💲 Freelance pricing quick start guide

Happy Friday! Season 5 of Drive to Survive comes out this weekend, so know what we’ll be doing this weekend. And if Formula 1’s not your bucket of bolts, Netflix has recently released two other documentaries from the D2S production team you might like: Break Point (about tennis) and Full Swing (about golf).

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Skype, TikTok, and 4-day work weeks. Plus the freelance pricing quick start guide, and one readability rule when writing long-form copy.

Read time: 3 minutes and 35 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Microsoft adds AI-powered Bing features to Skype. Bing has entered the chat: Skype users will soon be able to add Bing to conversations and group chats to leverage its AI-powered search features.
  • 90% of U.K. businesses in 4-day work week trial plan to continue after study ends. In one of the biggest trials to date, 61 businesses in the U.K. agreed to give employees a paid day off and shorten the workweek to 4 days. Many saw significant improvements in performance and productivity. 18% said they planned to make the change permanent.
  • TikTok launches new Top Products dashboard. The dashboard lets advertisers see performance data for a variety of product categories. This is a gold mine if you’re running TikTok ads.

Working For Clients

The Freelance Pricing Quick Start Guide

Pricing yourself as a freelancer can be tricky.

Most of us tend to undervalue ourselves…

Then sprinkle in a strong aversion to sales, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

So here’s a quick primer on how to tackle pricing:

STEP 1: Charge by project or deliverable (not by the hour)

Billing by the hour incentivizes you to work slowly.

Who wants that?

Switching to a per-project or per-deliverable rate is a win/win for you and the client:

There are no unexpected surprises for them if the job takes longer…

And you get rewarded if you can get it done quicker.

STEP 2: Always ask for a deposit

This helps weed out crappy clients.

A deposit can be anywhere from 10-50%.

But as a gesture of good faith, we recommend waiting to invoice for the second half until the project is done to the client’s satisfaction.

(retainer deals notwithstanding)

STEP 3: Explore performance-based deals

Once you’ve established a track record of making money for clients, it’s time to explore performance-based deals.

To be clear — this step is optional.

You don’t need it to earn a great income.

Four clients at $3k/each is $12,000.

But if you’ve developed a solid relationship with a client, and have good proximity to the sale through writing copy, running ads, or closing deals for them…

You’re likely in position to initiate this conversation.

For example:

  • Media buyers can charge a % of ad spend
  • Copywriters can charge a % of revenue
  • Sales reps can charge a % of cash collected

Avoid profit-based agreements if you can.

There are all kinds of accounting jiu-jitsu tricks a business owner can employ to lower profits on paper and starve you of your commissions.

So you’re much better off working out a deal based on revenue.

Now, we could write a whole book on the topic of pricing…

But the bottom line is:

The more proof you can rack up (results for clients), the more you can charge.

So focus on getting great at what you do, overdelivering for clients, and collecting that proof…

And the rest will take care of itself.

From The Copywriting Gig

Follow This Readability Rule if You’re Writing Long-Form Copy

Yes, people still read long-form sales letters in 2023.

But that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore readability when writing one.

And while liberal use of subheads and line breaks is important…

There’s another trick to making your sales page read fast:

Breaking up the copy with one image per full screen length.

Because not only do images help bring your copy to life…

But they support the “skim track.”

In other words…

Between your subheads and images, a reader *should* be able to grasp the basics of your entire sales message.

So keep this readability rule in mind next time you’re writing a long-form piece.

Your audience will often thank you with more sales.

Gig Alerts

Looking for clients? These freelance jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

NOTE: We only share job postings from Upwork. We’ve found it to be the most trustworthy platform with the highest-quality clients. 

Furthermore, job postings must be for high-income skills like copywriting, media buying, funnel building, graphic design, remote closing, etc in order to qualify.

In Case You Missed It:

Quote of the Day

“Never assume because you put more time into something, it’s getting better”

— Rick Rubin

Time doesn’t always equal quality.

Sometimes the first draft is the best one.

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Tools of the Trade

Looking to upgrade your toolkit? Here are some of our favorite tools we use to powerful our freelance business:

  • ConvertKit — Email marketing for creators. Simple, easy to use, and very cost-effective.
  • Kinsta — Super fast website hosting trusted by 25,000+ small businesses.
  • Fireflies — AI note-taker that can record client calls + create searchable transcripts.
  • Krisp — Eliminates echoes and background noise on calls and meetings using AI.
  • Wise — Unbeatable rates on currency conversions. Saves you a ton of money if you’re an international freelancer.

* Some of these are affiliate links. This means we may receive a small commission if you sign up for a paid subscription (at no extra cost to you.)