In your freelance career, you’ll come across many different job types with different needs and goals. It’s important to know how to structure each job for success. That is success in terms of a healthy client-freelancer relationship and in terms of getting paid fairly. You’ll then be able to apply that know-how to jobs that you hire for when you’re ready to scale your freelance business.

For example, a one-time logo design job should be structured differently than an ongoing marketing collateral design job, which would be structured differently from a larger, project-based job. This is true for all areas of creative work – writing, development, photography, illustration, community management, social media management, and so on.

If you’re not sure what type of pricing structure to choose based on your clients’ needs, CloudPeeps makes it easy. The platform includes built-in job structures to choose from based on the type of job at hand. Below, are the four major job types you’ll find on CloudPeeps. We’ve included examples and pros and cons for each. Once you have an idea of what you hope to accomplish in the engagement, these will act as a quick guide for choosing the structure of each of your jobs.

1) One-time, fixed price jobs

One time, fixed price jobs are straightforward and don’t require much back and forth between the client and freelancer. They’re typically smaller jobs that are repeatable but not needed often. The number of iterations included should be agreed on ahead of time to avoid scope creep – meaning, the job becoming larger than the budget. For example, let’s say you’re hired to design a logo. The agreement might include three different versions and two rounds of feedback and revisions.

Job examples: Logo or poster design, content creation (i.e. blog post, ebook, video, infographic, etc.), landing page design/development, SEO audit, content audit, marketing strategy, branding strategy, UX audit, Google Analytics setup.

Pros: The needs of a one-time, fixed price job will be clear once you’ve agreed on a brief. There will be less back-and-forth communication that can typically add up and lead to unexpected hours spent from both sides of the relationship. These jobs are also repeatable. So assuming all went well the first time, you’re likely to be hired for another. They’re a quick win for a freelancer and an easy expense without a huge investment for a client.

Cons: Of course, it depends on what the budget is, but one-time, fixed jobs probably won’t be your bread and butter. They’re better for taking on extra work when you have time for it. Clients and freelancers should also be careful to be super specific in the brief so that there can be little margin for error and that the project doesn’t become bigger.

2) Ongoing, fixed jobs

This job type is great for regular, consistent work, where your scope won’t vary week to week or month to month. It’s also great for high-value, high-skill jobs that don’t take much time to complete.

Think of ongoing, fixed jobs as you would a job with a retainer. The payments for these jobs are monthly and with the understanding that you’ll be working together on a medium or long-term basis. That is, if you’re both happy with the work. Rather than paying a freelancer based on hours, the client pays a fixed rate based on the work done. The brief for ongoing, fixed jobs should clearly outline expected deliverables for the job.

Job examples: Ongoing public relations outreach, social media management, blog/editorial management, content creation (i.e. two blog posts per month), weekly or monthly email newsletters, a set amount of design assets, paid advertising management, content curation.

Pros: These jobs are great for their consistency. With one or two high-value ongoing, fixed jobs, you don’t have to be dependent on one-time jobs for your income. Instead, with the consistent income of ongoing jobs, you can take on additional one-time projects when you can or want to.

Cons: If you’re relying on one or two ongoing, fixed jobs and one ends abruptly, you may find yourself having to scramble for work. Fortunately, you can always easily find jobs and connect with potential clients on the CloudPeeps platform. 🙂

3) One time, hourly jobs

Some project-based jobs are too unpredictable to determine a fair fixed rate for both parties. That’s why some one time jobs are a better fit for hourly pay. Make sure you agree on a maximum budget so that the client isn’t surprised with an unexpectedly high invoice.

Provide the estimated number of hours and hourly rate to complete the job, then communicate it as soon as possible if you think you’re going to go over. From there, the client can decide if they want to move forward or not. And of course, you’ll be paid for the work completed no matter what.

Job examples: Copywriting (i.e. website, bios, invite, landing page), event management, WordPress development, executing on a previously delivered marketing or branding strategy, content creation (i.e. blog posts covering a conference), frontend design.

Pros: One time, hourly jobs are perfect for making some extra money. On the client side, they’re perfect for finding a quality person to get the job done without a huge investment. Hourly jobs with a maximum budget keep the job flexible so that there won’t be any huge surprises for either party. One time, hourly jobs are perfect for project-based jobs like events or site development because they prevent scope creep.

Cons: Sometimes, freelancers underestimate the number of hours it will take to complete a project. In that situation, you’re going to have an upset client on your hands if you go over. Try to overestimate the number of hours it will take to complete a project, but make sure you plan your personal finances accordingly. Don’t try to hit the maximum budget just because you can. Err on the side of transparency and honesty. You’ll have a repeat client and a source of referrals because of it!

4) Ongoing, hourly jobs

Ongoing, hourly jobs allow for more unpredictable deliverables or ones that change month-to-month. These jobs are great for situations where a freelancer may have a couple of set tasks each week or month but also take on additional work. They also work well for higher-level, strategy-focused freelance jobs and ones that require a lot of iterating, such as paid ad campaigns.

As with one time, hourly jobs, make sure you set a budget that both parties agree on so that there are no surprises when it comes time to invoice.

Example jobs: Community management (other than social media), content leading, writing, managing a marketing strategy or team, full-stack developing, growth hacking, graphic designing, managing paid ads.

Pros: These jobs can be a great source of predictable income and create a path for a strong freelancer-client relationship. The flexibility gives both parties the ability to identify areas of opportunity and adjust the position accordingly. They also allow for very transparent pricing. Clients will know exactly how many hours was spent on what by the freelancer.

Cons: As a freelancer, sometimes you have off weeks and jobs take longer than expected. Because you have a maximum budget, you may need to round down your hours in a given month. This is one of the reasons why some freelancers prefer fixed pricing but in the end, most of the jobs even out to the same amount.

Which job type is right for your project?

If you choose a job structure based on the guidelines above and find that it’s not working, no worries! You can always give a different kind a try. In that situation, it’s likely that the job has morphed into something else. When this happens, make sure that there is a clear and consistent line of communication between you and your client or freelancer. You’ll also likely have more than one job type running at the same time, as no two jobs are the exact same.

These job structures are helpful because they eliminate time spent trying to figure out messy details around pricing, rates, time-tracking, etc. They make coming to an agreement clear and simple so you can focus on getting the work done! If you’re looking for a new job to work on or some examples of the types of jobs that fall under these structures, check out the available jobs on the platform!

Have a job that needs to be done and need to hire a freelancer? Create a job listing with one of the structures above with CloudPeeps – it’s super easy to get started!

*Above photo from Freddy Castro.* 

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CloudPeeps Team
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  • Great breakdown of freelance/contract job types.