A few years ago I wrote an article titled How to secretly find out what your competitor’s freelancer hourly charge and it’s been making its way around Twitter recently.
Some people really liked the article and thought it was a great idea.
I didn’t put much thought into it and kept writing new content for the site.
But when the post was tweeted a few days ago, one response to the article really stuck out to me and caused me to pause – sucky advice.
It took me a minute to understand why someone thought it was bad advice to find a freelancer hourly charge. My first thought was you’re wrong.
But as I sat back and thought about it for a minute, I realized that he may actually be correct in his description.
Today I wanted to write a follow-up article to clarify a few things about the approach.
I want to thank him for taking the time to interact with me about the article and let me know why he thought the article’s approach was sucky.
So, maybe creating a fake email address and presenting the option for a freelance gig to a fellow freelancer is a bit of a sucky idea.
Hey, we all learn lessons from time to time, right?
WHAT TO DO IF YOU RECEIVE THESE FISHING EMAILS
I’m aware that my original post may have spawned a new flood of emails from new freelancers fishing for quotes to base their business pricing on, and I apologize for that.
One comment on the post from Rahul gave a great way to combat these types of emails.
Hello, Thank you for your enquiry Kindly share your contact number, our representative will get in touch with you to understand your requirement precisely. Having precise requirement will help us give you realistic quote. Please provide following information… Your Complete Name:- Your Contact Number:- Your City of Residence:- Thank you and looking forward for your response. Alternatively you may also get in touch with us on following contact details. Best Regards
By doing this, you’re effectively getting to know more about your potential client (assuming nothing comes up in your search results when researching them before responding).
It also helps weed out the quote fishers who have no real need to work with you.
They won’t want to give up their name, number, and location to you because they’re trying to be sneaky.
Keep a pre-written email like this in your Canned responses if you use Gmail and all it’ll take is a couple of clicks to send it off and move on with your day.
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN REALLY DO IT
… without coming off as a total scumbag, wasting another freelancers time
If trying to trick a freelancer into letting you know their pricing seems a bit too sneaky for you, there is another, more ethical option.
Good, clean, solid advice.
Something I plan on writing more about in the future is the age-old dilemma of hourly rate VS flat-rate pricing for freelancers because I don’t personally believe hourly is the way to charge for (most) freelance projects.
Most Freelancers I’ve come across are really nice, friendly people – we kind of have to be because our business depends on happy clients, so being a total douche is counterproductive to our business’ success.
Not wanting to charge per hour?
Write up a quick email introducing yourself, letting your fellow freelancer know that you’re new to freelancing, and ask if they’d be OK with sending you a quick ballpark figure for a specific project type.
This will give you an idea of pricing while not taking up too much of the freelancer’s time.
FIGURE IT OUT YOURSELF – FREELANCER HOURLY CHARGE
Alternately, you don’t even have to ask other freelancers what they charge per project or per hour.
Instead, you can use a freelancer hourly charge/rate calculator to help get you crunch the numbers and figure out what you need to charge.
If you don’t have time to fill out a form like that, you can figure out an estimate on what you need to charge with the following formula.
A quick breakdown of what you’d need to do:
Total cost of monthly bills + Total cost of groceries = Minimum salary needed / 80hr (20hr per week) = Your base hourly rate)
For instance, if your monthly bills are $1,500 and you spend $1,000 per month on groceries, you’ll need to make AT LEAST $2,500 each month (after taxes). This means, if you get 20 billable hours per week, you’ll need to charge AT LEAST $31.25 per hour to break even.
Now that I’ve got that cleared up, you have no excuse to use the sneaky method I wrote about 5 years ago
Get out there, get connected and make happy clients who want to promote your business.