Avonelle Lovhaug
  • Member for 8 years, 8 months
  • Last seen more than 6 years ago
How to know when you are a competent enough programmer to charge clients
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24 votes

The question really boils down to: when can I consider myself "competent" enough in a skill that I can take money for it. And the answer is really simple: You can take money for it when someone is ...

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Struggling to find work
22 votes

The best way to find work is to go where your best customers will be. You've described the kind of service you can provide, but you haven't focused at all (at least in your question) about the type of ...

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Charging more for emergencies because of the client's negligence?
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18 votes

Pricing can depend on whatever you like. To me, the fact that it is an emergency means that you are free to charge a special "rush" fee or whatever you'd like to call it. Just make sure to tell him up ...

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How to make the jump from normal employee to higher level freelancing
17 votes

The truly high-level freelancers you describe bring several things to the table. Excellent technical skills - both deep and wide Excellent communication skills An ability be forward thinking - see ...

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How to convince the client that you'll report hours truthfully?
17 votes

Frankly, this asks the wrong question. Even if you can verify hours worked, how can the customer tell you aren't "dragging your feet" - working slowly to increase your billable time? Or using some ...

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Do you fix hourly estimation or accept your mistake and do for free?
16 votes

I only provide services on a fixed fee basis, so if I get the estimate wrong, I eat the cost, because I've assumed that risk. I do a few things to mitigate that risk, though. I work very hard to be ...

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Developer Portfolio - screenshots and codesamples?
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13 votes

I usually try to do it in the form of a case study instead of worrying about screen shots. My case study would include the following: Overall goal of the application How it helps the customer's ...

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How to work as a pet sitter with low self-confidence?
13 votes

I disagree with your premise. Most people who would hire a pet sitter care about their pets. Unbelievably low prices sends the message you aren't that good, or may have nefarious intentions. People ...

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Is it good to get paid in advance and then start project development?
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13 votes

There are obvious benefits to the freelancer if payment is made up front: No chasing the money at the end Harder for a client to cancel the project if they've already paid There is also a big risk ...

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How does a developer determine they are qualified to be hired as a freelance developer?
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13 votes

Knowing an entire API or framework inside and out is not really necessary. Every project I've worked on in 10 years of freelancing has involved something new that I've never done before. You are "...

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Does the type of payment method reflect the implied professionalism of a freelancer?
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13 votes

Payment options are really less about the freelancer's professional, and more about the kind of customers the freelancer works with and what they are comfortable with. For the customers that I work ...

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How to combat the isolation which can become prevalent when freelancing?
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12 votes

The first few years I was freelancing, I was so happy to not leave the house every day and be around people because I really prefer to be alone. Then I realized that after a while I was TOO isolated. ...

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How should I deal with clients wanting to meet me, but I work at home?
12 votes

It is perfectly acceptable to keep clients away from your home. I have been freelancing with local clients for 10 years and have never invited a client to my home. I offer to meet with them at: Their ...

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To talk with client or to chat with client and the effects on landing contracts
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10 votes

It is your freelance business, and if you prefer written communication to voice communication, it is okay to make that choice. I prefer email to phone conversations, and I have been freelancing for > ...

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How to approach local shops to offer them my service?
10 votes

Rather than any of the notions you list, I would start by getting to know them. Because you want to get to know the owners, you want to think about where the owners might hang out. For example: Is ...

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Client requests for extensive task information when invoicing
9 votes

I tell customers who ask for detailed itemization of time usage that "this is not a service I provide". If pressed, I note that tracking that level of detail for him would create administrative ...

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What are some approaches for identifying your ideal customer?
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8 votes

The first time I got this question, I was completely stuck. My stuttering answer was: "someone who pays me on time". Ugh. It took me awhile to arrive at understanding my ideal customer, mainly ...

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Free support after selling a project
8 votes

I typically offer free support on a software development project for 60 or 90 days after the project goes live. After that, I offer fixed-fee monthly support to clients. This support includes bug ...

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How do I communicate to a client that he's wasting time and money by using my services hourly vs. paying a monthly fee?
7 votes

One approach I've used in the past is to simply tell customers that I no longer provide this service at an hourly rate, but that I could provide ongoing support on a flat rate monthly basis. Then I ...

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How to get direct freelancing work without job portals?
7 votes

The key to finding clients is to understand where your best clients will be, and then go there. Thus the answer to your question depends largely on the kind of work you do, the kinds of customers you ...

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Am I charging my client too much for my SLA - Service level agreement?
7 votes

I don't think those are small reasons, especially the first one. Here's how I would explain it: "I have to set aside time in my schedule to be available if you have questions or problems. That time ...

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How can I make a monthly maintenance pricing structure work?
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7 votes

I provide flat rate monthly support options for custom software I build. It includes: Bug fixes Email support Research The amount is different for each customer, because some applications are more ...

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How do you find contracts locally?
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6 votes

To make it easier for potential clients to find me, I: Determine how my target market will find clients. Make sure I am visible in those places. In my case, my target market will either do a Google ...

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How much time to spend on an initial quote as a part-time freelancer?
6 votes

I suggest two options: 1) You could create a questionnaire for potential clients that gathers a lot of information that you know you will need on most web sites. Yes, you may need more details, but ...

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Starting out as a private tour guide in a large North American city, how can I find customers?
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6 votes

I don't know about the legality of soliciting business at the bus or train station. But I think you are on the right track by thinking about: Who would purchase my services, and Where can I find ...

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Quoting a project with an open budget
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5 votes

Here are the factors I use when determining a fixed price for clients: My estimated time to complete the work My confidence level in that estimate (is it similar to work I've done before? Then I ...

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How do you divide your time between planned and unplanned/new work?
5 votes

I schedule planned work for less than 40 hours a week. (Typically for me it is closer to 25.) If nothing else comes in, then I usually continue to work on planned and try to get ahead. If other things ...

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Should freelancers seek long-term clients or not?
5 votes

There are advantages to long-term clients as well as disadvantages. The advantages I have found to long-term clients are: Lower cost of sales/marketing (the customer already knows and trusts me and ...

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Away from hourly work to a prepaid package of hours
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4 votes

I used to do something similar for one of my clients. They paid in advance for a package of hours. I liked it because I wasn't invoicing for such small dollar amounts all the time, and they received a ...

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What are the best practices that ensure the pay-per-hour freelancers are only paid for hours that they have actually worked?
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4 votes

There are monitoring software options out there. But... Before you go down that route, I suggest you consider two things: If a freelancer provides a fixed bid and you agree that it is a fair price,...

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