5 Tips for Setting Your Freelance Rates


An essential aspect, probably, most sensitive one is setting the right rate for your business. It might be crucial for not only your pocket. Actually, thought-out well-balanced costs can influence the quality of everyday life.

New freelancers usually have no clue how to determine competitive still motivating pricing for their services. They go browsing numerous websites for the understanding of the current market situation. However, rates differ too much to figure out some average value.

Online pricing assistants

Having found no reliable sources, freshly minted self-employed ones turn to numerous online calculators. It goes without saying, none of these tools is capable of deriving a universally applicable formula, they only provide an average estimation basing on the following information:

  • Expected annual income amount
  • Desired day-offs quantity
  • Daily working hours

It’s quite evident that this data isn’t enough. By using such estimating tools, you risk getting tangled up.

  • Any experienced self-employed worker knows, that mostly, so desired salary has nothing to do with the actual state of things and real rates.
  • The “billing hours” is a relative term that may be dramatically different from what you expect. There`re inevitable technicalities that most people forget to consider while carrying out necessary estimations. They could include accounting matters, online discussions, emailing, research, administration, etc. Thus, the actual quantity of paid hours appears significantly lower than one may plan.
  • It would be great if all-year-round tasks are guaranteed. However, in severe reality, everybody may weather through rather “dull season”.

Steps to a successful career

Let us single out critical points that can help in the realistic rates formation process. Hope these tips push ambitious online-workers for new achievements, goals, ideas, interesting decisions.

#1 Market monitoring

Abstract your mind from targeted wages. Concentrate on the value of the provided service or product. In case it’s not a one-of-a-kind offer, it is worth making appropriate, profound market research – determine balanced prices that will be accepted by consumers.

When setting rates, you are likely to be tempted to make them much higher than average. Still, you need to think twice before doing this. “In order to come into the arena”, it’s essential to score your first clients. The offered figure should be attractive and competitive, otherwise, you risk to wait for the order for months. Always consider one more thing – potential customers check numerous options that are available on the web before making final options. So, you need to keep it real.

#2 Stick to time

Depending on the line of activity, you may try various quotation schemes implementation:

  • Hourly – short-term tasks;
  • Weekly – bigger variants of work;
  • Monthly – long-term occupation;
  • Per separate project / product / option.

You’ll attract attention to your offer this way: Additionally, each small order will serve as a “test”, which can end up with larger and regular purchases. Nevertheless, we recommend marking your “hourly” scheme as a “welcome” suggestion not to stick to this method for a long time.

Quoting for a project can be beneficial in case you complete it quicker than scheduled and proceed with further orders.

#3 Be professional

Never stop developing your skills. Freelance world dictates its own rules. Only most-deserving specialists succeed to stay up and prosper. Having proved your competence to the customers, you get a chance to achieve the aspired level of yearly income. Be advantageous & reliable, follow common recommendations:

  • Respect deadlines. Deliver work timely. Expect a delay? Inform clients as soon as possible.
  • Be polite. When communicating with people, it may be quite complicated to negotiate the price with someone who possesses absolutely no knowledge in your field or only has a general idea. Stay calm – let the cost be the last-to-discuss thing: strive to emphasize your value and professional approach.
  • Raise the rates as you go. Try & see the reaction. Having gained some experience, changes in your price-list will be done easier.

Note that various marketplaces offer different operating conditions – we recommend monitoring into online freelance-platforms regularly. Sometimes users could save money on account advertising, banner posting, mail-out for potential consumers.

#4 Exercise patience

Don’t expect fast business scaling. It may take several months for Internet promotion. Proceed gradually, don’t give up at failures. You’ll certainly hit the desired level if you attempt.

You may require some start-up capital that will help with promotion speed-up activity and cover front-end costs. You also might prefer to apply for a loan from a reliable company. The faster you set to work, the quicker it will start to pay back. Actually, this is the shortest way to success: effective and time-saving.

#5 Stand firm

Having identified the price, strive to keep it unchanged. Bargaining is accepted in any kind of market. You’re most likely to come across clients who will persistently are beating down costs. Self-respect is a must if we’re speaking about independent working.

Although, it happens to be hard to resist the temptation of cutting down the rate to land the job, try not to make this mistake. Considering that you have expertise in your field and provide quality service, offering low-cost partnership is not acceptable.

Keep researching

  • By checking out major freelance sources like Freelancer, Truelancer or Guru, you’ll get rather better understanding of income level you can reasonably claim.
  • Find high-rated specialists in your business area. Read the reviews. Identify the traits and the features that are most valued by customers. Draw the conclusions.
  • More practice. If you’re writer / copywriter / interpreter, operate some blog. Narrate about difficulties you’re facing, give extra information for newcomers.
  • Keep high spirits. Your colleagues have gone a long way before it was all settled. Failure and success go beside each other. In the end, you’ll hit each sacred target.

Use these tips to arrange proper work ratings. Qualified executors and young energetic specialists rank high on the freelance market. Undoubtedly, the pride of place will be given to those who reveal high capability and deliver work on time. In this case, the question of pricing will not appear a matter of prime importance.