10 factors of freelance pricing

Debating freelance pricing recently, I started thinking how many variables can affect daily rates:

  • Future proof – repeat business is virtually everyone’s goal. Will this project have a long-term effect (perhaps even an adverse one) on your business?
  • Order book – are you currently desperate for the phone to ring or are you (and your team of assistants) flat out?
  • Difficulty – is the project a walk in the park requiring little incremental input from you, or will it demand herculean effort?
  • Sacrifice – your time is a scarce resource, what will suffer as it’s taken? Will you need to shelve other projects or cancel your honeymoon?
  • Want – does the project team really want you on board? Really, REALLY want you?
  • Competition – are their 20 other freelancers willing and able to step into the breach for less than you currently charge?
  • Investment – are freelancers viewed as a cost or an investment? The latter will be regarded as beneficial in far-reaching areas; the former is a painful necessity to be stopped ASAP.
  • Development – what will the project bring to your personal and professional benefit?
  • Desire – do you want to work for the organisation and on this project? Will it bring satisfaction or fulfilment?

Add to this the insecurity of being freelance in the first instance: little job security, no guaranteed income or employee benefits (for better or worse).

Should all 9 to 5ers be thinking a little bit more like this?


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