What’s a sanity fee? In What Situation Freelancers Should Charge This?

What's a sanity fee?

In What Situation Freelancers Should Charge This?

What impact will it have on the client?

I am going to answer all three questions in this post.

As freelancers, we tend to say YES to many things and forget about the word NO itself. And that becomes problematic over a while.

How? Let me give a real example of one of my clients from 2 and half years ago.

I started working with a client to develop a website using WIX. It was a medium-size project, nothing fancy about it.

I had an empty slot, so I confirmed the project. I have a habit of over-delivering to clients and making sure they are happy with my work.

So, just following the same pattern, I shared two designs option for the website.

And fast forward, the design got finalized, and when I started to develop the website in WIX, the negging began.

Like pretty much no matter what I did, it was not pleasing for her. The irony of the situation was that she was the one who finalized the color, the fonts, and the layout.

It was becoming quite draining mentally, and I could not make peace with all the coming changes because I couldn't find a mistake or anything to justify what was happening.

A simple project which was supposed to be finished in 10 working days got prolonged around a month, and everything was still haywire.

That's when I decided to charge a fee for revisions and implementation.

In my scope of work, I always mention the number of free revisions, but, mostly I ignore that line because my goal is always to build a good relationship with the client and deliver value.

But it was the second time I had to use the revision condition.

I mentioned to the client that all the suggested changes would be charged as discussed and signed the scope of work.

Now, I hiked my revision charges by 2X factoring in the mental health this client was costing me.

Magically, she agreed to it.

But after that, changes were way less. While in the past, if it was 8 or 10, it became one or two.

And in the next four days of implementing the revision charges, the project was completed.

So I charged her a sanity fee to make up for the mental health she caused me through abrupt and senseless changes and talks.

SANITY FEE?

Assign a dollar value to your suffering and mental health that the client is causing you unnecessarily.

When you do this, only two things can happen: either the client will agree to pay you and start to make sense, or the client will quit.

In most cases, you'd only need to use this with low-paying clients!

A client who belongs to C and D brackets.

In my next post, I'll talk about the A, B, C, And D client models to make more effective decisions in this kind of situation and other complex freelancing situations.

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