Are you finding it difficult to price your freelance services? The thought of setting your own rates might seem exciting at first, but it can quickly become a daunting task.
The dilemma of not wanting to undercharge and undervalue your work, but also not wanting to scare away potential clients with rates that are too high, can be overwhelming.
However, with the right strategy, you can price your services confidently without leaving money on the table. Let’s take a look.
Factors to consider when pricing
Before diving into how to price your freelance services, it’s essential to understand the different factors that impact the rates. Market rates, experience and value-added services are the core considerations when it comes to pricing.
Researching and comparing industry-standard rates for similar services in your area will give you a good idea of where to start. If you're just starting out, you may need to offer your services at a lower rate before establishing yourself as a competitive player.
Your experience level is also a vital factor that can help you justify higher rates. If you have years of expertise in a particular area, for instance, writing about scheduling, it’s reasonable to charge more for your services than someone who is new. Good customer ratings can also help you justify this.
Finally, offering value-added services such as additional revisions, quick turnaround times or extra consultations can help you charge higher rates.
How to negotiate rates
Talking money with clients might fill you with fear, but it's an unavoidable aspect of freelancing.
Some clients are going to start low with their initial offers - hoping to get your rate down from where you started. If this happens, it’s essential to have some negotiating tactics in your arsenal.
The first step is to listen to the client’s needs and understand their budget. Be honest if you can or can’t work for the budget they have. If you can, propose a rate with an explanation of why it's fair. Be flexible where possible, without undervaluing your work.
Always keep the conversation professional. Be willing to meet with clients and don’t take any offer of lower rates as a personal attack on your worth, stay firm but still open to meeting a middle ground.
Also, don't be afraid to walk away from a project if the offer is lower than you’re willing to work for and stand firm if they try to change the job’s terms once it’s started.
Adjusting pricing over time
Regularly reviewing your pricing strategy ensures you’re competitive while still being fairly compensated for your work.
As you refine your skills and gain more experience, it’s reasonable to adjust your rates for potential clients. Additionally, your services' value in comparison to surrounding markets and those of competitors should be considered.
Be open to changing what you charge based on how often or how much work you’re receiving from a client. If your workload decreases, it might be time to raise your rates. Conversely, if you're facing a dip in clients or industry disruption, it might want to go the other way to stay in the market.
Pricing your freelance services with confidence involves a fair evaluation of the market, experience level and value-added services. Don’t shy away from negotiating and remember to adjust your pricing strategies regularly.
By doing this, you can ensure that your hard work is compensated fairly, which will help in sustaining your freelance career in the long run.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt says, "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." Go forth and price with confidence.