Whether you're a seasoned freelancer or just starting out, choosing the right price point for your client's projects can be tricky and stressful. Today I'm going to walk you through the iOS app MyPrice, which is designed to factor in all of the variables to determine the most appropriate valuation for your time and effort.
Step 1: Set Up Your Profile
Putting the right price on your time and your work is one of the most crucial decisions you can make as a freelancer, and for good reason. The ideal rate will convey to your client your personal value for what you do. It will assert your expertise in your field, and your intention to make a living from your craft. However, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account when determining that magic number. And doing so can be an arduous process.
MyPrice considers all of those factors by asking you to respond to a series of questions before suggesting an optimal price point for your work. When you first launch the app, you'll have to fill out your Profile. This is personal information that won't necessarily change from project to project, and will establish an ideal rate for any hourly work you might perform, outside of a contracted project.
In addition to answering questions about your area of expertise and level of experience, MyPrice will also use some of the following information when calculating your ideal price point:
- Routine work expenses (office rent, supplies)
- Routine personal expenses (mortgage, insurance)
- Full-time vs. part-time freelancing
- Plans for the future
In order to provide a hands-on view of MyPrice in action, I've populated my Profile with my details. I'm a college-educated web designer working from my Ohio home with relatively low routine expenses. With all of my information on file, MyPrice suggests that I charge an hourly rate of 20.42 USD.
Note: MyPrice is currently only able to work with accurate location data for Canada, United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Spain, and Australia. Any other countries will calculate estimates with rough figures that can serve as a strong starting point.
That's perfectly fine if my client wants me to spend an afternoon performing some site maintenance. But what if a client wants me to start a new, big project from scratch? That situation can bring on a whole slew of new expenses and complications to your work day.
Let's suppose that XYZ Inc. wants me to redesign their website, fortunately, MyPrice can help me figure out what to charge.
Step 2: Create a Project
From the Calculate tab (which should presently indicate your ideal hourly rate based on your personal profile that you filled out in the last section), you can tap one of two buttons. The first will allow you to revise your profile in order to recalculate your hourly rate, but since we're working on a project, let's tap New Project.
MyPrice offers a rather impressive list of potential projects for which you can calculate rates. For this website redesign, we'll select HTML+CSS Site from the Web Design category. Now it's time to answer more questions. I know there are a lot of them, but I promise, it's worth it.
Each new project will begin with the Basis category. Once completed, this category will become un-editable, since it is essentially a list of basic attributes of the project. For example, in the Basis section of your project, you will indicate what type of client the project is for, your applicable skill level for the type of project, the complexity of the project, and the ultimate goal.
Once the Basis is established, you will proceed by outlining the more detailed aspects of your project. The questionnaire is much too lengthy for me to go into too much detail, but suffice to say that it thoroughly maps the ins and outs of your project (specific to the project type, as well). When all of the parameters have been set, the end result is an itemized estimate for each leg of your project.
Step 3: Act
Once your estimate is complete, you have a couple of options. First, you could simply use it as an estimate, and draw up a revised document separately to send to your client. Second, you could use the built-in functionality to send your estimate to Freshbooks. But I'm a simple guy, so I'll use the button on the Estimate page to email the estimate directly to my client.
Once the estimate is shipped off, I can revisit or even revise the project itself by visiting the History tab. A condensed list shows all of the projects I've worked with in MyPrice, giving me easy access to my estimates whenever I need them.
The estimate has already been sent to the client, but there are few more features of MyPrice that can benefit you as a freelancer. The last two tabs are Tips and Jobs.
Tips are updated regularly and can provide some useful advice on freelancing and financing. The Jobs tab aggregates job openings from around the world. If you find one that looks appealing, you can send an email to the company directly from MyPrice.
Lastly, MyPrice has an iPad version (also free) that supports CloudSync, so you have access to your projects and estimates no matter what device you're using.
There seems to be almost as many tools to help with your freelancing as there are methodologies and philosophies for freelancing. MyPrice is a neat iOS application that doesn't try to do too much, but definitely can give you some relief when it comes to the often stressful and delicate matter of pricing your time and work.
By streamlining the price estimation process, you can spend less time on financing and bookkeeping and more time doing the work you love. (And isn't that the freelance dream?) MyPrice is a free application for iPhone and iPad, so try it out and let us know how it helps your business!
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