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This is Day 8 of 31 Days to Start a Freelancing Business (or Make Yours a Better One). Click here to read Day 1.
Now that you have a menu of freelancing services, the next step is to decide on how much you want to charge for each one.
By the Hour vs By the Job
In general, freelancers charge either by the hour or by the job. You may want to decide on this first.
As I’ve said previously, I prefer not to charge by the hour. My reasons for this are:
- I tend to work fast.
- The length of time it takes to complete a task is not the only indicator of how complicated or difficult it is. I could just be distracted or unskilled.
- The number of hours doesn’t take into consideration my expertise in performing the task.
- Neither does it consider the value my client will get from my work.
In other words, I find charging by the hour to be too simplistic.
I take an eclectic approach, where the cost of each service is first determined by my hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours it would typically take me to complete the task. And then, this figure goes up or down depending on a number of factors. You can read about the details of this approach here.
But that’s just me. You may feel more comfortable with charging by the hour. It’s totally up to you.
To Post or Not to Post
Once you’ve set a price to your services, the other question is: should you display your rates or not?
I do. I’d like my prospective clients to know right away whether they can afford me or not. Besides, when I am looking for a freelancer, I want to know right away if they’re out of my league. In fact, if a service provider doesn’t publish his or her rates, I get frustrated and I don’t even bother to ask. I just move on to the next one.
As Naomi Dunford says, “Nobody likes to feel poor.” And when a prospect contacts you and then finds out they can’t afford you, they feel poor. Not a good start.
On the other hand… I now find that performing the same task can have varying degrees of complexity, depending on the specifics of each client. For example, I find it much easier to write about certain topics than others.
I may be changing my approach soon. I won’t remove my rates altogether from my site. But I may indicate a ballpark figure, or a minimum rate, and request a prospect to give me details so I can give a quotation. What do you think of that?
Many blog posts have been written about the issue of pricing freelance services. If you have time, you might want to check out:
2. How to Set Your Freelance Rates (An Overview) by my freelancing friend, Laura Spencer, over at FreelanceFolder.com
3. 12 Realities of Pricing Web Design Services, was recommended by James of MenWithPens.ca. It applies to all freelancers, not just designers.
These are just a few because I don’t want to overwhelm you.
Got pricing suggestions you want to add? Please post them in the comments below.
photo credit: pfala