I’ve seen quite a number of posts that are all nearly the same exact questions just rephrased, and they all seem aimed and having people break down pricing.
The only advice that I think is worth giving is to just say stop what you are doing right now and start working on website projects. Start networking, talking to friends, etc and start seeing if anyone needs anything done.
If you are brand new, you more than likely need to charge something really low like $20 an hour for your first few projects so you get an idea of what you are doing. It doesn’t matter what other people are charging right now because everyone prices differently and many people price based on their talents.
You will have no clue how to price and market yourself until you actually start doing it. It’s all hypothetical until you’ve got some experience.
Put simply: there is no easy answer. It really depends on where you are in your career.
If you are just starting out, do work for free to build up your portfolio, then once you start charging, your pricing will continuously increase alongside your skill level.
I agree with joshua on his first 2 sentences. However, I would absolutely not work for free unless it was someone I personally knew (not friends of friends or friends of family, etc.). We’re not mules and I think it starts with this type of thinking that makes others feel they can ask for $200 websites.
To build a portfolio, you do not need a client.
To be honest James, it sounds like you are not ready to accept clients at this point.
You should really try calling around and asking locally. The economy is much different depending on your locale…not to mention the different skill levels in the forums go from guys who know almost nothing to guys who know everything and freelancers to guys who work for firms…
There are a lot of factors to take into account. I would probably have to agree with @ChristopherBurton’s closing statement…as well as the link posted by @JoshWhite, you could also consider some other literature like: http://rockablepress.com/books/rockstar-freelancer/
@Schmotty also has some rather literal advice that is pretty spot on.
No no no, I have had two clients so far a £2000 one and a £4000 one.
Now I went to an external web programmers and asked him what he would charge for the £2000 one and he said he would have started at £10,000.
Thats why I wanted to see websites / price next to them so I could gather what people get for the cost involved. I think I am undercharging.
I agree with this …
“You will have no clue how to price and market yourself until you actually start doing it. It’s all hypothetical until you’ve got some experience.”
I agree with this …
“We’re not mules and I think it starts with this type of thinking that makes others feel they can ask for $200 websites.”
Well, one thing to realize is that part of this is supply and demand.. someone who is in high demand slowly raises their prices. What happens is that either they are not as good as they thought they were, and go out of business, or they are exactly how good they think they were and can afford to charge a lot more and people will pay for high quality work.
I’ve really been coming to grips with how I price because I’ve got projects that I absolutely got because my bid was upwards of $10,000. Part of it was that I priced it by the number of hours I knew it would take while the other was what the market could bear, and I still came in quite a bit lower than my original estimated hours, which I just used to do some neat extras to go the extra mile for them.
So, it’s not all that apparent right away that “x” is a $10,000 job or a $5,000 job. That’s why I said you’ve really got to get into the field because it’s really going to depend on you.
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