- There are no golden rules, no definitive guide book that mandates we get paid $400 for a press release. Some writers get $15,000 for a sales letter. Some writers get $10 for a blog post.
- Client factors. Some have money, some don’t. The ‘what they’re willing to pay’ factor is distressingly subjective.
- The economy. When it’s good, so are rates. When it’s bad – and I mean really bad, like now – you may have to adjust your rates according to what the market can bear.
- The plate issue. Is yours full? Then you’ll ask for a lot of money to add another project to the table. But, if your plate is empty, you might be willing to take a job for less.
- The ego. Us. You and me. The level of self-worth. How does your internal conversation go? Do you doubt your abilities, do you value your time? Are you confident, professional, fair? What do you think you deserve…and how did you come that conclusion?
If you’re struggling over fees – in general or for a specific project – I recommend the following:
- Talk to your peers. Find out what they would charge and let their input guide you.
- Check with professional sources. While this isn’t the end all and be all (remember, I just told you there is no golden rule book), you can still find resources that will be helpful.
- Try them on. Literally role play. Try on $200, try on $500, try on $800. Does $200 make you feel angry and devalued? Does $800 make you feel like you’re stealing? Maybe $500 will feel just right. Wear each fee around for a few hours, tell your spouse, best friend, mom what you’ll be making – how do you feel when you say it out loud and to someone else? Proud? Embarrassed?
- Weigh the economy, plate and client factors that I listed above. They’re real and they have influence.
- ‘I choose my choice’ It’s not only one of my favorite Charlotte lines from SATC, it’s a great mantra. Simply put, when you do settle on a fee, sign a contract and start the project, there is no looking back – choose your choice. You’ve made a decision, now deal with it...nah, make the very most of it.
Image credit: Pink Sherbert Photography