Are You Getting Paid
What You Are Worth?

As a freelancer, you may find it difficult to determine your pricing rates for any given project, and to get paid. Many freelancers undercharge their clients for seemingly legitimate reasons, but it is important to remember that being paid extremely low rates over a long period of time will create frustration and stress.

In order to make a satisfying career of freelancing, you need to receive pay that is equitable for the work you produce. 

Are You Undercharging?

Negotiating freelance project pricing can be the most intimidating part of freelancing. Freelancers tend to undercharge for several reasons:

  • The need to get work... any work.
  • Not knowing how much others in the field charge for their project.
  • Basing charges on hourly pay rates they made at an office job.
  • Miscalculating the time required to complete the project.
  • Allowing "scope creep" - the scope of the project is changed beyond the original work requirements and expectations, without additional compensation.

You may be willing to work for lower rates as you get your business off the ground, but eventually you will be ready to bring your rates more in line with the current market rate. The next question you need to answer is: How do you do that?

Getting Paid What You Are Worth

Determining how much to charge for your time and expertise can feel very personal, especially when you don't know what others in the field charge. How do you know whether you are charging too little or too much? 

  • Determine your minimum rate. Your minimum rate can be calculated by adding your personal and business expenses and dividing that figure by the number of hours your plan to work. This will help weed out jobs that pay less than you need to stay in business.
  • Evaluate your skills and education. The level of expertise you bring to the job will help set you apart from others who offer the same services. If you have extensive knowledge and experience in a given field, you can charge more than someone who doesn't.
  • Concentrate on a niche. When you accept jobs across a wide spectrum of industries, you gain a shallow knowledge of each one. However, if you focus your efforts on a specific niche, you can become an expert in that field, which means you can charge more for your work.

Freelance price negotiations can seem like an art form, but as you become more familiar with the freelance approach, you will learn to set fair prices and to stick by them. Most clients are willing to pay for quality work, so don't be afraid to getting paid a price that accurately reflects the value of what you do.

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