Author: Tatiana Rivers- Tati Rivs Social Media Marketing
Establish Your Rate For A Successful Freelancing Career
Knowing what to charge as a freelancer is one of the most important steps when starting your freelancing career. Charge too little and you can get you stuck in a situation that will leave you overworked and underpaid. Charge too much and you will have trouble keeping clients.
Whether you are just starting out or you are considering revising your rates, this step by step guide will help you determine what you should be charging as a freelancer.
Step One : Research Your Niche
How saturated is your niche area right now? The more competition, the cheaper your rate will be. Simple economics of supply and demand. If there are a lot of competitors in your niche that are offering similar work for a lower price, your clients will eventually find them, making that rate the going rate. For example, in the world of blogging, rates are often determined by a per word count. Researching your niche will give you an idea of what everyone is charging. If you aren’t sure what your competitors are charging, you can ask on sites like Reddit or Quora. On many freelance sites you can also see the profiles of other freelancers in your niche, where their rates will be listed. Spend time comparing the rates of as many competitors as possible until you determine an “average”.
Step Two: Assess Your Skill Level
Would you consider yourself intermediate, beginner or expert? Having a look at your competition again, will let you know what a beginner should make versus an expert. Each level obviously deserves a different rate. As you progress in your career, your rate should reflect this too. Be honest with what your skill level is. A small amount of success on instagram does not necessarily make you an expert social media marketer. An expert would need to show several years of consistent work, a healthy portfolio and testimonials. Whereas a beginner, is just that, someone that is just starting in that niche area and has had little to no experience.
Step Three: What Are Your Living Expenses?
You need to be able to make a living eventually so having an idea of what it would take to cover all your expenses plus savings for the future is an essential block of determining what your rate needs to be. Not only your rate but how many jobs you need to have in order to cover said expenses. Of course, your rate needs to line up with to the industry rate and your skill level. This is one reason why many freelancers start out with side hustles while they have a day job, in order to build up their freelance career to a place where they can do it full time and still cover their living expenses. This handy Infographic will help you calculate what your salary needs to be.
Once you have gone through these steps and have determined what your competitors are charging in your niche, what your particular skill level is and what you need to make in order to live, you will have your hourly rate.
Sometimes clients will want to charge by project or milestone, having your hourly rate as a base will always help determine if that project fee makes sense. Once you have your rate you can see how many jobs you need to get and can start advertising yourself accordingly in order to achieve that goal. For tips on how to get more work, check out our blog on How To Advertise Yourself As A Freelancer.