Prices explained

Niall Deakin
27 Mar 19

Intro

It’s not uncommon to be rejected a lot when looking for work; you can send out resume after resume and only a handful will reply, and an even smaller amount for interviews.

It’s even worse when you’re essentially working on a commission.

What gives?

Recently I’ve been looking for new clients and having a push into marketing.
Work from clients has been slow over Winter, and it’s time to start stretching again, so I am actively looking for projects which will enable me to grow and develop my skills whilst providing an source of income for the business; it’s not too easy.

There have been a number of contracts which I’ve not won for a number of reasons; either the clients don’t value my time and skills, or the contract does not match up with what I need (ergo, full time, on site, and a hundred miles away).

But here I want to break down the value of you as a developer, and why potential clients are uncertain before taking the leap into a contract with you.

What is your value?

Now this is the million dollar question.

What do you value yourself at?
For me, it was relatively easy to decide, as I came out of full time employment, had an hourly rate and a monthly salary; this I had to match, taking into account that I won’t have a consistent income like I used to.

There are numerous calculators out there to “find out” your new rate, but how this is worked out, I don’t know.

All I know is what I need to earn in order to make ends meet, and starting out is tough.

I also compare my skills and prices to my peers; people who are at a similar level to me, same location, etc., as a rough guide.  There are also expenses to consider, cost of doing the work (hence why I always push for remote roles as it will cost less) and taxes on top of that.

It’s not enough to earn “just enough to live on”, you need to think about savings, about growth, and about expenses.
So, whatever you think you are worth, add 20% minimum, to at least cover the tax.

And don’t be afraid to adjust your costs as you see fit.  I have two general rates that I go by: an hourly “adhoc” rate, for small one-off jobs, and a “contract” rate, which is reduced simply because of the promise of work.  It also encourages potential clients to sign up to such contracts as it will save them money and have that security of having a developer to call on.
And, as your skill set improves, and your time becomes more valuable, you need to show clients what you are worth, which your prices should reflect.

But the clients! They have the money

Yes, they do, and you need to convince them to part with that money and give it to you.

There is so much competition out there that you will never see either end of it.  You’ve got people on the lowest end, trying to earn a quick buck, and you’ve got people who charge your daily rate in an hour.  People value different things.

I’ve spoken with many of my peers recently about this, as I’ve had clients who literally come back and say “everything is so expensive” every single time, and yet, I’ve done plenty of things for them.  It’s not only about the value, but about the trust, and I think my peers agree with me on that.

You need to show that you are worth your asking price; this can be either showing your portfolio, going to meetings, or indeed taking on smaller jobs to as evidence.  And show that you care about what they want to do, not that you are just “earning a paycheck”.  If you are passionate about your work, and want to do right by your client, it’ll show.

I’ve had clients who have tried to take advantage of me, and the only clients that are worth working with are the ones who I stood my ground to; the bullies or the flakes are not worth your time, trust me, despite how tempting it is just to get some work in.
I’ve always regretted working with these clients, as you may have seen in a previous post, and my enjoyment for work improves dramatically when I can say goodbye to them.

So where does this lead to?

In all honesty, I don’t really know.

I’d like to have a “10 steps to win more clients and earn more money” but I don’t, and those articles don’t actually work.  They give tips and ideas in what you can do, but they’re not a step by step guide, and anyone who tries to sell you it as so is lying.

The key think I would say is find some work which you enjoy and take it easy to start with; grow and develop that trust with your client, and don’t forget to save, to take some of the stress off.
Don’t sell yourself short, and be sure in your work and your worth; confidence is key.

And if you’re someone looking for a developer, hi!  I hope you enjoyed this article.
With a few tweaks, this article can apply to you as well; find a developer who knows what they are worth and is willing to work with you on your project; don’t just find the cheapest or someone who can sell you a bottle of air, but find someone who enjoys what they do and has a good chemistry with you.  The last thing you want is someone who will end up being a waste of time.

((Psst, if you are looking for a developer, just send me an email using the form below))

charges, freelance, invoices, pricing, rates

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