Setting your rates must be one of the most difficult aspects of freelancing. This may sound like a surprise to some people but it’s true.
A lot goes into setting the right freelance rates. It is not about setting a random rate for your service. It has a lot to do with what you have planned for your business, your budget and your mindset. If you’re not comfortable with your rates it may affect your performance and even your delivery. I know I start to get upset when I feel I have undercharged for a job.
Most freelancers think that their rates must please their clients. That is why some freelancers find themselves under charging their clients, working extremely hard to make ends meet and then getting stressed out with all the workload.
In this article you will learn some handy tips and principles that will help you feel comfortable with your rates while getting the best value for your hard work.
Get your mindset in order
This is the most important stage when it comes to setting your rates. Most freelancers experience imposter syndrome and when they do, they feel like they do not deserve to charge a higher rate or a suitable rate because they believe that they are not “expert” enough.
You need to come to terms with the fact that the service that you are offering is something of value to your potential clients. They hire you because they want you to do something that they cannot do for themselves. So, why shouldn’t you get paid well for your services?
Do not look down on your abilities. Even if you’re just a newbie, your time, creativity and dedication are valuable.
Assess how much you will need for the month
It is obvious that the amount of money you charge for your services must be enough to take care of all your living expenses, with extra left for savings and a few luxuries at least. Assessing how much you will need every month will give you a clear figure of what you need to work towards.
For example, let us say that you need £1000 a month and you want to work 5 days a week. This would mean that you should make at least £50 a day or £250 a week. You can then divide that among the number of projects you want to handle for the week.
Test out different rates until you arrive at your sweet spot
Here is something you may not hear every day: your clients have more money than they want you to know. Most times freelancers do a lot of rationalizing. They think about the income level of their clients. They think about their client’s expenses. As a result, they start quoting a rate that is far too low for the work they will embark on.
At the early stages, feel free to experiment with your rates with different clients and observe how each client will respond. The chances are that you will start noticing a trend. You will notice that you will have clients who will accept what you thought of as your “high rates”. After some time you will have a set of rates that will work perfectly for you.
Are you a freelancer or a self-employed person? How did you set your rates?