How much to charge on first assignment

21 replies
So I'm being assigned to write a renewal for a big financial publisher and I was asked how much I wanna charge. How much do you guys think is appropriate?

Does it come with royalties? Or maybe I'm supposed to negotiate that also? Any experienced guys on here should please give me some clarity. It's my first time.
#assignment #charge
  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    You charge based on the size and complexity of the job
    or by the hour. Whether it pays royalties is a question
    you need to address to them.

    Tell them you will do it for $1,000.
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    • Alright.

      $1500 too much for a newbie? I saw it suggested somewhere.

      Anyway what about other copy like email lifts, advertorials, space ads and longfork sales letters. If I were asked, how much should I charge for those?
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    • Profile picture of the author Bella zanny
      Exactly.
      Charge based on the workload
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  • Profile picture of the author N1coleW
    It depends on the size of the text for sure. I guess they will pay you once the job will be done. How many words the renewal supposed to be?
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    • I'm not sure about the word count. Once the samples are sent, I guess I'll know. I already quoted $1k though
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      • Profile picture of the author N1coleW
        How much time do you need to write it?
        that is really interesting issue, because everything matter, how long time it will take, how difficult is it and how much they are ready to pay for that
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamell
    I mean i would investigate and get quotes from others in my industry then go from there .If you are selling a service that's unique you really wouldn't have to compete on price but if you are not you are going to be competing on price . The main thing to focus on is giving value and price points that align with the value you are providing.
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    • Good idea. But I couldn't find where to get quotes from my industry
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    $1500 too much for a newbie? I saw it suggested somewhere.
    I already quoted $1k though
    Please let us know how this works out! Best of luck on your first job. Quoting a job is a big part of the process....based on complexity, on what your hourly or daily or per word rate is determined to be....based on how long you estimate the job will take.


    Just pulling a number out of the air - or other people suggesting how much for YOU to quote for a job they know nothing about - is not the way to go. When you are new, it might work but in the end it will short you on some jobs - and lose others jobs if you over quote.
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    • Please let us know how this works out! Quoting a job is a big part of the process....based on complexity, on what your hourly or daily or per word rate is determined to be....based on how long you estimate the job will take.
      Will let you know how it goes.

      Just pulling a number out of the air - or other people suggesting how much for YOU to quote for a job they know nothing about - is not the way to go. When you are new, it might work but in the end it will short you on some jobs - and lose others jobs if you over quote.
      You think over quoting would scare a potential client? I thought they'd negotiate or something
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Some will - some will just think 'too much' and move on....I freelanced for several years - and seldom negotiated. If YOU believe you are worth what you quote...chances are the client will agree with you.

    It may be the most difficult part of the process for many people - it's not easy to ask for money - we don't always value our own work as highly as we should.

    I (and I'm certain other content and copywriters do the same) had my own little 'formulas'....but it started with what I EXPECTED to earn per hour. With time you become adept at estimating how a long job might take - so you develop a quote based on hrs X $/hr....add 10-20% to that to allow for exigencies.

    To be honest, I think it was easier for me to set fees as at the time I had an offline job that paid $50+ per hour. It was an easy job so wasn't willing to freelance for less than that.

    The only times I negotiated were when I knew I was quoting 'high' or when the person was a repeat client with flexible deadlines, etc.

    For some reason, many clients seem to think the promise of future work is enough for you to cut your fees on this first job. No, it's not.
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    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog
    ***
    One secret to happiness is to let every situation be
    what it is instead of what you think it should be.
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    • Interesting.

      So I found a post by an established financial copywriter and he says you can earn anything from $500 to $1500 for short form financial copy. So maybe my quote isn't far off.

      I honestly would just love to get the "finally got my first freelance gig" over with. Yunno... the first is always the hardest.
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      • Profile picture of the author vanessahampton
        Hi,

        You've probably left this space and moved on to better things. Congratulations!
        I'm in a similar spot to where you were minus the bad cellphone.
        You're inspiring.

        Keep going.
        Hope to join you soon.
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        • Hey, thanks. How's it going with you?
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          • Profile picture of the author vanessahampton
            Great! Thank you.
            I'm about a month into my copywriting journey. I'm just reading, handcopying, joining lists and getting a 'feel' for the financial space.
            Stumbling on this thread fired me up.
            So I should be thanking you.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    My honest opinion, based on my experience...

    and I've shared this with charmingcapital13...

    when you're brand new, with no portfolio, it's not the time to worry about how much to charge.

    This is a learning experience. I would simply tell them you have no idea about pricing...how do they normally handle someone new? What pricing structure do they use?

    The gig may pay only $100, but being able to use it in your portfolio may lead to paydays in the thousands.

    Plus, if they like you, you can negotiate future work.

    There will probably be an editor that reviews it, revisions will probably be needed. It's a time to learn.

    Yes, we all want to be paid for what we do...but in the very beginning, we need to be willing to learn for future profits.

    If you've written for Agora and received a 3% residual on a piece...you have something to use for the future. Being brand new, it's not worth trying to negotiate a price because you have nothing to base that negotiation on.

    Just my thoughts
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  • Yea, solid advice.

    After asking them to pay me what they believe is fair since I'm new to this and don't know how to charge, they offered $1500. The samples they showed me are 2-4 pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I already quoted $1k though

    and then


    they offered $1500

    ????????????????
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    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog
    ***
    One secret to happiness is to let every situation be
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    • Oh, I should have given more details...

      So after I got your replies I grew cold feet. What if I had overquoted? I don't even know exactly what I'm to write.

      So I emailed them recalling the fee, asking them to first show me samples so I can give a more fair quote. After they emailed me the samples, they asked for my quote. I was still not sure what to quote.

      I decided to write them a thoughtful email telling them I'm new to this and I don't want to end up overquoting and scaring them off or underquoting and shooting myself on the foot. They're more experienced and I trust their judgment. They should just tell me what they'd normally pay.

      They replied asking if $1500 was good for me. I was so surprised. I immediately jumped on it
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  • Speakin' as a Princess, natchrlly I am nowan to speak to evrywan 'bout royalties.

    Tellya, sum guy from way up beyond the Great Lakes sent me a stuffed moose las' week, sayin', "ain't she so frickin' majestic? I got another 25 of these, because like you I shoot to kill. Plus 3 grizzly bears and a whale I harpooned myself."

    Always you gotta CREATIVELY BLANCMANGE the gowin' rate, the valyoo you add, an' the resources you gaht in your availabyool calendah schedyool.

    Here's where you gotta ASK more than you mebbe TOLD.

    Invite TMI to save your ass: plenty clients figure you gonna exact miracles outta thin air.

    Venn diagramatically, these are the same people get way pissed when you don't delivah.

    So it is in your interest to raise the bar, always.

    Beginnah's mind starts here.

    Sneak past or leap?

    Your immediate schwango vs my inevitable potential?

    Here's where YOUR touch is bettah than mine.

    Look close in to where you toe the line an' wanna say more.

    Tamara, the line will be crossed an' the moresumness will blossom.

    This is naht to sound like a megalomaniac, but you must always command view of your own lens.

    Walkin' togethah with with the planet, its peoples, an alla their cutesy pets, you may say sumthin' of valyoo that don't compromise your ass.

    Meantime, I jus' gaht anothah moose from sum guy in frickin' Delaware, evan as I hack out this life-changin' response.

    Here's his txt:

    "Dear Princess, your contribution to the Warrior Forum never ceases to amaze me, which is why me and the guys from the 'Chop The Waters' kayak team are proud to send you the ultimate stuffed moose ever! He lights up when you twist his antlers (Christmas!), cleans easily with a whole range of products from Taxi!, and if you pull his nose you'll discover a heartfelt 2hr a capella tribute from the close-knit group we have come to know as 'The Guys'."

    Uh hoh -- ain't that sweet?

    Thing is, jus' wanna say I don't keep nuthin' like this evah. No moose, no sofa, no performin' dolphin complete with tub, trainah, an' hoop.

    Point of fact, the last moose I been sent (sum' Japanese guy who I believe may have gaht his postal details mixed up with Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden bcs he so big on quadrupeds genrlly) gaht redirected to my local cat sanctuary.

    We gaht so many abandoned animyools ... so much mooshy food condemns them to a lifetime of hapless servityood .. turns out no frickin' stuffed moose gives 'em all the gnarly chomp they need to satisfy their desires.

    Mebbe this counts against me *sob* how I such an ungrateful ass.

    But I figure I OK tho bcs Linda (she is the cat center gal I call evry time a moose cums my way, or a dinin' table, sofa, TV etc) says, "needy cats are so desperate to gnaw on something substantial, particularly other inhabitants of the planet. Plus, they don't care if said inhabitants contain foam instead of internal organs because they love their naps so much."

    So, hey -- grimacin' is a persnl ishoo, but smilin' is for evrywan.
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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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  • Profile picture of the author FaraiMist
    You always analyze the task and nature of job. then see the client as well , if he can pay well then why not ask for more?
    As i see you mentioned various tasks in your following comment like "email lifts , advertisement , space ads, long sales letter " ..... Buddy you should charge more as this is the backbone of any company , its not easy to write persuasive sales copies so should charge $1500+ (depending on word count).
    If i were you then charge much more than that.
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