Today’s question has to do with a tricky subject for most writers: money, moola, cash-ola. Many of us, even the Filthy Rich ones, have a hard time figuring out how to charge for our services.
When you’re working with a client who has an office that’s far away from you—and they expect you to occasionally come in for meetings—do you charge them? Do you charge for meetings in general? Do you line item revisions?
As a sought-after professional (even if you’re just becoming a sought-after professional), your time is valuable and shouldn’t be given away for free.
At the same time, though, clients don’t like to feel like they’re being nickeled and dimed for charges like travel time, meetings, phone calls, etc. Are we at an impasse? No way!
Charge Clients by the Project
When you create your cost estimates for the projects you work on for them, build the time it takes for these meetings into the cost. For example, if you do a project and you’re figuring it will take you 10 hours to write it, 2 hours to edit it, and 6 hours of travel and meeting time at $50/hour, tell them that the project will cost them $900. Then it’s up to you to balance your time and effort within that amount.
Quoting clients a project price instead of an hourly rate also helps to make their lives easier: They know they’ll just need to give you one check, instead of looking at an itemized list of how you’ve spent your time for the various parts of the project. (Plus, it’s a real pain in the rear for you to keep that itemized list!)
What to Leave Off of Your Project Quote
When you’re quoting a price to a client, you want to make sure they know what they’re getting for the price. So, you do need to include exactly what you’re going to deliver to them. For example, if you’re writing a 5-page website, you may say:
5-page website to include:
- About Page
- Contact Page
- 2 Product Pages
(Plus, if you’re writing this out and they agree, it can serve as a legally binding agreement in the US.)
But, you don’t need to list out every meeting or the number of emails you plan to respond to. Of course, you want to get as clear as possible if your client anticipates wanting you on calls beyond the kickoff and creative review calls.
The one thing you may want to spell out is the number of revisions that are included in your rate. Our answer is always, “as many as it takes to get it right.” Your client is hiring you to deliver. As part of that, you want to make sure they’re thrilled with your work.
If they change the scope of the work after already agreeing to the project, then you need to send them a new scope of work—and project price.
Find Solutions That Work for Both You & Your Client
By the way, if you find yourself having to spend a lot of time driving to their office, you’re well within your rights to propose making some of the meetings conference calls instead of in-person. You’re providing them a service and want to make their lives easier, but it can’t hurt to ask if there are small changes that can also make your life a little easier, too.
Your turn! What are your biggest challenges when it comes to pricing your services? Let us know in the comments!
Last Updated on July 4, 2023