Freelancing 6.0: Setting Your Rates

Setting Your Rates

In your early jobs you’ll have to bid less than your competition to get any work at all. But once you start becoming know and move up to larger jobs,  you’ll need to start raising your rates – carefully!

The Very Least Amount to Settle For

Writers should start at no less than $0.01/word when starting out and they should move up quickly from there. If you’re a graphic designer you shouldn’t work for less than $20 per graphic. Programmers should take no less than $15/hour. Designers and programmers have the most trouble raising their rates because of the high number of overseas contractors willing to work for next to nothing. Eventually, you’ll have to come up with a sales pitch to convince prospective clients that your worth it. And this is where a large, impressive portfolio of your past work combined with testimonials comes in really handy.

Increase Your Rates In Line With Your Reputation

As you become more and more in demand, keep track of what you are charging and increase your rates to match the quality your are delivering and the reputation you are earning. This can be hard. First, you’ll need to be okay with losing some of your existing clients who have gotten spoiled by your low rates. If, for example, you feel it’s time to jump from charging $5 for a 500-word article to $10, don’t expect that your client will be happy to pay it. They might be but don’t be disappointed if they aren’t.

Start raising your rates by bidding on projects with higher rates first and once you start to get more projects, let your existing clients know that the rates will be increasing soon. By giving them some time to react. they can either find a new freelancer or adjust their budget to pay you (if they feel your quality is worth the extra cost). If part-time is all you want, than you may be satisfied continuing to charge your existing clients entry-level rates.  But if you want a full-time income, you must develop a plan to increase your pricing.

Raising your rates is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do but it’s necessary if you want to build a sustainable, full-time business. Look at your work objectively. If you write quality articles with few errors, you are worth more than $1 for 100 words. But don’t expect your existing clients to love your work so much that they won’t go to someone else once you raise your rates. If they were paying you that little to begin with, it was probably for a reason.

Regardless, you have to be realistic about what you’re worth and you have to start going after higher paying clients. To get a good idea of the going rate, check other providers in your category to see what they bid on projects and then ask for fair compensation.


Freelancing: Getting Jobs