As a freelancer, adjusting your rates accordingly is a key part of business. Whether you bill by the hour or by project, you are selling yourself short if you don’t consider raising your rate. As you begin to complete projects and add some success stories to your portfolio, your value as a freelancer increases. As you gain new skills and experiences you should look to adjust your rates. Here are four reasons to raise your freelance rates.
You’re Priced Below Your Competition
Freelance rates vary quite a bit throughout the industry. For example, a freelance writer may charge a client twice what another does simply due to negotiation. To get a better understanding of rates, it’s always best to look at the industry average so you can at least price yourself at or above that rate. If you’re in editorial freelancing, take a look at the Editorial Freelancers Association’s rate chart. If not here are a few averages to reference:
- Accounting and Finance: $75/hour
- Management and Consulting: $100/hour
- Legal Advising: $200/hour
- IT and Support: $80/hour
- Construction and Trade: $45/hour
If your freelance rates fall below these averages, set a financial goal to meet or exceed these averages by the end of the year.
You’ve Gained Demonstrable Experience
As a freelancer, you’re constantly gaining experience and acquiring new skills. Any freelancer who charges by the hour will become more efficient as they complete more projects. If you fail to increase your rates as you complete more projects, you’re giving your clients a bargain and not getting ahead financially.
If you choose to raise your rates make sure you can backup your pricing. Demonstrate that you’re worth what you say you are, otherwise, you’ll begin to lose clients. Use past success stories as testimonials and add completed projects to your “portfolio” to help justify your rates.
Your Rates Are Never Questioned
If your clients never second guess your quote, it’s probably because it’s on the low end. This will surely attract more clients, however, as a one-person army, you can only handle so much work. That being said, you should find a rate that best values your time. If your time is worth $80 an hour, don’t settle at $60/hour to attract more clients. Instead, find ways to attract clients who will complete payments at the higher rate.
Lack of Quality Clients
Typically, low paying clients tend to be higher maintenance than high paying ones. When you charge below average for your work, the common assumption is that you’re less experienced. You’ll likely attract clients who require constant communication and iterations. When a client pays top-dollar for your work, they will respect your expertise and won’t try and micromanage your work.
As a freelancer, you control your own destiny. If you don’t ask for what you think you’re worth, then there’s no chance you’ll get it. If one of these instances apply to you, it’s time to raise your freelance rates.