Here I go again. A chat on Twitter turning into a huge blog post that’s essentially me ranting for a while, pissing off some people and alienating others.
My topic today is a controversial one too. Pricing. Someone tweeted a link to an old study by Cole Henley that looks into how much peep charge per day in relation to what they do and where they live. There was a link in there that helped you quickly work out what you should be charging, though simply done. Mine came to £186. I tweeted this with the comment that it was close to half my daily rate. So disclosure needed: I charge £320 a day (as of 16th November 2011). Some people seemed gobsmacked by that! Andy Clarke himself once said in a video interview that he charges £800 a day. That was a couple years ago, he may be the £1200 person in that link earlier. Is also could be anyone. Don’t quote me. (If I find out who does charge that £1200, I’ll note that here)
Some perspective there.
A conversation then ensued about pricing and we all pretty much agreed to blog about it instead, so here I am.
Why So Much?
Before I began in the web, I had no idea what to charge, so the boss of the company I did my first freelance gig gave me the rate of £30 p/h, £240 a day. I took it. It seems that’s more than some people with years of experience change today. That’s silly.
My feeling is that you should increase your price until the work starts to dry up, so you end up with a balance of the higher prices and constant work.
A few benefits of high prices are that you feel more motivated to work, at least I do anyway. Also, you tend to scare away sillier clients who want the world for a hundred quid. As soon as they see a high price, they usually run a mile. That’s not always the case though. As I’ve slowly upped my pricing, I’ve seen the quality of work that comes through the metaphorical door rise dramatically. Again, that might just be me though.
Yeah I admit it, I’m not a man with a couple kids, mortgage, decades of experience or knowledge, but I know my shit and if people are coming to me, knowing my price and are willing to pay for it, I’d be a fool to say no, if I can do the work they want.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with a small but well respected agency in the music and fashion industries, letting me get some big names in my quiet portfolio that potential clients see. That’s let me prove myself. I am lucky, I know that.
Type of pricing
One of the subjects that came up was how people price things and how that related to an hourly cost. In my opinion, that shouldn’t matter. Whatever you charge hourly, daily or per project, the amount of time you actually spend on the project will be roughly the same. Putting discounts for large per-project quotes aside, you’ll earn the same cash. Might just be me.
If I am quoting for an entire project, I still price things up in hourly costs first and just bunch it together, maybe take a few hours off as a thanks.
No not really, though I would love to be a full time freelancer and have loads of time to do client work and my own projects. That day will come. Until then, I have the luxury of not living off my freelancing money (I have a full time job doing the same stuff), which means I can afford to push my luck a bit. My thinking is that by the time I go to freelance full time I’ll have a high enough rate for me to only need one week’s client work a month and live solely from that and use my other time to do personal projects like Kodery and admin stuff.
Let’s talk on Twitter about it. @pauladamdavis