In the previous two posts, we discussed on the two basic pricing structures of freelance web designers; fixed rate pricing and hourly rate pricing. We discussed their basics and their pros and cons.
The price tag for freelance service of your makes a big difference as your price directly affects the client’s perspective towards your business. If your price is too high, clients start imaging why the price is too high and if the price is too low, they start imaging on the same. In both the cases, they create a virtual image of your business.
In most of the cases, newbie freelancers have a tendency to start very low on the freelance price structure in order to generate more clients and leads. But in this process, they not only underestimate and underpay themselves, but more importantly they start attracting that particular bargain segment of clients. Such clients simply squabble to get the maximum out of you, in exchange of the lowest possible price. Such clients are not a sustainable base in the long run.
The first step of building your business brand is how and what you set price tag for freelance service . It sends a direct message to your clients.
Referring to the previous two posts, you should apply fixed rate pricing only if:
- You do this type of project very often and you know the exact time that it’d take to complete. You know everything beforehand that’d go into the project and how to execute it.
- Your client has a fixed budget and if he/she is not willing to pay you for extra hours of hard work.
- You want to offer a package deal such as website hosting free with web designing.
- The project is particularly short and specific.
Charging per hour price tag for freelance service makes sense if:
- The project requirements may change after you’ve already started working in it.
- It is very difficult to estimate project completion time.
- Multiple tasks and small mini projects may come up while working on a project.
- Your client has some special requirements that’d require you to spend extra hours researching.
If price tag for freelance service too high for your services, it’d be reflecting that:
You Are Over Confident:
Believe me, clients think the same. They think that you are a special designer who thinks “I’m a god in web design business.” Clients assume that you’d be really hard to work with and you’d not follow any directions.
You Are Unprofessional And Inexperienced:
Having a ridiculously high freelance price structure makes you look very unprofessional and inexperienced. You don’t know what you are talking about. You make yourself look like you haven’t done any real projects. You are just a newbie who doesn’t know how to price services.
There are similar damages in setting the prices too low. Aside from attracting penny-pinchers and inability to make profits from your business, setting low prices would reflect that:
You Don’t Have Much To Offer:
Obviously, setting low prices while setting price tag for freelance service would make your client think that you don’t have anything special to offer. You will not be able to deliver any special value/input to the client’s project.
You Won’t Dedicate Much Time To Your Work:
If you are not charging appropriately, you’d not give enough time to your work. Clients think that you will not dedicate yourself to the work and hence freelance price list too low. You won’t listen to client’s requirement and you’d not take that extra step to polish your work.
So you need to price tag for freelance service appropriately so that not only your clients think that you are worth it, but it should provide a sense of self-satisfaction.
Freelance web designers should not tag a single price that’d be applicable for all the projects ($500 per project). Instead, one should analyze a project and then according to requirements should price his/her service. But just for the sake of informing the client about your price structure, you can display some prices upfront, for example, prices/pages ($20/5 pages).
Before you quote a price tag for freelance service for a project, you need to take various important factors into consideration. Here are a few of them.
A. Project Basics:
First you need to know the basics of the project and the number of inputs that’ll go in it.
- The number of web pages that’ll be created.
- Will there be any images or a particular design that’ll be included in web pages? If yes, then whether the image/design will be given by client or you’ll have you to spend your own money for those (images from image stock sites).
- Is the content that’ll be in the site will be given by client or the designer will have to write that content?
- Will there be any Flash, multimedia or heavy graphics programming/scripting required?
- Does the client have any special requirements such as ADA compatibility, old browser compatibility etc.
- You can start visualizing your price depending on the above questions.
B. Project Completion Time:
When does your client wants the project to be completed? The more urgent a project is, the higher you can demand to complete it. If both the parties agree on an accelerated schedule, make sure you price accordingly. If the client has no deadline, then create multiple deadlines on your own and set respective prices. Ask your client which deadline does he/she want before setting price tag for freelance service.
I think this is the most important factor to consider while setting a price tag. The more web design experience you have, the higher price you can tag for your service. The client will be easily ready to pay for it as your portfolio, which will be definitely viewed by your clients, will reflect your experience. But if you have 5 years HTML experience, then don’t expect to raise your price for a client who wants Flash multimedia programming. If the client had an HTML requirement, you could have set your own price.
There are some clients who demand/expect maintenance of their web pages after you’ve submitted your project to them. Make sure that you include this aspect of your job while setting your price tag for freelance service. Ask your client about this, and if he/she concurs then explain the price of it. Normally, as a web designer you should include the maintenance of project in your price. Just include it in your contract about this.
E. Current Rate For This Kind Of Project:
If the client has some special technical requirements and you know that you can fulfill it but are unaware of its current market price, ask your fellow designers in this area. Ask how much you should charge for such kind of projects.
Another way is to use freelance competitive expert designers in that area. Use your competition. Place the exact project order to them and see how much they price for it. Depending on your requirements, you can either quote the same price or a higher price in scheduling price tag for freelance service.
If you have a project that you’d love to do because it’s interesting, challenging, or you could gain some knowledge, your bid price should reflect it. For example, there’s a project that you want desperately solely because, by doing it you would enhance your newly learnt skills. In that case, you can lower your bid price.
There are also some cases where you might feel uncomfortable doing a project because you’ve done the same kind of project hundreds of time. But you are bound to take it for some reasons (you want quick money, the client is your friend’s boss, etc.). In such cases, you can select your own price tag for freelance service .
Some projects demand hiring of another freelancer for completion, such as you may need to hire a Flash programmer, a copy writer etc. to complete a website. Be sure that you include their prices as well in your quote.
Take up the above factors to determine a freelance price structure for your service. Be honest with your client. Never cheat with cheap tricks and false promises. Take time to discuss your terms before closing in the deal. Explain your clients why you are pricing X amount of dollars. Detail your services and most importantly quote your price according to client’s goals and not on the immediate outcome. Find out what client requires. Quote your price tag for freelance service and justify it on how your services will help him (client) achieve his/her goals.
What strategy are you applying for your freelance services? What is your price tag for freelance service structure and tell us the reason for those price tags? Give in your suggestions, thoughts and replies via comments.
If you are looking for a step by step process to start your own freelance web design, you can visit our Complete guide to become freelance web designer to reach near targeted visitors. Please feel free to leave any comment you have in your mind.