Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Making money as a freelancer

7- Pricing your work: Be fair and reasonable.  

Now as a freelancer, you have to take a few things into consideration when you are figuring out how much to charge. For example, I've seen logos range from $150 to $150,000 and a lot more.

Now if it's for a large company, if you told then a logo would be $150 they will run for the hills... who, in a large company is going to trust that you will design a great logo for them for only $150. What about Joe's Pizza? Charge them $1500 for a logo... they will run for the hills too. 

Take into account who it's for and how your designs will be used. A local ad campaign is worth less to your client than a national campaign. And although the amount of time and effort are the same... you should be billing a higher fee for the larger usage.

8- Bill by the project and NOT by the hour.
If you bill by the hour and you are very creative and fast you will work a lot and GO OUT OF BUSINESS EVEN FASTER.

You should not be "punished" for being really good, efficient and FAST. 

Ask yourself "how much is this worth?". If a logo is worth $1500 and you designed it in 1 hour, your client is not paying a fair and reasonable fee for your work if you bill them for an hour of your time. If you are like me, chances are you spent years training and lots of money setting up your freelance business. If the logo is worth $1500 to the client, bill $1500.

Every now and then you will get an assignment that is easy... let's take logo design again as an example. I designed a logo for Xerox. During the meeting I had it designed in my head. I went back to my studio and in 15 minutes it was done. Xerox didn't care how long it took... they were interested in the quality and what it was worth to them. 

Now look at it another way... sometimes an assignment is hard... but if you bill by the hour you will lose a client, have trouble collecting money and get poor word of mouth.

For example Joe's Pizza wants a logo... you tell him $10 an hour ( not really.. it's just easier to do the math)... then it takes you 100 hours to do the logo (again... just and example). "Hey Joe.. here's your logo.. $1,000 please." NOPE! You are in for trouble. You are not billing what the project is worth to the client.

So when it comes to the question of how to charge a fair price for a project..  billing by the project is the best deal for you and your client. 

So, bottom line.. bill a fair and reasonable fee for your work on a project based on what it's worth.

9- Work out your costs AHEAD of time and get 50% up front as a start fee. 

Or if the project is very large, break it down into a payment schedule. If they complain about doing that.. TURN DOWN THE ASSIGNMENT. If you have trouble getting them to pay you a start fee, you will have a lot more trouble getting paid later.

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