How do I get paid for my work? I know it’s a difficult question for those who are starting, but with time and experience you can find the perfect formula to charge for your services, your products, products you have in an e-commerce or simply consulting you get to do. A freelancer works when he charges, you are not a freelancer if you are not charging, you are an unemployed person with desire and desire to work. But the successful freelancer charges for their work, usually by the hour, for services or consulting and reach that exact price, requires a little concentration.
I remember some of my first clients, I worked designing web pages, as many of you will have started, although today thanks to the ecosystem, also many are starting doing advertising campaigns for others, designing products, generating applications, generating products developed in some technology, even libraries to optimize or giving computer security consulting.
My first client, I remember, was a company that was moving. A friend of the family, he found out that I was a kid with a pile, a squeaky duck that could make webpages and they called me to make their website. I arrived in good uniform, told them about the work I had done, mainly some pages I had posted in GeoCities and a lot of other places. Yeah, that’s how old I am.
And I remember taking their requirements, I knew that was what they needed. They gave me a CD with a lot of pictures and we were going to put all this on the web, they already had their web hosting, etc. And after making the presentation they told me, “Can you send us a proposal with the price of how much it is going to cost us? And I was blank, I didn’t know, I had ideas, I had ideas of more or less how much to charge. I gave a price that I don’t remember at this point, but it was such a low, bad price that I was like, “Oh, yeah, that’s it, go ahead. Have it for us next week.”
There I learned that I didn’t have enough knowledge about the customer and simply assigned a random price with which the business was closed, so I got my first customer. Historically, looking back, I made a good effort but I could have fought back. When I was asked, “How much do you charge?“.
I could have asked, “Do you have a budget for this?, How much is the item you are looking for?, Have you consulted other companies?” I could have monitored. I was also fortunate that I was going as a high reference for acquaintances and so the business was secured.
Another important thing I want to say is, when you are generating experience and you are starting up, it is important that you do not give your work away, that you do not work for free. Now, it is also important that you don’t do things just for money, more so when you are starting up and you don’t have experience.
Do your first projects for fun, for learning, yes? Don’t do them for money, don’t do your first project like, “I’m going to start working only if I can get money, if I can pay the rent, etc.” Everyone has particular situations but do your work for something in return, whether it’s for learning, whether it’s for contacts, whether it’s for something you’re going to get and don’t just do it for free, not just for, “Oops, if I work for this company that’s super famous and I don’t charge them anything I’ll be able to put it in my portfolio. This company probably won’t take you seriously, so don’t work for free, be careful.
You can volunteer, you can volunteer in events, etc. That’s not working for free, that’s exchanging your services, bartering for access to events, etc., internships that are also very fashionable in many Latin American countries, going to some company where you learn. Find out what it means to be an intern, what it means to be an intern in one of these companies. But be careful not to do things just for free or to earn someone’s job.
In principle, I recommend that your first projects are done for entertainment, that you do parodies of brands you would like to work with, that you make proposals, that it is something that serves you, learn, have fun. An important way to know if you are deciding a good path being as a freelancer or having your own project is.