Pricing Advice for Freelancers Considering Long-Term Work

20 September 2011
lovely yellow cat contemplating
Many freelancers dream of landing a long-term stint with a favorite online client some day. When the chances comes however, very few individuals are prepared to answer one very crucial question: How how much should you charge for freelance work?

Today's blog post will not discuss specific rates but will arm you with some tips on how you can reach a price that will keep you and your client happy.

First Projects

Always charge the full price on your first projects. Whether you like it or not, long-term clients do expect discounts for future work. Giving them such incentive is one way to bring in repeat business.

Another way to phrase the advice is: Never low-ball your way to win a regular project. You start low. You'll end up receiving less over time. Stay financially safe by anticipating a slice price cut when you commit for more work.

Revisions and Consultations

Be very clear about your pricing expectation for consultations and revisions. Plan a system that is mutually beneficial to your client's and your own interests.

For easy projects, you may offer to include revisions in your asking price already. Doing so affords the client some peace of mind that he will not be short-changed on the quality. At the same time, you are able to keep a tab on your schedule by accepting revision requests within an agreed time frame only.

For difficult projects, it is best that you set and inform the client of your professional fees. Brainstorming, planning and troubleshooting require your expert advice and time. It is only fair that you get paid for them. Charge by the hour, and make sure that when you are chatting with the client, you stay on topic.

Submission and Payment Milestones 

Keep the working relationship smooth by paying your respective dues on a regular basis. Clients want to see output. Freelancers like you want to get paid.

Remember to give and take often. Do not wait for a month to update each other. You can give daily status reports and then turn over some work at the end of each week for partial payment.

By chopping your schedule into manageable sub-parts, you are able to iron out potential problems early. The payment will motivate you to finish the work on schedule. Clients will feel assured that you are indeed working on their project.*
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