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Things to Remember When Dealing with a Freelance Client

Go Back to Course Outline Create a freelance contract Before engaging in any freelance activity it’s important to have the scope of w...

Go Back to Course Outline

  1. Create a freelance contract
    1. Before engaging in any freelance activity it’s important to have the scope of work written, printed and signed by both parties. It will legally protect you in any unpleasant situation such as not being paid or put in a bad light. It will also help to have the conversation done on chat or email rather than voice so that you will have a history that you can use for reference.
  2. Don’t negotiate your rate in your first meeting
    1. You got your first client. You have your rate ironed out. You’re excited and you’ll be meeting your client for the first time. Chances are, they will ask for your rate or the total cost of the project. If the work is measurable like typing-job, then sure give them your hourly rate. Otherwise, if the project is a custom software development or eCommerce store setup then step back a bit and tell them that you will need more details and scope to determine the cost. Because an amount at this point is always wrong and you might end up working on a bargain price.
  3. Know your tools and requirements
    1. Most often, the client is very specific with the requirements as well as the tools that are needed to perform the job. So it’s important that you have your tool selection and you know how to use them together to deliver your tasks on time.
  4. Ask if there is a budget
    1. Some clients are enthusiastic about their project but the problem is they don’t have enough budget to fund it. So before you begin working make sure that your client can pay you. But asking a client if the has a budget can be awkward.
    2. So here’s how to figure out your client’s budget
      1. Once you have discussed the requirements with the client, give him a cost that is leaning on the upper boundary. For example, a custom inventory and sales management system can cost from 1M to 2M. And then ask him if he has a budget in mind.
  5. Don’t work on projects that will pay less than the minimum wage. 
    1. Freelancing entails high risk as you’re not sure when you will be getting your next project. So it’s not logical to work with a minimum wage. An exception would be if such a client would be able to refer you to a bigger network. 
  6.  Stick to your rate
    1. Don’t cave in to your clients. Once you cut your rate, you’re bound to do it again and the client will definitely take advantage of you. Worst, they might share your rate with other potential clients.
  7. Negotiate
    1. I believe that two parties can come into an agreement as long as they are willing to sit and listen to each other. If your client is not able to meet your price, then think of a way that you can get paid. For instance, it might be possible to deliver the project in milestone rather than as a whole so the payment can be divided. In my case, I was fortunate to enter into a partnership/shareholder agreement with some of my clients.
  8. Learn to walk away
    1. If the client balks at your rate, explain how you come up with it. If they are still unhappy then it’s time to find your next client. So it’s best that you know well your pricing scheme.
  9. There is no rule or formula for pricing
    1. Consider how much other people with the same service are charging and make sure to align your pricing with the client’s expectations.
    2. Be careful when giving a price, don’t estimate based on time alone, make sure to factor in the value that you or the project will provide with the client. Value-based pricing doesn’t take time into account. Sometimes an hour is all it takes to earn your day’s expenses.
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