By Steve May, Copywriter and Director at ROCKATANSKY.
Without doubt, the biggest weight on any new freelancer’s shoulders is what to charge.
Is it enough? Is it fair? Am I selling myself short? Will the client tell me I’m dreaming?
Coming from an agency creative department, I’d never touched that stuff. And rarely been in meetings to do with scoping, creep and other fancy finance-y words.
When you first enter the freelance ranks, suddenly you’re a financial pioneer. Let’s face it, most creatives are sensitive souls and find it difficult asking for more chicken salt on our fries, let alone asking someone for more cash.
The breakthrough for me was simply my first freelance gig. This is what I charge, hit send on the email, followed by fingers crossed and anxiety. Then, like magic, the fee is accepted. Whoa. Is this a joke? Just like that? Crazy.
Here’s the thing…
As freelancing gets busier you’ll quickly come to the realisation that you cannot ride this emotional rollercoaster of price on every job. It’s impossible; you’ll end up with an ulcer or rocking in the corner of a padded room.
There’s just no time.
And no time forces economies upon you. You have no choice but to agree with yourself on prices or risk losing business – or your mind.
Once your fees are set (I’m a day/half day rate kind of writer), you’ll be amazed how the weight of freelance finance is lifted from your delicate shoulders. For you can finally forget numbers and concentrate on words.
In essence, your lack of time does you a favour.
Charge what you want. The really important thing is taking a leaf out of Nike’s book: just do it.
Here’s to more writing, less calculating.