If your ultimate goal is to be a full-time freelancer so you can cover your monthly bills and household budget, set aside a certain percentage for your savings account, and even have some cash left for an occasional treat, you need to come up with several ways of collecting payment.
Freelance professionals may have the potential to earn more than their salaried counterparts in the long run, but it will never happen if you're not vigilant during your first few years.
If you have electricity, water, and telephone bills to pay every month in addition to other overhead expenses, you would need to ensure a regular cash flow. But here's the deal: since we can't expect a fixed salary every payday, we need to shoot for a minimum monthly amount that we must earn to sustain our business.
I'll talk more about setting that minimum amount in my next article installments. For the meantime, here are several ways you can negotiate for payment:
(1.) The 40-60 plan
This is best for projects that require a quick turn-over rate, like writing and proofreading resumes, writing blog articles and advertising copy, and editing sales or collection letters.
Your client may ask you to finish such projects within a mere 48 to 72 hours. There are even some freelancers who specialize in "quickie resumes" and can therefore command higher rates.
So as soon as you're paid your flat rate and down payment, you can work on the project and, once you're done, be guaranteed of the 60 percent remaining balance within just a few days.
(2.) The 40-30-30 plan
If your client racked up a bill with a huge sum, this "piece-meal" method would be the ideal payment plan. Once you have finished the project and have it dispatched to your client, you can have two invoices prepared. Don't forget to state the following:
Please settle the amount on or before (preferred date).
(3.) Charge by an hourly rate
You can apply this plan if the project will require you to do a lot of research and will call for a lot of revisions, leading to having no definite time frame.
For example, if the client provided only a basic guideline for you to execute and you will be given freedom to call part of the shots, that would mean a bit of conceptualizing on your part, and keep in mind that your creativity is valuable.
(4.) Charge by the type of project
The types of projects that command the highest rates are those that have to do with web design or website development, and they can go as high as USD500.00, or roughly Php22,000.00.
Also, projects that will require you to work with a team could mean spending plenty of time holding discussions over the phone or through Skype. Take these into consideration when charging your client, since the mere act of having everything clarified tend to eat up plenty of hours you can otherwise use for a series of smaller projects.
(5.) Charge by number of pages
This is a must if you're an editor and your specialties involve proofreading manuals and reports, drafts of undergraduate theses and other types of academic papers.
You can adjust your rates according to the scope of your proofreading services. Some editors, in addition to ensuring correct grammar and looking out for misplaced punctuation marks and misspelled words, offer advice on developing a theme.
In 2004 the rates for proofreading services for book-length manuscripts were USD2.00 for every double-spaced page. Nowadays academic papers usually fetch for no less than USD20.00 per page.