Begin able to work with higher hourly rates can create you more time for your other activities in life: time with your kids, more time to travel, more time for your hobbies, and what have you. But the problem is that many new freelancers don’t know how to raise their hourly rates.
In this post, I’ll give you a consolidated list of tips on how you can increase your hourly earnings with your freelancing career. Some of the tips here can give you an instant increase but some may require more time and effort before it can give you the raise you want.
Asking clients for more money is a bit scary for most newbie freelancers. Many freelancers worry because they don’t know how to handle when their clients say “no” to them.
I know you want to keep your clients. But if you keep on working with your old low hourly rates, you can never have more freedom for yourself. So here’s a list of things you can do to raise your hourly rates as a freelancer.
5 Actionable Tips to Increase Your Hourly Rates as Freelancer
As a general rule of thumb, it is a must for you to always stay updated in whatever field you are in. You need to constantly study the changes in your industry whether it be data entry, web development, app development, SEO, graphics, electronics, civil works, architecture, medicine, and etc.
1. Position yourself as Expert, Specialize
The very first thing you need to understand as a new freelancer is the need to have a specialization. You’ll understand this more later in this post. One of the reasons why many freelancers is having hard time applying for a client is they don’t position themselves as experts in a certain field of specialization.
Here’s an example:
If you are a new web developer entering the web development industry, presenting yourself as a “web developer” will simply get you nowhere. There’s a gazillions of web developers out there competing for the same position as yours.
Think of Law of supply and demand. There’s a ton of web developers out there and this alone will lower your rates if you will present yourself as a simple “web developer” too.
Here’s what you can do.
Find a niche, a smaller and specific market that demands a more specific type of work. You may want position yourself as a WordPress Web Developer or a Magento Web Developer or A Custom Web App Developer and so forth.
You can actually go even further. You may want to go even more specific than the said titles. You can present yourself as WordPress Developer Specializing in Real Estate Websites or Medical Websites or Restaurant Websites or anything more specific that has a demand.
Because of your specialization, you’ll be able to work smoothly because the job is already familiar with you. Being able to create a specialized type of website with high quality gives you the control to raise your rate. Becoming an expert in a specialized field also differentiates you from other.
2. Ask for a Referral
Referrals give your clients a perspective that you are someone that is of greater value. Is is a reality that people buy those products that is recommended by their friends and relatives even if it will cost them more. It gives them some sort of security that the product works.
Same is true for freelancing. If you can get referrals from your previous clients, even if you charge the referred client a little more than your previous quotations, they will still get your service.
This is a good way to increase your rates through a per client basis but if in any case the referred client did not accept your higher rates, you can simply offer your previous rates.
Here’s a little strategy you can use.
Every time you get a new client you can say something like this:
“You see, I typically work with multiple clients per week (or per month depending on what work you have) but I want to focus on your project/task so I can deliver with the best quality I can give.”
“Would you mind referring me to your friends so I can focus and give more time to your project. I’m a freelancer and I need to get my next project for next week/month/etc.. and so on and so forth…”
The idea is to add extra value to your current work in exchange for a referral. It’s a win-win situation for both your client. You don’t always need to spend time looking for your next client. Always try to leverage the situation.
3. Have a list of scripts in the negotiation process
For you to be able to raise your rates, you need to negotiate. Most of the newbie freelancers still have the mindset of an employee. An experienced business guy can easily tell if you’re soft or don’t know what you’re saying. Worst case scenario is you’ll accept a project/task with lower rates. You don’t want this to happen.
What you can do is study how well-paid freelancers in your field negotiate. You can read their blogs, podcast, video blogs, and etc. You might want to write a list of ready made scripts you can use when negotiating with your clients. Write them all down so you can review them in a regular manner.
Basically, there’s only few principles you just need to know when negotiating. However, there are some variations for different businesses. Negotiation is a must-have skill that you need to study and practice.
4. Create your own Blogsite.
Being able to put up your own website where you can showcase your portfolio and your previous clients’ reviews is a huge plus for you. It will add more value to you as a freelancer and it will make you more legit.
By having your own website, you are showing your clients that you are serious about your craft and it will give them a lot confidence and positive impressions about you and your work. This can definitely help you increase your asking price for the services you provide to your clients.
I previously made some posts that are related to the benefits of having your own blog:
- 7 Strong Reasons Why Your Freelancing Businesses need a Website
- Why Start a Blog? 13 Reasons You Need To Make a Blog Now
- 8 Effective Brand Marketing Strategy For Your Freelancing Businesses
- 10 Tips to Get and Attract More Clients in Freelancing Business
If you think you’re ready to start putting up your own website, you can follow this step by step instructions on how to start your WordPress Blog using Bluehost.
5. Build a list of your previous clients
If your previous clients are happy with your work, chances are, they are open to hire you again for future works. Try to have regular communication with your past clients because they can work with you again and can help give you referrals.
If you’re always updated about the trends in your field, you can email them to get your service to keep them updated with the latest trends. Always keep your clients’ contacts. Always.
So that’s it! The list is currently 5 but I’m planning to add more in the future so keep on visiting this blog for more. I wish I can share more but my time is really limited and so I need to pause this here.
If you’ve learned something from this, don’t forget to share it with your friends! If you have comments, or other tips, we can discuss it on the comment section below. More power to you!