Who wouldn’t love to be their own boss? Flexible schedules, work-from-home benefits, and the ability to directly influence your rates and salary sound too good to be true. However, this can be a reality for freelancers and startup entrepreneurs. If you have a skill or expertise in a field and believe you can sell your services directly, small business ownership may be right for you.
The many benefits of this career path attract a lot of professionals, creating ample competition. Because of this, beginning freelancers often charge as little as they think they can get away with, hoping to attract clients with their low prices. The truth is, you don’t have to do that. People will pay for high-quality work because it benefits their business. If you have the skill and the clients to back it up, there is no reason why you can’t charge more for your services. Here’s how:
Create a higher demand for your business.
If you are an in-demand freelancer, clients will naturally have to pay more for your time. But how do you create that demand? You get other clients to rave about your work. And how do you get them to rave? You deliver exceptional results! If you are just starting out and don’t have a long client list, that’s okay. Work hard to delight one or two small clients, and use their testimony to attract bigger and bigger gigs until you’re earning the salary you want.
Add ancillary services to your packages.
Whether you write, design, program, or have another marketable skill, people are looking for experts like you. However, if you can provide more than one of these skills, your value increases exponentially. By providing more than one static service, you’re making your clients’ lives easier. In turn, you can charge more for “package” deals and simplify your revenue streams to a few select high-paying customers.
Understand your maximum value.
As mentioned before, most startup founders charge as little as possible for their services because they’re afraid of losing clients over price. However, businesses and consumers don’t mind paying more for something of true quality and value. You should base your prices on what you believe you can deliver to clients, not simply the lowest rate you can afford.
Never accept pay below your minimum.
When you begin your career as a freelancer, you need to set a minimum price for your services. This minimum can be an hourly or per-project rate, and you should stand firmly by it. If you believe that you should receive $25 per hour at the very least, don’t accept offers for a penny less. The same is true for setting prices in a startup setting. Base your pricing on what you need to grow your business, and don’t offer discounts unless you’re doing so strategically.
If you’re thinking about dipping your toes into a startup endeavor or freelance career, there are plenty more resources on my blog. I also offer coaching services to help professionals focus on their skills and earn more for their hard work. Follow the RoyceTalks blog for more updates and info.