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How to budget your freelance projects?

Figuring out the right price to ask your clients is one of the first challenges you come across as a beginning freelancer. How you calculate your freelance rates is important because your price has to be just right to win your clients. If your price is too high, the client may never respond to your proposal. If you charge too low, the client will suspect and think of you as a cheap amateur freelancer.

There’s no need to make this a problem. Whether you’re a freelance writer, designer, developer, or a marketer, here are a few tips and tricks you can use to figure out the ideal price for your services:

Look at your business and living expenses.

When on full time employment, most of the costs of running the business are taken care of by your employer. Once you decide to freelance, you will have to cater for all these costs and expenses from your pocket.

Therefore, you have to put these costs and expenses into consideration when setting a rate for your services. Costs such as hosting for your website, subscriptions for any business tools and services you are going to use, internet, telephone and other utility costs, travel expenses if your work requires traveling. In addition, you should make sure that your rates allow you to earn enough to cover your living expenses.

Experience

Another thing you need to consider when setting your freelance rates is your expertise and experience. As a beginner, clients might not have the same confidence in you as they might have in you as they have in an experienced freelancer.

Clients do not know what you can do and might consider working with you as a gamble. Therefore, if you are just starting out, you might need to charge lower for your services as you build a portfolio and find your first few clients. However, once you have built a persuasive portfolio and increased your expertise, you can charge higher fees. 

One should also keep in mind that, as a freelancer, you are selling your specialized skills and knowledge. It therefore makes sense for you to charge higher rates as you continue improving your skills and expertise.

Project vs. Hourly

“What’s better?” wonders every freelancer.

Some freelancers have an hourly rate, while others prefer to charge a fixed rate for each project. There is no right or wrong way. In fact, you’ll probably find there are some situations when it’s best to charge per hour, and others when a fixed project rate will be better. In developed countries due to minimum wage rates, hourly freelancing works whereas in developing countries like India there are no set wage rates so hiring on project basis is much more preferred. 

Be confident

How you talk about your pricing matters. Be confident. Emphasize what you’re delivering and its value, not the price. Don’t apologize or tiptoe around the price like it’s a bomb.. Say up front what it costs. If you don’t know, tell them you’ll find out. Don't negotiate or bargain too much, this might affect your long term reputation and you may not quality clients.  

Save Project uncertainty

While freelancing you’ve to get thorough about the uncertainty of the projects. Since you’re never sure that you’ll be always getting projects; there will be times that you might sit idle for days without any income. So you need to plan accordingly to get through the ups and downs of freelancing, which also depend on whether you’re freelancing full time or part time.

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