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Why Some Designers are More Valuable than Others

Do you know your value?

Greek philosopher Thales once said, “the most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.” And as creatives, we generally have a hard time understanding what value we bring to the table.

This is why some designers are more valuable than others—they’ve taken the time to really know themselves and their value in the marketplace. So, what can you do to increase your value?

Your ability to help another person understand their purpose will make you a more valuable creative professional. You do this by asking potential clients higher-value questions, as opposed to lower-value questions.

The quality of the questions you ask demonstrate your experience, confidence, knowledge, and your expertise to potential clients.

Lower-value questions are quantitative and position you as an order-taker. Some low-value questions may sound like:

  • When is it due?
  • Who is the target market?
  • What is the budget?

These questions often lead you to create checklists rather than higher-value solutions for clients.

High-value questions are qualitative and open the door for deeper discussion with your clients. They’re open-ended questions that invite the client to participate in the thought process with you. This also changes the dynamic you have with them. Ask:

  • How did you come up with this idea?
  • Describe how this looks in your mind
  • How will you judge if this is successful?

The higher-value questions are meant to help your client discover their purpose. They help your clients reflect on why they started their business in the first place. To dig even deeper, ask:

  • Why is this important?
  • Why do you believe this to be true?
  • Beyond money, why do you exist?

The purpose of asking high-value questions is to get to the root of the client’s problem. Just like an onion, you peel back the layers to get to the core; in this case, the meaning.

This is all part of the discovery session, and what will set you apart from other creatives right off the bat. If you want to increase your value, start by asking deeper, higher-value questions.

What would you pay to find out your purpose?

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