It’s really tough to know how to price your work as a freelancer. Full disclaimer- Currently I’m full-time employed and also work on The Fabulous Times writing posts and sharing all things fabulous. In the past I have worked as a freelancer. There are lots of friends of mine that work on a freelance basis. I’ve also been responsible for hiring freelancers in the past for a variety of creative and financial roles. So, I wanted to share a little guidance on the subject of pricing and how to value your time as a freelancer.
Know Your Worth
All too often I see highly talented creatives short-changing themselves. Underpricing is not always a good thing. Pricing yourself too low will sometimes have a detrimental effect, as potential clients might be dubious and nervous of the quality of work they will receive. Price yourself too high and you risk pricing yourself out of the market. Getting the right balance can be a graceful dance and will often vary from project to project and between clients. Here’s a little more on how to price your work…
How To Price Your Work
The best way to price your work is to look at your competition. Like with any product or service, doing a market comparison will help you to gauge what price to charge. You need to be realistic of course. If a fellow freelancer has a wealth of experience and you’re just starting out, chances are you should pitch a little lower until you have built up a track record. Visit websites like People Per Hour to see what other freelancers in your field are charging.
Another great way to work out your price is to look at job websites and get the salary of a full-time role similar to your level and break it down into and hourly price. Don’t forget to factor in the tax and National Insurance as you will be required to pay this, if you’re here in the UK.
What To Charge?
Always pitch a little higher at first, then you have room for negotiating a better price with the client. If you kick off with your price too low, then there is nowhere to go from there and you’ll end up short-changing yourself. If you feel like you’re working for too little, you will resent the job and end up feeling annoyed with yourself! When you send over your quote, perhaps add something like ‘let me know if this works for your budget’ then you are keeping the conversation open for further negotiation.
Define The Details
When you are in discussions with a potential client include all the costing details in your initial quote. If you offer a service and have to travel, factor in your travel time to your costing. Perhaps you’re an artist and have to use particular materials, include these into your costing. If you require payment within 30days to help with your cash flow- then state this on your initial quote and again on your invoice. Always be plain and clear up front, the client will appreciate it.
Protect Your Brand
Identifying your value as a freelancer very much boils down to what you offer a client. It is paramount that you are clear on what sets you apart from the crowd. If you’re a creative then your own personal style will be your selling point. It is important to protect your brand and not undervalue your unique identity. Spend a little time learning how to protect your brand perhaps you need to add copyright marks to your design work or watermarks to your photography. Make the necessary efforts to protect your work and always keep records, this way if anyone bootlegs your work or infringes on your copyrights- you have the paperwork necessary to take action.
Recognise Your Experience
Recognise your experience and value it. If you have been working on building up your experience you should value that and charge accordingly. Believe in yourself and know that what you are offering is unique and worthy of monetising. To make money from your passion is a dream come true for most people and the only way to make that your reality is to have self belief.
Connect With Your Competition
Competition is healthy and will help you to create a better product, a better brand. Take time to look at the marketing and websites of your nearest competitors. Just because you might be competitors in business, doesn’t mean that you can’t connect on a personal level. Often connecting with fellow freelancers in your field can be highly valuable. If one of you can’t do a particular project, then you can always offer up a recommendation and pass the job along.
If this post has been helpful, you might also like my post outlining how to land your first client as a freelancer.
“Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.”– Louise Hay