prices are fair and reflect your level of expertise.”

– Ciera Krinke, Digital Box Designs

Website | Instagram

“Focus on a couple of signature services, instead of trying to offer everything to everyone.

I was afraid that I would be “missing out” by offering less, and time taught me that I would get a lot more people interested in specific things than people interested in everything.”

– Aline Hoss, Aline Hoss Design Studio

Website | Instagram

“I sold my first website for $300

Today, if a client wants to work with me the investment is $5,000.

My best tip is to become an expert in your field and Charge. Your. Worth.

I became an expert copywriter, went back to school to learn how to code, and taught myself SEO to land my clients on the first page of Google.

Every step along the way I’d find more confidence and raise my prices.

And guess what?

Clients not only pay my higher rates but I’m continually booked our months in advance.”

– Erin Neumann, Be Aligned Web Design


“Before I launched my business, I spent so much time planning the perfect packages.

I thought I knew who I wanted to work with and what they would need but in hindsight, it didn’t really work out this way.

In fact, I only sold one of my packages in the first year!

Instead, clients were looking for things that were bundled a little differently and so I was custom quoting projects based on their needs.

Over time, I’ve grown to better understand the clients I’m serving.

Now, I can confidently package my services because I’ve honed in on my ideal clients.

My advice, don’t worry about packaging your services from the start.

Get to know your clients by simply helping them and understanding their needs. Then, you can confidently bundle your services in a way that makes sense for your unique business.”

– Vanessa Bucceri, Vanessa Bucceri Creative

Website | Instagram

“This is something that you read over and over again, but my main problem when I started out was undervaluing my services.

Part of it was a lack of confidence in myself, which truly does just take time and practice to grow.

The second part was that I was second-guessing the type of client I was aiming my services at.

I was assuming they wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money on design, without even going out and asking them or finding out how they would value a great website for their business.

The fact is there will always be people who won’t value the work of a designer and will want to DIY things, and that’s fine, I’m not aiming at them.

What is definitely not smart is to make assumptions about what people are willing to spend before doing any research at all!”

– Kirsty Montgomery, Kirsty M Design

Website | Instagram

“Pricing is totally a battle in YOUR mind.

Don’t undervalue your services or your offering because you’re new. There will always be someone willing to pay a higher rate than you think.

So whatever your gut tells you, add 50% more! (Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s worth it).

Also, pricing is a great way to maintain boundaries.

Don’t be afraid to tell a client that what they’re asking for is outside of your usual scope of work, but you’d be happy to do it for $X. (Only if you actually are HAPPY to do it).

Pricing as a boundary also allows you to avoid work you aren’t happy to do.

But you’re the one who has to make that call and steer that conversation up front. I tend to be a “yes” person. So I’m still working on this one, and that’s okay!”

– Becca Wood, Alto Design Co

Website | Instagram

“Ten years ago, I wish I had the confidence to charge what I was worth.

One of my biggest fears was disappointing (or losing) a client by telling them my pricing had gone up, so I kept my rates the same for much longer than I should have.

Pricing shouldn’t feel like a personal struggle – it’s simply an exchange of goods or services between two businesses.

No one walks into Restoration Hardware and asks for a lower rate than what’s shown on a price tag. Set your prices accordingly, and the type of clients you attract will follow suit.”

– Rose Lindo, Bittersweet Design Boutique

Website | Instagram

“Turns out, I was waaaay undercharging for quite a while!

I wish I would’ve reached out to other web designers to ask what rates they charged for different services/packages.

I didn’t want to be rude, but now I find I’m willing to answer those questions for others.

I tried to be very inclusive of clients’ varying budgets and needs, but that just opened the door for a lot of inquiries from prospective clients who weren’t the right fit…

They didn’t have the funds for the project or the project was so small it wasn’t really worth my time to take on.

I wish I would’ve established set packages and pricing and stuck to those, rather than spending so much time customizing proposals.”

– Melissa Stephenson, Five Design Co

Website | Instagram

“Firstly it’s SO important to say that confidence with your pricing and packaging your services comes with time and experience, so don’t worry if you’re starting out and feeling really confused and unsure!

We’ve all been there.

But if I could give one piece of advice to help you get to that place quicker, it would be this:

As a designer it makes so much more sense to charge based on VALUE and not time.

When I first started working for myself, I charged an hourly rate for my work but I was actually doing myself a disservice because I realized that I could do design tasks pretty quickly, and therefore I wasn’t able to charge as much as I’d like to – or felt my work was worth – because I could do it in half an hour.

The better you are, the more skilled and trained and practised you are at your work, the quicker you’ll be able to do it!

But then you’re undervaluing the time you’ve taken to learn that skill.

So if you quote a total price upfront, or package your services, based on how much the end product (and your skills/expertise) are WORTH, you’ll get what you deserve and your client will receive what they deserve too!

Also don’t be afraid to up your prices as your portfolio and skills increase.

I thought “clients won’t pay that much” but I tried it and they did.

You attract your ideal clients when you charge your ideal prices.

If you charge more, those who value what you do WILL pay for it and will likely be a more grateful, easy to work with client because they appreciate and trust you.”

– Steph Bisson, Colour & Love

Website | Instagram

“I wish I would have priced my packages higher right from the start.

I started out with very low prices and then felt resentful about the amount of time and energy I was putting out to deliver an amazing product.

Weirdly… the clients were almost MORE demanding at my lower price point than they are now!

Definitely value your time right from the start!”

– Carissa Erickson, Carissa Erickson

Website | Instagram

“I wish I knew how to talk about my prices.

I was so scared of being turned down but learned that it’s great to have potential clients fill out a client application and let it be known that it’s 2k -5k commitment to work with you.

That way you get people who are serious and can afford your services.”

– Michanae Edwards, Michanae’s Designs

Website | Instagram

“I wish I would have known that it’s ok not to know what to price when starting out!

I started doing design at $65/hr – and it was honestly a random number! I used that rate until I no longer felt adequately compensated for the work I was doing – and then realized that was how I would know when to raise pricing.

My intuition was truly guiding me!

I now only offer packaged pricing (rewards me for working quickly!) and am not afraid to price differently based on the value I’m providing each client.

The bottom line?

Listen to your intuition when pricing.

If you dread working on a project, if you feel upset about client asks, if you feel unfairly compensated – it’s time to raise prices!”

– Jen Davis, Hello June Creative

Website | Instagram

“It is so important to value your work and adjust your pricing accordingly. Don’t be scared to charge what you think it’s fair.

Just make sure you take the time you need to create packages that will help your clients in the best way.

Be flexible about those packages.

Always be open to customize them so that you have plenty of options to offer.”

– Maru Ramirez, Studio Mer

Website | Instagram

“Pricing low just to land a client never turns out well!

When I first started I would give a super low price for my packages just to ensure I landed the client.

This always resulted in being overworked and taken advantage of.

It’s important to price for your time AND what you’re worth! You’ll land quality clients who value working with you.”

– Hannah Phillips, Dear Brunch Design

Website | Instagram

“There is no “right price” to charge for your [services]!

Starting out I was always so worried on the right price vs the wrong price to charge.

After a few years of experience, I’ve realized that everyone in the industry has different pricing models and that’s totally okay.

I’ve seen it range from $2,000 all the way to $10,000, and it’s completely relative to who your client is and what their needs are.

Don’t be afraid to be flexible and don’t be afraid to charge what your services are worth!”

– Sarah Dobbs, Mckinly Media

Website | Instagram

“Set a cap on how many collaborations and free sites you will do (I’d say do max 3 in your lifetime) then stick with it.

Don’t get swayed into thinking you owe someone free work just because you’re new in the industry or can’t say no!”

– Cherise Vecchio, Joelle Studio

Website | Instagram

“Your offer needs to be clear and respond to the problem that your potential customer might face.

You need to explain how they will benefit from using your services.

Solving problems make your services more valuable.”

– Anna Hamilton, AH Design

Website | Instagram

“I wish I had known that done is better than perfect when it comes to pricing and packaging services.

I think as designers we are quite often perfectionists.

I spent so long umming and ahhing between different versions of my packages trying to get it just right.

Looking back, I wish I’d just picked one and got on with the important bit: promoting it.

You can always make changes and tweaks later!”

– Eleanor Stones, Eleanor Stones

Website | Instagram

“Be clear from the very start, the price includes a certain amount of revisions.”

– Emma Hall, Retro Marketing

Website | Instagram

“I totally wish I knew that it’s okay to be bold with your pricing and tell people your worth.

I spent far too long majorly undervaluing my work and totally urge any new creative to do your market research and price yourself well.

Back yourself and don’t be afraid!”

– Islay Wharton, Forme Creative

Website | Instagram

“I wish I priced myself higher even while just starting out!

A website design is a valuable service and designing takes time.

I explore various concepts behind the scenes, more than what is presented and with pricing I have to account for all the hard work and time that I put into each project.

Having experience of 5 years as a designer, I have a pretty good awareness of how my experience and skill matches up within the industry but I was still pricing myself low at first for the fear of not getting clients.

I now try to price myself very fairly while still asking for what I know that I deserve.

Good design makes a big impact on your business – from building stronger connections with your audience to conveying the quality of what you do.

Working with a designer is an investment in your business, and that value should also be reflected in your pricing.”

– Jackie Elefante, Jaks Digital

Website | Instagram




Web designers speak out: What I wish I knew about pricing & packaging my services