I’m constantly asked where to find the highest paying freelance gigs. I’d like to say that’s it’s as simple as stating your rate and then expecting clients to pay it. That’s not the way it always works, though. Sometimes, I accept a lower rate because I know someone or because I believe in a cause. I also know that they type of client you have can influence the practical realities of what you can expect to receive in terms of a freelance rate.
Low Barrier to Entry = Low Freelance Rate
The first thing to understand when looking for the highest paying freelance gigs is that a low barrier to entry usually means a lower rate. Just about anyone can sign up on a freelance marketplace and try to underbid all the other freelancers. There’s plenty of work, but the rates are low. You might also find that public job boards often have relatively low-paying gigs available.
If you want to find the highest paying freelance gigs, there are higher barriers to entry. You might find that you need to join a membership website to find higher-paying gigs, or submit your portfolio on a content platform.
The best freelance gigs, though, probably aren’t going to be out there where almost anyone can access them. They will come because someone approaches you and asks for your rate, or you might be introduced through your network. As you work on your freelance career, it’s important to build your reputation along with your portfolio so that you are more likely to attract the notice of those who are more likely to pay higher rates.
Not Everyone Can Afford Your Freelance Rate
When looking for the highest paying freelance gigs, it’s important to understand that not everyone can afford your high rate. When I work for independent bloggers and small startups operating on a shoestring, I know they can’t afford my highest rate.
If you want someone who can afford your highest rate, you need to consider working with bigger companies. A client with a marketing budget for this type of work is far more likely to be able to afford your rates.
In many cases, if you working with a company’s PR firm, you can charge higher rates because these folks know what it costs to commission high-quality content. You are far more likely to get the rate you want when you work with brands and their PR firms.
You can also find higher paying freelance gigs when you decide to ghostwrite for those who hope to establish themselves as thought leaders. Many business leaders know they need to share their thoughts, but some may not have the time or ability to do a lot of writing. Your way with words can be worth a lot to those folks. Look for opportunities to ghostwrite, even though it means no byline, and you might surprised at how much you can earn.
In the end, the highest paying freelance gigs don’t come when you go after the same jobs everyone else is going after. Instead, you need to build a reputation and a portfolio and look for access to the types of gigs that are few and far between. Those will be more likely to offer you more money for your talents.