Can anyone guess what the most common question is for new freelancers? If you guessed “How do I set my rates?” you are correct! Rate setting can be confusing and nerve-wracking if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you charge too much, despite your skills, you could be sending away potential clients. If you undercharge, you are hurting yourself and your business. Where do you find that happy medium where client budgets and proper compensation meet? It may be easier than you think. Today, I’m going to do a quick overview of rate setting AND provide you with some incredibly informative links to articles written by those much more knowledgeable than me. Absorb every morsel of information and apply it to your business, I promise it won’t be as painful as it sounds!
Keep in mind that different freelance fields vary in pay. Web designs are in a different pay grade than Virtual Assistant, so you wouldn’t charge the same price for both. Basic research into competitors rates, average market rates, and what your experience level is, will give you valuable information to start with. I love this rates database from Contently, it provides a list made up from hundreds of freelancers. It gives you an excellent guideline to what similar jobs have paid.
There are also two different ways that freelancers charge. Some people charge by the hour, some charge by the job. Both have their pros and cons, but it gives more options to budding freelancers and clients alike. Take a look at Miranda Marquit’s article, explaining the upsides and downsides to hourly vs. per job pay.
Establish your Minimum Acceptance Rate (MAR) which is in layman’s terms, the lowest amount you would feel comfortable accepting a job for. This will be your guideline, and although it’s not set in stone, it will prevent you from accepting jobs that pay way under value. This Lifehacker article explains MAR perfectly!
Looking for more rate setting resources? Check out Jorden Roper’s article! I am a huge fan of her site Writing Revolt
Setting your rates doesn’t need to be stressful, as long as you have the right information and guidelines! If you have already set your own rates, what criteria did you use? Share away in the comments, and as always ask any questions you may have!