Why I Quit Offering Flat Rate Design Services

 photo by Sophia Baboolal on Unsplash

photo by Sophia Baboolal on Unsplash

Back in July, I hit my one-year anniversary of owning and operating Branding By Bri (hooray!). I've been designing and consulting as a side hustle for over 5 years. But this company has been my baby, y'all. Well, babies have to grow up. And the next stage of Branding By Bri comes with some changes. 

Three key insights motivated me to shift the weight from hands-on design to branding strategy and education. 

 
1) MY CAPACITY PEAKED. 

I work full time as a brand manager for a CPG (consumer product goods) company on top of running my business. This was all well and good for a few months. I love having too much on my plate...until I don’t. As my portfolio grew, my inquiries grew. And I got to the point where I was turning away opportunity just to keep my sanity. If your business doesn’t have room to grow, it better have room to change.


 
If your business doesn’t have room to grow, it better have room to change.
— @BrandingByBri
 


2) THE QUALITY OF MY OFFER DIDN’T MATCH MY RATE SHEET.

I set out to offer services to new entrepreneurs and reach a clientele that typically doesn’t have the budget to hire a full branding agency. I became my clients’ one-person agency, offering consulting, logo and style guide design, copywriting, web design, and print design (whew!) and mostly for base package rates. This business model worked on one hand, as I was able to attract clients who’d neglected their branding in the past due to a lack of affordable and comprehensive options. But simple mathematics (and they had to be simple because I suck at math) revealed that I was selling myself short trying to serve the greater good. 

 
3) PEOPLE NEED TO BETTER UNDERSTAND BRANDING BEFORE THEY WILL INVEST IN IT.

Real world experience is the best educator. One thing I learned in the first iteration of my business is that there’s still a large misconception about what branding is and what it’s worth. I knew from my own experience that I was doing the work of an agency, but many of my clients were just beginning to learn about the nuances of marketing and creative services through working with me. Without a point of reference for the difference it can make to their endeavor, some people easily become wary about the investment. I started to spend as much time convincing prospective clients of the value of branding as I was spending on executing projects, and that just wasn’t working for me anymore. 

So, here I am. Focusing on blogging, hosting workshops, and giving speeches to help consumers and influencers harness the power of polished branding. Of course, I’ll continue to be a designer (my career calls for it). But I’m excited to focus on a more refined, and hopefully more widely impactful, direction for Branding By Bri.