Congratulations—you got the freelance writing gig! But now you are in the position of trying to figure out how much to charge. Whether you are new at freelancing or have been doing it for a while, determining how much to charge can cause anxiety, confusion and stress. It can also lead to being underpaid if you do not consider a few but important factors. There are three main considerations when it comes to establishing your fees: 1) experience, 2) skill set and 3) personal financial goals.
Let’s start with experience. You were hired for the writing gig because the client feels you can do the job. Do not second guess your skills, undervalue your writing and ask for less than what you deserve. A practical approach is to ask less for topics you know less off and more for those you know more off. It is important to keep in mind that enthusiasm is sometimes a good substitute for experience. A good tactic is to do a little research on the client’s competition. Use your findings to help you create polished and relevant content suggestions for your client.
The second consideration when setting up fees is your skill set. This has more to do than with your years (or lack of) as a copywriter. It has to do with the quality of writing you can produce right now. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Do you write every day?
- What are you writing?
- Do you read information on how to improve your craft?
- How good is your content?
- Would you hire you?
Be honest with yourself when answering these questions. Be prepared to show your client your writing samples as well as client references. Create an online portfolio that highlights your best content. If you are a novice copywriter, create content on topics you enjoy or are in demand online. It is up to you to continuously work on your writing and demonstrate it to potential clients.
And last when it comes to fees, but not least, focus on your personal financial goals and responsibilities. Some copywriters will not work for less than $200 for an article while others readily accept $20 for the same amount of work. Of course, most writers would prefer the latter, but clients also have financial goals and responsibilities. Determine how much you need or want to make per hour. If you currently have the experience and skills—then demand that figure. If not, continue to build yourself as a copywriter so you can ask for what you deserve.
You may be willing to take less for the opportunity to work with a specific client. Or maybe you are excited about a particular client who refuses to negotiate and pay your fairly. You will need to ask yourself if the effort is worth your time. You may not get paid $200 for your first article, but you should make enough to make it worth your time. And of course, it is a smart idea to always work with an agreement and a deposit. There are various contract templates online available you can use with each client.
A Final Note
Regardless of whether you are just starting on your freelance copywriter journey or have accumulated many miles, stand firm in setting your fees. Your business is copywriting, and you deserve to be paid fairly. After all, the client is going to make money of your writing. Keep these three considerations in mind and you will go farther in getting a fair fee for your services. And, of course, do not forget to re-evaluate your freelancing fees as your experience, skills and financial goals increase.
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