One of the hardest challenges as a newcomer to the freelance world is setting your rates. You probably have a rough idea of how much you want (or, more accurately, need) to earn, but how do you make the numbers add up? And what if your clients aren’t willing to pay?
Establishing your worth can be something of a trial and error experiment at first, but to help you set and justify your rates, we’ve got some tips on how to strike a balance.
Know your skill set
You may be able to edit with your eyes closed, find that perfect shot within seconds, or translate Arabic into English like it’s second-nature, but don’t take your skills for granted. Understand what you offer the client that they are lacking.
Are you saving them the time and money of doing it in-house? Or have you got a specific skill or qualification that makes you a specialist? Identify your skillset and you’ll find it much easier to put a price on your services. Remember, it’s not just your time that you’re charging for – it’s your expertise.
Research the market
As a newcomer to the industry, learn from others who have been freelancing for longer. In time, you should become more and more comfortable asking your peers what they charge. You’d be surprised how many are open and willing to share their experiences, and their price structure.
However, if you don’t feel confident asking others about their rates, or you don’t have the support network around you, go undercover instead. Freelance platforms often state the rates of freelancers on their profiles, so you can gauge what others with similar skills and experience levels charge.
Understand the client
Setting a fixed rate is often quite a crude way to measure your services, so be prepared to offer bespoke quotes based on the specific needs of your clients. Charging by the hour will instantly set a cap on your earnings; instead, consider pricing per project to increase your earning potential and make your pricing more flexible.
Be open to rejection
Do your clients always say ‘yes’ to your quotes without hesitation? This could be a hint that your rates are overly reasonable. A good sign that you’ve reached your limit is the occasional ‘no’ from a business that can’t quite afford you. You can’t please everyone, so don’t undervalue yourself out of fear of rejection.
Establishing your worth takes time, and only by working with a variety of clients will you gain a feel for the upper and lower limits of your rates. However, by researching the market, understanding the client and how you can help them, you can begin to gauge your value as a freelancer. Know your worth and never undervalue your services, to ensure you survive and thrive in the freelance world.