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  • Writer's pictureDanielle McPherson

The Designated Designer

We may often find ourselves in situations where we feel frustrated and overwhelmed with the number of design projects we have undertaken. If you are smart then these are all paid projects. If you are like me on the other hand, then you might have a good amount of projects for friends or family that are in need of something.

This is absolutely the worst position to be in. Once you do something for one friend you should definitely prepare yourself for others to follow suit. "Time is valuable" is a statement we have all heard, however moments like this will show you just how true that statement is.

Let's face the facts, people are opportunists by nature. We are always searching for ways to elevate in the things we do. Now, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't ever do anything for your friends, it simply means you need to learn how to allocate your time wisely. True friends support each other, meaning they should be willing to pay you for your services or offer you something in return for your time and effort.

If you learn to put a value on yourself and your work you will no longer be the go-to "family" designer and you will instead be the designer designated to do things for friends of those individuals. It sounds much better and more professional for a friend to tell someone "My friend does logo's that start at $350" rather than "My friend does logo's I'm going to see how much she will charge you for it". Be stern about your pricing structure and educate those around you on it as well. You want things to be clear to people out of the gate. If you settle for less you are not valuing yourself correctly and I am a strong believer that self-love is the best love.

To love yourself you have to prioritize your needs over the needs of others, regardless of the relationship. Don't go walking around being an asshole however, be assertive and thorough with your explanation of idealistic deliverables and the value that you add to the project. In order to effectively do this make sure you have the appropriate documentation (contracts, invoices, product/service description, etc.) because you do not want to easily be persuaded to do things that you are not interested in doing.

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