Tips for Creatives: Quantify your value-add


  • Tell companies how much money your service will make or save them
  • Bring data proving your value-add when pitching and negotiating 
  • Provide key performance indicators to your clients to track ongoing progress of your service or product

Use facts and data to quantify your value

You may or may not be doing this already, but be sure you are dollarizing your value-add for clients. Meaning: tell the client how many more customers they will have after your design or service, how much more money customers will be spending, and/or how much money the client will be saving every month.

Corporate-types love data. They love being able to quantify value for their stakeholders because most people within big corporations have to justify each decision. By providing them with data and a hard dollar amount on how much they will make or save, they can go to the real decision makers (i.e., their manager), customers, or their board and justify why they just spent $50K on a service.

An example narrative could look like this: After you pitch your business or service, the person you met with now has to approve your fees to people higher up. You want the conversation with the higher-ups to go something like this: “Spending $50K will add 5K new customers a month, with a total average spending increase of $10 per new customer, worst case scenario. Thus, we are spending $50K to make $600K this year!”

This sounds like a bargain to me.

Whether you’re a designer or another type of creative, you need to understand how your service affects your client’s profits. Tell your client exactly how much additional money you will make him or her every month. This can be done by using past data from similar companies, data from your former clients, or estimates based on industry facts. To bring my point to life, checkout this excerpt from a McKinsey article below:

“The companies in our index that performed best financially understood that design is a top-management issue, and assessed their design performance with the same rigor they used to track revenues and costs. In many other businesses, though, design leaders say they are treated as second-class citizens.”

You want to prove your importance as a designer or creative by providing facts, like the one mentioned above, and giving your client tangible ways to assess the performance of your service. In other words, provide your clients with key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help them measure the success of your product or service.

For example, if you build a new marketing strategy for a company, write down their historic monthly page visits and track it against their page visits going forward after they’ve implemented your marketing strategy. Hopefully, the number of visits will have increased and you can use that data for future client pitches and to solidify your relationship with your current client, i.e., get more referrals!

In conclusion, don’t be afraid of data and numbers. Quantify your value-add because it will help keep your current clients happy and help you win new ones.

With Love, 


References and further reading:

McKinsey Article: Business Value of Design


  • naperfrenchtutor

    July 29, 2019 at 7:40 AM Reply

    Hi nice article, sounds like you know your stuff.

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