Saturday, May 12, 2018

How to Set Your Price: Factors for setting the correct pricing

Namaste Friends and Freelancers.

One question that I find people asking me almost all the time is about pricing. “How much should I ask for a project?” “How much should I put my hourly rate?” “How should I set the correct price tag to my services?” Is this your question too? If it is, you are at the right place.

In this post today, I am going to write exactly about this. Fasten your seat belt and let’s get started!

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

The real problem is that in most cases the freelancers or sellers do not have enough experience of selling their services online. Hence, they are not sure if what they are asking is justified.

Some of us are not sure how much our skills are valued by other sellers or the buyers, in turn. We do not know how much the ongoing rate in the market for something (that we are selling ourselves) is. We do not know what other freelancers are getting or asking for. And hence, there is a chance that we either ask for lesser than we deserve and end up being paid less or ask more than what it should be and scare away the client.

The worst of the lot is that we do not know our own value. I mean, we fail to judge our own worth in terms of the time and effort that we spend on a particular project. Even when we take care of the top two issues, most of us fail in fixing this one. This is the main thing I will try to solve in this post. Know your worth! Read on…


THE SOLUTION 1 & 2.

There is no sure shot solution to this problem, actually. Though the common recommendation is to research on the internet and try to find out how much others in your niche are asking. I truly believe that it will not give you a clear picture of the market. The only way to know this is to keep working in the same niche, trying to find out from the buyers if they have had earlier interactions and how much they are willing to pay. Well, this is what I can tell from my experience in Active income.

One workaround that I can think of is to hire (or try negotiating with) other sellers from your own niche and see how much they are asking for a similar job. That will definitely give you a much better idea. Just pray that that guy is not another rookie with no idea, like you. That will ruin it for sure.

THE SOLUTION.

Please read carefully and try to understand what I am going to tell you now; for, this is very important for a freelancer and if you can understand this and implement in your business, I am more than sure that you will never have to ask that question regarding pricing again. I am going to tell you a powerful, practical and mathematical way to value yourself and set your own price.

The first step that you would take here in trying to fix your price is to put a price tag on your own. It solely depends on you and your aspirations. (Well, don’t worry. We will keep things real.) How much do you want to earn per hour? $5 an hour? $10? $20? Or $50? Or even more? What is that what you want? Think about it and answer this question – not to me, but to yourself.

Well, if you ask this question to anyone else, everyone will want to earn more – as much as possible! So, the rate would go just higher and higher. But we need to check the reality as well. We cannot just quote anything we want and expect the buyer to pay. So, we need to choose something which will keep up happy. Hold on to your thoughts here and check the next step.

Now, I have done a small mathematical calculation myself which helped me to reach to a number. Let’s try explaining that here. It is easier if we ask the same question in a slightly different way. Let’s now ask, “how much do you want to earn in a year?” Answer in Indian Rupees (or your local currency). ₹1,00,000? ₹5,00,000? ₹20,00,000? What is that number that will satisfy you?

Let’s select ₹10,00,000 for the sake of calculations. Let’s break this down to the hourly rate. If someone wants to earn this much amount, how much should be the income per hour? Or, if someone is earning ₹10,00,000 annually, how much is he earning per hour? Let’s find out.

₹10,00,000 in a year means ₹83,000 a month, approximately.
In a month, we normally work for 40 x 4 = 160 hours, considering 40 hours a week and 4 weeks a month. I know we work more, but let’s consider this number of hours just for the sake of it.
So, we can say that we are earning ₹83,000 ÷ 160 = ₹520 per hour.
The current rate of USD vs INR is ₹65.
So, ₹520 is $8. Just $8.00!

Remember that I have not considered the taxes and other cuts in your ₹10,00,000 salary. (Even the freelancers need to pay taxes!) And you are getting only $8 per hour. This is not even the minimum wage in many states in the US. Well, we are not getting into those right now.

All I wanted to show here is if you are looking to earn ₹10,00,000 per year, you need to have a minimum hourly rate of $8. Simple? Not yet! We must remember here that we are not going to get 40 hours of work every week. (Food for Thought: Even if you get, are you ready to work for 40 hours a week?)

So, it boils down to this: predict how much work you will get or you are ready to work, in hours. 20 hours? If it is 20 hours a week, you need to have a minimum rate of $16 and that too, after 10-20% fees that you will need to pay to the freelancing portals (Fiverr or Upwork etc.). So, your minimum hourly charges need to be $20.

Too much maths? Nay! Only a little bit, but I am sure you can consume this much. And once you do, I am sure you will have a clear idea of how much you should ask, per hour. There are a few other factors as well, like market trend and demand for your skills which you need to consider before arriving at this final rate.

Once you are done with this calculation, primarily based on your aspirations, you can easily set your hourly price. Right? Now, what about ad hoc projects? Let’s check it out. It is simple too.

PRICING FOR AD-HOC PROJECTS.

When you get an ad-hoc project, where you are not paid on an hourly basis but as a lump sum amount for the entire project, here is how you need to set the price.

You have already calculated your per hour rate. Now, predict how many hours you will actually spend on this project. This may sound overwhelming, but it will become easier with more projects that you complete. So, if it is 5 hours that you are going to work on the project, multiple 5 with the calculated rate. If that is $20/hour, the cost will be $100. Then add your adjustments considering that the project is only for 5 hours and won’t provide for the entire 20 hours of weekly work that you have predicted earlier. Again, consider if you have more work in hand. How much do you have now? If you are working on freelance projects only on a part-time basis, then it will be easier to adjust or negotiate with these numbers.

I am sure you are wise enough to calculate your own numbers from hereon. Do write to me if you have more questions. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Set your own price. Be your own Boss (BYOB) and go for the kill!
Cheers!


Thanks for reading this post. I hope you liked it. If you did, please do not forget to subscribe to us.

You may also want to check out our YouTube Channel, where we post videos with various freelancing tips and tricks, which can definitely boost your freelancing career and business! The Channel name is The Indian Freelancer and can be accessed here: www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer.

Thanks a lot,
The Indian Freelancer
Let's Learn and Grow Together!

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Failing to plan is planning to fail

Namaste Friends and Freelancers.

How have you been? How is everything going on? How are you doing? I keep asking these questions in every post and it is not just to ignore. I really want you to write about yourself in the comment section where I can actually read and know about you. I love knowing and meeting new people. And you are the closest ones I have right now. So, stop being lazy and talk to me :)

You can also choose to get in touch on the Facebook page. Click here to reach there. And if you look around, The Indian Freelancer is everywhere, just a message away!

Today’s topic is a very interesting one. I was thinking about writing on it for a long time and only now I got a chance. There are too many things going around, right? Well, so here it is. Something I love talking about and something you will be helped immensely by.

FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL.

What does this actually mean? It means, in easy words, that you must plan for things that you want to achieve well ahead of time. Simple!

Plan your day. Plan your week. Plan your month. Plan your quarter, half year and probably the entire year ahead. Plan everything! This is what everyone tells and all of them are correct. I am not denying the fact nor am I repeating the same things again here, in this post. All I am going to tell you is a secret about planning.


THE SECRET.

The secret is that all of us do plan but most of us do it unknowingly. When we wake up in the morning, even though we did not write anything on our "To-Do List" last night, we still do what we need to do; don’t we? Every one of us has a plan when we wake up, though we do not do any such fancy things, like maintaining a list of tasks to do. In the back of our mind, we know what we are going to do today or any day for that matter. Even on days when we wake up and are on a vacation and your mind is empty, we still know that there are chores that we need to finish or at least places we would want to visit. What I mean is that we always have things to do, and we mostly know what we are going to do in that week or in two months or maybe by Diwali, or Christmas. We do have a list of things to do. And most of the times, we actually complete those tasks that too well within time. But this is not a business plan. In business, we must have a plan to reach a goal.

SO, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

All that you need to do is to think about the same things or tasks that you are supposed to do, a little ahead of time. Along with that, you should have a list of actions that will help us in accomplishing the things that we need to do. This is what is called having a plan. Two things – list of tasks to do + list of respective actions that are to be taken to accomplish those tasks. Add a timestamp with these and you get a solid plan in place!

A BUSINESS PLAN.

I define a business plan as a list of tasks which are sorted, ordered based on priority and written chronologically with a time stamp! Sounds bookish? Yes, it is! Very bookish, but you must have it to move successfully ahead in your business or in pretty much whatever you are doing. You must have a plan!

Now, if you ask me personally I try to plan as much as possible; rather, I plan as much as I can stick to and sustain. I create my own plan. I do not plan daily. I plan weekly or maybe for the next 15 days. I almost know everything that I will be doing in the next 15 days, but since I am still earning mostly from my active source, I often have to give up on my plans and modify them very frequently. These alterations are not drastic or catastrophic as I almost know how my time is going to be used up. So, I make a plan that I can follow.

SECRET #2.

Make your own plan. Do not follow someone else’s plan. More often than not, it will not work for you. If you can take someone else’s day to day plan and do the same things in the same order over and over again, then you can save a lot of time; but if you ask me, I am not too sure of that. I am not a fan of that kind of planning. So, the second secret that I am revealing here is to make your own plan.

WHY SHOULD I PLAN?

Now, before I finish this article, let me give you a few pointers on why is planning so important. Important for your business, important for your job, important if you are a student and planning is important in your life, overall!
  1. Planning ensures that you know and acknowledge things that you have to do.
  2. A solid plan in place shows that you can define your tasks and recognize responsibilities.
  3. Planning also helps in prioritizing tasks. In turn, this helps you in doing more in lesser time.
  4. Planning ensures that you stay on top of your business and stay on track to achieve them in time.
  5. Timely completion of deliverables and results in front of your eyes make you confident in what you are doing and push you for more, in turn. Planning helps in achieving all these.

Don’t fail to plan well ahead in time, unless you are planning to fail in the long run!

I have talked about planning and how to execute plans to make your days more effective and to manage your time better in my online course: POWER Freelancing - productivity and time management system. If you want to take it up, you can use this Coupon Code - POWER10 – to get a 94% discount. Please consider buying the course at its original price too, if you want to support the cause.

This is all I have in this article. I hope this helped you in some way or the other. I will eagerly wait to know if it does. Please feel free to write in your comments.

Wishing you all the best in your business. Keep at it and keep hustling!
Cheers!


Thanks for reading this post. I hope you liked it. If you did, please do not forget to subscribe to us.

You may also want to check out our YouTube Channel, where we post videos with various freelancing tips and tricks, which can definitely boost your freelancing career and business! The Channel name is The Indian Freelancer and can be accessed here: www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer.

Thanks a lot,
The Indian Freelancer
Let's Learn and Grow Together!

Sunday, May 06, 2018

How to start off? ROADMAP for an Online freelancer

Namaste friends and freelancers.

The last week was tremendous. There were new orders that I delivered, new research that did (I will tell you about that once I have something solid in hand) and met new people too. New people – people who were not known to me at all and have now become very good acquaintances, just after a couple of interactions! It was awesome. Loved it. How was your week? Do let me know how it was in your comments. I will love to read.

Now, in today’s post, I am going to write about how to start off as an online freelancer. You already know that in this blog, I keep on talking about online freelancing and entrepreneurship and how you can learn new things in your journey as a freelancer. There are a lot of information scattered here and there which I have written keeping the absolute beginner in mind. I think there should be one dedicated post which will tell you clearly how to start. Let me draw a roadmap for you.

There is an old post on this blog which you may want to read too. Click here to read that post.

So, in this post today I am going to do exactly that. I will tell you what exactly you need to have to start with and then how you can proceed to build on that. I will leave you with a few best practices that I follow and some tips and tricks that will surely be handy. So, let’s get started!

WHERE DO I START?

We start at the very beginning. The beginning is the phase when we talk to ourselves, ask and find out if we really want to take up online freelancing. If yes, are we going to do it part-time or take it up full time? Are we dedicated and ready to go through all that is necessary to initiate and take our freelancing career forward? We should only take the next step if we are sure of this. Well, I do not discourage trying it out, but even if you are just here to give it a shot, ensure it is your best shot. That is all that I want.


I AM READY. WHAT’S NEXT?

Well, this is where things get moving, actually. Find your skills. This is easy as well as a tough step in the process. Easy because you are going to talk about yourself and not anyone else. So, you do not have to look outside. And it is tough because there are a lot of things to consider while doing so. Let me write this down as steps and that will make more sense:
1.   List out everything that you can do on the computer. Include even the basic tasks like searching on Google for something and browsing the internet. No skill is worthless; so, mention it in the list. And slowly, add more – spend some time and keep adding a skill whenever you remember one.
2.     Now, hit the internet and check out the freelancing portals. Find out which of these skills that you have can be used. Highlight them. These skills will define you as a freelancer. These will help in answering questions like, “what do you do?” by saying, “I am a freelance graphics designer” or “I am a freelance content developer.” Well, enough of drama. I hope you understand what I am saying here. Shortlist the skills that are high selling and are in demand.
3.    When you go through the step number 2, I am sure you will find a few skills which you are not very well versed with, but you have some basic idea of. If these skills are in demand, do not think twice to invest in learning those skills. More often than not, you will just need to sharpen your saw – that’s it.
4.    As the next step, make an online freelancing portfolio or a CV or Resume. Whatever you call it, it should have all the sellable computer skills that you have. And then, you should highlight those which you are master of and are in high demand on those freelancing portals. Write down your objectives and make your CV attractive to look at. It is your face to the world and it should look the best!
5.  At this point in time, you are ready to register at the freelancing portals. I would suggest registering with the portals where you need to bid for work. I want you to go through the grind, take a harder way and walk on it with your head held high. If you can walk on that path with confidence, and still be able to sell your services, you will stay here for a longer time. The things that you learn during these initial days of struggle will help you in the long run. I wish you get real tough clients and maneuver your way out of every storm you walk through. Truly!

I AM SET. TELL ME MORE.

Are you set? Yes and no. Yes, because you have already learned a lot by now. Probably you are earning too by selling your services.  So, you are kind of set. But you are still way far from where you would want to be – when you achieve financial freedom; and hence, no.

At this point in time, look out for more. Don’t be satisfied by the dollars that you are earning while trading your services on the freelancing portals. If you have quit your job (or if you are looking to quit your job) and want to be a full-time freelancer, you will be able to relate to what I am saying. You are still earning as much as you spend time working. Like you used to do in a traditional job. I am not going into whether you are earning more or less, but you are doing almost the same thing.

This is exactly what is known as active income. And the goal of every freelancer, who wants to move towards financial freedom sometime in the future, is to move from active income sources to passive income sources. The goal is to sell less of services and more of products. Products can be replicable, and sellable multiple times. This will actually help to make your business scalable.

MOVE TOWARDS CREATING PRODUCTS.

At this point in time find out the products of your choice which you can build and move slowly towards creating multiple income streams. Create more passive sources, as you continue earning through active sources to be able to pay your bills.

This phase can be longer or shorter depending upon a lot of variable factors. This is where you will put in your efforts and knowledge and put your passion into action. We have talked about passive sources of income in the past and we will talk about it in future as well. For now, let me just name a few passive sources or sellable products that I like which you can ponder upon. Affiliate marketing, Online Courses, YouTube videos, Blogs, and eBooks are some of the most common passive income sources that people work on.

I am sure when you reach this point in your freelancing career, you will be able to judge for yourself what you want to do from hereon. Let me tell you that there are more than a few online freelancers who spend all their life working only actively and with no product to sell. That is one way of looking at it too. My job is to tell you the possibilities and show you the roadmap. It is completely up to you to follow it or not. but if you do, and you need any help while doing so, just let me know. I will be only a message away.

I hope this post was helpful and resourceful. If it was, make sure that you share this post on social media with your friends and family and let them know about the kind of content I publish here on this blog. And stay connected.

Thanks again for your time.
Cheers!


Thanks for reading this post. I hope you liked it. If you did, please do not forget to subscribe to us.

You may also want to check out our YouTube Channel, where we post videos with various freelancing tips and tricks, which can definitely boost your freelancing career and business! The Channel name is The Indian Freelancer and can be accessed here: www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer.

Thanks a lot,
The Indian Freelancer
Let's Learn and Grow Together!