“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”- Dr Seuss
As a burgeoning freelancer, it could be pretty hard- especially when you’re at the bottom rungs of the ladder to earn the big bucks. These, are seemingly reserved for the guys at the top, who ‘call the shots’ and so, we beginners almost make a mistake: we under-price our work.
When we do this, we have failed to take into consideration the actual amount of time it took to create that website, write that 10,000 worded article, design and re-design that logo; the level of creativity and expertise it took to carve out a niche for ourselves and create our brands.
When I became a freelance writer, it really dawned on me that the freelance writing process was quite tough! Admiration from without is not the same as practicing from within; the gulf between reading and writing is wide. All of a sudden, I discovered that I had begun to accord respect, all who were in the business of creation. It is hard work; after all.
Sincerely, we have a lot of competition- competitors whom many of us pessimistically assume to be better than we are or to churn out a better quality of work in less time than we would even dream of.
An objective assessment of this reveals, that this is not true- most of the time.
And so, I have listed out some practical tips to help us earn what we actually deserve, as freelancers.
1. Stop assuming
Literally, some of us would have to create new neural pathways to help us comprehend and accept the fact that many of our competitors aren’t actually better than we are. In the real sense, there’s enough space for us all to fly- provided we can figure out our strengths, capitalize on them, and stand by our brands.
The first step to earning well is to stop assuming that you deserve less than you really do, and if you need to get better skill sets to be comfortable with this mindset, please, get them.
2. Charge enough to thrive
Quoting Sue Bryce: ‘When you charge enough to not only survive but thrive, you find better prospects and clients…you find people who can pay what you need to earn…then you ask them for it.’
Pause, for a moment, and consider the type of clients you hope to attract. Do you want to attract clients who care less about the quality of work you provide? And how does a paucity of quality reflect on your resume’?
Would you be satisfied when your brand is eventually associated with low-quality products and services and your resume flawed by substandard samples?
Dear freelancer, our aim is to reach the peak of our careers and this, wouldn’t help, not at all.
This may be a hard pill to swallow, but have you considered the possibility that your freelance career has not sprung up because you haven’t been ‘pricing for profit’ but instead, ‘pricing for survival’?
Dear freelancer, you need to charge enough to blossom, flourish and thrive.
3. Low Rates Do Not Equal Massive Sales
When your clients associate your brand name with quality, they would pay enough to purchase that level of quality.
The fact that your prices are low do not mean you would have more sales. Not necessarily. In fact, not likely.
Think about that designer bag or a pair of shoes in your possession. How do you treat it? No one has to convince you to treat it with care. You sure will! Not after spending a fortune on it. What you bought wasn’t just a bag, you paid for the quality represented by that brand.
As a matter of fact, clients on the lookout for high-quality products and services are likely to bypass an under-priced freelancer.
I know it would take quite a leap of faith for some of us to believe we are worth much more than we are currently pricing our works at.
But that is why this article was penned down.
Dear freelancer, stop underestimating yourself. Your time. Your skill-sets.
You are good. Believe it, and act like you do!
I would be sharing more tips on pricing your work as a freelancer on Sunday.