I am starting a second project with a return client. The first project was more laissez faire, and I was a student at the time. Some time has passed, and given the last project's delays and compensation confusion, I think there should be some breakdown this time around. I provided an invoice last time, but think that we should have a design contract and hourly rate discussed before I start this new project.

How do you guys approach design contracts and pay? How do you approach higher pay if you have become a bit more seasoned since your last project?

  • I would just tell them that. since they are returning, they like you or at least your work. Just explain that now you're doing it professionally as a living and because of that "your accountant" has recommended you get official contracts. then you can build some good will sharing a collective "accounting" eye roll lol

    as far as raising rates because of experience, or other factors like cost of living: each project is bid independently and has no bearing whatsoever upon past, present, or future prices. That way, each gig costs what it costs and direct price comparisons are impossible. even if the work is the same, it's a year later and cost of living is higher.

  • Haha "accountant." That's an interesting way to think about prices, it seems like you see a lot of blogs about your personal rate sort of evolving through the years, rather than by project. I sort of like the way you're spinning it, though.

    Thanks for the advice! I talked to them yesterday and it all worked out.

  • I have a a short but clear fee agreement that outlines terms and the conditions of the project. There's no reason you can put a better one in place as they returned to you. Yes each project is different but the important thing is that you have become more valuable to them as time goes by. Your abilities have ideally increased so your value has as well.

    You can explain the situation to them if you'd like or you could simple say "I've raised my rates since we last worked together" and leave it at that. Just have that conversation early on in the discussion.

  • I would just tell them that. since they are returning, they like you or at least your work. Just explain that now you're doing it professionally as a living and because of that "your accountant" has recommended you get official contracts. then you can build some good will sharing a collective "accounting" eye roll lol

    as far as raising rates because of experience, or other factors like cost of living: each project is bid independently and has no bearing whatsoever upon past, present, or future prices. That way, each gig costs what it costs and direct price comparisons are impossible. even if the work is the same, it's a year later and cost of living is higher.

  • Haha "accountant." That's an interesting way to think about prices, it seems like you see a lot of blogs about your personal rate sort of evolving through the years, rather than by project. I sort of like the way you're spinning it, though.

    Thanks for the advice! I talked to them yesterday and it all worked out.

  • I have a a short but clear fee agreement that outlines terms and the conditions of the project. There's no reason you can put a better one in place as they returned to you. Yes each project is different but the important thing is that you have become more valuable to them as time goes by. Your abilities have ideally increased so your value has as well.

    You can explain the situation to them if you'd like or you could simple say "I've raised my rates since we last worked together" and leave it at that. Just have that conversation early on in the discussion.