How Much Should You Charge?

There seems to be a little “rift” between the “my work is valuable” crowd and the “help! I need money!” crowd. Established freelancers say — rightfully — that you should get paid what you’re worth, but some beginners argue that desperate times call for desperate measures.

Last week I received an email from Briana, a 21-year-old beginner freelancer who says she is desperate for work — ANY work. She is deeply in debt and can’t pay her bills.

Briana said:

Since being laid off in January, I’ve been pursuing a career as a freelance writer, and while things are steadily looking up, the fact of the matter is I’m still not making enough for a full time income. 11 months later and the stress of getting a “real job” is even greater than before.

Briana lives in ultra-expensive Southern California. Although she wants to stay in that area to be close to her family, she’s willing to move to Nevada — where the cost of living is cheaper — while she establishes her freelance career. (That’s dedication!)

The problem is, her husband would need to find a new job if they moved to a cheaper area. Right now his job provides their main source of income, and they can’t risk upsetting that income stream.

As you can see, Briana has some big financial challenges that relate to being a beginner freelancer.

I wrote Briana an epic, 2,000-word response to help her figure out how she should price her freelance work. You can read it here, in a post I call: Give Me Money!


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