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  • Writer's pictureLouise Turley

Know your 'value' as a Freelancer

A question that often arises with new clients who are starting out "how do I know what I should be charging?" and I often find is a frequent conversation between freelancers at Jelly co working events... and rarely do I meet someone prepared to charge their true value.

Knowing your value as a freelancer is crucial for ensuring you are fairly paid for your work and maintaining motivation. We often have a tendancy to undervalue our own work and therefore charge 'too cheap' a common mistake. Imposter syndrome often playing its part ;)

Learn your value.

Here are some useful tips to tick off when you are asking yourself, "oh... what do I charge.. " these will help you determine and communicate your value effectively:

1. Assess and Own Your Skills and Experience

  • Evaluate Your Skill Set: List all the skills you possess and assess your proficiency in each. Consider technical skills, soft skills, and unique expertise.

  • Experience: Consider your years of experience, the quality of your past work, and your industry knowledge.

  • Specialisation: If you have a niche or specialised skill set, this can add to your value.

2. Research Market Rates

  • Industry Standards: Research the going rates for freelancers with similar skills and experience in your industry.

  • Geographical Location: Rates can vary by location. Consider both the cost of living and the standard rates in different regions.

  • Platforms and Peers: Look at freelance platforms (e.g., Upwork, Fiverr) and see what others with similar profiles are charging.

3. Calculate Your Costs

  • Living Expenses: Calculate your monthly living expenses to understand your minimum income requirements.

  • Business Expenses: Include costs for software, tools, marketing, taxes, insurance, etc.

  • Desired Profit Margin: Add a profit margin that reflects the value you bring and allows for growth.

4. Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

  • What Sets You Apart?: Identify what makes you unique. This could be your approach, your speed, the quality of your work, or a specific expertise.

  • Client Benefits: Highlight the tangible benefits clients get from working with you, such as increased sales, improved efficiency, or better engagement.

5. Create Tiered Pricing

  • Packages: Offer different packages (e.g., basic, standard, premium) to cater to different budgets and needs.

  • Hourly vs. Project Rates: Decide whether to charge hourly or per project, depending on what makes more sense for your work type and client preferences.

6. Communicate Your Value

  • Portfolio: Maintain a strong portfolio that showcases your best work and the results you’ve achieved for clients.

  • Testimonials: Collect and display client testimonials and case studies.

  • Professionalism: Demonstrate reliability, professionalism, and effective communication in all client interactions.

7. Negotiate with Confidence

  • Know Your Bottom Line: Have a clear understanding of your minimum acceptable rate.

  • Value Over Price: Focus discussions on the value and outcomes you deliver, rather than just the cost.

  • Be Prepared to Walk Away: Sometimes it’s better to decline a project than to accept undervalued work.

8. Continuously Improve

  • Skills Development: Keep learning, upgrading your skills to stay competitive and increase your value.

  • Feedback: Seek feedback from clients to improve your services.

  • Market Trends: Stay informed about market trends and adjust your rates accordingly. Stay current and up to date.

By thoroughly understanding your value and effectively communicating it, you can set fair prices, attract the right clients, and build a sustainable freelance career.

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