So I'm about to land my first client as freelance iOS developer. I did my research but didn't believe how much I could actually price, and ended up charging too low. Reasons are because I had no idea what clients budget was, its my first client, really want it for my portfolio, and pretty much built half the app already during prototype i did for free. Client was shocked at how low, and we agreed that I should spend more time on the app(I`m thinking about a month) and to come back with a fixed price (rather than hourly because risk of additionally hours to pay).

Problem is I can't boost price too high since I already set a low baseline price, but want to get as much as I can without seeming like I'm trying to get over on them now that we both I went way under.

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    As a freelance there are a lot of stuff you have to consider. Not the least the taxes you have to pay, pension you have to collect yourself, loss of benifits you do not have as a freelancer and have to account for (health insurence for example). Calculate all that, set a reasonable margin and use that, regardless of what your previously charged. Offcourse what the margin is, depends on how hard you need the job. Not a full answer as I have never been a freelancer, at best this is an "educated" opinion.
    – Jeroen
    Nov 15, 2017 at 15:37
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    We would just be guessing or giving opinions here, try to do a thorough research of the market and the specific project we are talking here, break it down into tasks and then estimate how much time/money it will take.
    – DarkCygnus
    Nov 15, 2017 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


It is impossible to determine the price without knowing the scope of the project.

Agreeing to a fixed price is probably a bad idea. The customer will probably ask for more features, want bugs fixed, and need maintenance of the app (for example when a new OS comes out or a new screen size comes out). They will almost certainly try to get these from you for free or at a low fixed price. If you're working for a fixed price, you'll be incentivized to do everything as quickly as possible, taking shortcuts that might make future maintenance take much more time.

You'll probably end up not wanting to work on the project because it won't be worth it to you.


Usually what I do when it comes to pricing is come up with a small hourly charge.

Say $5 to $12 per hour 

But since there is no way of letting the client know how many hours I worked, I would multiply the hourly charge with 8 hours to get the daily charge.

$5 * $8 = $40 per day 

From this I would come up with an estimate of how much time I am expected to spend on the project. Usually my basic turn around is 30 days.

30 days * $40 per day = $1200

I would charge a minimum of $1200 as an estimate.

Now, here are some tips when working with freelance clients:

  • Always ask the client about their projected budget for the project.
  • Add about 5 to 7 days above your estimate number of days. This can help in two ways:

    • If the client does not respond in time or has a revision, you will still be able to complete within the "predicted" number of days.
    • If you finish before the expected time, you come out as the awesome professional who really knows what he's doing. The client might even trust you more.
  • Coming up with a daily price helps you estimate additional pricing in case a client wants an additional feature or revision thats not included in the base price.

Lastly, ALWAYS have a contract prepared.

I wish you the best of luck in this project. :)

  • Great advice. Only, the rate should be adjusted by OP to a realistic number in his domain. Also be sure to include the scope into your contract, else you can end up investing much more then the planned 5-7 days extra!
    – Daniel
    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:03
  • Thanks Uzair. I actually ended up going with that exact price before reading your answer. I don't have the slightest idea on how to prepare a contract. Do you have any resources that could help me with this aspect? Nov 16, 2017 at 18:09
  • Hey @AnonProgrammer, here is a contract that I based my initial contract on :) gist.github.com/malarkey/4031110 Nov 18, 2017 at 15:37

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