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Resourceful Designer podcast: Offering tips, tricks and advice for starting and growing your graphic or web design business.

Do Your Design Clients Have a Time or Money Mindset?

As a seasoned graphic designer with years in the trenches, I’ve witnessed firsthand the variety of clients whose internal battles revolve around a time or money mindset. Understanding this dynamic can revolutionize how you approach and ultimately serve your clientele. This is not only a philosophical conundrum but a practical one that shapes the trajectory of our design careers.

Be sure to listen to the accompanying podcast episode for the whole story.

Time-Minded Clients vs. Money-Minded Clients

Each client presents a different set of expectations, values, and challenges. While time-minded clients see cash as a means to liberate hours in the day, money-minded clients search for opportunities to save a buck. I’ve experienced this dichotomy personally and seen how it affects design businesses.

An Example of A Time vs. Money Mindset

Take my tale with my wife’s car, for instance. The backup camera started to fail, giving only a hazy image. The dealership quoted a steep $862 for a replacement. As someone who has maneuvered automobiles sans camera for years, this struck me as an excessive expense for a luxury. I donned my money-minded hat, turned to YouTube tutorials, purchased a $49 camera on Amazon, and replaced the camera myself within a few hours. Mission accomplished, dollars retained.

Conversely, when I wanted to learn the ins and outs of Facebook ads—a highly valuable skill for modern designers—I marched to the tune of the time-minded drum. Rather than wade through the churning sea of online resources, I chose a recommended course, which, although not free, was the express lane to the expertise I sought. My time, in this case, trumped my wallet.

What Type of Design Clients do you Attract?

But this isn’t just about self-reflection. It’s about how we, as designers, market ourselves to our clients. Early in my entrepreneurial journey, my business, podcastbranding.co, proudly brandished the banner of “Professional Design at an Affordable Price.” I attracted numerous clients, but many were bargain hunters who grilled me on every line item and wondered if they could whittle down costs by undertaking parts of the process themselves.

A shift came when I changed my messaging. The word “affordable” was axed; my emphasis turned to skilled efficiency and my ability to alleviate clients’ headaches. Gone were the penny-pinching negotiations, replaced by clients who valued their minutes over their margins and chose to invest in my services. They understood that by unloading their burdens onto me, they were freeing up time to scale the heights of their ambitions.

Time vs. Money: The Two Types of Currencies.

Time and money are the twin currencies of our age, and understanding which one your clients cherish will define your offering and success. Clients who are judicious with their time yet generous with their cash desire seamless, comprehensive solutions—the very kind I take pride in delivering today.

Therefore, my fellow designers, evaluate your positioning. Consider the clientele your brand attracts. Are they seeking the lowest cost, or are they seeking the highest efficiency? Align your messaging; make it clear that you are the key to their most pressing problem—whether it’s time or money they want to save.

My Challenge to You.

I challenge you to reassess your business. If you currently cater to the thrifty, money-minded client, consider the advantages of appealing to the time-conscious.

Understanding your clients’ time vs. money mindsets is the path to a more prosperous, less stressful design career. Choose wisely, and watch your business transform from a simple service provider to an invaluable partner in your client’s success.

If you’re unsure where to start, join the Resourceful Designer Community. For just $15 a month, you’ll access a wealth of knowledge, support, and like-minded professionals eager to share their insights. Join the conversation, and together, let’s design with purpose.

Stay creative!

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcription of this episode. This transcript was created with the help of AI and transcription tools. It has not been edited for errors or accuracy.

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Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business, please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

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