[This post is part of our special Freelancing Friday!]
Here are some of the biggest mistakes that freelancers make in regards to freelance pricing:
1. You Don’t Charge Enough
This happens to most freelancers when they’re first starting out. They either don’t know how much to charge, or they feel that if they charge too much, they won’t get the job. It’s a big mistake to lowball any of your jobs because it’ll be much harder to raise the price on the next job. Experiment with your rates to find a good balance between income and time spent working. You may be surprised at what you can really make.
2. Letting Clients Bully You
When we first start out, we want to please our clients. Actually, we want to please our clients even after we’ve been freelancing for years. However, many novice freelancers are so eager to please, they practically invite clients to kick them around and make unreasonable demands upon them. Learn to say “no” politely and firmly. Some people will try to push you to see how much they can get you to do for free.
3. You Don’t Prescreen Clients
It’s tough to prescreen clients when you’re first starting out, but it’s better to say “no” to dubious clients than let them waste a lot of your time and you don’t get paid.
4. You Don’t Have a Backup Plan
Freelancing can be feast or famine. Sometimes, you have more work than you can handle; other times, you wonder if you’ll ever find another job. One of the biggest mistakes a freelancer can make is to stop marketing because they are working on a large project. Even when things look good and the projects are coming at you faster than you can deal with them, remember that your good fortune probably won’t last. You can relieve a lot of stress during the slow times by making a habit of putting back a portion of your income for a “rainy day”.
It might be tempting to go out and buy the latest plasma TV to celebrate your success, but when the good times stop rolling that TV isn’t going to look nearly as attractive as enough money in the bank to carry you through.
And what do you do during those slow times? Continue, as you do every day, to make calls, attend networking meetings, and trying to build your business! And keep yourself in the routine of working. Take the slow times to work on personal projects, like your website or blog, a book you’ve wanted to write, or articles for trade magazines.
5. Giving a Flat Price without Knowing All of the Facts
Before giving a flat price for a project, make sure that you know exactly what you’ll be providing and your client agrees to it. It’s best to put this in writing because as the project progresses, people tend to “forget” that such and such wasn’t a part of the job.
What kind of pricing mistakes have you made?
We want to avoid them!