Product or service pricing for freelancers can be difficult especially if it’s your first freelance gig and you really need the work and want to prove yourself. You will also notice that different freelancers charge different rates, so exactly how much should you be charging as a freelancer?
Over the years I’ve made the mistake of underpricing
How to set your rates as a freelancer
As a freelance, you can charge hourly, project-based, performance-based, retainers or a combination. When it comes to charge per project, don’t charge based on the time that they will spend on the project.
Performance-based rates are when you charge the client based on the performance or results of your work. I don’t recommend this unless you have a minimum base rate + commission.
|Fee Structure||How it works||Pricing Model|
|Hourly||Time-based arrangement, you bill by the number of hours worked.||Hourly|
|Performance-Based||when you charge the client based on the performance or results of your work||Commission|
|Project-Based||You and your client agree on a fixed rate based on the project.||Once-Off|
|Retainer||A fee paid in advance in order to secure or keep services whenever they’re required.||Ongoing basis (monthly)|
How do I determine my freelancer fees?
- Estimate the time that will be spent on the project.
- Experience: How much experience you have in your industry influences how much you can charge.
- Factor in additional consulting costs.
Do you invoice before or after work is done?
Sending invoices after the job is complete is the most common method for service businesses but also the worst one for freelancers. In most cases, companies will pay you late, There are more cons than pros to receiving payment AFTER rendering a service.
As much as we’d like to think we’re doing clients a favour by having them pay after, we’re actually doing the opposite. Once a client has reaped the benefits of your labour, there’s a higher pain in paying afterwards rather than paying it first.
I don’t recommend doing work before payment UNLESS it’s for clients you’ve already worked with and trust.
Even if you’re new, do NOT work on bigger, more time-consuming projects before payment is received.
If the client you’re working with is aware of your new status and is trying to put a lot of work on you anyway without having paid first, take that as a red flag!
Consider implementing a payment plan for those who can’t pay in full for your services, but in a way that makes the total amount MORE than what it would be if they just paid in full.
Plenty of businesses implement interest, your service can very much do the same as it incentivizes people to pay in full.
Tips for Freelance Rates & Pricing
- You can also consider a partial upfront payment method. 50% now and 50% upon completion for larger projects is perfectly normal and won’t be an issue to decent clients.
- Be intentional with the way you work in regard to payments. If clients are scope creeping, be assertive and let them know that, if you want to, you can provide the service for an additional fee.
- Boundaries are important and without them you will not be a happy and thriving freelancer.
- Do not work for clients that give you a power trip vibe. Remember, you are NOT their employee, they are your CLIENT.
- Don’t go into detail regarding what your price is. If you want to give a short quick snippet, that’s fine, but your rates are your rates. Explaining them in detail shifts the power dynamic between you and your client. YOU are the expert, they are not.
One of the best lines you’ll use will be this: “Let me know if you have any questions.”
As women, we feel the constant need to over-explain, apologize, accept blame, and ask permission in ways that we don’t notice.
Say the things you need to say with conviction.
Don’t ask “is that ok with you?”, Don’t ask “how does that sound?”
Simply say “let me know if you have any questions.” Because this single line is a nice polite way of saying: “I said what I said and there’s no negotiating it.”
It also decreases the chance that any questions asked will be geared towards questioning your pricing or assessing your competence, and it positions you as the person in charge of the conversation.
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