A guest post by Brian Morris, who writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog.
Every business and every individual employee has a unique selling point. Do you know what yours is? If not, it’s time determine exactly what is unique about your designs.
Why do I need a unique selling point?
If you’re a freelance designer, a unique selling point differentiates you from the competition. The same applies to designers employed by design firms or agencies. If you want to get the best clients or land the best jobs and promotions, you need to be able to demonstrate how you are better than your competitors, whether they’re other freelancers, design firms or even fellow employees.
What are good unique selling points?
There are several ways you can differentiate yourself in the design world. Those include price, style, speed, experience and result-generation. Let’s examine how you might position your designs for each.
I recommend asking a fair rate or wage for your services – but never a low rate. If you want to be the cheapest designer around, you’ll get plenty of work and plenty of headaches to go with it. You’ll be overworked and underpaid, and nobody wants to go that route.
Style is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself. A lot of designers have great design skills, but many never develop their own style. While focusing on a certain style might preclude you from certain clients and employers, it will also make you more desirable to others. Being an expert – or even an originator – of a certain design style will make you in higher demand, which in turn will allow you to charge more.
Some clients value speed above all else. While it’s fair to say you should deliver designs by deadline, speed is similar to price in terms of workload. If all you have to offer is speed, all you’ll get are jobs that value quantity over quality; that is to say, low-paying jobs.
It’s good to have experience, and you can use your experience as a springboard to promote other unique selling points. But experience alone isn’t necessarily the best selling point, given that a relatively new designer might be capable of matching your skills, strategies and style.
Clients love “big picture” designers who understand how their designs motivate customers to take action. When you can demonstrate diligence toward client goals, and that your designs work toward those ends, you can become a highly desirable graphic designer. Knowing, for example, what type of “buy now” buttons get the most clicks will make you a valued component to profit-savvy clients.
So, how are your designs unique? Do you have a unique style? Do you know how to get results? Those are the two best selling points. Always consider how your contributions fit into your clients’ or employers’ overall goals; doing so will help you better position yourself as the most qualified designer to help them achieve those goals.
Break down your unique selling points: Are you an expert in designing landing pages for conversions, designing user-friendly interfaces, designing outdoor stickers for brand impact, designing direct-mail response postcards, or designing minimalist websites? Whatever it is that sets you apart from your competition is your unique selling point. Focus your own marketing strategy on promoting your USP, and you’ll get higher-paying – and more rewarding – jobs.