How to Manage Freelance Pricing Blues
August 20, 2015
August 20, 2015
If knowing what to do is one thing, knowing how much to charge for what you do is something else, and not everyone gets it right.
Pricing your freelancing services is almost an art, and you’d have to go through multiple experiments with self, your work, and with clients.
Mastering the fine art of pricing, however, allows you to be well on your way to freelancing mastery. It allows you to earn more, and maybe even get away from the clutches of daily work lead your self towards financial freedom.
Here are a few tips on how to manage the blues that comes with freelance pricing:
Don’t start with low pricing
Contrary to popular advice, which goes something like:
“Start with a low price, build your portfolio, and then slowly raise your prices…”
“Always start low, because you have nothing much to show in terms of portfolio…”
Stop, right there. If you don’t have a portfolio, build one. If you never had a client or if you are just getting started, create a speculative portfolio with self-initialized work.
Whatever you do, don’t start with “low” prices. Instead, start with prices that are justified for you. Look at your competition, take the average price, and mark your price at least at an average of the price your competition (fellow freelancers) charge.
Get away from hourly jobs
Hourly jobs are usually the norm. They are also convenient and give both the clients and freelancers a well-channeled and well-delegated work to achieve. Hourly jobs make no difference for a client (especially if they are looking for long-term, well-planned work). For a freelancer, however, hourly jobs are bad on many counts:
- Hourly projects punish freelancers for efficiency. If you can finish a job in 20 minutes, what do you do for another 40 minutes?
- There are only so many hourly projects you can pick in a day since you have limited time in a day.
Your prices are non-negotiable
- Almost every other day that you spend hustling, pitching and working to get clients, you’ll be expected to lower your prices. You’ll hear something along thes lines:
Other freelancers are charging so less. Why are you so expensive?
- Can you give us a discount?
- We’ll give you work in bulk, can you give us a better rate?
Assuming you are good at what you do, and if you didn’t know this earlier, we’ll say it now: your prices are non-negotiable.
Take it or leave it
You decide your terms and conditions, work quality, and portfolio. Your general feeling about the client, clients’ business, and the work itself, holds true for you and you don’t need justification for that.
You determine your pricing too. Increase prices as much as you need to, as long as you can justify the price with the value you provide.
When you are freelancing, you are in business. The reason why you wanted to be on your own and do freelancing is because you wanted to be your own boss.
In your freelancing business, you call the shots. No one dictates terms for you.