When all is said and done, and keeping in mind it’s a job that you love, you have to make a living from doing your work on the internet. To do this you need to make sure that your time and efforts are rewarded at a rate that keeps you in the black.
This is usually the most hated part of any artistic person work, the numbers game. It is something you need to work out right from the start so that you don’t have to really think about it much after that. Work out your basic needs per hour against the income you expect to get. When you have your needs in one pocket and the hopeful earnings in the other you need to multiply the needs by 3 and then make sure the rate you are charging covers that. Yes I said by three. This is to cover all eventualities such as sickness, holidays, times when no work comes in, etc. This means you will also be able to do your clients justice without worrying about the wasted times as well.
The one thing designers usually forget about when charging is the time spent with the client to clarify the work and to update them. These are all chargeable hours and need to be put on the bill.
There are certain general office expenses that will need to be covered such as electricity gas to go to the client if they aren’t coming to you. Printing ink and all that sort of thing are all things that tend to be forgotten but will erode your profitability. You need to make a full list when you are doing the costing for running your freelance business.
Once you have got all your costs listed and worked out your rates you will need to also put a bit of thought into advertising yourself.
You need to put your best advertising coat on your own website. If you are a shoemaker and are wearing a pair of broken down sandals you wouldn’t get anyone through the door would you? Your website is your best advert. It needs to be top notch.
Things you need to look at. You need to look at how you are branding yourself. Is your logo the best there is? Is it visually pleasing and clearly understood? Is your favicon a matching item? Your own brand needs to be forceful and a powerful selling tool.
If you are a designer, you are selling more than a website; you are selling a branding iron. It’s the internet tool to sell a company on line and needs to start right in your own back yard.
Take a look at the websites that brand themselves and how you remember them. This is the way you will be remembered. And believe me that branding will be remembered like Coca cola if you do it correctly. The branding process is an overall company policy which should range from Favicon to Logo, From Logo to Letterhead, from letterhead to business card. It should be across the board and incorporate every facet of the company. Remember that when you start out. This will be the way you carry on and because of that it needs to be correct from the beginning. You cannot be switching and changing continually. It is a stable foundation that you need to build on.