For those of us without formal business training, it can be pretty daunting to consider making adjustments to how we price our Gigs. After all, there are no definite rules to being a freelancer. There isn’t a freelance bible for us to reference or a universally-acknowledged set of freelance commandments telling us how to conduct ourselves in entrepreneurship. Still, if you want to make a living doing what you love and to get the best possible return on your work, this means making the occasional update to your pricing strategies or business plan.
To achieve and maintain success as a freelancer, you need to be able to tell when it’s time to make a change. If you struggle with pricing, defining your services, or knowing when to make changes to your business plan, keep an eye out for these five signs that it’s time to renovate your offerings or increase your rates.
Sign #1: Nobody is picking up what you’re putting down
It can be difficult to admit to yourself that you’ve priced yourself out of the market, but if you aren’t getting any bids on your work then it’s time to take a look at what you could be doing differently. Customers don’t dig vanity pricing, and you need a proven track record of satisfied clients before you get paid what you think you’re worth. Master’s degree or not, when you’re just starting out you’ll still need to buff up your resume by offering your services at lower prices than your competitors. This is true even with a proven track record when you first setup your profile on a new site.
Pro tip: It’s much easier to get great Gigs once you have a few positive reviews from past clients, so start out by aiming low and build your personal brand from square one.
Sign #2: If you suffer from work overload
If, on the other hand, you have too many customers, it’s far better to raise your rates than to sprain your creative muscle from overuse. When you find yourself overextended, there’s always the option of outsourcing some of the work to even other Fiverr freelancers. If what you do is very specialized – or if outsourcing isn’t your thing – try out setting higher rates for new customers. If they’re willing to pay more for your services than what you’ve been charging, then congrats! Your work is worth more than you thought it was.
Pro tip: Before you up your rates, be sure to explain what’s happening to your existing customers. You may want to offer them something between the price they’ve been paying and what you’re charging new customers to reward them for their continued patronage.
Sign #3: When you’re kind of a big deal
If you just completed a degree, or are having your work shown in a fancy venue, it may be time to reevaluate what you’re charging customers. Did you just finish a project with a bigwig client? Get their business icon on your resume straight away and hit them up for a Fiverr or LinkedIn review if you’re confident with your performance. The experience you gained in working with a recognizable name in business increases the perceived value of your work, and their raving review might be the factor that puts you ahead of the competition for your next big opportunity.
Pro tip: Experience matters! Update your resume each time you complete a major project.
Sign #4: You are the cheapest Gig in town
When you’re first getting started in a new field, it’s expected that you put a very low price tag on your work. We all have to start somewhere, and uber low rates will enable you to get the experience you need to buff up your resume to be considered for better-paying Gigs. However, once you’ve been killing it in your chosen field for a while, the value of your work increases and your rates should reflect this increase. Don’t glamorize the trope of the “starving artist.” Ramen has very little nutritional value and if you’ve established yourself in your field it might be time for some sushi once in awhile.
Pro tip: Check out what others with your level of experience are charging as a barometer of the pricing range you should be charging for your stuff.
Sign #5: You’re overdue for a come-up
As you grow in experience and general awesomeness in your field, you may start to notice that your work is more valuable for clients. Whether you consider yourself a novice, intermediate, expert, or gilded pro; you deserve to derive satisfaction from how you make a living. As soon as things start to feel stagnant, it’s time to make a change. As long as you feel like you’re being adequately compensated for your efforts, you’ll be able to improve the quality of your work and keep growing your freelance career.
Pro tip: It benefits to take a pause in business and reflect on what you’ve done, what you want to do and what others perceive of you. Take the time to slow down sometimes and consider these factors.
Finally, as you reevaluate your pricing, remember that many things influence a price tag. Look at the big picture to set the right price for your work – and don’t hesitate to do this again and again and again as time moves on.
How—and when—have you adjusted your rates on Fiverr? Tell us in the comments below!