Coming up with a rate card can be nerve-wracking especially for freelancers who are in their early stages of getting hired.
The dilemma lies in not charging too much for fear of losing potential clients and not underselling your skill and talent missing out on potential profit for your work.
Caught up in such a situation, one might not know how to navigate the line on when to price what, when and how.
That being said, there are proven systems you can use to find a good freelance rate to start with depending on the service you are providing.
Base Industry Rates: It’s important to do some research on how much people in similar freelance careers are earning. Know the base rates in the industry. You want to price yourself right, not too far below or over. Ideally, you will consider your personal unique situation but having this knowledge helps you strike a balance.
What Are Your Income Targets? You have to know how much money you want to earn or make weekly, monthly or yearly. As you do think about this, do not forget to factor in your cost of living and expenses as well. This will give you your target income, a valuable total to consider when setting your freelance rates.
How Much Does It Cost To Get This Work Done? With doing business comes the costs associated with doing business. These should always be prioritized first in the process of establishing your freelance rates because you will make no profit until these costs are accounted for.
Time: There is a reason why someone coined the popular phrase, ‘’Time is money.’’ It is therefore crucial that you figure out how much time you can reasonably afford to spend working. In as much as you have the freedom to set your own work hours, at times you may find yourself working nearly 24 hours a day to keep up with deadlines if you aren’t careful. So consider a few things to determine how much time you can afford to work as a freelancer.
Once you have a clear estimate of how many days a year you’ll spend working as a freelancer, it is time to narrow your view a bit further and decide how many hours a day you will spend working and how much it will cost.
Value Your Service: Know that not every job you complete as a freelancer should be charged by the hour. When the job doesn’t call for an hourly rate, you are putting a restraint on your earnings. That means that instead create a proposal stating that the job will cost a fixed rate. In one scenario, clients are paying for what they perceive the value of your time to be. In the other, they are paying for the complete value of your service.
So when you are establishing your freelance rates, it is always important to keep the value of your services in mind.
In conclusion, setting your freelancer rates needs to make sense not only from a personal position but also with the industry standards in mind.