Should you not order if you have a low budget?

Often we find ourselves in job listing sites, bidding for the clients. If you’re on, you will run into a lot of buyers that have a very small budget. The question is;

Do you bid or do you pass?

The answer is simple.


Always pass. Do not willingly put yourself in a position of disadvantage in the market, remember that when you are in the art services business, or a freelancer in any other sort of business that equates, time & work, you should be properly compensated for your work always, buyers that are deliberately looking for cheap routes, are cheap buyers, and unless you are a cheap seller, you will be undermining yourself.

Sounds simple. Don’t bid on orders that fall below your project cost standard.

What if the buyer reaches directly to you?

Here’s a different situation, you are sitting at your desk, doing your thing, working smart as always, and you receive an email/request/pm. A buyer loves your services, they found you because you wrote a blogpost, they liked what you wrote, went to your site, followed you on social media, and then when the time was right, they approached you with a project.

Ohhhh, and the project is a juicy one. This client has been following your work as a fan for a long time, so they know exactly what you can do to help them, and they want it. They want it bad!

One small problem. The budget. They’re sweet, they’re great, they’re dedicated, but they just can’t afford you.

Do you pass up the opportunity to help this wonderful fan, or do you help them at a lower cost, potentially hurting your image with it?

Here the answer is not so simple. On the one hand, you might think. I just can’t afford to do this project, it takes too long, and the pay is not the best. In that case, forget it, tell them, and move on. Perhaps mention you’d be willing to reconsider the project if in the future the budget increases.

If you are not in rush for that extra cash flow, then you might want to consider some alternatives.

It is imperative that your time is compensated appropriately, however this does not only have to mean money.

Sometimes there are other beneficial things your client can provide you that will help grow your business, even if it’s not money. Here are some tips:

  1. Royalties:
    • This one speaks for itself, if you make a design that will be sold, it is only fair to receive a small percentage of sales, it will also help compensate for the price drop.)
  2. Free Merchandise:
    • If you’re like me, then you make shirt designs on a constant basis. Clients are already going to get this shirt printed, many of them are going to sell your designs, why not ask them for some free merch to give out to your friends and fans? These items can be great for give-aways, contests, and just to improve team and follower moral. Perfect trade-off for a little discount.
  3. Offer Packages:
    • Packages are something that we’ve discussed in the very early days of this blog. It involves grouping several services together to create a product that has only one price, similar to a gift basket, a package can contain several services that different people do, but all in one place. The benefit of packaging is that by offering these packages, you cut out the pricing issue completely. If the buyer has a limited budget, you don’t cut price, you offer them your basic package. If they have more money, you offer them the premium. That way you allow a little room for several different clients and don’t just limit yourself to the ones that are willing to pay your be-all price, and nothing else.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post and we look forward to having you here again tomorrow for more tips, tricks, and motivation.

With love,

Antonio (MabsArts)

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