How to Price Your Freelance/Consulting Services so You Don’t Get Screwed
Freelance friends, independent contractors, and dear digital nomads! Welcome back to my new weekly series, “Friday Freelancing.” Right here on Medium, I’ll come to you each Friday afternoon with advice on how to make working for yourself actually, well…work. I’ve been doing it for nearly 20 years and am happy to share tips, tricks, secrets, strategies, and best practices. Be sure to follow for guidance on getting business, growing business, and managing finance, projects, clients, and your desk. Basically, how to make money and not go absolutely nuts.
In the last two weeks, I introduced you to Freelance Heaven, where clients pay on time, work is done by lunch, and you can work from a lounge chair at the pool at the beach. You may not be at the beach yet, but I am here to help. In my kick-off post, I invited you to take Friday afternoons off and dedicate the time to business development, and I gave you five things to do to drum up more business. Last week, I added five emails to send to develop more business.
This week, let’s talk about pricing. In Freelance Heaven, you get paid what you’re worth, if not more. Clients pay their invoices on time, they offer you projects you love, and the check clears with zero trouble. Freelance Hell, on the other hand is waiting 90 days to get paid on a job and then seeing that money go in and out of your checking account in seconds. Woosh! It’s gone. It’s not enough. I have hard news to hear: you are likely not charging what you are worth.
TIME IS NOT MONEY
First, let’s make some changes to your pricing strategy. Most people charge based on time. And they do that because we have all been trained that “time is money.” It is not. You are not a mine worker. If you want to break free from that paradigm — an accepted truth that is surely holding you back — it is time to subscribe to a new way of thinking. Get rid of your “hourly rate” (or re-calculate it based on below). I offer you three very large considerations that ought to affect your pricing. Pricing is an art, not a science. Craft your price based on these and you’ll command more: