Young female freelancer with pigtails using notebook sitting on blue sofa in home room

Freelancers, Here Are Tips To Help You Charge Better for Your Services

‘This freelancing journey is tough oh. This is my fifth month and I am close to giving up.’, Dara said to Ifeoma. They were talking over drinks and chicken salad bowls at a new cafe´. Both of them had been planning their hangout for months, but their freelance schedules often didn’t correspond, until now.

‘Girl, you’ll be fine, don’t worry. You’re good at your job and I’ve seen you thrive in tough situations before. Just keep going and don’t forget to ask me if you need any help.’ Ifeoma responded, before taking a sip of her cocktail.

‘Thanks.’ Dara said. ‘So, how’s it going for you? I can see your skin glowing like you’re swimming in cash’. Ifeoma giggled. ‘My dear, I’m just trying to live my best life. Work has significantly improved, and my clients have started dancing to my tune, especially when I adjusted my pricing strategies.’

After working at a fintech company for three years, Ifeoma and Dara quit their jobs to become freelance designers, getting gigs via referrals, cold emails and other sources. However, it seemed like Ifeoma was finding the new path easier than Dara. ‘Wait’, Dara said. ‘You adjusted your pricing strategies? You’re charging more, now?’. ‘Yep’, Ifeoma replied. Look, I used to be pretty conservative when sending my rate card and charging clients because I wanted to retain them, but I realised that I was short-changing myself and I deserve better. So, here’s what I did.’

‘I’m all ears!’ Dara replied. ‘Give me the gist!’.

Freelancing can be a tough path to navigate, as there are several hurdles to cross- finding clients, improving your skills, meeting deadlines, managing issues such as electricity, and of course, pricing your services and charging your clients, according to your worth.

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It’s important to secure the bag this year and you can do so by charging for your services better. Here are some tips. It is important to note that these tips may not apply to all freelancing fields:

Consider Your Expenses

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There are certain utilities that help you become more efficient at your job- internet, fuel, software applications, gadgets, website hosting and more. However, unlike employees of organisations, you mostly have to provide these utilities, renew subscriptions and make certain purchases by yourself, and with your money. There are also other expenses that you might incur, to help you take on certain tasks in certain projects, as requested by your clients.

It is not out of place to include these costs when charging your clients. By doing this, you will relieve yourself of the burden of covering the bills from your own pocket, thereby enabling you to save more.

Decide Your Rates

What pricing model do you want to adopt as a freelancer-, hourly or fixed (project-based) rates?

An hourly rate covers the number of hours you dedicate to a project, and it helps you charge your client according to each hour you spend on a project.

A fixed (project-based rate) is a specific fee that is placed on the entire bulk of a project. Rather than billing your clients based on time(hours or days spent), it bills them based on the result you achieve upon the completion of the project.

There are also other pricing models such as weekly, daily and monthly retainer rates. To decide which one to use, consider what model works best. You can also speak to other freelancers in your field to get insights and advice.

Consider The Value You Are Providing

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In a bid to retain clients and ensure they get regular gigs, some freelancers often end up delivering excellent value for relatively low rates- doing so much for so little, even when the client can pay you more. For example, you might be delivering a project for the price of 140,000, even though it is worth 230,000. If you are in this position, you will most likely feel cheated and frustrated.

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To help you manage this, always factor in the value you are providing to the client, emphasize it to them when negotiating your costs and never downplay it.

For example, if the client needs you to work on their website content, get all the information you need about the project and whatever problems to be solved, down to the basic details. If you discover some additional areas or problems that are important for the success of the project, discuss it with the client. You should also do some research to discover how much the client stands to gain if the project is successful, as well.

Armed with all these insights and information, you can determine the amount of value you will be providing, compile a list of all the tasks you will be doing, and indicate each price, accordingly. This way, you can charge for your service (s) better.

Do Not Cheapen Your Services For The Sake of Competition

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Some freelancers make the mistake of reducing their prices to beat the ‘competition’ and attract more clients. This might look like a good strategy at first but in the long run, you might discover that you are short-changing yourself. This is particularly worse when you realise that the sum total of the remuneration you receive from three clients is equal to what another freelancer receives for just one.

Also, you might end up getting terrible clients interested in overworking and underpaying you because they think you are desperate for gigs. The best clients to have, are those who are willing to pay the best prices for the quality of work that they require.

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Level Up

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In other words, upskill. By learning new skills that enable you to provide more value and become more efficient, you will be confident enough to increase your prices, because you have a good reason to. Also, you will be equipped to approach your clients’ problems differently, hence proving yourself a valuable freelancer.

Do Great Work

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As a freelancer, you do not have the opportunity to ‘hide’ behind the success or reputation of a company when contacting clients. Your work and personal brand have to speak for you instead. To ensure that you are able to charge for your services better, you must do great work and get better over time. When you do so, you can attract fantastic clients and get referrals for more job opportunities.

Are you a freelancer? What other tips do you have for other freelancers who want to charge for their work? Share them in the comments section!

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