A reader asks…Dr. Freelance: Yesterday I had an extended (almost 2-hour) meeting with a potential new client. The good news is that they have a project for me, assuming the estimate is acceptable, and they said there would be more in the future. The bad news is that the project is small enough that I can’t possibly recoup the costs for my time, because it would basically double the estimate. I know you believe you should charge for meetings, but how do I do that in this circumstance? I don’t want to price myself out of a freelance job!—Time Is Money (i.e., you can call me “Tim”) [Read more…]
Dr. Freelance: Like you, I prefer to give prospective clients a range estimate. But once they accept it, what number do I use to determine the amount for freelance project deposits? I’ve heard anywhere from 30-50%—I’m feeling comfortable with 35%, personally—but 35% of what? The low end? The mean? Probably *not* the high end.—Rachel [Read more…]
Dr. Freelance: I have a prospective freelance client — an author who needs his book edited — and he appears to have the money and desire to hire me. He keeps pressing me for a price estimate, but I haven’t seen the manuscript, just one sample chapter that I edited. I’m concerned about extrapolating, because it’s a long book and I’m not sure of the overall quality. What’s my next step?—Hurry Up and Wait [Read more…]
Dr. Freelance: You have probably heard this before, but I constantly look at the going freelance rates for a project on one of the industry rate charts, add up the average per page/word costs, then think, “I can’t charge THAT!” So I end up underpricing myself and throwing in freebies such as marketing plans and so on.
I am aware of the danger of undervaluing my work, but I have really yet to find a client who understands the value in what they are receiving and are willing to pay full price. I recently lost out on an editing project, which I’d priced at $1,500 for 80 hours, to another editor who charged $400. I understand that I need to do a better job of pricing accurately, but how do I avoid losing work to someone who’s supplementing their retirement income with a few dollars?—Shooting Myself in the Foot [Read more…]
In addition to the measurable facts of a project (work volume, meeting time, deadline, etc.), freelance pricing requires accounting for highly individual items that can’t be defined in hours or put into a spreadsheet—but will have an impact on how much you charge: [Read more…]
Wanted to do a quick video followup on a post earlier this week that talked about how you shouldn’t assume a smaller company within a given industry is going to command a lower price than a larger company in that same industry.
The reason I bring this up is that I do believe you should price your services differently based on different industries. As an example, a few weeks ago I was at a networking meeting with a group of other small business owners, and the featured presenter was the former CEO of a large industrial metals company. They produced everything from automotive steel to aerospace materials to fine-grade machine tools. His comment was that they priced differently by sector, region, and country, and they would have been foolish to do otherwise. [Read more…]