It is never worth the compromise, on your part, to lower the value (monetary of otherwise) of a project with a potential client on a premise of them promising you “future” work. I can assure you that such future work will never come. A customer requesting the full delivery of service, and sometimes more, but for less of an invoice, is not a compromise!

A little logical thought… if they’re unwilling to pay you what you know to be your worth for the requested job now, what makes you believe that they’ll pay accordingly for the next one? Accepting this behavior sets a bad precedent for your work, reputation, and undermines your overall worth as a graphic designer. Most of these types of clients will go out of business as fast as they go into it, so that “next job” they promised will never come to fruition. These “clients” will always seek the cheapest route and it shows in every aspect of their business model, from their understanding of quality and substantive work to how they pay their vendors. 

You will be taken advantage of if you decided to lower your rate and take the job regardless. Additional grief will follow shortly after your invoice is received. It’ll be said, “we need more time to pay you” or “I thought we agreed on less.” When payment upfront is requested, they’ll deter from giving you a deposit, with an excuse like, “what if I don’t like what you designed?” 

The mere fact that they are attempting to negotiate a lower rate, means that they are aware you’re the graphic designer they need for the job. You’ll be told that they can find someone else to do it cheaper, but be assured they are simply finding ways to manipulate you. You have the upper hand however, they are hiring you, not the other way around! 

Even I have done projects I will never show in my portfolio, for reasons that would go on for pages here, but I know that saying “no” to a job is sometimes, if not often, is difficult to do, however it is a necessity with regard to “cheap” project requests. Should you still decide to say “yes,” whatever the reason, just be sure that you can honestly be happy about it, not stressed over it.

Don’t ever sell yourself short, your design integrity and quality depends on how you treat yourself, not how your clients treat you.

Side note: When accepting a design project, be as descriptive as possible on your invoice as to the exact service(s) you are providing and its limitations, such as how many edit are acceptable from the client without additional charge and final deliverables upon artwork approval. I cannot stress enough, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, demand deposits or get full payment before beginning any creative work! And get your invoice signed when accepting a deposit… it essentially becomes your design project contract.

I offer you this solution in an info-graphic format...