The following is a guest blog post contributed by Preston Lee from Millo.
Being a logo designer is incredibly fulfilling. But it’s also intensely demanding.
Every month, you’ve got to secure new projects, work on those projects, deliver final work to the client, maybe even deal with revisions or criticism. And almost nothing feels better than wrapping up a successful project with a very satisfied client.
The problem is: if you’re only delivering a basic logo to your client, you could be leaving money on the table each time you close the chapter on one client and move to the next.
You’re a smart logo designer. So I’m sure you charged enough for the project in the first place. And as long as they weren’t a terrible client, there’s always the chance that you’ll work with them again.
But there’s something that many logo designers overlook when it comes to adding revenue to the work they already do.
Today, I’m going to share 10 upsells that logo designers like you should offer your clients for a quick boost to your revenue.
But before I dive into that, let’s understand why upselling is such a huge opportunity for someone in your position.
As Ian has explained here on the blog, the first stop for many businesses is a logo, but soon after they need a website or other material like business cards, social images, signage, etc.
If you fail to upsell your clients, they may never know you also offer additional services and may search elsewhere for business you could have easily brought in.
And upselling doesn’t have to be hard or awkward. It can be extremely simple—like sending a note or suggestion with your invoice via your favourite invoicing app—or it can be more direct—like asking for a formal sit-down meeting with your client to explore additional services.
The key is to select how upselling works best for you.
Regardless of your process, here are 10 simple upsells you can add to your roster to see a quick revenue boost right away:
10 Upsells Logo Designers Should Offer
1. Logo variations
One of the simplest upsells you can offer are logo variations. Once your client has agreed to the final logo design, they may need a few minor alterations to work in all settings.
While any good logo should work in any possible scenario, even the best logos sometimes need help. Whether your client needs an icon version of a larger logo, or even just wants a grayscale or Pantone version made by you, variations are a great way to get a little extra revenue from each project.
Some designers may debate whether or not you should charge for additional file types. But delivering a few basic files (think .jpg, .eps, and .png) and up-selling for more obscure file types may be completely acceptable.
Remember, you’re charging based on the value you’re delivering to your client. If they need the logo in some random file type you’ve never heard of before because their embroiderer wants to make a few shirts, that’s extra value you can charge more for.
2. Style/Usage Guide
Another really natural up-sell to tie into your logo project is a style guide or usage guide. This can be particularly effective if your client is:
- A large company with lots of employees who will be using your logo.
- A less-than-savvy client who doesn’t understand the nuances of branding.
Of course, selling this upgrade is far easier in the former situation—when it’s a larger client who has a real need for consistency of brand, logo, and style across multiple teams, departments, and uses.
Don’t get discouraged by the thought of creating a massive style guide to go with your logo, though. It could be as simple as one or two pages with colours, fonts, spacing, and other usage guidelines which you could easily present to a client for an extra 50% on the initial bid price.
Just as with a logo, the value of the style guide is not found in its depth, length, or number of pages. It’s found in the ability it has to help your client implement a new logo across their organisation (an often-daunting task).
Similar to logo variations listed above, creating sub-logos can be a great way to extract a little extra value out of each project.
Sub-logos include logos with slight additions or changes based on the use your client has for them. For example, upselling an icon-only version of the logo or incorporating company departments into the logo.
A simple example of this would be a university wherein there are dozens of departments each of which would enjoy their own logo variation. Cities or other municipalities would have similar use cases.
To illustrate the point, below I’ve included a video of logo designs from the MIT lab, who have a wide range of acronym logos for each of the Media Lab’s research groups.
4. Print Design Materials
Perhaps one of the most obvious upsells for logo designers is print design materials. I’m talking about business cards, letterhead, signage, merchandising material, and more.
Remember, when you design or redesign a logo for a company, it’s only the beginning of their journey. A next obvious step in that journey is to print all needed materials to start doing business.
Why not offer your print design skills as an upsell? And if you’re not a huge fan of print design yourself, there’s no reason you couldn’t partner with another freelancer to get that work done and share the revenue with them.
Remember, freelance job sites aren’t just for finding freelance jobs, they can also be a great place to hire fellow freelancers to expand your product offering as a creative. There’s a whole world of talent out there waiting for you to collaborate with them.
5. Social Images
It’s no secret that social media has completely transformed how we design and think about logos. And there are few businesses these days that don’t have a Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram account and Linkedin page that would all need updated with their new logo.
As a logo designer, offer to not only give them the sizes they need for an extra fee, but also to upload the new logos and ensure they look great on their social accounts. And remember, this is something you could easily outsource to an assistant who you split the extra revenue with.
6. Retainer/Recurring Work
For many freelancers and creatives of all kinds, the holy grail of working as a creative is recurring work.
Knowing exactly what you’ll be making every month based on how many clients you retain can be incredibly satisfying and can help you sleep more soundly at night.
But the nature of Logo design isn’t necessarily conducive to recurring work.
Typically, after a logo is finished and final files are delivered, that’s the end of revenue from that client—at least for a while, until they need another logo (if ever).
That means, in order to build recurring revenue into your business model, you have to get creative. Think through what services your clients could use on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis—and would be willing to pay for.
For example, what if you were the official company representative every time your client wanted to get new business cards printed? Or new shirts designed? Being a knowledgeable middle-man (or woman) can be a lucrative business model.
I have to admit, this is a tough one for logo designers. Maybe you can share a few ideas in the Logo Geek Facebook Group?
7. Additional Rights
The topic of intellectual property (copyright and such) can be an endless wormhole, so I’ll tread lightly here. But to put it simply, depending on the country in which you live, you own 100% of the work you do for your client.
And even if they pay you for the work, you still own the creative rights to it.
Depending on how the contract has been drafted between you and your client, upselling them on additional (full) copyright could be a great option.
Explaining this tactic goes far outside the scope of this list, but for starters, research “work for hire” contract terms and how they impact creative work ownership. From there, think through which additional rights you’d like to retain and/or sell to your client as an upsell.
8. Swag and other merch
Just like print material (listed above), it’s likely that the company you’re designing a new logo for has other implementations they’ll need help with.
One obvious upsell for logo designers is swag, merchandise, uniforms, or other physical material.
The additional work could be as simple as creating a unique file format for an embroiderer or screen printer or as complex as delivering final physical goods to your client.
There are merchandise companies you can use to get product at cost, print the logo on them, and ship directly to your client—leaving you to raise your margins without taking on inventory risks of any kind.
9. Submitting to sites for updates
In addition to social media sites which will obviously need updating, there may be other important sites or apps your client would like their new logo to be featured in.
Off the top of my head, consider the necessity of updating that might come with the following sites:
- Chamber of Commerce or Community Business sites
- Consumer review sites like Yelp
- Google Local listings
- Blogs, review sites, or other places their company logo has been featured in the past
Tracking down and requesting updates from various site owners (or making updates yourself) can be a tedious, drawn-out process that most clients dread. But with a little extra work (or hiring out a virtual assistant to help you), it’s a pretty straightforward process many clients would be willing to pay quite a lot for.
10. Full branding packages
My last suggestion can be a lot of work but can also bring in a ton of extra revenue for your logo design business.
Creating a full branding package can take many forms, but a great way to start would be to follow these 7 steps to rebranding your company. As you work through each step with your client, you’ll eventually develop an all-new brand for your client.
Chris Do, founder of branding agency Blind, explains well the difference between branding and logo design:
“If you went to a traditional design school, you learned how to design logos, photoshop images, and layout type for print and screens. But you didn’t learn how to architect a brand with real clients. So when a client approaches you to help them rebrand and build a website, you jump in and design. Deep into the project you realise what many of us in the industry have experienced— endless rounds of revisions, subjective feedback like “My wife doesn’t like it”, only to see any profit vaporise right before your eyes. Frustration sets in.”
You can learn more about becoming a branding expert, with Chris’s CORE strategy kit. (PS: that’s an affiliate link and if you decide to take the course, Ian here at LogoGeek will see a small percentage of the money you spend—at no extra cost to you.)
What upsells do you offer?
I’d love to hear what you think about my list of potential upsells for logo designers. Are their other upsells you offer that I’ve missed here? Maybe there’s something incredibly obvious that I’ve overlooked? What questions are you left with after reading the list?
I’d love to chat – tag me @PrestonDLee in the LogoGeek Community on Facebook.
Preston Lee is the founder of Millo, where he and his team help freelance designers find better freelance jobs and build a business doing work they’re truly excited about. You can join a helpful community of freelancers & solopreneurs in their Facebook group.