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Freelancers - do you charge for meetings with clients?

(11 Posts)
sara11272 Tue 27-May-14 16:11:50

Just that really - I'm a freelancer and do regular ongoing work for one particular client.

Every so often they ask me to meet with them to discuss future projects. Clearly, the first time I met them, before they'd confirmed they wanted me to do work for them, I considered this a 'business development' meeting and therefore wouldn't have dreamt of charging them - but for ongoing meetings, should I be charging them my hourly rate?

I haven't been to date but it occurred to me that they might be expecting me to and thinking it's odd that I don't.

Does anyone know the accepted etiquette here?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Flexly Tue 27-May-14 18:25:29

Hi Sara - I think it depends on a lot of things. I hire freelancers constantly and would not expect to be invoiced for them attending a meeting to discuss a current or future project. However if I wanted a freelancer to attend a meeting as an 'expert' to input on something else in the business, then yes I would expect to pay a consultants fee.

How you outline costs in your quote can also cover you. For example, you could state that for a project lasting x amount of time, included in your fee are x number of meetings at their office. Anything above that would incur an extra charge (for travel expenses and hours lost etc).
What industry are you in? My experience is in media and creative so clueless really as to whether this is the norm in your area of work.
HPH. Good luck with it!

TalkinPeace Tue 27-May-14 20:49:53

switch to a daily rate : then the answer is clear

sara11272 Wed 28-May-14 07:25:04

Thank you Flexly, that's helpful. I'm a marketing consultant, so not dissimilar.

I think you're right, specifying at the start of a project would be a good way of including a certain number of meetings and then being able to charge for the rest.

I'm pleased you wouldn't expect a freelance to charge for meetings, honestly, as I was more concerned that I looked like a mug/wasn't following expected protocol than I was about losing out on a few hours' chargeable time.

I'm not sure how a day rate would help, Talkinpeace? My meetings would always be less than a day long, therefore I'd pro-rata my rates and still need to decide if I'd charge or not for the meeting?

Thanks for the advice, all v welcome.

Appletini Wed 28-May-14 08:45:11

If they're a regular source of work, I probably wouldn't charge unless it involves a lot of travel.

TalkinPeace Wed 28-May-14 14:04:01

Its about : what else can you achieve on that day.
I do not bill for less than half a day.
DH has a minimum charge of per day because he can only (normally) do one booking a day.

sara11272 Thu 29-May-14 19:02:17

Fair enough, Talkinpeace, that makes sense.

Appletini, I contract for one client and the second (occasional meeting) client is about 10 mins walk away so rarely any travel specifically for the second client- I usually manage to tag meetings on to days when I'm in the office for the contracted client.

Thank you all for your replies - it's good to know I haven't been doing anything out of the ordinary.

1981 Thu 05-Jun-14 21:12:21

sara11272, my brother is self employed and works on a retainer basis. e.g when he signs clients it's stipulated that they get X number of hours per month; project meetings come out of that (i don't think travel time counts though, just active work on the projects, i guess if he wanted to encourage them to do skype or conference calls more someone in a similar position could include travel time as Talkinpeace mentioned since it's time you're not able to work on other clients.) any time in a given month over that allowance is charged at a set rate (in half day increments) which again is stipulated in the client contract, and it varies depending on the client (discounts for good, repeat work and suchlike).

i've helped him with his paperwork in the past and this is the only way that seemed to strike a balance between being transparent and fair to both parties, clear up front, clear to invoice etc. - i've seen his paperwork from the other ways he tried it (hourly fees, on a project cost basic, and whatnot) so maybe that way works for you too.

geriA8 Tue 24-Jun-14 21:15:23

I work as a freelance distributor for a very large company that is based within the health and wellness sector, promoting high quality products. I build teams of motivated people who inturn go on to build their own teams.The earnings potential is massive. I do alot of one to one business presentations and also train and advise fellow team members in order to help them acheive their sales potential..I dont charge for consultations as I get commission from the sales of other team members, so really you have to weigh up what you will gain long term from the consultation. If u stand to make alot in the future if all goes well, then I personally wouldnt charge.

Wordsmith Wed 13-Aug-14 23:09:10

If it's a retained client, then meetings are itemised within the time sheet. If a project, then I base my quite on including a certain number of meetings

MushroomTree Thu 14-Aug-14 16:42:06

I don't charge for the initial meeting as like you say it's more "business development" than anything else.

After that I do charge for the meeting and for the travel time and costs. I have one on-going client that is an hour away from me and meetings typically take a few hours so if I didn't charged I'd have spent a whole morning/afternoon not earning any money.

However, I do know that the client expects me to charge for this as he told me at our first meeting.

The way I see it is that meetings are part of the job so they still count as work and as such should be charged.

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