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How to translate your 9-5 skills into a freelance scope of work

As the traditional career landscape continues to shift, more and more people are making the leap from 9-5 to freelance (whether by choice or by chance).

But if you’re new to freelancing and have a traditional 9-5 background, it can be challenging to figure out how to translate that experience into a freelance offering — and how to price it.

If you want to pursue a similar role in a freelance capacity, here’s how to translate the skills and expertise gleaned from your full-time job into an accurately priced scope of work for freelance projects.

1. Determine what your freelance offering will be

If you’ve been thinking about taking the leap to freelance, you probably already have an idea of what your offering will be. For example, if you were an in-house graphic designer then you likely have the expertise to run your own design studio. 

On the other hand, your 9-5 could encompass many roles and skills — such as a marketing manager. In this case you might want to figure out which skill you want to hone in on. Marketing strategy? Copywriting? Social media management? You’ll also want to identify the type of client you want to work with whether that’s tech startups or wellness entrepreneurs or local nonprofits.

Once you know what you want your freelance offering to be, then you can build a scope of work that accurately reflects your expertise.

2. Make a list of everything you did in your full-time job

Coming from a 9-5, it’s hard to put a price tag on everything you did. But as a freelancer, this is exactly what you need to do if you want to accurately price your scope of work for freelance projects.

Write down everything you would typically do to complete a project in your 9-5 role — and don’t leave anything out! No task is too small. One of the biggest pricing mistakes new freelancers make is overlooking services that you can actually charge for like kick-off calls and meetings.

For example, if you are an in-house marketing writer and have decided to go freelance as a copywriter, here’s what the deliverables may look like for a brand campaign scope of work:

  • Kick-off meeting with the client to discuss project objectives and goals 
  • Review background materials which includes past copywriting examples 
  • Competitor research 
  • Audience research 
  • Develop the brand’s tone of voice 
  • Write social media captions 

In a full-time job, you may not realize everything that goes into a single project because it’s just part of the job. But when you work for yourself, everything you do should come with a price tag. You’re running a business, after all! Your time and expertise are valuable.

3. Gut check: See how your pricing compares with your peers

Now that you have a better grasp on everything that will go into your freelance scope of work, it’s time to figure out exactly how to price it all. 

As a new freelancer, pricing is always tricky. You can take a wild guess at what to charge for your services, or you can try to calculate how much you want to make per hour, per project, or month, and work backwards from there. 

Or you can choose option number three: See what other freelancers are charging for the exact same scope of work. 

Using Wethos’ scope of work template library, you can browse through scope of work templates and services that the freelance community has already created and used for IRL projects. These templates take all the guesswork out of pricing — and probably include line items you didn’t even know you could charge for. 

Making the leap from a full-time 9-5 job to running a freelance business comes with a lot of questions, but knowing how to price your expertise doesn’t have to be one of them.


Ready to build your scope of work?