Often when working in the church world, you get asked by church members that admire your work or by other churches if you freelance. Freelancing can be a rewarding but also scary step. We’ve put together this short list of tips for new and aspiring freelancers that want to get ahead in the game.
Value vs. Hourly Pricing
Price 100% based on the client and the client’s needs. Always use value-based pricing even if you know it only takes an hour an hour to complete the project. Never have public pricing info except for minimum engagements.
Exposure Bucks and “Future Work”
Never give discounts based on vague promises of future work because 90% of the time; it’s just a trick to get you to go lower. The only exception is to:
- Have firm long term contracts.
- Charge full price plus some on the first and offer a lower price on future engagements.
When negotiating round numbers ($20) means I’m open to another offer. Exact numbers ($19.53) indicates that’s my final offer.
Never take an opening offer seriously because experienced negotiators always start with an exaggerated anchor to throw their counterpart off guard. No one ever shows all their cards as soon as they come to the table. They are typically hiding three pieces of information that, if known by you, would completely change the negotiation. Spend the time to figure out what the real reasons for the project and value it will bring then use that to play the game. When negotiating round numbers ($20) means I’m open to another offer. Exact numbers ($19.53) indicates that’s my final offer.
Make a Profit!
Another thing to remember is that you need to make a profit. Figure up all your expenses and add a profit margin based on experience. Many clients undervalue you because they are used to paying employees. It may be perfectly acceptable to pay a web designer employee $25/h, but for a freelancer, they’d need to pay $50/h to cover their extra expenses. There is a high cost of doing business as a freelancer and additional taxes that are typically covered by your employer.
Take Advantage Of Your Time
It doesn’t matter if your family is starving, and you’re about to be kicked out of your house. Never signal to your opponent that you want the deal to close.
Never let time work against you. When time is against you, you make compromises. It doesn’t matter if your family is starving, and you’re about to be kicked out of your house. Never signal to your opponent that you want the deal to close. NEVER. As a freelancer, you have an advantage because, more than likely, the client wants the job done by a specific date. You can use that to help close the deal faster.
“You need to lower your prices.” – Client
As long as you’re still in business, you can never be overpriced or overvaluing yourself. There’s plenty of people charging $5 for a logo and plenty changing 5 million. The difference isn’t the amount of time spent or tools used but the amount of value and brand security. You are not for everyone. Find your tribe and focus on offering the best service possible to your tribe of people. When the client truly values your work, they’ll pay for it. (Thank you founding fathers for making the USA a free market nation!)
Your First Project
There are lots of variables involved, so for your first project, I’d recommend asking them to make the first offer and going from there. You won’t be able to charge the same as someone just as good as you that has an extensive client list and portfolio. Your first few projects will be less than what you’re worth, so expect that and take it as an opportunity for building your portfolio.
Want to learn more about negotiating? Read Never Split The Difference
Need help branding or marketing your business? Contact me!
Have a great day! 😀