How to calculate the cost of your services as a freelancer


Setting prices for your services is another task for a freelancer, especially a beginner. After all, if you name a price that is too small, then you will not make enough money. And if it is too big, you will lose the client. how to be

I will try to explain how a freelancer calculates the price for his services so that there are as few objections as possible.

Methods of calculating the cost of services for freelancers

When setting the price for your services, remember that the customer always wants to get quality services cheaper, and the executor to take on the task more expensively. That is, everyone’s own benefit is important, so there is no exact and correct amount. You can experiment, and later you will come to the optimal indicator for you. And you should start with the following methods:

  1. Research competitor prices. See how much professionals with similar skills and experience charge for the same services and try to calculate the averages. Be careful with this, because there are many people in the market who are afraid to raise the price tag due to impostor syndrome or unwillingness to lose a large stream of cheap customers.
  2. Calculate the cost of an hour of work. The calculation is based on the amount you need for a comfortable life during the month. That is, how much money you spend, what related expenses you have, or are you trying to save. Simply divide the received amount by the working hours. Let’s say I need about 30 thousand rubles per month (this is just an example), and I spend 4 hours at work 5-6 days a week. In this case, the calculation is carried out as follows: 25 * 4 = 100 (hours). 30,000/100 = 300 rubles per hour

    Remember, this is just an example! You will need to confirm the calculated figures so that the customers do not have any objections. By the way, I will talk about this below.

  3. Experiment with the minimum bid. There is a cool technique when you indicate the price – to write in rubles. What will it give you? If you discuss the possible nuances in advance, after the estimate it will be possible to raise without problems when the task turns out to be more difficult than expected.
  4. Consider the complexity of the project. I can say for myself – sometimes the work takes several hours, but as a result, everything turns out to be high-quality and interesting. And sometimes you have to conduct some preliminary research, delve into the details, think over the structure, and also tinker with additional materials. And if the edits come later? Ufff … Try to at least note to yourself when completing tasks how difficult, long or tiring it is (if it is so). Later, simply use as evidence in the discussion with the customer the kind of case on which you base your conclusions.

Personally, for me, the most optimal is a flexible approach, when you set the price depending on the volume of work in the current project, focusing on the complexity of the topic and task. Accordingly, the price changes every time, but the risk of cheapening is quite small.

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Choice of payment method

Now decide how you will set the rates. There is a fixed fee, and there is an hourly fee. Let’s consider each option.

Fixed payment

Fixed payment is when you set a certain price for a specific amount of work. For example, copywriters can focus on the text format or thousands of characters, designers – on a specific graphic project (banner, poster, presentation), programmers – on the complexity of the site or application.

Advantages of this approach:

  • The total cost of the sale is already known, so the client concludes the deal more confidently.
  • Received fees are not limited to the number of hours worked per day.
  • Payment will definitely be provided regardless of the amount of time devoted to the work.

There are also a number of disadvantages of the fixed payment option:

  • It is difficult to estimate the real cost of project implementation, especially in the initial stages.
  • It is necessary to indicate specific completion dates, taking into account the changes made, the number of these changes, so as not to rework.
  • You will have to make a recalculation when performing work in excess of the stipulated amount.

Paying at fixed rates is suitable for those who perform tasks quickly. Or for those who have not yet worked out the impostor syndrome 🙂 Further, the choice depends on how convenient this method is for you.

Read also

How to respond to a vacancy if you are a newcomer

How to become self-employed

Hourly payment

Now let’s move on to the consideration hourly rate. Its essence is simple – the customer pays for the fact that you devote a certain amount of time to the work. The advantages of this approach are as follows:

  • With its help, you can easily calculate the total cost of project implementation.
  • Earn more for long-term performance.
  • As you gain experience, you raise the rate.

Of course, there are also disadvantages:

  • The fee is provided only for a specific hour worked.
  • Earn less by completing tasks faster.
  • Sooner or later, there is a risk of setting such a rate that customers simply will not agree to.

I will note that when setting hourly rates, you will have to use tools that track working hours for proof. Some customers may trust, but many will likely drop out. This approach is also good for beginners, in long-term projects, or where the client does not know what he wants.

What I recommend to prevent accidents:

  1. Enter the prepayment. It is relevant if you are going for one-time cooperation. Otherwise, you will repeatedly face the fact that you will be thrown for money. And if the client does not agree to prepayment, this is already an alarm bell for you.
  2. Set the conditions for raising the rate in advance. How many edits can be made, what amount of work you will do within the specified amount, etc. The more detailed you describe it, the less problems there will be later with rework and lack of proper payment for a job well done.

How to reinforce the price

Here you set a price, but it seems too high. Most likely, from the fact that it is not shown why the services cost so much. In order to weed out all the claims, I recommend to reinforce the price tags next to the evidence.

  • The uniqueness of the sentence. What is it about you that makes the customer agree to pay exactly the amount you set? Maybe the quality of the work or the speed of its execution? A creative approach, the ability to communicate and perform technical tasks are also important. It is the unique qualities that will convince the client to turn to you, paying more, and not to thousands of others who provide the same services at a lower price.
  • Experience. Have you worked with large or well-known companies? Or in a trend agency? Maybe you have a dozen successful, promoted cases? Specify it all! Such items will only confirm the fact that you are doing a high-quality job and large investments will definitely pay off.
  • Portfolio. A great way to show that you have worked a lot and well before is to provide a portfolio with the best examples, cases. If you also design it beautifully, the customer’s trust is guaranteed.
  • Recommendations. Those with whom you have previously collaborated in some way can order a word for you or write a general recommendation. Accordingly, you not only confirm your professionalism with case studies, but also with the words of former employers.
  • Education. In today’s realities, it is often not so important. But if you are working on your profile, it would be nice to indicate where and when you learned it. It is especially relevant if you apply for cooperation with a narrowly focused organization. For example, in the production of electronic boards and their components, pharmaceuticals or medicine, automotive industry, etc. It is not superfluous to indicate additional education – these are any courses, certificates, advanced training (if any) and others.

The main thing is not to be afraid to seem impudent. The customer may agree to your terms, especially if he is conscientious, formulates the task clearly and competently. The freelance market is overcrowded, and therefore there are many who cut corners in order to get at least some clients. But at the same time, it is not always possible to find honest performers. And if you are like that – dare! 🙂

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