How to Price Your Services


Time is money.  Pricing projects isnt easy.  There are plenty of factors that should be considered:

  • How long will the project take?
  • How clear are the client’s requirements?
  • How well do you know the client?
  • How likely are you to get future work from them?
  • How skilled or experienced are you to handle the project?
  • How busy are you with other work?

Hands down, pricing our services is tough.   So tough that no one has really mastered it.   And then you also have to decide how to charge: hourly or fixed price?

Do your own research

It is really important that you know what your work is worth.

  • Every freelancer situation is different

There are different factors that differentiate one freelancer to another.  It could be the country of origin.   For example, a freelancer living in Manila who is single, with no kids but the only breadwinner in their household has different set of priorities and responsibilities to someone who is married with kids, and who lives in India.

  • Check out current job ads

Check out sites and look for jobs who closely match your skills.  Take the salary range and average them.  This should give you an idea of how much your counterparts are currently making doing exactly what you wanted to do.  Obtained price might not be an ideal but it should help you figure out a salary range normally charge in your specific location.

  • Chat with other freelancers

I don’t recommend going to any freelancer and asking outright “what is your hourly rate;” that would not boost well for you and will make you look bad.

If you have some close freelancer-friends in the field, who do similar work to yours in their freelancing, then you could possibly chat with them to find out their average hourly rate (or at least an idea of what their rate is).

Or, join forum or facebook group intended for freelancers or virtual assistant. In Manila, you might want to join Jomar Hilario Virtual Assistant Guru in Facebook.   Members of the said group are very friendly and will try to help you the best they can.

Figure out your Working hours and hourly rate

Typically, a person would be working 1,920 hours a year. It is 40 hours (8 hours a day) week times 48 weeks (52 weeks less two weeks for vacation and two weeks personal/medical days).   Then divide the average salary by the hour’s calculation to get an average hourly rate.

This should give you a starting point, next is to figure out other expenses like overhead business expense e.g. monthly internet usage, electricity, computer equipment and things like health insurance which are normally handled by an employer.

Estimate Project Lengths

Estimating how long a project will take is the key to pricing it well. If you can’t estimate the length of a project you’ll never come up with a fair price, and more than likely you’ll end up losing.  

Ultimately, it will be up to you on how flexible you want to be with your pricing. Be careful about negotiating too much — if you drop your price 30% or more from the original estimate (without the project scope changing in parallel) it might look like you were trying to price gouge before. You lose money on freelance projects when you book yourself too cheaply and can’t make more money on other projects and opportunities that come your way.

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