Have you recently jumped into freelancing and still figuring out how to negotiate with clients for higher rates of your services? Or maybe you are a seasoned freelancer but still stuck with your old rates. We get it. Since freelancing is vastly an unregulated industry, there’s no benchmark in pricing. How much you can earn depends on your ability to negotiate with the client.
To address this pain point, we have shared some tips from pro freelancers on negotiating higher rates and take your business to a 6-figure one.
How Much Freelancers Earn In 2022?
Before you decide on your negotiation strategy, it is essential to know how much freelancers are earning in 2022 to set a competitive pricing range for your business.
Peak Freelance recently surveyed 213 freelance writers to determine the average freelance writing rates, and this is what their key findings look like:
- All freelancers earning over $100K have been writing for 2+ years.
- Most writers don’t charge extra for ghostwriting. Of those who do, the majority charge a premium of between 16% and 20%.
- Word-of-mouth referrals are the biggest sources of high-paying freelance writing gigs.
- $250 to $399 is the most popular rate for a 1,500-word blog post.
- $500 to $999 is the most popular rate for writing a whitepaper.
- The most popular pricing model is per project.
According to the 2022 Global Freelancer Income Report from Payoneer, the worldwide average hourly freelance rate is $28, an uptick from the $21 average rate two years ago.
The report also highlighted that maximum growth has been in the field of programming, marketing, and finance. The report further revealed a gender-based pay gap. As per the report, women make 82% of what their male counterparts make, at $23/hour on average, compared to men’s $28/hour.
These data highlights will help you gauge where you stand in terms of the rates that you are currently charging to your clients and how you need to reposition your pricing strategy.
How To Negotiate Higher Rates With Clients
Charge Per Project
Most seasoned freelancers advocate charging per project instead of per hour. That’s because time is finite, and if you are charging by the hour, your earnings will be limited too. Here’s a practical example.
Say you charge $20/hour. And you take one hour to write a blog post. So the client pays you $20 for writing a blog post. But, when you charge by the project, you can quote that your project fee for writing a blog is $150. The client doesn’t need to know how much time you’re spending writing the blog. So, always charge per project if you want to negotiate a higher rate.
For certain projects, for example, copywriting or coding, you should do value-based charging. Such projects continue to bring value to your clients long after you’ve finished writing them and so you should charge accordingly..
Ask About Their Budget
Although most clients won’t reveal their actual budget for the project, they will give away some numbers close to their budget. Take the cue and quote your price. If the budget is less, you can choose to offer fewer deliverables, politely decline or refer to another freelancer who might be interested in taking it up.
Offer Tiered Packages
Many pro freelancers do not negotiate at all. Instead, they offer different packages of services with different rates so that the client can choose accordion to their budget.
Set A Minimum Rate
Your client doesn’t need to know this but set a minimum rate for yourself below which you won’t be accepting a project. Quote a higher price and keep enough room for negotiation, so even if you’re accepting a project at your minimum rate, it’s a win. Increase your minimum rate as you grow in the business and set yourself as an authority.
Justify Your Higher Rates With Previous Work Evidence
If you’re charging a higher rate and want to stick to it, justify your rate by providing evidence of the kind of value you’re bringing into the project. Here’s an example from a pro freelancer.
Know Where To Invest Your Time
While negotiating is a part of the freelance business, you need to know where to put in your efforts to negotiate and convert and which ones to let go.
Here’s a grid table analysis to help you make an informed decision. Every time you interact with a prospective client, place them in the grid below to help you decide.
|Valued client/project||Non-valued client/project|
|Pay is good||Top priority||Proceed with a pinch of salt|
|Pay is not good||Take a call if there’s a possibility to increase the rate at a later stage||Let it go|
Negotiate Like A Pro!
- Be assertive in your communication, and don’t be aggressive when quoting your price.
- Make friends with other freelancers in your industry to understand what others are charging.
- Don’t undervalue your worth just because you’re new to the game.
- Always consider the value that you bring to the table while quoting.
- Be prepared to walk away if it doesn’t meet your minimum rate. Remember, not every project is meant for you, and that’s okay!
Freelancing can be a lucrative career if you know how to charge it right for your services. Learning to negotiate for higher rates will help you inch closer to the rate you deserve!
Chayanika is a freelance writer for B2B Tech and SaaS companies. When she’s not writing, you can find her practicing dance lessons, engrossed in a book, or traveling.