First ever freelance?

I recently got freelanced to make a website and logo for a nonprofit organization, and I know a bunch of people on here do this sorta thing all the time, any advice?

Make sure you get all the content before you start making menus and making the layout. Make sure the client can specifically state the goals of the website. Get detailed expectations from the client in writing so that you can fulfill the expectations and get paid. Then they can’t ask you to do a whole bunch of extra stuff for free.

Keep it as simple as you possible can.

Freelance is good way to doing work. When u r easy then do work and earn money.

Be very very very careful of non profit “for the cause and from the good of your heart” scenarios. They are usually the most ignorant in terms of how much is required, and tend to change the goalposts every time you make any progress. Then they get impatient when they previously had all the time in the world, or if you announce you are going elsewhere for a week.

Some of the things you should have up front…

  • The work remains on your computer, never theirs until the job is done (I’ve had orgnanisations pull my artwork and reassign the job [because one of them thought they could do quicker] when I was nearly finished… pretty much broke me). Don’t allow one of them to suddenly come up with “my nephew has a webpage” takeover job. Have a non-3rd party clause.
  • Try to dissuade them from broadcasting to whoever that you are working on it. This tends to invite unneeded external pressure from self-appointed administrators “just asking” how things are going and when will it be up?
  • By all means have a target deadline, but if they’re not paying for meetings, disallow “just checking progress” spot reviews. They don’t help if you need space, and they tend to allow them to change their ideas if you’re ahead. Ask if they are prepared to be invoiced for meetings. Most probably not, so don’t let it be the thin end of the wedge.
  • The website, film whatever - needs to be story boarded / drafted in full first. Do not start unless you have a finalised typed version. If they can change wordings while you work, it allows them to add to layout, and then accompanying illustrations and the job never finishes. It is indeed a “truely wonderful” process to them who are all ideas and none of the hard work.
  • Under no circumstances are they allowed to communicate to you on our day off.

He is taking me out to lunch to discuss the work, what should I charge him?

Charge him the going professional rates for graphics work in your area.

You might just walk into a print shop or two where you are and ask what they charge per hour to to layout work in the computer. Open the phone book and ask a few people. Professional rates are usually not cheap and you should at the very least charge that as a starting point.

Break it down to work by the hour so you are not roped into working long hours at minimum wage or lower by going with an unrealistic estimate for the entire job.

It might be a great idea to get them to agree with time blocks purchased in advance rather than try and estimate the entire job. When the time is up, ask for another block up front.

This would also avoid then dragging it out, because they’d have to consider time costs each time that they change something.

Does accepting lunch make you feel obliged to take on the job?

It can be really really hard to price jobs, especially without having a few under your belt in order to guage against. Given it’s your first job and there will be some faffing around that you’d feel bad charging per hour for, perhaps you could set a “per page” charge? This would discourage them from getting all creative and making the job bigger and bigger. You should also have a “page modificatons” charge for anytime they say they want alterations to the original draft.

If you hear the line “this will be good experience for you”, walk away.


Great advice.