My Freelance Journey Pt. 2: Picking a Price Tag for Your First Job

Filed by team twago on November 13, 2014

Pricing yourself as a freelancer

Facing the pricing dilemma and how I overcame it.

Last time I wrote about my first step into freelancing. The big jump I made from being employed and receiving a fixed paycheck to working completely on my own without having a concrete idea how I would make a living from it.

The first thing I did, after I decided to work as a freelancer, was to let everyone in my professional and private networks know “Hey guys, I am available.”. The second step for me was to sign up on twago to get access to a wider range of potential customers.

The first person to offer me a freelance job was someone who had heard I was freelancing now and asked me for marketing advice. Having a Master´s degree in Marketing and Management, I was really excited about getting my first job in the same field! Very soon after the first euphoric phase, I was left with the question:

How much was I going to charge for my work?

It was incredible difficult for me to put a price tag on myself. I felt somehow uncomfortable with the whole matter. Up to now, I did not have to think about how much I wanted to charge for my services. I never had to wonder about this because I relied on my employer to tell me how much the company is going to pay me for a certain position. But things are different now. In the freelancing world you get hired to do a specific job. The people hiring you are not seeking to do you a favour. The work relationship is a simple exchange of clearly defined variables. But the rules are negotiable, and so is the pay.

This is how I went about putting a price tag on myself:

  1. Make clear what the job includes, what you will deliver and when your job is done (if the project description on twago is not detailed enough, send the client a message and ask for more information)
  2. Consider the clients budget for the project (you can see on twago)
  3. Ask other freelancers for their rates
  4. Take your time thinking and check how long it will take you to complete the job
  5. Name your price

This process might take a bit longer the first couple of times but experience will soon make your pricing quite intuitive. My research showed me that my client was offering very little money for the amount of work he wanted me to do for him.

So I sent him a list of how I would go about the job, an estimation of how long each task will take and then, tadaaa! I found an adequate price tag for myself. I took a deep breath and hit the “send” button. And the waiting began. Finally the client was not able to spend the amount I suggested. We negotiated about the exact tasks and finally decided to leave some tasks out. I was happy with the pay and he was happy with the “market analysis done”.

The job went very well. Man, was I relieved!

What I really learned from my first experience in working as a freelancer is that you can always talk about the variables of your job. Keeping consistent communication with the client while applying critical thinking allows respectful negotiations that will in the end leave both parties satisfied.

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Valeska is a passionate photographer, writer and blogger who decided to follow her dreams after having worked as an IT consultant in the corporate world.

The sparks started flying when she quit her corporate job and embarked on a year-long journey across the world. Since then she has lived in Sweden, lead a German Start-up and is currently studying photography in Berlin.

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