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Do you always charge the same rate or do you vary it depending on the job?

(10 Posts)
poocatcherchampion Fri 17-Jun-16 17:40:37

I am just starting out as a freelancer and my daily rate is likely to be £350 ish.

An opportunity has come up to do some work that I would like to do for an organisation but I know they cannot afford that. They have offered the work differently but it comes to about £100 a day.

I would be happy to meet in the middle because i am starting out and work brings work and because it looks interesting.

It is not my core clientele so it won't "get back to" other people I might work with at my proper rate.

Would you do this? Or am I selling myself short?

ChablisTyrant Fri 17-Jun-16 17:52:49

I'd be wary about someone offering such a low rate. I suspect it'll end up being less than NMW for you.

Personally I stick to the same day rate and tweak the number of days I quote for the work according to my knowledge of how much cash they have and how much I want to do it!

poocatcherchampion Fri 17-Jun-16 18:31:36

Thanks for your answer. I am happy with a lower rate because it is not my niche and more generic but take your point about how they might view it.

I've estimated their budget for the work and it is about £1k a month so they would only get 3 days of me instead of the 8 or so they want! Maybe I should look at it hourly.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 17-Jun-16 19:58:34

£100 is v low. It is the equivalent of a £25K salary, if they were paying an employee or less if you take into account them paying on costs. Are your skills/experience worth more than that? I am guessing if you have a day rate of £350 they are....

There is also the issue of tax & the other costs of running your business, which is it difficult to support on £100 a day.

You say they are out of your core 'area' - is their sector/niche somewhere you want to build business? If that is the case there could be more worth trying to make it work. If not, then it sounds like you are getting paid very little for an area you are not really interested in strategically.

As difficult as this is when you are starting out and you don't have much on, you need to think about the opportunity cost. If you do the 8 days at £100 (if I have understood your post) then you earn £800 but you are potentially missing out on £2,800 (8 days at £350). You might kick yourself if you tie yourself up with them and then cannot respond to a better opp.

I think your approach of - "You have £1K, for that you have 3 days or 21 hours" is the only way to go. Definately fix them on the hours/ days, if they are chancers - which I think they might be expecting a freelancer to work for £100 - they could well have very high expectations of what could be delivered for their money.

I have also personally found (marketing freelancer), that people tend to value what you do if you charge a proper rate. I also think £100 to me sounds desperate (sorry if that sounds harsh) and they may well use that to their advantage. I think £350 to me says "I know I am worth it".

You mention the rate not reaching your normal clients. That might be true, but you could end up with a rep amongst this new sector of cheap, so you could find yourself trapped in a low paid cycle etc.

However, this is all very easy for me to say as a stranger. You know how much money you need each month and whether or not you need to take the work.

Good luck.

poocatcherchampion Fri 17-Jun-16 22:03:25

Thanks Margot you have articulated a number of my thoughts. It is partly the nervousness of starting out and partly about moving sectors.

They are not advertising for a freelance at the mo - it is a job I want to do part for as a freelancer. Just wondering how to pitch if they show an interest and it is helping build my ideas of what I am and what I want to be.

As an aside you say you are doing have you found it easy to go freelance? Is it in your existing / networking with previous contacts etc?

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 17-Jun-16 22:35:08

I think being proactive is great. Are you saying they have a job for an y and it is made up of a, b & c tasks. You want to pitch to do c as a freelancer for them?

If that is the case I'd try to forget salaries (ie what they might be expecting to pay somebody to do job y etc) and think about day rate. If they removed c from the job spec would it make it easier to recruit/a more managable job? I know orgs often shove different tasks together which creates a v limited pool of candidates.

I have been going 5.5 years. My advice (for what it is worth):

- As you are, keep your mind open to what you will 'be' but once you develop your specialism/niche focus on that and ensure your own branding reflects it (website, LinkedIn etc). That isn't to say you won't do a little work outside yr niche, but publicly that is what you are.

I would say it is IME much easier to sell yrself on your previous experience. So if you are looking at a completely new market, you might need to build up case studies etc.

- recommendation is my best source of leads. So ensure you link to everyone you know on LinkedIn & add new ppl as you meet them. Post interesting content on there. Be helpful & useful to others.

- tell those you know you are now freelancing and looking for work

- promote yrself. I have a monthly enews and guest blog. I speak a couple of times a year in my sector. It is all a bit scary but I know people check my content/online footprint before working with me.

- Have a contract & proposal template it makes you look more professional

- Chase proposals up. I find potential clients like to know you are keen.

- ask for testimonals if you think they'll be good. On LinkedIn or for yr website. Draft them yourself to make it easier.

- keep a close eye on your competitors - follow them/sign up for their enewsletters.

- follow yr industry/sector news. As a consultant clients will expect you to keep abreast/be in the know.

- explore opportunties, I have talked to ppl about being an associate etc. It is always good to have an open mind.

Finally, I have always tried to have a regular bit of work on the go as well as projects. I started doing a 4 day a week contract and have reduced that over time through replacing one contract with another smaller one. I now have a well paid 3 day a month contract (secured like yr senario above, they advertised on MN back the job board was £50 a month & I said they needed a freelancer grin) which is a good base & some guarenteed income.

Not sure if that is of any use..

bookishandblondish Fri 17-Jun-16 22:49:18

Not a freelancer ( work in professional services) but if you give a lower rate, make sure that in writing, you put your normal rate, and then explicitly state discounted for X work to Y rate.

Means that you and they know your normal rate - and for any future work/ related clients, its easier to charge your normal rate as you haven't given a precedent of a low rate.

poocatcherchampion Fri 17-Jun-16 22:49:25

Awesomely helpful - lots of things I hadn't thought of and some that make me think I am on the right lines.

Just off to bed so will read it all again in the morning.

flowers

poocatcherchampion Fri 17-Jun-16 22:50:11

Didn't actually type the word thanks in that response. Was trying not to be too gushing and I under- gushed! Thanks!!!

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 19-Jun-16 16:05:09

No worries, good luck.

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