This is the only industry where we don’t set the price. The client tells us how much they are prepared to spend and we freelancers respond. Let me put it another way. You wouldn’t go to a plumber and say ‘I want to pay between £500 and £2K, how much would a new bathroom cost?’.
And so getting hired comes down to guessing what hourly cost the client has in mind. And some clients are looking for the cheapest option. But look at the price you may end up paying. If you need to spend time repeatedly briefing, and managing the supplier you need to add on the cost of your time to the overall project (who’s cheaper per-hour, the Art Director or the freelance copywriter, hmmm).
Cheapest ain’t always best. They’re the suppliers who expect you to brief them so tightly it would be easier for you to do the job yourself (‘Can you give me 50 words for the nugget on the home page’ asks the copywriter, failing to use the expertise so relevant for the project and for which he was hired).
I say this because I’ve signed up to peopleperhour.co.uk It’s a website that has followed the path carved by elance.com and guru.com and odesk.com in the US, that matches freelancers with clients. And it’s a free market. People can bid to work for well below industry rates.
There are people willing to design a logo for as little as £20. Phew, lucky escape. Who really wants to win a project which, once commission has been paid, has gone for £5?
So how do you know which supplier to choose? You don’t. It’s a case of testing a couple out and determining who is worth hiring and who is worth firing.
And once you’ve found a virtual assistant, based in India who can work through the night to set up meetings and organize your diary, it’s tempting to outsource your entire life. Timothy Ferriss tells you how in his step-by-step guide ‘The 4-hour working week. Escape the 9-5 live anywhere and join the new rich’. If whilst you’re running your empire from a hammock you’d like copywriting, editing or marketing services, do drop me a line. I can’t promise to be the cheapest, but I might just be the best.
And remember, suppliers are only as good as you are.