Recently, a good friend and ex-colleague from my corporate days wrote to me.
Brave soul that she is, she’s given a long period of notice to her employer that it’s time for her to move on. She’s going freelance and she wanted to know the answer to that perennial question that most of us dare not ask. ‘How much should I charge?’
This is what I said.
- “Give yourself a range. Starting with the minimum you need to earn and ending with the most you think you can get away with without turning people off you.
- Don’t undersell yourself. Chances are that they need you more than you need them.
- Apply the hassle algorithm. Sometimes, you know it will be great fun and or you’ll gain good experience – I charge less for these jobs. Of course the reverse is also true.
- Are they going to pay and pay promptly? I would certainly have applied a pre-job bad-payer tax to some of my previous jobs had I known just how difficult it would be to get paid.
- Is it a couple of days or a long-term commitment? Obvious this one, but most clients expect you to take a lower rate for a commitment of time and a contract.
- Don’t for one second be tempted by the stated day rate. Nothing comes cheap, and you’ll regret it. Incredibly, when people are paying for your time in day or hour slots, they are way more interested in how you are spending your time. Remember why you chose to work this way.
I still haven’t told you exactly how much you should charge though..
That’s because you need to know and understand your own worth. That’s the really tricky bit.”
Here are some useful links for industry specific rate negotiation. Please share any others with us and we’ll update!
Contractor UK – negotiating IT contract rates
London Freelance – general advice
The Single Founder – general advice