5 Ways to Save Money on Freelancers
This post is a part of our Client Week series (check that page for an index as the week continues).
Many people turn to freelancers to complete project-based work, but some contractors can be on the pricey side. In addition to providing their services, freelancers have to factor in other costs associated with self-employment. Still, there are numerous advantages to seeking a solo worker, and ways to optimize costs in doing so.
Assign Several Projects
If you have a number of projects you need done, consider giving the freelancer dibs on all of them. They may give you a bulk discount for giving them a steady flow of projects, which is in many ways priceless for a freelancer.
Be careful not to try to entice a contractor into a discount by telling them that there is more work available if they “do good on this one.” It’s okay to mention that you have other projects, waiting, but don’t expect a discount for it. Freelancers live in the present; so if you are simply promising more work in order to get a discount, they have likely heard that one before.
Haggle… a little
While some contractors may balk at the thought of their rates being second-guessed, it’s okay to ask if they can do any better. One way to get the rate down is to offer to pay in cash if the freelancer is open to that. If you have a product or service you’d like to give them free, you can also offer that. Many freelancers are open to perks and will bring their price down for say, a free membership or a product they can use.
But try not to push too much. Research going industry rates for freelance professionals (which depend on what they do) so you know the range to expect. If you get a bid that goes over your budget, you can always request a discount. If the freelancer refuses, decide whether you think he or she is worth the money, or if you want to look elsewhere.
Ask for Some Revisions Included
One way to rack up fees on a project after the initial project is complete is during the revision process. A lot of contractors charge an hourly fee for extra touch-ups—and you never know how long that will take. Instead, try to negotiate complimentary revisions into the deal. You may not use them at all if the project comes out spot-on, but chances are you’ll want to fine tune the material. Asking for up to two rounds of revisions is acceptable. I make sure to add revisions into my cost as an extra bonus to clients and let them know that after two rounds, they will have to pay extra. But just one round of revisions included is a huge money-saver. Gauging what the revision process will entail isn’t easy for freelancers or clients, but it is always practical to expect some sort of editing on a project.
Freelancer won’t budge? Ask for a cap on the revision costs. And if you wind up paying by the hour, try to give revisions in as few emails or calls as possible to save you and your contractor time.
Don’t Rush the Job
Two things that contractors usually charge extra for: rush jobs and nasty clients. In addition to being polite, try to give the freelancer a reasonable timeline on the project. If you have had the project sitting on your desk for weeks and expect to have it completed in two days, that’s not fair without expecting a rush fee. Avoid rush fees, which most freelancers charge, by letting the freelancer know that a project isn’t a “rush job”—but be sure to set a deadline with the freelancer so you keep things moving along swiftly.
You will be surprised how much further you get with a little politeness. Freelancers may be more apt to knock a few bucks off a quote or add in some edits for free just because you’re easy to work with. And if nothing else, you can both do some networking together.