How do I charge for meetings with a new freelance client?

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charge for meetingsA 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…]

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Keeping your freelance rate on the QT with references

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freelance rate referencesDr. Freelance, a potential new corporate client has asked to speak to a couple of my existing clients as references. Is it fair and appropriate to ask those clients to keep the freelance rate I charge them confidential, since it’s lower than what I’ve quoted this potential client? I have different rates for different types of clients, but the new client may not appreciate the distinction. Any advice on approach—what to do/say or what not to do/say—would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!—Keeping It on the QT
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Editing rates and negotiating

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editing rates negotiatingDr. Freelance: I was approached by a successful entrepreneur and aspiring author who’s written a massive book about his industry. I initially gave him my editing rates in an hourly rate (a mistake, I know!), and he asked me to calculate a project fee based on the document as it stands. Well, my estimate was about 25% above his budget, and now he’s asking me to lower my rates. (He still wants me to edit the book, based on my own experience in his industry and the editing sample I sent him.) The challenge is that he wants more than just copyediting: He wants to cut out a lot of fluff, and there are some organizational issues I’d need to address as well as cleaning up the manuscript. I truly believe that my estimate is fair, but I’m torn between wanting the gig and needing to stand my ground.—What’s My Next Move? [Read more…]

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There’s no freelance free lunch

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Dear Dr. Freelance: Recently, an entrepreneur starting a new firm contacted me for a freelance website job. I agreed to a price well below my normal rates – with an additional 35% courtesy referral discount because: 1) his funds were limited; 2) I liked him and wanted to help him; 3) becoming a resource for him could potentially yield work for me from his clients and business partners; and 4) it was a referral from a former colleague.

He loved what I did and paid the agreed-upon amount. We got along well and made plans to meet for lunch to discuss future freelance jobs. The week before the lunch appointment, he asked me to “do some retooling” of my original copy. It was a 5-6 hour job at least; this time, I sent an estimate at my standard freelance rate. [Read more…]

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