In the last article, I looked at per piece and per hour project pricing models for freelancers. Today, it’s time to look at pricing per project. This strategy offers protection for both freelancers and clients, but you have to do it right.
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Pricing per project
Give a project price and both you and your client know exactly where you are. The question is, how do you create a good project price? The work you have already done to set your target hourly rate will help you with this process. The other thing you need to know is how long it will take you to do key project tasks. It’s always a good idea to time yourself for a while when doing projects so you know what’s realistic. You’d be surprised how much ‘working’ time is spent on searching for gigs, updating social media and random web surfing. If you want to have a handle on the real figures, use a time tracking tool such asRescue Time. Tools like this work in the background and give you reports on what you’ve been doing and how productive you are.
Fine tuning the project price
Once you know how many hours you spend on a freelance project multiply this by your hourly rate to get the basic price — but hold on: that’s not the price you’re going to charge. That’s because most projects don’t go completely smoothly. Add in a couple of hours for revisions and unforeseen extras that always come up; that should give you a project price you can live with. A word of warning — you don’t want to price yourself out of the market. Check out your competitors’ websites and the results of freelance income surveys to see how your rates compare. If your rate is double everyone else’s then you’d better have a good reason why, which brings me to the next point.
Pricing by expertise
There’s another factor that will affect your pricing strategy. If you are an expert, you can charge more. Your client isn’t just paying for the project but for the wealth of accumulated knowledge and skill you will use to deliver their project. The risk here is that the client will go to someone almost as good and much cheaper, so you need to have your credentials ready to display. A great freelancer portfolio and a narrative about why you are worth every penny will help you here.
Raising your rates
The final piece of the pricing puzzle is adjusting your prices from time to time. Every year your costs rise with inflation, so your prices have to increase to match. You also become more expert in your field. And you may also branch out into additional services that add value for clients. How do you increase prices without losing clients? Here are some tips for letting your clients know what they are getting:
* Get a great freelancer portfolio and share it everywhere. Make sure that you show off the full range of your skills, include recommendations and have links to other online hangouts like Twitter and LinkedIn.
* When you write up your services on your website or portfolio site, highlight the benefits to clients.
* Include testimonials from happy clients.
* Focus on attracting clients who value expertise over price.
* Make it clear either on your site or in your client communications that you raise rates from time to time so there won’t be any surprises.
If you have the experience in your field and can prove it, then you can be confident in raising your rates when the time is right. One option if you’re not sure is to raise your rates for new clients and give existing clients a temporary discount. You can use this method to test what the market will bear. If there’s no pushback, then you can implement the rates raise across the board. What strategies have you tried?
Resources for Pricing and Setting Freelance Rates
* Freelance Project Hourly Rate Calculator - All Freelance Writing
* Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator - All Freelance Writing
* Template for Project Pricing - Sitepoint
* How To Set Your Freelance Rates - Freelance Folder
* Setting Freelance Rates Series - About Freelance Writing
* Setting Rates: a Field Guide - Solo PR Pro