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Avi Avinav
Avi Avinav

Posted on

How tough is Freelancing?

I have decided to start freelancing for a little income in college, but before starting out I would like to know how tough it is to get a gig, how to negotiate pay, whether I should try to get paid hourly or per project, and what are some difficulties you have faced. Also, if you have any tips please let me know.

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wadecodez profile image
Wade Zimmerman • Edited on

Clients will always try to get more than what they paid for. You should have a contract or a platform that can protect you from getting scammed. Scope creep and missed payments are the easiest ways to lose money and time.

Also, code is never truly finished. If you plan on doing maintenance you should bill them a hefty amount so they stop asking for changes.

The rule of thumb is, if the client accepts your offer without negotiating, you are not charging enough money. If the client is getting angry, you are either charging too much or not giving enough in return. Although, if the person is always angry, you probably shouldn't work for them.

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aviavinav profile image
Avi Avinav Author

I see, thanks. Can you tell me how would you price someone, let's say you are making a website for a startup, it uses react, state manangement, a cms, 5-6 pages in total, how would you price such a website? Also, should I provide documentation and host the websites too?

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wadecodez profile image
Wade Zimmerman

Billing is up to you. It really comes down to your experience, what you are comfortable with, and the billing tools available to you. Typically clients want a say in the development process. So for app-like projects, or bigger projects, it's fairly common to bill in stages or for features.

Generally, it's best to plan out how you are going to bill your clients ahead of time, and you should probably develop a few billing strategies. Knowledgeable clients will ask you to change your billing if they don't like it. Pretty much anything that requires substantial work is fair game. If you are writing really good documentation, then you could add that as an additional charge.

Do your research. Look at what other people are doing to get a feel for what works and what doesn't. Knowing the market is just as important as your skills.

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aviavinav profile image
Avi Avinav Author

Thanks for the help!

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

Different advice applies whether you focus on how to get started or what's a better long term strategy.

To get started you should do opportunistic things that don't scale like contacting your former employers.

Long term you should ditch hourly billing, learn about marketing, create your niche, ...

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aviavinav profile image
Avi Avinav Author

Thanks for the advice!

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jmfayard profile image
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aarone4 profile image
Aaron Reese

For really good conversations between Jonathan and Eric on the subject listen to the freelancing podcast from devchat TV. You will need to go back to the very beginning. Current episodes are infrequent and have a very different focus.

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aviavinav profile image
Avi Avinav Author

Thanks, I will check them out

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canro91 profile image
Cesar Aguirre

I'd say make sure to set really, really clear expectations: what you will deliver, how much you will charge, how and how often they will pay you, how they will contact you...

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aviavinav profile image
Avi Avinav Author

Thanks for the advice!

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