Everything you need to know about freelance rates, pricing, and fees
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Figuring out what to charge and how to get your money from clients is one of the most difficult parts about running your own freelance business.
Here's a round-up of the dozen+ posts we’ve written in the last year about these topics -- hope it's helpful to people new to Freelancers Union to have them all in one place. If there are any more questions I haven’t answered, I’d love to hear about them in comments. And if you're new to us, join Freelancers Union to get more posts like this as they come out (it's free).
What to charge?
A detailed, step-by-step guide to figuring out what to charge, how to charge, and the science of pricing yourself based on value, not cost.
Many freelancers begin by undercharging for their work -- and then get stuck in an endless cycle of mediocre gigs. Here’s why you get stuck and how to unstick yourself.
This is a cliche that is worth repeating and repeating and putting up on your wall and tattooing on your forehead: you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.
There are two main ways to charge for your work: per hour or per project. This has long been a topic of debate for freelancers. Will the client reject a high hourly rate? What happens if the project goes beyond a certain timeline? What method is more likely to be accepted by clients?
We’re not going to come down on a side, but we do want to tell you which solution is best for your type of work and project.
Here’s a really simple piece of pricing advice that always works: cut the zeros. What would happen if you quoted them a price of $5,180, not $5,000?
But can we have the lifestyle we want while still making the money we need? Sometimes we don’t need more, we need better. We don’t need more gigs, we need better gigs, which in turn lets us lead more well-balanced lives.
How to make more
If you’re interested in supplementing your freelance income with alternate revenue streams or are interested in moving out of 100% client work, then you need to hear this story.
Most freelancers would love to raise their rates. But how? When? Will you lose clients?
Want to give yourself a raise? Or maybe a new career? Everyone -- full-time employees, part-time waitresses, freelance graphic designers, school teachers -- should have a side gig.
Getting paid (issues & solutions)
An awesome summary of how to deal with late-paying and no-paying clients from Robert Solomon, who has more than 30 years of experience in client services.
Not every client is a deadbeat. Here’s how to get your money from all different types of late-payers, from well-intentioned to criminal.
It's not just that a good contract can protect you if a client relationship goes south – it's that a good contract helps avoid misunderstandings before they start. The very act of putting a contract together forces you and your client to articulate and clarify your expectations up front.
That said, some parts of a contract can be more important than others. Or at least they seem to come up more often in disputes. So, here's a list of contract provisions to be particularly vigilant about, along with some tips on how to navigate them.
A milestone payment is simply a certain % of the fee of a project that the client pays over the course of the project rather than paying 100% at the end. This post explains how and why they work.
Why wait for a check when you could use any one of the following awesome apps for getting paid?
Chasing down payment can be one of the worst parts about being a freelancer. But the good news is, there are professional ways to encourage clients to pay on time. One of the easiest things you can do to deter late payments is to think like a video rental store and start charging late fees.
A step-by-step guide through your last resort.
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