Pricing has always been the Achilles’ heel for freelancers and faulty pricing can cause harm to a freelancer’s career. So, it becomes really important to go about it smartly. The pricing trends across industries are changing, and one needs to acclimatise to those changes and implement them. This will not only ensure growth and more income but also help achieve the lifestyle you aim for.
Smart pricing benefits the freelancer, while making sure of more, and better quality, business in the future. Here is our little gift for the new year - The painkiller list to help reduce the pain that is pricing.
1. ‘Project-based pricing’ over ‘hourly rates’: For the longest time, pricing was based on the time it took to take a project from start to finish. However, today, with apps and other digital friends, the time taken to finish projects has reduced considerably, and with time based pricing, sometimes that does not get you what you probably deserve for the work you have put in. Additionally, with creative projects, it becomes even riskier, since there is a possibility of you getting done with them sooner than you anticipated. Hence, time-based pricing should ideally be a no-no in today’s world of technology and digital evolution. Look at a project and calculate smartly of how much it should earn you. Consider the value your work brings for the client, and charge accordingly. Knowing what value you bring to your client helps you understand how much your work is worth to the client, making it easier for you to quote a price.
2. Consider how much you like the project : This might seem like a weird criterion but it makes your life easier, and does away with regret. If a project seems less enjoyable, it is okay to charge more. Account for that, in your head, as the cost of dragging yourself through the work, and the possible mental drainage it will result in. At the same time, if a project seems really interesting, and will help you experiment and grow, consider that as an added incentive and if the client’s budget is low, accommodate your charges within it. Solely because the job satisfaction with an enjoyable project will be more, your interest will have you work faster on it, resulting in reduced time and added efficiency
3. Negotiate : Negotiation isn’t a bad thing. However, your aim behind the negotiation shouldn’t be getting only what you want, but to achieve an amicable number between you and your client, and removing the prospect of regrets on either end when it comes to the money. Negotiating well will help you earn more, if you make your client understand the value your work is bringing to the table. That way, you ensure he knows how much your work is worth, and makes it easier for you to reach closer to the number you want, if not get the exact amount you wished for. Not to mention of course, that if your client thinks you’re reasonably priced, that could mean tones of repeat business!
4. Change is the only constant: Hike your rates at regular intervals. With each project you are gaining experience and brushing up on your skills, thus, making you a better professional than you were a few months ago. This calls for a hike in your charges, and you should implement them. Losing clients might be a possibility, but you will only lose the smaller, less-paying clients. Better clients will always look at the increase in your charges as a sign of growth and it stamps, in their minds, your belief in your own work. This way, you will get have a better chance of gaining quality work with higher paying clients and earning more from less, but good, work.
5. It is okay to have a difference in cost for big and small clients. When you’re starting out, there are a host of businesses that will require your services. Some will be large corporations, with large budgets. Others will be small start-ups, with smaller budgets. As a freelancers, it is a given that you can’t have a standardized cost across the board. How do you then decide how this pricing should be fixed? There are a few factors that you could consider – the budgets you think the company has (they may not always be upfront with you about their actual costs), the amount you like the work, and finally, the lowest amount you are willing to take for the job.
Given these criteria, work out the best number for the job, finding the balance between scaring them away and under-quoting.
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