In quoting your fee, you are allowed one zero.  No more.

I recently sat in on a conference call where a design group was  talking about a big branding project. They listed all the things they were going to do, in detail.

Then, they said it would cost $20,000. Ooh.  Fail.

The client started questioning everything, nitpicking, complaining.

I suspect it was because $20,000 sounded like some number they pulled out of a gumball machine. (Which maybe they did. I don’t really know.)

They would have been just fine if they had quoted $21,460.

More money, but it would have looked liked they had mapped out the project in detail. It was a rational number. (Not that pricing is rational in any way, mind you.)

I’ve seen this at work dozens of times.

Somehow, a $1280 fee seems more reasonable than $1000. Because $1000 suggests the freelancer said, “Heck, I want a grand for this.”  Whereas, the $1280 suggests it is all based on the complexity, the time involved, the nature of the work. It’s just what it costs.

If you’re tempted to charge $300, charge $320 instead. If your real hourly rate is $100, make it $115. More rational to the client, more coin for you.

I have also heard that even numbers supposedly convey higher quality. Odd numbers suggest a better price. $1460 is for quality work. While $1570 is a bargain.  I’m not sure about this. You would have to test this over years and years. Not worth it.

One zero. No more. You’ll be fine.

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Which is probably why my $3500-a-day rate never really caught on. Two zeros.