Do you break into a sweat at the thought of raising your rates and having to tell loyal clients that you’re going to have to start charging them more?
Is your biggest fear that all your clients will walk away if you add even a tiny increase to your current fees?
As the new year is approaching, it’s a key time to get your business in order, focus on your strategy and ensure your business will not only be here this time next year, it will be thriving. Of course, earning the money you deserve for the value you add to your clients is a big part of that and many freelancers often don’t charge nearly enough.
One of the most common questions I get asked when coaching clients is “How can I raise my rates without losing any clients?”
So far, none of my clients have lost any of theirs once they’ve broached the subject of their increased fees and many, much to their pleasant surprise, have been met with the same response – “I’m surprised you haven’t done this sooner”. Continue Reading
It’s the situation you hate to contemplate, but almost every freelancer will get their share of payment problems. Whether it’s delays, bargaining, outright refusal or going incommunicado. So what do you do when a client won’t pay? And have you ever been in that situation? Put a vote in the poll and share your experiences in the comments!
My own experiences
Cyan and I encountered a couple of clients who in their varying ways tried to dodge payments. One client who micromanaged us to the point of detailing how many pixels text should be spaced apart, called us up one day to say that they didn’t think we’d done any “real design” and they hadn’t expected to have to “do the work themselves”. Fortunately for me Cyan is in charge of payment situations and calmly explained to a rather heated client that we billed for time not their perception, that our abilities were limited by their own constant direction and that there would be no discounts or revisions to the invoice. We got paid but lost the client (happily). Continue Reading
Some time ago I put up a post here on the ‘Switch about Taking Payment with PayPal, Escrow and other Online Options in which I mentioned that it was relatively easy to create a form on your regular website that allows you to accept credit card payments. Here is an example that Cyan and I used to use on our portfolio/agency site.
This is a pretty neat thing to do because it’s both very simple and it’s kinda nice to be able to say “Oh yes you can pay by credit card on our website” which to most offline people sounds rather like “I am an uber-freelancer and I should be charging you six squillion dollars an hour, but you’re getting me for a steal”. In actual fact when Cyan and I had the form on our site, we only actually took payment through it maybe a dozen times, but just having it on the site made us look that much more professional.
NB. Want a job with SEOMoz? Check out their job ad on FSw jobs!
I love discussing how much freelancers should and do charge, so when I came across a post at my favourite SEO blog – SEOMoz – on how much various SEO consultants charge I thought it was worth a link. Especially because believe it or not, SEO consultants go right up to a staggering $1000 p/hr – no that wasn’t a typo, I said one thousand with three zeros!
Specifically according to the site SEO experts charging on an hourly basis fall like this:
The simplest way to price a project is to charge by the hour. Rates in SEO vary with the lowest, entry level folks around $40-50, mid-tier consultants around $100-$200 and high-demand firms & people from $300-500. SEOmoz is obviously actively trying to limit our clients by going way outside the norm and charging $1000 / hour.
Aside from charging by the hour, the post also goes on to explain other methods of charging like:
- Pay for Traffic
- Pay for Rankings
- Monthly Retainer
- Modified Profit Sharing
- Standard Profit Sharing
- Contract Services
- Project-Based Consulting
The author – Rand Fishkin – also describes what projects tend to go for. If you’re a freelance SEO I highly recommend giving it a read.
These days a lot of freelance work is happening online, often internationally and often without you and your client ever meeting. Thanks to the web we now have access to a much larger client pool which is great news, however it does present a whole raft of new problems in terms of payment options and trust. Laws about payment, fees and facilities for transactions and legal fallbacks for chasing payment all differ around the world.
In this post we’ll look at using payment services such as PayPal, Escrow, Moneybookers and others to relieve your client’s wallet with a lot less hassle. And while I bring up the topic because of international transactions that I’ve recently had to pursue, all of these payment options would work equally well in a local setting, so don’t feel you need to be a jetsetting freelancer to make use of them.
Bank and Cheque Processing Fees, and Effort!
When it comes to taking payment from international clients, your number one enemy is processing fees. It differs around the world, but certainly here in Australia processing a cheque from overseas or receiving a bank transfer can incur significant fees. For example recently I processed a US$100 cheque at a local bank, the total of fees I paid came to AU$33 which is about US$25. So basically close to a quarter of the cheque went to the bank. Continue Reading
One of the most important things to take into account when calculating your hourly rate are the plain old numbers of hours, costs and profits. And to help you do this, we’ve built a simple calculator tool to play with. It takes about 5-20 minutes to complete depending on how much attention you give each calculation and is a useful tool for working out a starting point to base your rate on.
Remember your hourly rate should always take into account factors like market demand, industry standards, skill level and experience – things that unfortunately we can’t put into a calculator!
Code by Errumm
Work isn’t free. Well, for the most part. It should be common sense that if you do work for a client, eventually you’ll get paid for it. No matter how much it is in the end, it is often a question of how you charge your client, or on what basis you do it.
There’s a lot of dispute about what’s the right way to charge, and doing it wrong can lead to unwanted situations between you and your clients. In this article I’m going into the most common ways to charge and how to make them work successfully for you.
Getting Paid By The Hour
This should be a no-brainer. You work a certain amount of time and get paid for the time spent working. This usually means keeping a time-sheet and billing your client the result of (hours x hourly rate).
It clearly has advantages. You get paid for what you’re actually doing in terms of time spent on a specific project. This kind of charging surely is in favor of you, the freelancer, since you also get paid for those extra hours you put in.
by contributor Scott Wills
(Note that any figures quoted in this article are purely for demonstrative purposes, you must consider your industry, country, expertise and other circumstances to determine a rate for your work)
Price your services too high, and you lose the gig. Price yourself too low, and you wind up feeling resentful about the project, which in turn may ultimately culminate in an inferior result. So what then is the best way to price a freelance project, win the contract, and make both you and your client happy?
Your Break-even Baseline
To begin, you have to establish your hourly baseline. What is the minimum amount of money you need to charge as your hourly fee? What is the minimum amount of money you need to cover your overheads without making a profit? This, fellow freelancer, is your break-even baseline. Once you establish a baseline and start to understand that earning anything less than this equals a bad, unprofitable business, it will make it a lot easier to determine how much profit you then want to make. In turn, this will ensure financial viability for your ventures, and can help price your projects more competitively in the current market.
Above all else, establishing a baseline is about being honest with yourself. If you are unrealistic about how much to charge a client, you are only fooling yourself and in the long run you’ll probably get hurt doing it.
Figuring out how much to charge is one of the hardest parts of freelancing.
Over the years I have given much thought to how to price jobs and I’m sure its a topic we’ll be discussing aplenty here on FreelanceSwitch. Today I thought I’d write out how I go about costing a job.
The first point of call when deciding on charges should always be how long it will take you to actually complete the job. If there are extra costs like printing, web hosting, outsourcing an illustration and so on, then you should also factor in how much it will cost you to have these done.
When a new job comes in I break it up into components and then estimate the time it will take to complete each one. I then multiply my hourly rate by that number of hours to get a costing for the job. When I first started out I would break down the job to the nth degree so that the components were really atomic tasks which I could estimate easily. With experience though you get better at estimating without needing to do that. Continue Reading