I'll cap off this six-part article series by discussing a dilemma usually encountered by newbie freelancers. If not resolved, this can affect cash flow and may even leave the aspiring freelancer feeling cheated and undervalued. Here it is:
Professional Liability Number Five: Not knowing how much to charge for your services
I understand the uncertainties that most newbies go through because I had been there myself. I was 21 when I launched my career, and I was aware that I was competing with other young professionals who were in a company's payroll.
It wasn't until I seized every opportunity to hone my skills that my self-doubts soon wore out. I created my own website, accepted requests to proofread resumes, submitted articles, and landed several ghostwriting gigs.
I'd like to help you make your transition to freelancing as smooth and easy as possible, so consider the following:
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Conduct an online research. Look for information about how much freelancers are compensated within the global community.
- If you know any freelancing professionals in your area, get in touch with them and ask if they could spare an hour or two giving you advice on pricing your services.
- If you're just starting out and you only have a few clips or items in your portfolio, consider charging at the lower end of the payment scale until you build a hefty resume. However, there can be possible exceptions to this rule. One of the advantages of being a freelancing professional is not needing tenure in previous jobs. If you can prove that you can get the project done and deliver on your promise, you can price your rates at a range that is higher for which most newbies would charge.
- Be professional at all times. Once a client has inquired through email, prepare your price quote immediately, and reply within 24 to 48 hours. If you entertain phone calls, make sure to specify in your website, business cards, and other marketing materials the best time to call you.
- If you're based anywhere here in the Philippines and you want to thrive as a professional freelancer, you may need to adjust your rates due to demographics, cost of living, and the needs of local clients. To illustrate, resume writers in the United States charge USD249 for a resume package, which, when converted to our currency, would roughly amount to more than Php10,000. If you want to attract local clients, you would need to subtract a few thousand pesos from that amount. To give you a general guideline, you can charge no less than Php3,000-Php5,000 for proofreading resumes, and no more than Php8,000 for writing a resume from scratch.