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How to Establish Your Worth and Set Your Freelance Rates

When it comes to setting our rates as freelancers, the process can be quite daunting, especially when leaving a full-time job to start your business or deciding to reevaluate your business model.

The process of gaining clients and retaining them takes time and energy – and sometimes it’s easy to allow our fears of losing out on revenue to cloud our decision-making. This is why it’s important to think deeply about your mindset and framework for establishing your worth and setting your pricing model.

We hope the following guidance and suggestions will help ease your mind and pave the way for a more enjoyable and successful future:

#1 - Know When to Say “No” or Walk Away from an Opportunity

Understanding your worth often begins when you learn to let go of opportunities that don’t serve you well. Consider creating a list of non-negotiable surrounding the types of clients and projects you want to manifest. Your list may look something like this:

  • $45/hourly+

  • Semi-monthly payments

  • The client is easy to work with

  • The client appreciates what I do

  • No projects on weekends

The goal is for you to take care of yourself and your needs, knowing that when you’re happy and fulfilled, you’ll offer a better product – which will result in you gaining more work, more clients, and more joy.

When you find yourself slugging away for a client and not enjoying the process, consider having a deep conversation with them about your rate and overall satisfaction. If the conversation doesn’t go well, you may want to create a plan to transition to a new client or let the opportunity go. You’ll be amazed at how letting go of dead weight can open doors you never expected.

#2 - Evaluate Your Skill Set and Financial Needs

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help you set your rates and pricing model. Consider diving into websites such as Salary, Payscale, Indeed, and Glassdoor to investigate your worth. There is also an amazing Google Spreadsheet that takes your business and living expenses into account, so you can make sure you’ll have all your bases covered when deciding how much you need to charge. It’s also a great idea to consult other freelancers in your network and learn from their practices.

#3 - Don’t Flinch When You Mention Your Rate

Once you’ve established your rates, stick to your guns. When you submit your hourly and/or fees to a prospective client, do so with conviction that you’re getting exactly what you deserve for a job well done.

According to a growing body of research, a professional’s salary is largely based on the ask and not backing down, especially where gender is concerned. On average, women are paid nearly 40 percent less than men. And, this often has to do with the innate desire (for many women) to please others rather than make waves or risk rejection, a lack of wage transparency, discrimination, and more.

Thankfully, there are some great strategies for negotiating higher pay – one of which is standing tall, asserting what you’re worth, and not flinching. Also, rather than offering a range, request the top of your range and work down if you need to later.

The Sky is The Limit

In closing, we’d love to encourage you to shoot for the stars!

You have within you the power to manifest what you need to survive and so much more. It all starts with your own self-talk and the realization that you’re worth every penny you ask for.