When you freelance, one of the most important aspects of your work is pricing. If you get it wrong, you will find yourself working for less than you are worth or losing potential work. In this blog post, we will give you the top 7 tips on how to price freelance work so that you can get the most out of your career.
The freelance market, in recent years, has become ultra-competitive, and so many people have chosen to quit their full-time jobs to begin a freer path.
A path free from imposed schedules, demanding and tough employers, to be able to carve out their time for other passions, or simply to work on something more satisfying, something that is YOURS, not someone else’s.
This system is growing more and more, and with it, new possibilities are growing, however, you have to know how to move well, especially if you are a beginner, in order not to sink. You also need a good dose of patience and adaptability, as the freelance world has no certainties: you can have a good salary for one month, and a black hole for the next month!
According to the latest 2022 statistics, 31% of freelance workers make $75,000 every year, and that’s certainly a great, motivating place to start, isn’t it? Here, in this article, we find out how you can get to make similar figures, with some good advice and a lot of goodwill!
Is it worth setting an hourly rate?
In order to know better how to price freelance work, another approach to setting freelance rates is to think about how much you need to earn per hour to cover your costs and make a profit. This includes rent/mortgage, car payments, student loans, groceries, health care, and other necessary expenses.
Once you have an idea of how much money you need to earn each month, you can start thinking about how many hours you can reasonably work in a month and price your services accordingly.
For example, suppose that after paying all your bills, you need another $500 a month to cover incidental expenses, such as going out to eat and having fun. If you want to work 20 hours a week so that you have some free time to pursue other passions, play a sport, or spend more time with your family, then you will need to charge $25 per hour to reach your goal.
Of course, this is just one of the methods on how to price freelance work, which can give you a good line to follow. Certainly, this then will be your decision as to what is the best choice for your particular needs, whether to do hourly rate or per project work.
If you are interested in improving your freelance career and your economic income in this fantastic working world, I suggest you also read:
- 6 Priceless Strategies That Can Help You Work With Ideal Clients
- Freelancing For Designers: 3 Incredibly Easy Ways That Work For All
- Want More Money? Build A Brand That Stands Out In 8 Easy Steps!
In the image below, we see how much a marketing consultant can earn, based on an hourly rate. You can also calculate the hourly rate or evaluate other niches by visiting Glassdoor’s website.
Examine the freelance market prices in your industry.
Of course, relying on an hourly cost has its pros and cons: at least initially, it will be able to give you a good base from which to set your prices as a freelancer. Another option is to look at the prices charged by other freelancers in your industry and set your prices accordingly.
This approach has the advantage of ensuring competitiveness with other freelancers in your industry while still making a profit. Contra, for example, is an excellent resource for finding out the prices charged by others.
Keep in mind that prices for your work should be reasonable, especially based on some necessary parameters, which we see below in this guide on how to price freelance work.
Your level of experience as a freelancer
What level of experience are you at? Whether you want to compare your prices with other freelancers working in the same field as you, or whether you want to give your time an hourly rate, in each case, it also depends to a large extent on your experience, the skills you can bring to the table, and, last but not least, the quality of the work you can offer.
Although it may seem trite to say, there are freelancers who have a really high quality of work, so they can afford exorbitant prices, even for doing simple work.
The level of notoriety you have acquired over time
Well, another key point in how to price freelance work may be to understand what level of notoriety you have arrived at. Obviously, a freelancer with a huge social media following can afford to offer his or her services at higher prices, simply because he or she is known by many people and has positioned himself or herself well in the marketplace as an expert in his or her field.
The type of client you are working with
Yes, the client who commissions you to do the project is also crucial, because some clients have enormously larger budgets than others, so you might even price a particular job-which you would usually do for much less-two or three times as much.
This does not mean overcharging for your work but instead realizing that a high-budget client, has the opportunity to pay more, and you will have the opportunity to provide a better quality of work.
Why this? Because by working with high investment budgets, your motivation also increases. What would you say if you had to do a logo design for $50? Probably, you would not be very motivated to produce something of the highest quality. But what if you were to work on the exact same project for $10,000? Then, your motivation would probably be better!
Bonus: Always increase your rates
This is an “expert” tidbit on how to price freelance work, someone who has a lot of experience in the field and knows how always to improve his or her portfolio. Every time you complete a job commissioned by a client, for the next client you raise the price a little bit. This will allow you to sign, and in many cases even in a short time, increase your economic income for the same service provided.
Of course, I don’t recommend increasing by thousands of dollars at a time, but by a few hundred dollars for sure. This, not only will give you the opportunity to earn more money, but it will give you more self-confidence, allow you to gain a new awareness of what you do, and of your real abilities, and you will be able to start evaluating your work with new eyes, giving it the value it deserves.
For example, if you are doing a brand identity for a restaurant, you can ask this client for an amount of, I’ll give an example, $3,500. Once you’re done, you can put the work you’ve done into a portfolio and present yourself better to the next potential clients.
Well, for the next client to come in, try one more step of pricing, and increase the brand identity service offered to $3,900. The client will probably accept, and you won’t feel like you are overpriced, and thus, for the same type of work, you will have gotten as much as $400 more.
In addition, this will position you a notch higher, knowing that you got that work for $3,900, rather than $3,500, and allow you to place a higher value on your work.
Here’s that, for the next anchor, you can opt for an even slightly higher figure, say $4,300. That way, with only two more clients, your fee schedule for a brand identity has already increased by $800!
Extra bonus: Use a project management tool
Now you know better how to price freelance work in order to get paid more, but there are other things to take into consideration. Doing everything yourself, as a good freelancer, may seem simple to you, but in reality, there are so many things to take into consideration. For example, you need to create a contract, create an invoice, and even present a proposal, through a quotation, to the client.
To do all that, and simplify things and allow you to save so much time, there are online tools like Bonsai Project Management, which really allow you to simplify all those tasks that can take up so much time, so you can devote yourself to your main job, for which you chose to freelance!
Bonsai also offers a wide range of ready-made templates for any type of document you may need to manage your administration and workflow. For example, I recommend you check out the Work Quote Template, with estimates, read receipt notifications & e-approval.
How to price freelance work: Conclusion
When it comes to replying to the question “how to price freelance work?”, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best approach to setting rates depends on factors such as your level of experience, geographic location, and the industry in which you work.
However, if you take some time to determine how much money you need to earn each month and compare it to the rates charged by other freelancers for similar services, you should be able to find a fair and reasonable rate for your work.
Don’t stop there, you’re just at the beginning of so much new knowledge for your freelance career! Follow our blog, where we post daily updated articles about the freelance world, and our always-updated archive of tools for freelancers, which allows you to stay tuned to the latest software and products to advance your career at full speed!