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Question to freelancers about "flat fee"

polycounter lvl 10
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MagicSugar polycounter lvl 10
I know non-game freelance artist can ask upfront flat fee, but wondering what's your experience is like for clients who state right away that they prefer paying flat fee only.

Get your full pay after delivery? Or can you still do installments or per milestone, just no additional cost to clients if there are unexpected edits involved.

Thanks in advance.

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  • StephenVyas
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    StephenVyas polycounter lvl 16
    A percentage of the total project cost upfront.
    Then installments can be arranged as the employer signs off on the assets during delivery.
  • MagicSugar
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    MagicSugar polycounter lvl 10
    @Stephen, that's what I do. I'm just not clear if flat fee refers to one set budget or it refers to when full payment is made.

    Yes, I could ask the client but it's awkward to open negotiations with prospect with "So you say you'll only pay flat fee, but will you pay this fee upfront?" I don't want to risk a sale by being blunt but at the same time I don't want to waste time pitching my services.
  • StephenVyas
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    StephenVyas polycounter lvl 16
    Ah, yes the awkwardsauce of negotiating.
    I'd start off by saying something along the lines of

    Yes I'd be willing to accept $___ as the total project cost, with the condition that %___ is paid upfront. Then figure out how long the project will take and talk about setting up a monthly/biweekly/etc installment payments of the total cost upon milestone deliveries.

    It's easier if you say what payment scheme your willing to do for the project, rather than asking what they're comfortable with. Saves headaches.
  • MagicSugar
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    MagicSugar polycounter lvl 10
    That helps. Thank you!
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir sublime tool
    typically, as long as you have your contract set up properly so that it includes any additional monies for things like:
    - client takes too long to deliver feedback
    - client requests too many revisions (you should define what a revision is and how many they get)
    - client changes the design so you have to redo work etc.

    as long as those are all cleared up in your contract, then a flat fee is fine to work by, asking for a percentage up front is common sense and also helps define the commitment from both sides. from your side, it'll help you respect that they've already paid you some of the money and that they're serious and you should be too, from their side it helps them understand that you're a serious artist who is worth the time and the money they're investing in you.

    typically i ask for 50% up front from new clients, but older clients with whom i've built up a rapport already will be a lower percentage.
  • Bridget
    I ask for half upfront and half upon completion. i calculate how long it will take me and charge my hourly rate.
    but you have to make sure to make it clear that they have to pay for revisions other wise the client can just say they dont like it and have you modify it a million times, getting work done for free.

    if it takes you longer than you calculated it's your fault you have to eat it up. if you take shorter then reap the rewards.
  • Bridget
    it's usually your fault and your client's if they dont like your rendition of his crappyly sketched character or whatever.
    Communication between you two is the key, they have to be clear on what they want and you have to do your best to understand them.
  • Eric Chadwick
  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycounter
    I have probably only asked for a fee up front once. never had much problem
    contract is one thing, but I find its best to keep things fluid. if you are too dogmatic at the start, it may put some clients off.
  • Bridget
    Lots of people will not respect a contract, contracts are honestly a joke, especially internationally. you'd lose a lot of time and money trying get compensated for a broken contract, your time is worth more.

    Always ask for half upfront, be candid, friendly, likable but professional and people will like working with you. (being likable has gotten me a lot of milage with clients even if I've messed up and taken too long on a project)
    I usually make it clear that for me to focus on their project, I need to have funds to survive, or else I will have to focus on someone else's project who does pay and theirs will take longer.
    that usually gets them to pay right away.
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 11
    typically i ask for 50% up front from new clients, but older clients with whom I've built up a rapport already will be a lower percentage.
    A good practice. For flat rate projects, 50% down, then rest when completed (or milestone). Clients I have had for a long time are 10%~20%.
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