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Now I might be able to make a deal about working from home on a freelance basis, but how do I handle this?
What is the right way to pay for SEO? Pay per performance? A fixed amount? By day?
I've gotten a lot of darn good advice, too. So much that I think I'm going to have to collate it and make an article out of it.
1) Determine your rates. DO NOT sell yourself short-- you'll only attract cheapskate clients who want the moon for free. Do A LOT of math-- I just read a really good article (that someone sent me in response to a post, very kindly) that suggested you find out the prevailing salary for your position, add your overhead to that (income taxes, utilities, health insurance, office supplies, marketing, software, subscriptions, food & entertainment, car insurance, retirement savings, rent on your office space, etc.), add on about 15% for profit... Figure out how many hours a week you'll have to work, including how many hours you're going to have to spend *looking* for work or promoting yourself in other ways...
There's a lot of math to be done but it's kinda fun.
I also saw an article that suggested you charge twice what your mechanic does and half what your lawyer does. ;) Good rule of thumb...
2) Draw up a good contract, I was told. A good contract serves two purposes, and the secondary purpose is to cover your *ss in case of liability. The primary purpose, however, above all, is to clearly delineate for BOTH parties WHAT, precisely, is going to be done, WHEN it's going to be done, HOW it's going to be done, and WHAT materials must be provided by the client in order for it to be done. Be detailed, so they understand exactly what they're paying you for, and exactly what you need from them-- so that if they don't give you something you need, you can point to that and remind them that you can't hold up your end if they don't hold up theirs.
3) Pay schemes. Half the people told me, you've gotta get paid before the work's done or you'll never collect. The other half had good agreements worked out and were happy with lackadaisical schedules. But I believe the more uptight ones... the others may well just be the ones who haven't got burned yet. A common arrangement was half up front, half on completion; some had an arrangement where they were paid for a number of hours and worked until those hours were depleted, upon which time they'd be paid for another chunk of time.
Some had arrangements where they were paid up front for a % of the total hours, and then would be paid the rest on completion.
NOBODY advocated a profit-sharing arrangement where you did the work and got paid out of the profits of the enterprise-- I guess lots of SEOs in particular get burned by that.
Well, that's my collated and collaged wisdom. Take from it what you will. :D
A common arrangement was half up front, half on completion; some had an arrangement where they were paid for a number of hours and worked until those hours were depleted, upon which time they'd be paid for another chunk of time.
Half now, half later works for small and medium projects and for someone who is established. For large projects may I suggest partial completed contract method which means, some money every month :) Basicly you say what percentage of the project was completed that month and they pay that amount each month. It is a little more complicated in reality as clients like to hold back a certain percentage till site is up and running.