Dollars and Cents

Money. Just think about it for a moment. It’s practically a basic necessity. The thought of it can stir an abundance of emotions or even start an argument.

Now, think about what you’re worth monetarily. Your time. Your expertise. Your knowledge. You. Can you put a price on that? For those of us who freelance, moonlight, help friends, etc. the answer is yes, I have to put a dollar amount on myself and time every day.

Everyone is looking for a magic number. Ask for too much you risk offending and scaring away the potential client. Ask for too little and you’re selling yourself and your skills short. A quick Google search reveals tons of formulas you can use to calculate what you should charge. The truth is there is no magic number. What is right for you might not easily fit into a formula. How do you choose? Is it really just a trial and error? I and lots of other smart people who have written about this think the answer is no.

Research your particular area. Your community. What are others charging? Individuals and agencies. Choose whether you are going to bill hourly or per project. However, don’t forget that if you choose by project you may spend more time than you originally thought you would. Decide what you’re going to offer and break it down. Don’t sell yourself short. You work hard and provide the best results you can. The bottom line is everyone has to earn money. To earn money takes time and your time is valuable!

Now for a full disclaimer, I’ve not listened to this advice and am kicking myself for it. The kicks, plus knowing that I will never be able to get my full worth from this client in the future (should there be a future) sucks. I’ve learned the hard way. I hope you don’t have to.

One thought on “Dollars and Cents

  1. Aurora, spot on. I think this is an excellent posting reflecting some solid thought on the matter. As a 16 year “veteran” (that makes me feel so old), one of the things that concerns me most is billing. Ur PR people sell time. It’s our inventory. And in as much as the grocery store does not give its eggs or bread away, neither should you, I and the countless other PR practitioners donate their time.

    I think the thing to bear in mind here are:

    1. Never underestimate yourself
    2. Never be shy about discussing fees. Plying your trade is not a hobby of yours. It is your livelihood.
    3. Be bullish in collecting your fees. Remember that the squeaky wheel gets the grease

    Best of luck. Remember- entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t; so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.


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