As a freelancer, your rates can be as high or as low as you want. However, if you plan to make freelancing your bread and butter, or at least, a viable source of income, you can’t just put any random price on your services. You have to find a price that’s both competitive and profitable. Your aim is to attract enough clients to help you earn a reasonable amount of money.
Unfortunately, many new freelancers are willing to receive really low prices just for the sake of getting work and/or good reviews and ratings. Because freelancing is very competitive on a global scale, it’s understandable why some people would be willing to do this. It’s hard to stand out in a market full of other service providers not just from theUnited States, but all over the world. However, many of them don’t realize that asking for really low pay just sets the standard of what they can charge clients for the rest of their freelancing career. It’s not impossible, but it’s going to be difficult for them to ask for much higher rates if they started out so low.
How to Figure Out if You're Charging Enough
The best way to know if you’re charging enough is to look at your production costs. How much money are you spending on electricity? Equipment? Materials? Factor them all in when you’re computing your costs. It’s important that you get an accurate amount for your overhead expenses because that will help you decide just how much you should be charging.
Next, quantify your skills. Did you have to take extra classes to learn what you do now? Do you have to take expensive certification exams to get the skills you need for a particular task? Do you have years of experience and a portfolio of your previous work to back you up? For example, some graphic artists are undeniably better than others. Obviously, many of the better ones ask for premium rates, and with a good reason.
Then, consider your location. True enough, if you’re in a developing country, you can ask for cheaper rates because of the large US dollar conversion rate, but that doesn’t mean that you have to charge really low prices. Clients know that they get what they pay for. If your prices are really low, the big-time clients will think that your services are not good at all. You’ll just attract the small-time clients who can’t afford to give you long-term and large-scale projects to work on in the future. So be patient. Big-time clients will trust you if you can show them that you can deliver.
If you’re in the US or any other developed country, don’t be discouraged when you can’t get the projects you want just because clients can’t afford you. Focus on getting the big-time clients instead. Many of them will gladly pay a bigger price for the assurance of receiving excellent service.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to research what others are getting for the same kind of work. You need to know the range, and the median of that range, which you can use as a guide. Usually, a rate that falls in the median can get you substantial amount of work. Instead of starting at the low end of the range, start in the middle. You can work your way up to the right side after you’ve built a solid reputation as a reliable and efficient service provider.
This is a guest post from Alexandrea Roman, who