How much to charge for your services

Discussing about money with a client is often uncomfortable and you never know how much to ask for. For a freelancer this is even harder.


So, how do you know how much to charge for your services?

A great piece of advice I got was to divide the sum I am aiming for in a month to the amount of time I have for my work. This way I will get to the hourly ideal payment.

Some clients take more time, others less. Finding a balance between how much time you spend on a project and a minimum sum you are willing to do the job for is a starting point. THis knowledge is important when you get to the negotiation phase.

Always leave a door open at the negotiation table to come back if you find out the project exceeds your initial estimation of time and resources and you need more to continue. I usually give a three months period to settle in, and if something is not right I call another talk.

Another important issue is how can you charge more?

After gaining some wisdom and experience, your market value goes up. But how can you show this to a future client?

The first trick is focusing on the value of what you offer. Don’t think so much about the number of hours you will put in a project. Start thinking about what your services mean for your clients. How do you make their life better? How does that bring more business?
The next important point is to NEVER talk about costs without stressing value first. Also, never give an estimate cost before you take a look and do a quick audit of their online account.
Take time to explain the added value of what you will be doing. Explain each step, why they are important and how you will measure their benefits. So many times a client doesn’t know how much work is behind a great ad and they will appreciate more if they know that you put in graphic designer skills, analytical skills and copywriting skills. And if you have any great examples of your work, don’t be shy to show them. Noting convinces more like a good example from your own work!
In the proposal document include the purpose of your work – what does it mean for the project. Always ask yourself WHY before the client does, and give the answer before they ask it, it won’t pass unnoticed!
Finally, align your proposal with the clients goals. Take time to understand their business, ask many questions because people love talking about their work and the change they want to bring to their customers. Gather as much insights as you can and include solutions to the problems you identify.
Being generous with your expert advice at a client meeting can help create a better image of yourself and this will help you in many other ways than more money could.

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