Freelance pro tip

— 2 minute read

ℹ️ This started as a Twitter thread but I thought I’d make it more permanent on here.


When I get an enquiry, I ask the same three questions:

  1. How much budget is available for this project?
  2. Is there a hard deadline?
  3. If there is a hard deadline, is there a reason for it?

It's great for knowing if the enquiry is worth pursuing.

FAQ permalink

“What do you do if they won't tell you the budget?”

I wish them all the best with their endeavours. If they can’t be transparent about budget, they can’t be trusted.

“Why do you ask for a hard deadline?”

Often a “deadline” is just a date pulled out of thin air so by asking them what it is and to justify it, you can normally work out if there’s flexibility to get the project done right.

Other points permalink

I also mostly won't tell the client my day rate.

Instead, I'll cost on the job itself or my favourite setup: sprint-based billing. £XXXX per sprint, billed every two weeks.

If you know the budget, you know how many sprints you have and you know roughly if the job can be done.

Contracting and retainers are obviously different. These are usually done on a day rate.

Last one: add 7 day terms to your invoices. Clients don't need 30 days to pay them and you need to eat.

Hi 👋
I’m Andy, a freelance web designer

I currently have availability for short term design and front-end development projects.

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