Novice Freelancer Needing Advice

Hello Everyone,

It was suggested that I post my question in this forum. I'm hoping someone can help me with a strategy.

I am just as my title suggests, very new to freelancing, in fact I've built my first prototype for a potential client. I'm scheduled to meet with them in a week or so and I know the subject of cost will come up.  I really don't know what say.

It is a short interactive topic introduction that reinforces a subject that is covered during a face to face seminar. The hope is to load it on the organization's website and encourage visitors to access the session.

It is five slides built in Storyline, one of the which has 11 layers. There is audio and the user has control to view the content on the 11 layer slide in any order they choose. There is also a quiz at the beginning of the session that introduces the topic. It took me approximately 20 hours to build.

What do you suggest I provide as a rate? With this being my first endeavor my goal is to build an online presence. However this client has the potential to want more. If I start too low, that will be the expectation, if I start too high, I could lose the opportunity, It's a non-profit organization.  

Can someone advise me?

3 Replies
Adele Sommers

Hello, Karel!

I'll give it a shot. It sounds like you've created a short module "on spec," in the hopes that the prospective clients might be interested in paying for it after seeing it, or might commission another one based on what you've done.

One way you might address the cost question is in terms of a relative "value range." In doing it this way, you could avoid sticker-shock concerns as well as either over- or under-valuing your work.

For example, most freelancers have different rate structures that might apply under different scenarios, and you might do the same. For "one-off," short-term, or low-volume work, you might have a "standard rate range" that you could quote as $XX –$XX per hour, depending on the complexity of the effort. In contrast, for long-term, high-volume, or "special circumstances" work (e.g., nonprofit clients with smaller budgets), you might have a "preferred client" hourly range that is lower.

In general, I've found that quoting in terms of hourly ranges or average hourly rates rather than fixed hourly rates provides a lot of flexibility in any value-related discussion or written proposal. That's because the ranges or average rates might imply lower numbers than I'd usually be willing to settle for, but also tend to diffuse the issue of under- or over-valuation, as well as leave the door open to the higher end of the rate spectrum. 

So when it comes time to discuss the cost of your module, you might explain that if you were going to put a price tag on it, you might normally charge between $XXXX and $XXXX, based on your "standard" rate range. (You might pause for a moment to see what their immediate reaction is -- such as surprise or concern.) 

You could then go on to explain that for "preferred clients" who will be requesting longer-term or higher volume work, the price for this or a similar project could be negotiable. Then, allow them to digest that information and come back to you with ideas about how they might want to negotiate a price, if they are interested in doing so.

In this way, you have offered a face-saving and flexible pathway to negotiating a win-win arrangement that involves an incentive for them to commission a package of ongoing services. At the same time, you have not sold yourself short in terms of asserting what you feel is the true value of what you have created. 

I hope this is helpful, and I wish you all the best in your endeavors!