Wow, this thread really does strike the cord of all freelancers, doesn't it? Hot button issue: the cancellation!
Anyone who endorses a "slap on the wrist" is automatically, and immediately, weak in the eyes of the client. YOU are manipulable....you are the lower hand to his upper. You don't understand human psychology and you will get trampled if the client -- and this is a gargantuan IF -- if the client hires you, and...trust me....he probably won't, but IF he does ----> he will take advantage of you.
I charge a full lesson fee for anyone who cancels 48 hours before a pre-scheduled lesson. In the summer, I make everyone pay in advance. From that day I started working freelance to today, I've grown more successful but I never, and I mean, NEVER forgave anyone for canceling within 24 hours. Full $225.00 lesson fee. If you doubt what I am saying and aren't in complete agreement, you don't understand human psychology and you don't understand business strategy.
YOU determine your worth, freelancers! Don't you get it? Picture this: You're a character animator, the last of a dying breed. You got a big blank week of no appointments, no prospects, no nothing in front of you... and then suddenly, boom! DREAMWORKS CALLS!
They say they need you in right away, claiming Steven Spielberg needs to meet you! And if you don't come right now, they will find someone else for the job. What do you do? Those who race to Dreamworks are the same chumps who grant freebies to flakes.
On the other hand, those who are busy today but politely make arrangements for Thursday morning, charming the receptionist with their phone manner and getting Stephen to see VALUE in waiting for YOU... Mr. Awesome Freelancer... well, those people charge for their time, no matter what, come Hell or high water!