Congratulations! The client decided to move forward with your application and requested an interview.
However, during the interview, the client asked you for a free proposal or free analysis of the project as it’s a part of their standard interview.
Should you move forward or should you ask the client to pay you for it?
With FreeUp, we highly discourage freelancers from doing free trials or free audits prior to working with the client. We always suggest billing the client even for a trial task.
Why Do You Need To Charge for an Analysis or Consultation?
Doing an analysis, whether it is a simple or an in depth review of the project or the case, requires time and expertise.
As you’ll be investing your time in not only reviewing, but making necessary suggestions about the project, you should also be paid for it.
Although there are some freelancers or agencies who are offering free consultations or free estimates of the job, we believe that this system may not work all the time because:
- The estimate (both budget and deadline wise) that you’ll give to the client may usually be much lower than the real project cost
- You already invested several hours of your time to do the work, but you won’t be paid unless the client decides to hire you for the project.
Why Others are Offering Free Consultations
Giving a free consultation or audit is one way to bring new clients in.
Some of the advantages include increased name recognition, building relationships with the future clients, expanding your customer base, and establishing rapport with your prospective clients.
However, before considering to offer consultations for free, you should also consider that:
It can lead to more free consultations for many customers
Rather than focusing your time and energy on parts of the business that truly matters, you might find yourself caught up in doing free consultations for other clients.
It can result in lack of motivation
When the conversion rate is poor, it can lead to lack of motivation to keep going as there is no financial incentive. You might feel that you are having your time wasted by preparing the documents needed by your prospect instead of doing something else.
It can lead to lower profit margin
You might be seen as a freebie, which is not what you want other people to see your freelancing business as.
It is Still Up to You
Doing a free consultation is totally up to you. For some people, a free consultation is one of their best ways to get clients and businesses interested in their service.
If you are conformable with writing a proposal for the services that you can offer to the client, then you can agree with them.
But keep in mind that giving a free consultation doesn’t guarantee that the client will hire you for the project.