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  1. #1
    Senior Member jlgosse's Avatar
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    As of late, I have thought about doing some freelance work for small businesses and people. I'm wondering how much I should charge for my projects, what method of calculation I should use, use of loss-leaders and "sales", as well as referrals in order to find clients.

    Obviously, since I have no portfolio at the moment, I would have to do the first few projects for "cheap", but I'm curious about all levels of developing a small freelancing business.

    Anyway, thanks for any help you might have, and sorry if this isn't the right forum!

    Thanks,

    Josh


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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Completely depends on:

    1. where you live
    2. how long you've been doing it.
    3. how good you are
    4. who you are selling to
    5. how good you are at selling

  4. #3
    Senior Member Shani's Avatar
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    Be wary of anything that's dependent upon sales because people will lie to you in order to pay you less.

    In general, you want to think of two things: Scope of the project and hourly rate.

    It's good to give some padding in the amount of time it will take, especially when you are starting out because things take longer. If you underestimate someone and charge them more, they feel cheated.

    For example:

    This project should take 2 weeks to complete, and it will cost $200.
    - OR -
    It costs $10/ hour and should take 20 hours.

    And, btw, those numbers are VERY low!
    Shani

    I have an eye for detail like you'd never believe.

  5. #4
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    In my opinion quality of your current work and your ability to sell are the two key factors to deciding a price.

    If your portfolio is of a low quality then you really shouldn't be shopping yourself as a brilliant web designer. As a result your price would be lower.

    On the opposite end how you sell your work can massively increase or decrease what you can make. Coming over with the "I am the guy you need" attitude as well as explaining why they need each of the features they require will give you much more money than saying that you will do it for a certain figure.

    At the end of the day do 3 jobs. Most people will barter. Set your price for more than you want. Then barter. After a handful of jobs you will find out what your work is worth and thus be able to charge properly

  6. #5
    Senior Member jlgosse's Avatar
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    Thanks alot for the replies, guys.

    Transio:
    1. where you live
    2. how long you've been doing it.
    3. how good you are
    4. who you are selling to
    5. how good you are at selling
    I live in Newfoundland, Canada (East Coast), where there are not too many web design/development firms around. I've been working with the web for many years now, on and off. I'm fairly good, I'm proficient in XHTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, and Photoshop, but I'm also learning to use AJAX. I'd also like to note that I'm a C.S. student, and that I'm doing courses in Web Application development (using the above, plus Java). Also, I'm selling to small businesses who need a web presence. As to how good I am with selling, that should not be a problem, I like to think of myself as charismatic and I know how to talk to people.

    Now, any ideas?

    To DCScene:

    I realize those numbers are very low, but thank you for the response.

    Perad:

    I currently have nothing close to a portfolio, but I know I am capable of excellent work. This is why I'm unsure of what to charge. Again, thanks!


  7. #6
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Lots of great direction and advice.
    One thing to do is to call local designers and get price quotes from them. Then price your services accordingly.
    That doesn't mean you automatically price lower on everything. But, you should know what people in your area are charging.
    It goes a long way when you can quote competitor pricing. That shows the customer you're a professional, you know your market and you have some level of "expertise" in your field.

    I don't know why people starting out don't just build some "demo sites" to have a portfolio.
    How much is it worth to you to build a mock up site and put it into a portfolio?

    My experience has been that if you have a great portfolio that will open a lot of doors. It is up to you to then do what you will with that opportunity. If you feel confident in your approach, then all the better.

    Good luck!
    GMan

  8. #7
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    $15-20/hr

  9. #8
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    hehe, when is the last time YOU charged $15-20 hr, Tans?
    It has been at least 5/6 years for me.
    GMan

  10. #9
    Senior Member jlgosse's Avatar
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    Once again, great advice.

    However, I don't think I'd be willing to go as low as $15, that isn't really a realistic figure. gman is right, I charged $600 for a site (about 5 years ago), which took me maybe 10-15 hours to complete.


  11. #10
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Without a portfolio, I wouldn't hold out for $45-$60 an hour rates.....
    GMan


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