It’s a question many businesses ask themselves. How much should I charge for my services? The answer is always “$17/per hour” but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to put into practice. When it comes down to pricing, there are a lot of variables that go into consideration. You’d be surprised how many freelancers don’t like to talk about pricing upfront due to the fear of losing business but instead prefer to work on spec. That’s because there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to pricing. While there’s no exact science to pricing, there are a few tried and tested methods you can use to get the best deal for your services.
Establish A Starting Point
When you first start out as a freelance copywriter, it’s easy to be tempted by the low-end contracts and the promise of quick and easy money. However, that can quickly turn into a nightmare if you don’t know how much you should be charging. Establishing a starting point is essential. You don’t want to come into unknown territory without any sort of framework or basis for comparison. For example, if you’re a freelance copywriter and your friend happens to be a graphic designer, you can ask them what they usually get paid for similar projects. You can also look at other copywriters’ prices if you want to get an idea of what you should be asking for. Another good idea is to look at other industries for comparison. What are the going rates for an attorney or paralegal? A public relations professional? Even a business journalist or business advisor?
Keep Your Demeanor
You’ve got to keep your demeanor when negotiating, but you also don’t want to be too aggressive either. As a freelancer, you’re in a better position to demand more because you have more to offer. But that doesn’t mean you need to play hardball. For instance, if the client is unwilling to make a counter proposal or haggles over a price that’s far below what you think you’re worth, you can politely decline their offer and move on to the next one.
No good deed goes unpunished. It’s a fact of life. You’ve done the client a favor by taking on their project and you’ve done something great for your business, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try and take advantage of you. As a freelancer, you can expect some level of distrust from your clients due to your unsupervised nature and the fact that they haven’t officially hired you yet. It’s not that they don’t trust you, it’s just that they don’t know you. So, as a way of showing the client you’re a valuable asset and not a cost center, make sure you follow up with a proposal for the next project. Even if it’s just an hour or two of work, send them a quick email or send them a file containing your proposal. Something as simple as, “Thanks for the opportunity to submit a proposal. I’d be happy to send you a copy of my proposal once I’m finished.” will make them feel like you’re not taking advantage of them but instead are a valuable asset. It shows you’re keeping their best interests in mind even though you weren’t directly paid for the work they commissioned you to do. For more information on how to negotiate, please see:
The Importance Of Establishing A Reliable Stream Of Income
There’s no question that being a full-time freelance copywriter is a lucrative career. The key is to make sure you’re setting up your freelance business and pulling in the revenue you need to support yourself. If you’re serious about making this a regular source of income, you should try and get paid beforehand for the work you do. The more you’re paid in advance, the less stressed you’ll be when your income is garnished by a debt collector. Believe it or not, getting paid for work you’ve done in advance is actually a lot less stressful and a lot more profitable than getting paid by the hour. It also allows you to be much more selective with the projects you take on due to the predictability of your income. For more information on this subject, please see:
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many variables that factor into the cost of a freelance copywriter. But, in general, if you’re freelance copywriting for fun or as a secondary income stream, you can expect to charge about $17/per hour. The more you charge, the more you’ll get paid, but try and stay away from anything below $25/per hour due to the higher likelihood of getting stuck with low-paying contracts.