Project pricing vs. hourly rates

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In response to a recent post about Raising your freelance rates,” commenter Mitch Devine of Love Hate Advertising asked for a followup about my philosophy of hourly rates vs. project pricing. So here goes!

First, I should say that I have no ironclad rules about pricing freelance jobs other than trying to figure out what the client is looking for. In the Freelance Forecast 2010 survey 70% of the clients surveyed preferred either a firm quote or not-to-exceed estimate—and only 6% chose an hourly rate—assuming the same overall cost. [Read more…]

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Raising your freelance rates

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Dr. Freelance: It seems like every freelancing site out there talks about raising your freelance rates, but I’m hesitant to just do an across-the-board announcement for fear that I’ll lose clients. What’s the best approach to increasing my fees?—Ready for a Raise

RFAR: Yes, raising your freelance rates is a common rallying cry, and I believe it’s a reaction (and occasionally an overreaction) to all of the lowball clients and content mills out there. As far as how to increase your profitability through higher fees, here are a few approaches to consider when giving yourself a raise: [Read more…]

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What’s the cost of a $25 client?

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Dr. Freelance: I’ve got a relatively new client who, not kidding, results in an average per-project billing of somewhere around $25. I like the client and I need the work, but how can I convey that these little tweaky projects are driving me nuts?—Short Stop

S.S.: I think we’ve all been there at one point or another, and I know what you mean when you’re willing to do something for a $25 client because you like him or her, and even twenty-five bucks can add up over time. At the risk of answering a question with several questions, here are five things to consider with a nickel-and-dime client: [Read more…]

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Why working on commission is best left to salespeople

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Dr. Freelance, I’ve recently experienced a rash of potential clients suggesting I should be working on commission. (I do a lot of PR work, so they want to pay me based on how much press I get them, for example.) I’m not sure if I’m giving out some sort of weird vibe or if this is just a temporary thing, but I know for sure that working for free is no way to pay the bills. Any suggestions on how to handle these situations?—The Commissioner

Commissioner, I think you’re correct calling it a “rash”—it gives me hives just hearing about it. My guess is that these people aren’t making much money right now, and so they’re trying to figure out ways of doing things on a shoestring. Your shoestring. [Read more…]

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