If you’re up against a firm in bidding for a contract, don’t give in/ give up. One thing I’ve learned over the many years that I’ve worked – both salaried and freelance – is that freelancers do have a chance in scoring contracts against big firms. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Experience. Yeah, you might just have more experience, regardless of the firm you’re up against. Many big firms might charge $200/hour or more, but they’ll often put in a junior at $20/hr who doesn’t know squat. Some clients are aware of this upfront – or become aware quite fast – and would rather pay someone who is more experienced at rate of, say, $50/hr. They’re actually saving money. Much of the giant rates consulting firms charge is due to covering possible liabilities as well as massive profits. Some clients do want you to have liability insurance, but not all do.
  2. Focus. Maybe you have a specialty, and you keep your skills up to date. It’s easier for a client to get to know you and your skills than with a firm. A firm might have more than one part-time junior, with different skill sets, working on a project.
  3. Client TLC. Because you are a single contractor/ freelancer (or part of a small firm), it’s easier for you to give potential clients some TLC that big firms often overlook during the bidding process, and which their Junior Lackeys don’t have the authorization or know-how to give.
  4. Client preference. For the above reasons and others, some clients just prefer working with a single contract freelancer. It’s simpler, there’s less people to know, and maybe they were a freelancer once themselves.

So, in some situations, you do stand a chance against a firm in scoring contracts.

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