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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bidding and Winning Projects as a Freelancer

When you're a freelancer, you cannot escape the task of bidding for projects and hoping to win the projects. Losing out more times than you'd actually care to admit, understand that it's part and parcel of being a freelancer. You're pitched against many other people who are cheaper (not necessarily better) and who are willing to go really low to do McDonald's rate work for reasonable quality stuff. Most of the freelancers bidding for projects are either fresh graduates who are trying to make a quick buck or students earning some pocket money or building their portfolio.

As a professional freelancer, it's unfair to be pitched against these people because they don't really MAKE A LIVING out of freelancing. There are millions and millions of other freelance graphic designers and copywriters I am pitching against every single day and sometimes I find myself cursing at them for offering such low prices! Unbelievable. They're really spoiling the market.

Should you lower your price and integrity just to win the bid for the project?

Some freelancers succumb to the need to win projects after they bid on it. Hawking over a less than worthwhile project is a complete waste of time. What freelancers should do is to simply keep their integrity. If you've established yourself in the market, have a relatively large (and impressive portfolio) and think you deserve to be paid whatever you think you should be paid, why lower yourself?

Keep your head up high and dictate the price. Lowering it means that you're somewhat desperate for business – and that's not the kind of message you want to convey to your potential customers. Being desperate mean that you're not doing business and one of the many reasons why you're looking for business is because….perhaps…you're not as good as you think you are?

No way! If you think you're good enough to charge whatever you want to charge, don't bend lower that you're willing to.

But of course, even after winning a bid or not bidding at all, you should still keep the door open for reasonable haggling of price

In business, there's always some haggling involved. Therefore, make it a point to quote a price right about 5% higher than what you would normally charge others. If the client/customer negotiates for a lower price, bring it down by 5% and you'll get whatever you thought you deserved to start with.

What if the client wants you to bring the price even lower?

It depends on the client and your relationship with the client. As a freelancer, we are dependant on a virtual relationship we have built with our clients. They are merely faceless people you're working for and trust is very, very, very important. If you feel that you can trust the client and knows that he/she will be giving you business many years down the road, by way of showing your appreciation for their business, lower down your price. But if this is what you're doing, make sure you point out the fact that the price is exclusive and you don't charge everyone else the same price.

Not only will this make the client feel special but he/she will recommend other people your freelancing services. And if they do, they will also make a special note not to mention the pricing.

Happy freelancing!

Marsha Maung is a freelance graphic designer and copy writer who works from home. She designs apparel and premium items at and is the author of "Raising little magicians", and the popular "The Lance in freelancing". More information can be found at

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