How often have you heard of needing a backup plan in case your passion of becoming a successful creator doesn’t work out?
Differentiating yourself from the countless other freelancers out there is KEY to being hired for jobs. And not just for any job, the jobs that YOU WANT and are WORTH IT. What separates you and makes you the perfect candidate for the job? Can you work quicker and more efficient than the next person? Or do you have a specific skill in your field, like animation or illustration? These types of skills can be extremely useful in providing added value to your client and distinguish yourself to charge higher rates.
Depending on the project you are pitching on, you will need to decide whether or not you will be charging a flat day rate or charge hourly. This is an extremely important factor in rate negotiations. Every industry is different, so before doing anything, do your research to compare rates of other freelancers. What are the low hourly rates and what are the high hourly rates. Do you feel comfortable falling somewhere in the middle and why? In a lot of cases charging a flat rate may be more appealing to the client. As a video editor, I often charge flat rates for my services as opposed to hourly to provide a discount and save the client sticker shock on the final invoice. It really is all dependent on the industry you are in,
It’s 2019 people! If you are looking to get hired as a freelancer, it’s not a recommendation anymore, but an absolute NECCESITY to promote your work online. Gone are the days of just being hired on your word. IF you expect to charge a premium price, a client will expect to see premium content and this is where you can take advantage of something called…the internet. Use the tools at your disposal and promote your work on as many digital platforms as makes sense for your career. As a photographer maybe you have most of your landscape portfolio work on your website, and some of your vertical portrait work showcased on your Instagram. As a fellow freelancer, my career is based off of a solid online presence. And just because you have a presence online, does not mean you should be posting every element of every project you’ve been hired for. PUT YOUR BEST WORK OUT THERE! This should be the work you feel most proud of and should pitch to a client to make the best first impression.
For all you artists out there, you may be familiar with the Napkin Story from Picasso. To sum it up Picasso is sitting in a cafe when a fan approaches him and asks to make a quick sketch on a napkin. Picasso quickly draws this sketch, hands it back to the patron and asks for a large sum of money in return. Stunned the fan asks why he is asking for such a high amount of money, for work that only took a minute to draw on a napkin. Picasso promptly responds that it wasn’t just a minute, that drawing took 40 years of experience, education, hard work and knowledge. THAT is the value that you are paying for.
It is crucial to know what your work is worth. Even with comparisons to other industry rates, only you can really decide how valuable your time is and the reasons behind your rates. There are many factors that play into this. If you went to art school, paid a tuition, spent years in a work study program - this is value that should be factored into your rates. If you did not pay for any formal education but you saved up money, purchased camera equipment and have spent the last 5 years shooting every single day - that is value.