As a business coach for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers, one of the main reasons people come to me is they’re stuck in a cycle of low-paying, high-maintenance clients. Can you relate?
If you’ve ever found yourself…
….you’re not alone! Most freelancers price too low, typically born of the belief that if we price low, we’ll get more clients. But the truth is, it’s the fastest route to feeling resentful and burned out. Not to mention, being the cheapest option is not a competition you can, or want to win.
So why do so many creatives avoid charging what they’re worth? Because it can be complicated. There’s the logistics such as How much are my services worth? Or: What will the market bear? Then there’s the emotional aspect of it: Do I have the right to ask for that much? Or: Will my clients pay that much for something that comes so easily to me?
The difference between the freelancers who stay stuck in a hand-to-mouth cycle and those who build a business that supports the lifestyle they want to have is the ability to get paid their worth. Read on for three ways you can confidently ask for, and get paid, what you’re worth.
You have probably all heard of the famous story about the Nike “Swoosh” logo design. The sports brand paid just $35 USD to graphic design student Carolyn Davidson back in 1971.
Crazy, right? Yet, most of us start out basing our fees the time it takes us, not the value that our work adds to a company.
Take a moment to reflect honestly on your business? Is there a gap between what you’re being paid and the value you add? Even if you’re not sure how to put a number on your value just yet, knowing that your unique skill is worth a great deal to others will help shift your mindset into one of positive expectation – a crucial element to confidently asking for what you want.
Note: If you have some baggage around money and asking for what you’re worth (and most of us do!), I’ll be sharing a few great resources at the bottom of this post to help you shift your mindset to one of growth and positive expectation.
Charging by the hour immediately makes you a commodity in the eyes of your client. The first step to getting paid what you’re worth is to shift from an hourly to a project or retainer rate. Here’s why:
My clients often fear they will meet resistance when they shift from an hourly to a project rate, but it’s rarely as bad as they think! Clients (or the ones you want, anyway) recognize this is business and are open to talking about different ways to work together. Remember to approach the conversation from the perspective of how it benefits them and you’ll be good to go.
Here are some tips to moving from hourly to project pricing:
A general rule of thumb is you want the client to have to think about the significance of the investment for a moment but move forward because they recognize the value.
Now I know I just said you’re not going to charge by the hour, so while you won’t be sharing your hourly rate with your clients, you need to know what that is based upon the hours you’re actually able to work (billable hours).
Not sure how to figure out your hourly rate? Click here to download my free guide which includes a nifty calculator to determine that number, lickety-split.
If you’re ready to up your game, work with better clients and make more money, my do I have a free gift for you. Download my free guide “How to Find High-Quality Clients & Get Paid What You’re Worth” and start making monumental changes in your creative business or career today!
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