Monday, February 9, 2009

Explaining the sliding scale

This question was posted:

Hi Rob: Can you explain how you explain sliding scale to a new client?

For a small local accounts, I don't discuss sliding scale, I just quote a lower cost to do the project because of 2 reasons:

1- It's not worth as much to them as it's worth to a larger company.
2- They don't have the same budgets a larger national company would have.

When I work on a project for a well known, large national company, their usage of my work is greater, therefore the value of what I do is greater to them.

Large companies understand the value of a well designed promotional piece and are used to paying different fees for different usages. Photographers get different fees based on usage too.

For example, if I purchase a stock image from Getty images, if the image is going to be used in a full page magazine ad, with national exposure, Getty will charge me (my client really, since I pass the cost along plus a small research fee) a higher fee than if it's for a half page ad. On a cover of a magazine, the price goes up too.

Now imagine if you get a call to work for Xerox.

You are asked to design a promotional logo.

You will not get the job if you come in at a low, low price. You would not be credible.

Plus, the bigger the assignment, the more work will be involved dealing with layers upon layers of edits during the approval process.

Keep in mind that there is an issue of trust. How can they trust that you are at the caliber they are looking for if you tell them the logo is going to $100. How can they trust that you will deliver a super logo? Their job is important to them, they expect to spend more so that you will give them ALL the time they need to do the job right.

Bottom line: Sliding scale means that you are paying attention to the needs, wants and demands of each assignment. And remember that there is a different value in work that is seen nationally versus work on a local level.

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