As much as everyone would love to have me do a blog post including every possible service and a price list of what to charge, that is impossible. Pricing as a freelancer is so dependant on so many varying factors so instead I have listed the things I consider when quoting a project to help you feel more confident with pricing.
HOW MANY HOURS WILL IT TAKE YOU
The easiest place to start your pricing is with the hours.
This is something you should consider whether you are using a hourly pay method or flat fee because let's be honest you need to be paid for the time spent either way. This may be difficult in your first few jobs because you may not know exactly how long something will take.
If you are just starting out with your first few clients out of study, then you may just be looking to make more than your current part time or full time job. So increase your hourly rate slightly. Let's be honest though, if you are just starting out you are more likely to take longer doing the project than someone who has been doing it a while so don't go crazy. If you are moving from your current [insert profession] job to freelance then you will have a greater idea of your hourly rate worth.
Always take into consideration extra hours that may occur with the project. For example driving, emails & communication, meetings, or revisions. To avoid unlimited time spent in revisions, speak with the client about the allowed amounts of revisions prior to commencing the work.
HOW WILL THAT WORK BE USED, AND FOR HOW LONG?
Next you do have to consider how the work will be used. For a photographer you would certainly charge different for a personal headshot compared to a national campaign. Ask the questions like where will it be used? How will it be used? For how long will it be used? Of course that isn't going to give you back an exact number value for what that usage is worth but it will help you understand the scope of the project and potential budgets. This isn't a definitive number and it will change for every job. There are some cases where I thought I could be paid X amount and the visual agency at the time said I could double that, then there are other times when working with large clients when they want heaps for next to no budget.
IS YOUR BRAND BEING USED AS A PART OF THE PROJECT?
This is sometimes a tricky situation. There are clients that will hire you for my services then you may have clients that are hiring the package that comes with your brand. If they are wanting you and also your name that holds value you have to consider that with pricing. On a side note, if they are wanting your brand as well you have to really consider if that project is a great fit for you to be associating yourself with. Now your brand 'value' is extremely hard to put a price on. No one can tell you what that is. Personally, I think in your gut you will have a number that feels right for your brand at that time and it's something that will change over time and change per project.
FACTOR IN OTHER COSTS OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS LIKE TAXES, SUPERANNUATION, SICK DAYS, HOLIDAYS, ADMINISTRATION
Working for yourself you need to consider more than just being paid for the hours working on the project. Just like a studio would factor in leases, super, taxes, marketing etc you need to do the same. If you're earning above $75K in Australia you will need to be charging 10% for GST. Then you will need to think about how much in a year you will need for a few weeks holiday and a couple of sick days. Think about how much time roughly you will spend a week on admin like invoices, and how much % you're wanting to contribute to your super.
IS THIS A BRAND THAT MAY HAVE A SMALL BUDGET BUT A PROJECT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO?
So what if the brand comes back and says they don't have the budget for your quote? In this instance I would ask what the budget is, then weigh up if it covers my time. If it covers your time alone and it is a project you're excited about I would do it. If there is no budget at all, then it would have to be a really fucking good project for a good cause. I don't buy that companies "don't have any budget" so always ask for at least some compensation. If you settle for not getting paid what you're worth from the start it is much harder to increase your pay when working with that client later on.
Remember that in that time when you're creating for a client and not getting paid you could also be creating your own personal project that is 100% what you want to be creating.
IT COMES WITH TIME & PRACTICE
Everyone with their first few clients have no idea what to charge or if what they are doing is correct. There is no wax on wax off approach. I have tried googling it and even then it makes me more confused than I was before. Let's be honest though, sometimes you will get paid more than the hours you put in and sometimes you'll be paid less than your worth. You will learn from every client and become more confident with charging along the way. Don't sell yourself short and sometimes it is worth pushing your upper limit and then negotiating if needed.
Be very particular about what your price covers. Include what your policy is if the work commences then the client decides they no longer will use the work, if the client changes brief mid-project and include prices for hourly rates for revisions outside your agreed limit.
Including all these things up-front really helps establish boundaries around your pricing and avoids that uncomfortable chat later on if something comes up.
I hope this helps and if anyone has any other tips on pricing I would love to chat in the comments.
If you have any other business/creative things you want me to chat about on the blog, leave them below.