How to Compete with Cheap Design Bidding Sites

Competition is what drives any market, pushing professionals to advance their skills to remain relevant. However, with the development of bidding websites and similar outlets where businesses can receive design-work for next to nothing from ‘designers’ who don’t value their work, the online world is diminishing the reputation of designers.

If you’re concerned about the direction the design profession is taking because of these sites, you aren’t alone. Many designers are finding it more challenging to compete with an online world overflowing with bidding websites offering services for ridiculously low fees. However, as a professional designer, it’s essential to stick to your principles and stand firm with the prices you charge.

In the end, high quality content always wins and the clients that understand this are the ones that’ll continue to seek you out. However, if you do encounter hesitation from a client regarding your freelance services in comparison to the cheap (in more ways than one) work that can be received from a bidding website, you’ll need a few arguments in your arsenal.

The following are a few ways to address any client concerns you may encounter on this topic:

  • Explain the basics – Some clients simply assess the cost of design services available to them without understanding the differences in quality they’ll receive. As a professional designer, it’s your responsibility to explain the differences between your high-quality work and the results that’ll likely be received from a bidding website. If possible, use parallels from the client’s industry, speaking of the low quality competitors that may have stolen work from the client’s business. This should help put things into perspective.
  • Offer examples – The best way to convince a client of your value is by offering examples of your previous work. By showing the individualized concepts you’re capable of producing, you’ll more firmly convince clients of the fairness in prices you charge.
  • Encourage bidding usage – While this pointer may seem opposite of your goal, sometimes it’s the only option. If a client is threatening to take their business to bidding websites or elsewhere if you don’t reduce the prices of your services, encourage it. By not budging on your principles, you’ll display confidence in your talents. Additionally, after the client experiences the difference in quality between your work and others, they’ll likely come running back.
  • Keep doing what you’re doing – Staying true to your design principles in the face of certain online developments such as bidding websites can be disheartening. However, really the best thing you can do is remain unaffected by such low-quality services and keep doing what you’re doing. In the end, it’s quality that always finishes first.

It’s unfortunate, but many clients still don’t recognize the importance of high-quality design work. By staying firm to your design principles and charging the rates you’re worth, you’ll maintain the integrity of the design world in the face of others who are committed to degrading it. Also, each time you encounter a client who doesn’t understand the difference between your services and low-cost options, it’s your responsibility to explain this to them. In doing so, you’ll maintain a strong client list while revealing the darker side of the industry for what it really is.

As a designer, have you been affected negatively by design bidding websites? What are your thoughts on this issue?

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