This is a common issue that we all encounter during our freelance career. You enter a space where you find a wide range of prices that sometimes make absolutely no sense. Some article writers will charge per hour, some per word and their price range can be pretty wide. You, as a newcomer become confused and have no idea what to do. Should you follow the one that has the lowest price, the one in the middle or the one with the highest price? The answer is none. You should always have a minimum price for your work calculated before you start sending the proposals.
I have spent way too much time on calculating the prices for my work. Some guides were helpful, some were a complete waste of time and in the end, it all depends on what is the lowest price you would work for. This is where we should all start. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when calculating your minimum price.
1. Establish your minimum salary
Calculate your minimum monthly wage by adding every expense you have during the month to the equation. This includes your bills, rent, food costs and projected savings (don’t go too far with that one). How much does all of that cost? If you plan to work 8 hours a day then divide the total cost with your projected monthly working hours and there you have it, your absolute minimum price for your work.
2. Don’t ignore taxes
Everything mentioned above is great for starters but you should always think about your taxes. You don’t want to end up with no cash at the end of the year when taxes are due. They are a key part that should be added to this equation.
3. Pay attention to the working days
On average, a working year should last about 260 hours but you can’t base your minimum wage on that assumption. A lot of that time you won’t be charging your clients but rather reaching out to them, sending proposals and doing marketing for yourself. A good rule of thumb that I use is 5 working hours per day. This is the number you should use in the minimum wage calculation.
4. Prioritize projects.
This is probably the most important part. We all know that there are some projects that look exciting and there are some that you would just rather not touch. But what to do if a client with non-interesting project contacts you? Have two sets of prices. For projects, you would enjoy working on use your minimum wage or add just a few dollars on the top of the price. For the ones you don’t like add 50% or even double up. This way you may hate what you are doing but at least you will know the pay is great at the end of it.
Freelancing can be both enjoyable and rewarding if you set things straight and know your priorities. Work hard, play hard and always charge the right price for your projects!
If you feel something should be added to this list of tips please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below!