Pricing/Charging a Client may be one of the trickiest things to do in Freelance if not properly planned. That is, in situations where a Freelancer is not on top of his/her game when it comes to placing a financial value on the job to be done, he/she could be taken advantage of by the Client. Sometimes, Clients won’t mind paying less for a job that is worth more simply because it is business nature for every businessman/woman to want to spend less, save more and still get quality. Therefore, how a Freelancer prices his/her services is very important. It makes a big difference in how prospective clients view your business. It is how we say this is what I’m worth and often times when Freelancers start early, we tend to price our work low in the bid to attract and generate clients but at the end of the day, we realize that most of the times, what we have generated are clients who are ridiculous bargainers. Therefore, pricing too low to undercut competition sends the signal that the Freelancer may not be so confident in his/her abilities and can take any job at any price. In that regards, it can be confidently said that to solve the problem of ridiculous pricing, Freelancers need to learn to value Freelance more and see it for what it is, a Professional brand and career with something unique and invaluable to offer.
So what is the pricing guide for Freelancers?
Always charge based on project/service to be offered: Do not set an hourly rate!!!! I can’t stress this enough. Charging an hourly rate has more disadvantages than the opposite I probably can’t think of any advantage right now. See, one of the cons of charging an hourly rate is that some clients do not actually care how many hours or minutes you spent doing the job but getting the job done and charging an hourly rate is quite flexible but dangerous because sometimes, you are liable to spend more than estimated, so, how do you explain to your client having billed him/her for two hours to get the job done that you had to spend extra hour because the job took you by surprise? In essence, charging hourly is not reliable and what’s more reliable is charging based on project/service to be offered. That is what is referred to as charging based on value. Charging based on value encapsulates everything. It helps you to evaluate how much time, energy and sleepless nights you’re putting in, the level of mental and creative processes involved, how much you will probably be spending on the project, etc. so, when you know all these and more, it helps you to financially quantify your value and that in turn determines how you price/charge.
Furthermore, there are mistakes Freelancers make and should be avoided when it concerns Pricing
1. Pricing/Charging in a rush: This is the first of it all; Freelancers should not be in a hurry to send a quotation to their clients or be impatient about telling how much they are willing to or not take. When it comes to pricing, it is something you thoroughly think through and not arrive at a conclusion in a hurry. It is very easy to say something is in a particular way but it is not very easy to say it is not like that anymore especially when money is involved.
2. Charging based on what other people charge: This is another mistake that should be avoided. There is no yardstick for making up your pricing for every client. No formula, no rules. Always come up with what works for you! I remembered always having to call someone up to ask how much he/she would charge for a screenplay in situations when I have a screenplay job. Now, the truth is, it helps me to have an idea of how it is done but the truth is a part of me would always want to stay in that pricing line – trying to exceed and trying not to fall short but another truth is, it takes away my attention from the job itself and before you know it, you end up a victim of low pay for a lot of work!
Finally, in pricing a Client, every Freelancer should always ask the question, how much value am I providing this client? When you know how much, you can decide how much to expect from that client in return.