When it comes to raising your freelance hourly rate, it all boils down to when you should raise your rates — not necessarily how much you should raise it by.
22 Freelance Pricing Tips: What Should I Charge? | iThemes
Increase your rate after you deliver your client a high-value product. Did you:. It encourages you — the freelancer — to do great work and deliver fantastic products while letting the client know that you should be valued. You can also raise your rates through referrals. Referrals are clients that you get from existing clients and they are the lifeblood of any freelancer. If you want even more information on becoming a freelancer, be sure to check out our articles on the topic below:. Download a FREE copy of the Ultimate Guide today by entering your name and email below — and jump into freelance marketing today.
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How to price your services as you grow your freelance business
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Freelancing gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility when it comes to when and where you work. However, freelancing can also be a cost burden in unexpected ways too. I don't agree with her clear implication that you can't make money writing. However, I don't doubt for a moment that she can find an abundance of cheap writers for the type of content her blog produces. My point is this: an abundance or dearth of other freelancers like you has a hefty impact on the rate you can set.
And here's the kicker: the lower the quality of work you do, the higher the supply of similar freelancers is. So be aware of supply and consider how it can affect your rate. But most importantly, work hard to get yourself above the first few rungs of the ladder as quickly as possible—otherwise you will always be dealing with negotiations like the above.
Furthermore, consider the demand specific to you. Do people approach you by referral? Do they seek you out specifically because they like your work? Such prospective clients are likely to value your work far more highly than those that you seek out.
The Ultimate Pricing Strategy To Charge What Your Time Is Worth
Take the client mentioned above. I continue to work for her, even though I get paid an equivalent hourly rate of about half as much as every single other client I have. There are many more indirect benefits that can affect the rate you would be happy to accept, such as potential could the work lead to greater things? Bear them in mind.
Negotiation is something that comes fairly naturally to me. I worked in property management and development in my previous life, and was no stranger to seven figure negotiations. That may well be why I have no difficulty in negotiating with freelance clients on what are, by comparison, minuscule deals. But that doesn't detract from my firm belief that negotiating does not have to be a terrifying prospect. Whilst the common perception seems to be that clients are after a cheap deal, I have found that not to be the case, for the most part.
This could be a side-effect of the forward-thinking blogging culture I generally operate in, but you only have to see how well my friend Ruth is doing to see how handsomely corporate clients are prepared to pay. Always be certain of the scope of the job you are pricing. I cannot stress that enough. A freelancer's worst nightmare is a misunderstanding between them and a client regarding the scope of the works. This can lead to a faltering relationship, and extra hours allocated to a job that you did not budget for.
Make sure that you come to an agreement on the precise nature and scope of the work. If the job is to be more of a work in progress, come to a temporary agreement with the client, on the basis that a firm contract will be agreed for the long term at a future date.
Project vs. Hourly
But whatever you do, make sure that you come to a unambiguous long term agreement regarding the nature of the work. This can be in the form of an email exchange, or a formalized contract. The point is that you must be able to clearly demonstrate that you have delivered exactly what the client asked for. The key to pricing a job is to break it down into its constituent parts. Once you have segmented a job, allocate a conservative time frame to each part plus contingency.
Add up all the elements, and consider adding an overriding contingency. The client is more likely to negotiate than not, and many will feel that they are being hard done by if they don't get the price knocked down at least a little regardless of whether or not the price represents true value. So be sure to price your job accordingly. What is hopefully clear at this point is that all of the above factors should be taken into account when pricing a job.
Ask yourself the following questions:. Your MAR is your bottom line. The key now is in making a proposal that strikes a balance between maximizing your earning potential, and not scaring the client off. Worst case scenario, your prospective client sees your price, and walks away.
The likelihood of this is small, unless you have really priced yourself out of the market in which case, you need to go back to the drawing board in terms of analyzing what you deem to be a reasonable rate. It is far more likely that they will attempt to negotiate you down, which is where the conservatism you built into your price comes into play.
How hard you choose to negotiate above your MAR is essentially down to how much you want the job. Do you have lots of work booked? Can you afford to play hardball? Or, are you in need of any and all work at or above your MAR? Consider your situation and negotiate accordingly. Remember, so long as the equivalent hourly rate is above your MAR, the additional pay represents the potential for a boosted income. It is not the difference between life and death. If you are genuinely in need of the work, don't try to get too cute with your negotiations.
Option 1 is only to be considered if you feel that the indirect benefits associated with the job outweigh the difference between the actual equivalent hourly rate and your MAR.
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I have a client who is a prime example of this. They pay me a little under my MAR, but I get a free link back to this blog in return, which makes up for it. His or her course is unsustainable. But using the next techniques, he or she could potentially turn things around and end up with one of the other outcomes.
I picked up this tip about business plans from freelance journalist extraordinaire Virginia Sole-Smith. The two main goals you want to outline here are your professional and financial goals for the year. For example, as a journalist, I might say my professional goals are to 1.
I might also decide I want to raise my rate with one particular client or two.