Folyo is a private job board that helps startups find designers.
It’s always hard for me to reject a profile for Folyo. Most of the designers who apply are not bad by any means, they’re just not great.
And since Folyo aims to feature only great designers and not merely good ones, I have to reject their application.
So what’s the main difference between a good designer and a great one? Is it skill, experience, or just god-given gifts? Well, it might be all that, but I believe there’s also a simpler reason:
Great designers charge more.
But isn’t this backwards? Don’t they charge more because they’re great?
Not necessarily. Becoming great at what you do requires tons of practice, countless revisions, and sometimes even scrapping hours of work when you realize that your project took the wrong direction.
If you’re always undercharging the competition to get low-paying projects, you’ll never produce great work because you simply won’t be able to afford putting in the time.
In fact, rather than work for crappy clients and low wages, I’d advise that you work for free on interesting, creative projects. Then once you’re good enough, raise your rates to an amount that’s high enough to ensure you’re not cutting corners.
What’s more, the mere act of raising your rates will mean you’re working with clients who really value design and will in turn push you to output better work.
This will create a virtuous circle where for each client you’ll get better, you’ll charge more, and you’ll find better projects.
So if you want to be great, quit trying to be the cheapest or fastest possible. Just try to be the best.