How are rates on postings set on Storyhunter?
Clients enter a budget range in each posting. Then, final budgets are negotiated directly between the freelancer and client in the message thread. Once a general budget is agreed upon, a client typically makes an offer. Before an offer is made, freelancers and clients should agree on a general scope of work, including deliverables, services, expenses policy, kill fee policy and any other point that would affect the price of the project. Freelancers can always make a counter-offer using the counter-offer tool once an offer is made. At the completion of a project, clients may adjust the project amount if both parties agree on the new price. It’s always advised to update clients on any development that may increase prices or expenses to get approval for those changes while the project is still going on.
Is it mandatory that clients enter a price on postings or can they create a posting without a price?
Currently, entering a price is mandatory. We may change this if there’s good reason to do so, but we want to really try our best, and offer all the support we can, to come up with some budget range, or else freelancers will have very little understanding of how serious the project is or if they are interested or not. Let us know if you have any thoughts on this. We would recommend reaching out to a client directly to politely ask if the price is negotiable first, so you know if you’d like to put in the effort of formally applying.
I keep getting notified for jobs that are below my rate. What should I do?
Visit Settings>Basic Profile. Update Day Rate to filter out postings listed for rates below what’s been selected. We work with freelancers with a wide variety of experience levels, in over 50 services, in over 192 countries, and across several industries, so rates can vary.
Do you have a way to give clients recommended price ranges based on what you see in the market by service and region?
Yes, we’ve built this system, which actually is the only one like it in the world for our industry. This price recommendation engine allows clients to automatically get feedback on their rates when they create a posting. Our recommendation algorithm analyzes a posting's services, location, budget and other factors to provide a recommended “day rate” for each posting. Our algorithm also takes into account the day rates that freelancers have chosen in their profiles, so the rate listed on a freelancer’s profile determines what postings they will be notified about, and also directly influences our recommended rates. Here are some of the ranges by service.
Does this always work or can some things fall through the crack?
When dealing with people, creative projects and multiple variables, things often get miscalculated. Scoping out and budgeting for creative projects have many variables, so a client can miscalculate a project in many ways, such as entering the wrong estimated number of days or not understanding what services are needed. Also, some clients may not have done a project like this before, so they may not know exactly what price to put. We recommend freelancers reach out to confirm the scope of the project directly with the client, especially if it’s a client a freelancer rarely sees postings from on Storyhunter (as this may mean they are less clear on the most accurate way to budget for some projects).
What about if a client tries to post a project at a very low rate. Is there a minimum price per service?
Good question. Yes, there is. We typically calculate our floor prices as half the price of the low end of the range generated by our price recommendation system. For example, if a client enters a different service that has a lower threshold but really wants to hire for a higher priced service, they will post and it will appear to be below our floor. If you do see a posting with an exploitative rate, please let us know by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d like to give feedback on postings that have unrealistic expectations, while ensuring my anonymity and not breaking anyone’s trust.
We are currently working on a tool to give feedback on postings (we expect it to come out in 2020). This will allow freelancers to give feedback on why they are not applying, without being confrontational with the publisher. This feedback will go directly to our support and client success teams so we can act on the feedback if needed. A lot of time clients want to know this information just as much as anyone. Knowing why a posting isn’t getting the results needed is very important for clients who are not aware of why freelancers are not applying.
Sometimes I see jobs in other countries that are much lower than what the market rate for that service is in my country. Do you see this as a problem?
We do get notified of occurrences like this and we certainly look into them and keep an eye on them. Sometimes postings do avert our floor pricing but we always investigate them first before we make a judgement. It’s often more complicated than it seems, especially when in other countries (we operate in over 192 countries where the standard of living can vary tremendously) For example, we had a posting once for $300 in India and a lot of freelancers complained, saying the price is too low. But then we investigated and found that the client got 12 applicants and 3 local freelancers got hired at this price. We asked these freelancers if they were OK with the rate and they said they were happy with the rate and the work. For many local creatives, gaining access to international clients who often can pay more than local clients helps increase their income and enhance their portfolio. A $300 day rate is 10 times India’s legal minimum wage. There are a lot of variables here, but we always allow all sides to explain their position to try and find the fairest outcome to achieve satisfactions from all parts of the ecosystem.
Rates in the video journalism industry have fallen. This is so unfair. I know you were founded by video journalists, how can you let this happen?
You are right, we were founded by two video journalists. This particular industry, like many industries in the creative space, have struggled to figure out a profitable business model since the advent of the internet. There have been many changes since Storyhunter began in 2012. There have been multiple booms and busts that led to hirings as well as layoffs. There have been trends, like Facebook videos, live streaming, the 360 video, and YouTube documentaries. At Storyhunter, we support both clients and freelancers, building smart technology and tools to allow the ecosystem to adapt to new challenges. We don’t set rates on Storyhunter. We want to be as empathetic to clients that are trying to do more with less, as we are with freelancers looking to do the work they love.
While we cannot change the trajectory of an industry, we can create solutions that allow independent filmmakers and video journalists to find new clients, hassle free. We have transitioned very quickly to one of the world’s biggest marketplaces for branded content and marketing videos. After a survey of our community in 2015 that said the majority of our network already produces this kind of content, we began building tools and targeting clients in the brands space to continue offering opportunities to our community. Please let us know if there are any organizations or resources we can add to our freelancer perks page, so we can continue to help video journalists and freelancers who are struggling during this time. While we can’t necessarily change the state of the industry, we want to be a resource to help all elements of the ecosystem.