Am I being ripped off? Freelancing for a profit
For me one of the hardest parts of any freelance business dealing is coming up with a price for my work...
On the one side, I want to make money from my earnest efforts and on the other side, I don't want to come in so high that I lose out to a competitor...
So how do you work out a fair price for both parties? This generally varies from job to job. For instance, a straight training job is a fixed price for a fixed amount of time or a price per person on a course - easy. The problem is when you are asked to quote for a bigger job such as editing a document. Most people charge RX per page but the problem here lies within the pages.
One document may need minimal editing whilst another almost a complete rewrite. So again, you have to come up with a middle of the road price that won't see you coming out at R50 per hour... There's also the number of pages involved and whether you're going to get regular work from this company.
See some samples
So the price boils down to per hour or per page. If you can have a good look at the job beforehand, you should be able to work out just how much to charge. At the very least, you must be able to see some sample pages to get a feel of the work.
Bear in mind also that 'editing' can mean different things:
Proofreading - the easiest work where you just have to correct grammar and spelling - without reworking the text.
Copy editing - this is where you improve the style, formatting and accuracy. Check that there aren't inconsistencies and that the style flows well. This obviously includes everything you would do when proofreading. If this falls into a specific category such as medical or financial, it will also include extensive fact checking which should also be factored into your price.
Content editing - This is the hardest, most intensive type of editing where you may have to take raw material and create content whilst doing all the above...
Another approach to pricing that I've learned over the years (thank you Chris Moerdyk) is rather than give a price for a project ask what their budget is? Generally, it's more than you were going to ask for.
And then there's consultancy work. Just how much are you worth to someone on a one-to-one basis? This is perhaps the trickiest area of all. I do, basically, have one hourly rate that I charge but occasionally you have to judge again whether to drop your price in certain circumstances. Don't be too rigid otherwise you may go hungry.
Perhaps the one policy that's paid off best for me is to try and give your absolute best to each and every job you do and that way your new client can turn into your old client...