Setting Your Price

A little bit of insight on how to charge what your services are worth. After all we can’t live on dreams alone.

Make some money

Freelance workers or business owners looking to take things forward face one major challenge: setting their price. It is very difficult to put a price on your work or services and stick with it, and this is for a lot of reasons. Among the most harmful is to simply undervalue your work. Don’t make this mistake! Yes, you may need to be competitive, but it does not mean that you should undervalue your work.

Instead of running the risk of setting an unrealistic price (too high or too low), the experts have a series of steps they suggest (knowing direct costs, prior projects, etc.), and yet there is a lot more to it. (Holtzclaw, 2014)

While your price does have to consider the actual expenses such as marketing and materials, what about less tangible elements? Just consider:

The industry – You must know the industry to gain any realistic pricing structure. Not only what is it that others do, but also how do they price work? This is a lot more detailed than it seems because you may find yourself comparing the proverbial apples to oranges. For instance, you may be in video production in Dallas, Texas and have a lot of design skill. The other video production providers may not have that added niche. This would have to factor in your pricing.

Its important to have a good grasp on what you’re really worth and in today’s market you need to be able to offer more than just skill. Relationship goes a long way.

Take a look at the following list of items to consider when setting a price.

  • The region – Different areas of the world can charge more for the service. Figure out what part of the world, country, state and city your specific service can bring in and set your price according your offering.
  • Your skills – What skills do you have? What level of skill do you have? Those are different things because you may be able to do cinematography but have only worked with a consumer camera and not something like a RED Epic Dragon. So, break this pricing point into two factors – what skills, and how honed are they really? Be honest, as this will make you appear unprofessional if you get work based on an inaccurate claim or two. If you’re a pro, get paid for it, you should.
  • Benefits – You can be flexible in your pricing if there are other benefits from taking jobs than the paycheck. As a prime example, you may be able to gain access to their client list through collaboration and teamwork on your project. Other benefits worthy of consideration when pricing also include what sort of training or education you will gain, and what the work will do to help with building your portfolio.

Don’t be afraid of asking for what you are worth, but also don’t worry about flexing a bit if you gain more than financial benefits. Your goal is to give high quality work and gain professionally from it. It is not all about the money, but also don’t undervalue your talents! Plus its always good to make sure you have a solid contract. See this article about making a contract.

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