Over the years I’ve been freelancing, I connect with many types of potential clients and I’m frequently asked things like “What is your rate/How much do you charge?” without any acknowledgement of their budget for this requested project.
This is a big giveaway to how much a collective value has been put into:
- Their project
- Our time
- My skills
Sometimes, I’d get responses like “That is out of my price range”, but this is not to say my rates are high – it has been more about how art is valued and the time put into creating something.
This was a common occurrence when I’d receive requests for website design and maintenance. The request came in, the quote was sent out and a few of the responses to that had been inline with “I can get a £70 website from a contact in [insert non UK country here]”. Then may I ask why you wouldn’t just go with you initial contact and pay £70? There’s obviously much more to it than that.
You can use a simple method to keep your conversations with potential clients straightforward: When you receive any project request, ask them “What is your budget?” first, allowing them to respond with a figure. As the artist, you can either decline working with them at this time with a brief explanation or, fit a schedule around that funding for the project so you will produce a project suited to their set budget.
As for the type of work, I’d encourage you to gain experience from projects offered, once starting out, if it interests you. Try not to waste your time learning a specific style if you’re not going to give 100% to it or keep it in your skill set. Always value your art at what you feel it should be – you shouldn’t feel forced to change your prices, unless you have reviewed them, and there is a valid reason to do so.