Bidding for freelance projects is not an exact science. Especially when starting out, we can accept a rate for a project and then realize that we’ve actually undercut ourselves by not taking into account all of the little extra things we do on projects that we don’t count on the bid. Here are a few examples of costs we may forget to think of when pricing a job.
Mistake No. 1: The Cost of Research
When I first started freelancing, I was happy to get a gig writing 100 articles on an aspect of the finance industry. As many new freelancers do, I hunted around for what I thought was a suitable rate per article, placed my bid and was very pleased when I landed the gig. However, by the end of it, I wished that I had charged more. Because of the specifics of the job and demand that the content needed not to flout restrictions about financial probity, I had to do a lot more research on the topic than I would have normally. – That took considerable time; time that I wasn’t being paid for. Of course, I completed the job for the agreed rate, but I never made that mistake again.
Solution: Include a couple of Continue Reading
Killing the Excuses
I’ve been freelancing full time for a few years now. I’m fortunate that my social circle, online and offline, feels that I’m a good person to talk to about the freelance life. Freelancing is one of my favourite topics, so when I’m asked to meet somebody who is looking for information on making the switch from a corporate job to a freelance option, I try to make time to meet with them to answer their questions.
Generally, my advice to them is similar to what I’ve already shared here; how to build your brand, how to set your rates, and how to write kick-ass proposals. Some of them listen to the advice and find a way to make it work.
Unfortunately, some of them spend more time making excuses that keep them in their current job.
Today, I’d like to take a look at a few of the main excuses that might be preventing you from finding freelance happiness.
Where Do I Find Clients?
Everywhere. This excuse is easy to address because your clients are in your community and around the world. You don’t have a lack of clients; you have a lack of confidence. If you don’t think you’re worth it, your clients won’t either. Continue Reading
Taking the leap into freelancing can be one of the scariest decisions of anyone’s professional career. It often means giving up a steady income and benefits to take a chance on a passion or a love that can bring greater joys. But, taking the leap doesn’t have to cause you heart palpitations and panic attacks. Several successful freelancers have penned books to help others ready to take the journey into freelancing.
Here are my top three books that I think can help every freelancer, regardless of industry, should read:
The Principles of Successful Freelancing
This step-by-step guide walks wannabe freelancers through the steps to successfully transition from the 9 to 5 Continue Reading
There are thousands of books on freelancing, and some of them are quite valuable. But sometimes the most powerful teaching can come from books not written for the freelance audience. With the DoNanza Book Club, we are profiling some of the many books that people read merely for the pleasure, but offer valuable lessons in life and business. This week, Moneyball.
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
Disguised as a true story about baseball, Moneyball may be the “best book ever written about business,” according to The Weekly Standard. The challenge facing Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane is one that many freelancers recognize: How do you compete against rivals who have higher profiles and more resources than you do? Continue Reading
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.
Image credit: 401K
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 Continue Reading
Finding a project you love is only half the battle of freelancing; landing it is more of a challenge. One of the biggest headaches for freelancers is how to price your services. This is not just a problem for new freelancers, who often find pricing a struggle, but also for experienced freelancers branching out into a new area. Here are some tips on setting the appropriate price for the job.
Image credit: 401K
Preparation: what do you want to earn?
Sometimes it’s tempting when bidding for a project to:
* see what others have bid and match it
* pull a figure out of the air, cross your fingers and hope
While we’ve probably all done this at some point, in the long run it’s not a sensible way to operate. Matching what others have bid doesn’t make sense because you might have different skills and different costs from other freelancers. Pulling a figure out of the air doesn’t work because it has no relation to the amount of work you will do (or the taxes you will have to pay on your income). As a professional freelancer, you need a better pricing strategy. Here are some options. Continue Reading
Distraction is the enemy of successful freelancing, but it’s something that happens to many freelancers. It’s all very well to be able to work in your pajamas, set your own schedule and create great designs and content on the move (not to mention keeping up with social media), but those advantages can also be major distractions. How do you create a laser-like focus and get the job done every time? Here are some tips and tools for being a focused freelancer.
The Work Environment
Many freelancers work at home and creating an environment that’s conducive to work is a good first step. Some work best with people present, though having kids or dogs running around may be too much. Other prefer a private workspace with a door they can shut to keep distractions out. Some freelancers Continue Reading
Big businesses get big attention for the work they do in their communities. Companies like Microsoft, Pfizer, Oracle and Merck rank atop the list of organizations committed to charitable giving. These companies donate large sums of money in hopes that will pay off in the long run, both for their organizations of choice and their businesses.
As a freelancer, how can you make a difference in your community without having the resources of a Fortune 500 company? The answer is simple: Offer your services pro bono. It’s a win-win situation. Continue Reading
As a freelancer, you’re going to find yourself working with a multitude of clients. In some cases you’ll work with them just one time, while in others you’ll have the opportunity to develop lasting business relationships. Regardless if a client is new or old, it’s important to treat each project as new and be sure to understand exactly what the client wants.
Don’t ever make assumptions
Understanding the client’s expectations is crucial. Do not work based on assumptions. It’s vital to gain as much information from the client as possible before beginning and in some cases before accepting the job. Sometimes, a client may know they want an app, but have no idea what kind, what it should be for, or even whether it’s a reality. Other times you’ll have a client capable of providing you with in-depth details but doesn’t due to time constraints or communications issues.
It’s important to ask the client Continue Reading