Knowing what to charge for freelance work is tough. Ask for too much and you might lose out on the job. On the other hand, if you go too low, the client might wonder if your bargain price is due to a lack of experience or quality.
So, what’s a freelancer to do? If you’re having a hard time pricing your services correctly, here are a few things to consider that can help.
Take a Look at the Competition
Whether you’re a freelance writer, designer, developer, or anything else, you’ll want to look at what your competition is charging.
Are your rates comparable, lower, or higher? Is the quality of your work on par with others? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you understand if your rates are fair not only to your clients, but to you.
Glassdoor has a salary tool that shows you the average annual earnings for a full-time employee in your industry and state. This information is important to know, too, especially if you’ll be billing many hours per week or collaborating with this client long-term.
Consider the Effort
Before you quote an hourly rate or flat fee, you’ll need to first figure out how long it’ll take you to complete the job itself.
What about …
- Weekly client phone calls or progress check-ins
- Drive time if you’re expected to attend kick-off meetings or in-person reviews
- Strategy or consulting work
- Anything you’ll need to complete the job, including SEO or competitive analysis tools, etc.
- Miscellaneous purchases, like domain names or stock photography
If you forget to factor these items into your rate, you may end up feeling like the project wasn’t worth the time or effort — and ultimately, the pay.
Sell Yourself and Back It Up
There’s always going to be a freelancer who works for less than you, but you can’t let that deter you.
If you want to make a good living doing what you love, or earn some extra spending money from a side hustle you enjoy, you need to charge what you’re worth.
With solid experience and skills to back up your work, clients will understand the value of choosing you over someone offering the same services for much less. However, the key is knowing how to sell yourself and generate interest.
An impressive portfolio or website that showcases your best work is necessary, as well as a strong pitch. Come in hot by name-dropping big clients you’ve worked with in the past, include links to your most stellar work, and show them why you’re the best freelancer for the job.
Invest in a professional photo for LinkedIn (and any other social platforms) and beef up your online following. You may never meet your clients in person or even see them on a video meeting, but you can bet they’ll be looking at you online.
Whether you like it or not, perception is important for freelancers. And you’ll need to show clients that you’re worth every penny — and more.
The Price Is Right
Every industry is different, and skill level and experience play heavily into what you can charge, but you also don’t want to sell yourself short.
Here are a few more tips to consider:
- If a higher rate isn’t working for you, reduce it by 10% the next time you pitch a client to see if they bite.
- Revisit your pricing structure every six months and compare it to the demand in your industry and competitor rates.
- Be upfront about rate increases. Tell your client why the increase is necessary, remind them of the value you’ve added to their business, and most importantly, be confident.
Kill ‘Em With Confidence
Don’t be afraid to charge what you feel is appropriate or increase your prices to a rate that makes more sense for the quality of your work.
You know how much research, strategy, and skill goes into your work, after all. Now you just need to charge like it.