Should You Tip a Freelance Website Designer?

I sometimes joke with my clients in an attempt to make light of an over-billing or duplicate invoice disaster by trying to cover up my mistake by proclaiming “I ACCEPT TIPS!”… but it’s really just a bad joke; An attempt to make light of the fact that I’m human and running a one woman show here, and sometimes mistakes are made, or my billing system decides to have a mind of its own.

In actuality, I’ve been doing Freelance Website Design for over 10 years, and i’ve gotten tipped once.
It was unexpected, and even though it was only $20 bucks or so, it was a welcomed “bonus”, and gave me the confidence to carry on my chosen career path. It was a pat on the back that I needed early on.

So the question is, should you tip your freelance website designer
Simply put – Yes! But it doesn’t have to be money. Let me explain.

1. We don’t expect monetary tips.
Yes, we are providing a service, but we’re not a waiter. We’re billing you according to your project specifications and providing an end result that you’ve already paid for. Sure, I’ve contemplated adding some type of “tip jar” to my website, but I have other ideas for that besides you paying me money, on TOP of what you’ve already payed me. Will I accept them? For sure! It’s a kind gesture, but just know, it’s not expected AT all!!!

2. A potential client hiring me is enough.
I’m honored every time I’m hired by a client. After 10 years, I still feel extremely proud that a potential client likes my work enough to trust me with their project and pay me for it. Without my clients, I’d be a penny-less singer/songwriter.

3. Word of Mouth is the best tip ever!
If the freelance designer your working with has met your needs, or exceeded your expectations, do them a solid and refer them to your peers and colleagues. Even more gratifying and reassuring than receiving a $20 tip was having potential clients emailing me saying they were referred by a previous client who had an awesome experience. That more than anything lets me know that I’m doing my job and I’m doing it at a level that people are satisfied with.

4. Send over a testimonial!
Whether it’s during your checkout process, or just jotting something down and emailing it over to your designer letting them know that they can use you as a reference anytime is priceless. No dollar amount can replace a solid testimonial and reference for future clients. It’s that whole “teach a man to fish or give a man a fish” saying.

All in all, if you’re happy with your freelance website designer, show them in whatever way you can. Remember, they don’t have a boss to pat them on their back and keep them motivated, so any little bit of encouragement that comes their way goes a long way. :)


(Oh, and if you’re freelance website designer sucked?! Make sure they know that too.. it’ll either help them wise up or change careers.. I’ve heard so many horror stories over the years of freelance web designers giving us all a bad wrap.. It urks me to the core!)

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