This definitive guide on how to charge clients what you need offers some practical solutions that will lead you towards a more sustainable and ultimately more fulfilling working life.
Taking your freelancing career to another dimension and bringing in a salary that pays the bills isn’t just a dream… it’s an everyday reality and one that you should get on board with, but where do you start?
Here are a few ideas:
1. Figure out your worth
Take a long hard look at what experience you have and what value you bring to a client that they wouldn’t get from an in-house team. What is it about you, your experience and education that makes you stand head and shoulders above the rest?
Make a note of all your soft and hard skills and everything you’ve picked up along the way.
For every skill you identify attach an experience and example to it, much like you would in a job interview but instead of selling yourself to an interview panel, sell yourself to, well, you.If you fully believe in your worth, you’re going to have no trouble convincing a potential client.Click To Tweet
Also, consider the added extras you bring.
Perhaps you have a great contacts book that you can use to leverage advertising or airtime for a client. Don’t be afraid to mention that in any proposals you submit for work or during discovery conversations.
Then work out the facts and figures.
Have a look at what other freelancers or entrepreneurs are offering and work out where you stand. With a broad range of figures in front of you, you’ll probably be surprised at how low you’ve been setting your rates. Be encouraged, this should be you. Put yours up now.
While it may put a few of the lower paying clients off, the ones who are attracted to good quality will have no qualms picking quality over quantity and once they start coming in, word of mouth will help spread the word. Think how it will look on your website to have endorsements from quality clientele and how that will affect your next proposal.
2. Pick the right time
It might feel like there’s never a right time to ask for more but there really is.
A perfect moment might be when you give your business a rebrand or re-design your website. When clients see a fresh, new you, it’s far easier to introduce a change in pricing for your services. Make sure to add any additional products to demonstrate any extra value that working with you will attract.
Think about when your clients set their budgets for the year and work out when the best time is to inform them.
Too early on and budgets haven’t yet been set, too late and the money has all been allocated. Don’t be afraid to talk to them and ask about when you should talk contracts.
3. Learn negotiation skills
Always a useful set of skills in any case but listen carefully to what your client comes back with and if it is a reasonable offer, be prepared to take the middle ground.
Always make sure you have a base point that you won’t dip below.
It might be that while a client can’t meet your new pay scale but they can endorse you across your social media and business platforms or even on your website. If this gives you the edge over your competitors be prepared to snap it up.
There’ll be room for further negotiations later down the line.
4. Use leverage
Is there anything you can use to strengthen your case, a new project coming up, something specialized and technical that really plays into your skillset? Perhaps you can offer discounts on bulk purchasing or some free extras for continued loyalty.
5. Get more qualified
If it’s not happening, it’s not and there really isn’t anything you can do. But just because you give in graciously it doesn’t mean you have to stay with that client. It’s your business and your choice over who it is you work with and how much you charge. It can be hard to walk away but sometimes you have to make tough decisions in order to set the bar at the right height.
Outside of asking clients to pay you more for your services, there are several other things you can do to improve your chances behind the scenes. If you’ve been meaning to add some skills to your resume, then take a chance and get enrolled on a course that is recognized and valued within your industry, such as an online BBA in Management program at Walsh University for example.
If you’re a resume whizz then spend some time updating and adding to your experience and skill set but if you haven’t used one for a while or are still carrying around a printed copy you might need the expertise of a resume writer or career adviser to get your document on point.
Demonstrating a continued commitment to learning and improving your skills can impress a client and show them that you are willing to carry on learning and achieving. Equipping yourself with bigger and better qualifications can be a sure-fire way of not only increasing your employability but also giving your confidence a much-needed boost at the same time.
Take some time too to update all the information that clients have on you by sending out an updated resume. Also essential for impressing and drawing in other well-paying customers.
Preparation is the key to making changes in your freelance business so create a sustainable and long-term plan to attract higher paying customers and a clear path on how you will get there.
Set yourself reasonable and achievable goals, ones that you give you plenty of time to reach them but do have a deadline, so you’re spurred on to get them done.
Do a lot of research. Talk to other entrepreneurs, interview them about how they’ve got to where they are, ask for their advice. Trawl through business blogs and figure out what tax breaks you might be entitled to, where you can find support for small businesses and so on.
Work can be a chore, a grind and downright depressing or it can be the reason you get up in the morning. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy your job or feel you’re not getting paid what you’re worth. Make a commitment to yourself and your future today and start planning for a career that pays you what you deserve for a job that you love and have a real talent for.
The future is within your reach, so grasp it with both hands.