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February 25, 2020

Pricing Your Freelance Services

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Are you interested in freelancing? Are you already a freelancer? Either way, the subject of how much you should be charging for your freelance work will come up eventually. The truth is: different people use different pricing methods when it comes to their services. Some people charge by the hour, for example, while others charge one-time project fees. So, how should you price your services without earning too little or coming across as too pricey? Should you take in bulk work and undercut today's market or should you hike up your prices a bit and tackle less projects? In other words, do you want to be a retail success, like Walmart, or an expensive luxury success, like Selfridges & Co? Let's delve into this a little deeper, shall we?

How Clients Think

Clients are just like everybody else out there: they pre-judge people on a daily basis, whether from their looks, or the quality and prices of their clothes. Yes, although most of these outside factors don't really affect any of the things that truly matter, the mind still considers them subconsciously. Fortunately, you can take full advantage of this as a freelancer.

Most of the time, when clients assess service prices with hopes of placing value onto them, they will try to associate these prices with overall service, work or product quality. So, if they think one of your portfolio end products is much better compared to the ones they've seen from your competition, for example, they won't mind paying more money since they have that good service in mind. However, if they don't think your end product will be able to produce the results that they want, they might not want to pay as much for it, either. Fortunately, you can work all of this to your advantage - provided you keep the pre-judgmental nature of people in mind, that is.

See, subconsciously, whenever people see expensive services or products, or a better appearance when it comes to branding, they automatically think that those services or products are of top quality. In fact, this gets triggered in people's minds almost instantly because of the many subliminal marketing campaigns that we see in the market today. This is why it would actually be a very smart move to price yourself higher as it will make people see you in another light - a better one. Remember: pricing and quality establishment are always interconnected in people's minds, so you cannot go wrong this way.

In a nutshell, it is possible to succeed by charging more than your freelancing competition as you reap the benefits by establishing yourself as a quality service provider.

Of course, you also need to know that your prices should greatly depend on your clients, as well. After all, if you want to pitch to an owner of a business, for example, then you need to know that they will be business-savvy and will want to find great deals for decent work (though the aforementioned tactic might work on several business owners anyway).

In the end, all you really need to know is that it is possible to target common people and use this technique to charge higher prices for your services, so you can get more money and brand yourself as a freelancer of top quality at the same time.

Conversely, you can go the complete opposite way and charge much less if you want. Doing this will surely attract tons of business clients in no time, too.

Pricing Economics

Pricing economics is absolutely vital in the world of freelancing. So, if you were one of those students who never paid much attention in their Economics classes, you deserve a bop on the head right now.

Fortunately, pricing economics is extremely basic. All it does is show that an inversely linear relationship exists between prices and the amounts of things sold - or, in your case, the amount of pitches accepted. So, as the price goes higher, the amount of pitches that your clients will accept will be lower. It's that simple. Fortunately, it is possible to manipulate pricing economics in the freelance industry - and all you have to do is use the technique mentioned above.

Hourly Rates

Now that you know all there is to know about the actual prices that you should charge for your services, how can you put some structure into these charges? Well, one great way to do it would be with hourly rates. Not only will this give you a solid price structure that is completely reliable, but you won't have to come up with difference prices for each project, either. This method does come with its own set of disadvantages, though. For one, if you want to make sure you gain more money in the long run this way, you will have to increase your rate by the hour - and this can be hard to do as it has both good and bad effects. Conversely, you can just work longer every day. However, this will then go against the principles of freedom that comes with being a freelancer. Remember: the best part about freelancing is having the ability to earn good money without putting in too many work hours (read: like the hours you would put in at a regular 9 to 5 job).

Per-Project Rates

Many people mistakenly believe that per-project rates come up out of thin air. Well, this isn't the case. Per-project rates are actually loosely based on hourly rates. One good way to go about per-project rates would be to estimate the amount of time you would need to complete a project if you worked at a certain speed (just think in hours and make sure you make a conservative estimate). Then, multiply that by the amount that you hope to earn by doing projects every hour. Afterwards, you can also add certain premiums if you want, like costs and various other extras.


Regardless of how you decide to price your freelance work, though, always remember to have fun with your work at all times and to set aside some time for relaxation. After all, you won't succeed as a freelancer if you don't enjoy what you do - remember that.

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September 2, 2011 - 10:25 pm
This piece was coengt, well-written, and pithy.
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