Ask 1099 Mom: How Much Should I Charge for a New Project?

 (Photo by TheTruthAbout via Flickr)

It's a glorious predicament:  You get offered a chance to work with someone new, and they ask you what you charge for a project you've never done before.  Do you set a high price?  Or keep it low to ensure that they will say "yes"?  How do you ever find out what an appropriate amount is?

This is one of those situations where it really does help to have friends.  Whether you blog, freelance, or paint houses, there is a "sweet spot" for pricing that you want to hit.  If you price too high, the prospect may never email you back.  If you price too low, you could be robbing yourself of the chance to make a nice profit (and buy some new tires for your car.)

When I recently found myself in this same situation, I did a little research and some careful consideration before I replied.  The client came to me and asked how much I would charge for some promotional posts and a little bit of social media magic via Twitter and Facebook.  I know that I had been paid as little as $100 for a package like this back in the day, but that some companies were offering as much as $1500!  How did I know where to aim for?  I asked my friends.

Because I have been blogging for over 3 years now, I had a nice list of contacts (people I would even consider good friends) that I felt comfortable asking.  I emailed each one, asking for advice.  Some gave me an exact amount to ask for.  Others were a bit more cryptic, hoping to preserve some of their business secrets -- and that was OK, too.  I was able to take their figures, adjust them to fit the level of traffic and exposure that my blog and social accounts could offer, and made my bid to the prospect.

They bit.

I was able to pocket a nice chunk of change for a relatively easy project that was also fun to do.  Could I have charged more?  Most definitely.  Do I feel like it was a very profitable opportunity for me that the client will see as a good value for them, as well?  You betcha.

Survey your friends without giving away too much info on who the company is and what the exact details of the project are.  You may be surprised as just how supportive the WAHM community really can be.

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