How to set your price as a freelance legal consultant
By Tina De Maere – June 29, 2022
Setting the price for your services as a freelancer can be difficult. There are many factors at play that might influence the price you should or can demand your work as a freelance legal consultant. In this article, we will give you some tips and advice on determining what should come into play when trying to figure out how much compensation you should ask your client an hour or per project.
What are your costs?
First and foremost, to stay active as a freelancer, you need to know how much you should earn at a bare minimum to keep the lights on. These costs do not only include your business expenses but also what you take home. Ideally, you should also add in some extra as an emergency fund when you have an unexpected cost or a decline in revenue.
The great thing about being a freelance legal consultant is that you do not have a significant overhead. How much non-business expenses you are willing to incur is up to you. However, it is essential to calculate a realistic minimum.
Who is your target audience?
Knowing your target audience is vital to setting realistic rates for your services. To determine your target audience and how you can leverage that knowledge is vital to know how to ask the best possible rate for your assistance.
The first question you should ask yourself is, what is the potential client looking for? For example, is the client looking for the best possible price, or are the results the most important aspect?
Beginning freelancers often make the mistake of competing on price and not on service. By lowering their cost, they expect to attract more clients. While this often attracts clients on a budget, those looking for experts are left wondering why the freelancer is forced to compete on price.
How valuable is your skillset?
It is no secret that some skills are more in demand than others. Even if we niche down to just the legal profession, we can see what skills are needed more than others. If you are a legal consultant in a niche with a lot of competition, you will likely not get your preferred rate all the time. The client knows he can easily replace what you bring to the table if the price is too high.
If you have a niche skill set in high demand, your negotiation position to set your prices is often much better. You are not easy to replace, and you don’t have a lot of other consultants to compete with. Depending on your client’s budget, you can ask for the rates you have in mind with little to no negotiation.
Compare your rates – but not too much
Setting your price as a freelance legal consultant can be difficult. A great way to gauge the going market rate is by asking around. You can ask other freelancers in your niche what their rates are or what their rates were when they were at a similar point in their careers.
Do keep in mind that comparing your rates can lead to you overthinking things. There are many things to be considered, and following the competition can lead to unpleasant results, like not attracting enough clients or being unable to cover your costs.
The assignment: length and urgency
The circumstances surrounding the assignment also significantly influence the rate you should or can ask. For example, if the client has a project that needs to be done urgently, you can often ask for a premium rate. After all, if you accept the assignment, you will have to prioritize doing this task and might have to turn down other clients.
Another aspect you might want to consider is how long an assignment will take. Giving a (slight) discount to get long-term jobs can be more profitable than chasing short-term high-paying work. Long-term projects give you a steady income and save time by not having to look for and negotiate with clients.
By using Limine as your go-to platform for finding work as a freelance legal consultant, you can easily find more high-paying clients at a great rate.