There are also industry benchmarks available for certain fields, such as editorial work and web design and development. When in doubt, use trial and error. Start promoting your services at a set rate and see how clients respond. No leads in the door? Show your rates to fellow freelancers. Ask their advice. Ask if they would hire you!
Create a budget, set an income goal, and work backwards. This infographic from CreativeLive offers a great example of how to make that calculation. Build up your experience, then start increasing your rates over time.
Whether you price per hour or per project will depend on the type of work you do. Different projects and contracts require different types of rates. There are many Peeps on CloudPeeps who work with clients on an hourly ongoing basis and also invoice for fixed rate deliverables. An example is doing ad hoc editing work on an hourly basis, but charging a fixed rate per blog post.
Mixing up the types of rates you charge is a great way to communicate the value of different work. Try asking them how they like to pay.
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This will help you communicate the services you offer and set your rates accordingly. How you communicate these two elements is boiled down to your portfolio and proposal. Make sure you have samples of your best work, references and testimonials on your portfolio. They just know they have a need to fill. The same stands if you find yourself going above and beyond and exceeding the scope of your contract s each month. If you have a positive, ongoing relationship working with a client, negotiating your rate is a great way to re-emphasize the value you bring to them.
By increasing your rates with current clients, you then have a higher benchmark when communicating your rates with new clients.
How to Get Paid What You're Worth as a Freelancer
When working with a new client, always be open to negotiating your rate — whether up or down from what you typically charge. Negotiating a rate higher than what they offered signals that your work is valued at a certain benchmark. The important thing is to not undercut yourself. If you quote a rate too far below your typical rate or what freelancers at your skill level are offering , clients will take advantage of that discount.
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Want first class service? Instead of offering discounts or sales, give clients more. Discounts can eat into your profits, devalue your product and train people to expect discounts. But giving clients more or throwing in a freebie is like a bonus. Never give people too many choices. That range of prices might better fit in their budget. Or the extra premium options might be what they really want.
While giving customers three choices is often the best approach, it helps to make that choice for them. Highlight the best deal for your customers. When it comes down to it, people decide value based on comparison. What are the other houses in the neighborhood selling for? The best example of this is a study by Dan Ariely about a subscription offer for The Economist.
So why offer it? Without the Print subscription as a comparison, the sales shifted to the cheaper Web-only subscription.
More Freelance Pricing Tips
By setting up the right comparisons you can make your prices seem better or emphasize the value you offer. This is one way you can work the three-price model to your benefit. First, annual plans can create too many choices. Monthly vs. Suddenly your simple three-tiered menu is way more complicated.
Secondly, that large lump payment can be a bitter pill to swallow.